Roughly halfway between Honolulu and Guam, Pohnpei is the capital of the Federated States of Micronesia. The island has some of the highest peaks in Micronesia which get plenty of regular rainfall. This feeds lush tropical forests and creates more than 40 rivers with cascading mountain streams, tumbling waterfalls, hidden freshwater swimming pools.
Pohnpei is known as the Garden Island because of its flourish forests and a wide variety of flora. The nutrients that flow down these water systems feeds abundant mangrove forests along Pohnpei’s coastlines, providing the perfect habitat for juvenile fish species. These nutrient-rich waters attract a wide variety of marine life to the area.
A tropical climate that is wet and warm, with around 80% humidity year-round. January and February have the least amount of rain.
Pohnpei’s hot and humid tropical climate ensures constant day time temperatures of around 30 degrees Celsius. Pohnpei is reputedly one of the wettest places on earth, each year receiving an annual recorded rainfall of over 300 inches (7,600 mm) in certain interior mountain locations.
The trade wind season is generally from December to March. Diving is conducted year-round and the surf season extends from late October to March. Water temperature averages 27 degrees Celsius year-round.
The diving around Pohnpei is diverse and pristine with nine Marine Protected Areas and an incredibly healthy reef ecosystem. A barrier reef surrounds the island with many passages that exit the lagoon into the open sea. The coral reefs with dramatic drop-offs are adorned with abundant fauna and ornamental reef life. You will encounter eagle rays, tuna, barracuda, sharks, parrotfish along with a myriad of brightly coloured fish species. The highlight of a visit to Pohnpei is the manta rays which are seen nearly every day.
A short boat trip can be made to two unspoiled neighbouring atolls, Ant and Pakin. Here, the true meaning of pristine diving comes to the fore. Whether it be riding a raging current out to sea through an island pass or exploring a deep fan laden chasm, the atolls are a fantastic experience.
27°C, 3mm wetsuit or rashie
This passage dive is one of the most active and exciting with a resident school of 30 to 100+ grey reef sharks. The sharks are best observed from the deep reef at about 37 metres just outside the entrance to the channel.
Mwand Wall & Pass
This stunning dive features a wealth of corals including branching green tubastrea coral trees, red whip coral and multi-hued soft coral trees. Crinoids decorate the beautiful gorgonians below 30 metres. There are giant Napoleon wrasse, schooling fusiliers and a large variety of nudibranchs, blennies, anthias and butterflyfish that inhabit the reef.
The best place to see manta rays getting cleaned.
Surfing, kite surfing, kayaking, stand up paddleboarding are all possible here, with plenty of coastlines to explore.
For those intrigued by local legends and traditions, a visit to the archaeological site of Nan Madol is a must. Nan Madol (sometimes called the Venice of the Pacific), is an ancient stone city, built on 100 artificial islets by the rulers of Pohnpei, between 750 AD and 1500 AD. The major buildings were constructed of immense basalt logs six metres long, weighing several tonnes brought to the islands by raft. The stone fortress of steps, paths and temple became the burial place for the Saudeleur kings and priests. Other historical sites of Spanish Wall, Sokens Mass Grave, German Bell Tower, the botanical gardens, Japanese tanks and shrines.
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