divers think of the tropical Pacific, Micronesia is usually what
comes to mind. Consisting of more than 2,000 islands located east
of the Philippines, north of Indonesia and west of Hawaii, it encompasses
an area of more than 4.5 million square miles. Truk Lagoon, Palau,
Guam, Yap, the Marshall Islands featuring Bikini Atoll and Majuro
Atoll, Pohnpei, Saipan, Tinian and Kosrae are some of the diving
hotspots. Micronesian diving is known for war wrecks, the explosion
of species that inhabit the color-filled reefs, vertical walls,
action-packed current cuts, protected lagoons and seamounts.
(Chuuk) Lagoon is the Mecca of wreck diving. In two days of heavy
fighting in February of 1944, Allied Forces sunk more than 60 Japanese
ships tankers, freighters and submarines. For history buffs, the
wrecks remain moments frozen in time, and for wildlife aficionados,
the wrecks have been transformed into colorful artificial reefs.
azure waters and mushroom-shaped rock islands of Palau (Belau) create
an irresistible setting. Diving highlights include wreck exploration,
expansive caves, sheer walls and drift diving through current cuts
where sharks, dense schools of barracudas, tunas and other pelagics
gather. The famed Blue Corner is not to be missed.
is known worldwide as the land of stone money, where bare-breasted
ladies and men in loincloths greet their guests and maintain their
traditional lifestyles. Experienced dive travelers know Yap for
encounters with big Manta Rays.
and Kosrae make up a quintessential Pacific dream world. Divers
can experience incredibly rich reefs and diverse fish populations
all while enjoying an authentic and warm local culture.
recent years the waters of Bikini Atoll in the Marshall Islands
have become a big draw due to the only-recently-made-available opportunity
to dive the USS Saratoga, the worlds only wrecked aircraft
carrier accessible to divers. And, a U.S. territory, Guam has more
modern amenities than many traditional Micronesian areas while providing
visiting divers with some great World War II wrecks, vertical walls
Philippines has one of the most productive underwater ecosystems
in the world, supporting more than 800 coral species. A variety
of filter feeders such as crinoids, sponges and tunicates flourish
in these current-stirred waters as do fusiliers, jacks and batfish.
Island, in the north near Manila, is well known for its diversity
of invertebrates, and Apo Reef has long been enjoyed for its big
animal encounters. To the south in the Sulu Sea, Tubbataha Reefs
are the mainstay of a protected marine park. Seasonal access via
a live-aboard is the only way to visit this prolific area. There
is also great reef diving around the islands of Negros, Cebu and
Bohol to the northeast of Tubbataha.
Resorts and Operators