pohnpei micronesia, photo of the shore with the island off to the right of the ocean

Pohnpei Micronesia Travel Guide

Have you ever wanted to visit Pohnpei in Micronesia? Pohnpei is a small tropical island that is the perfect vacation spot for those who want to spend a few days in paradise. There is a variety of fun outdoor activities you can do in Pohnpei.

The most popular being diving, surfing, touring historical sites, visiting waterfalls and going on nature trails, and more. Pohnpei, although a small island, has a lot to offer. We’re excited to share our travel guide on the best things to do, where to stay, the best time to visit, and more, on Pohnpei Micronesia! So, let’s dive in!

About Pohnpei

Being the prevalent island out of 607 in the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM), Pohnpei is a blissful destination that only some travelers ever get to experience in their lifetime. Pohnpei spans 129 square miles, which is half of the FSM.

This hidden paradise is situated 7 degrees north of the equator and 5214 kilometers southwest of Honolulu in the North-Western Pacific Ocean. The most significant attraction on the island is Nan Madol, relics of the ancient city built into the sea in 500 AD. To date, a mystery so profound that many archaeologists are still reading into what remains of the old town.  

Pohnpei bustles with lush green vegetation and a beautiful landscape, offering plenty of things to do for nature lovers. As you arrive from the east, you are greeted by a towering Mount Nanlaud. Whereas it is only a crumb compared to islands like Hawaii, Pohnpei will surely exhaust you like no other in Micronesia. Most visitors spend 2 to 3 days traveling along the peninsula making it the perfect destination for a mini vacation. 

Things to Do in Pohnpei 

Pohnpei, small in size and gigantic in personality, is the perfect vacation destination for those looking for a Caribbean ambiance with a touch of seclusion. There are a number of fun things you can do in Pohnpei while you’re visiting! Such as:

Diving

There are endless diving spots in Pohnpei. Diving peaks in May through September when the surf is not too high. Given that a barrier reef surrounds the island, openings into the sea promote biodiversity.

Diving spots vary from seamounts to walls, with plenty of notches to explore. Visitors of Pohnpei get to explore various crevices that are a shark and manta ray habitat, which is often the highlight of visiting the sea. There are plenty of diving spots, some local favorites are Manta Road and Nan Madol. 

Surfing 

Surfing is predominantly the main activity on the island, with visitors flocking the island from October through April. The island makes every surfer’s bucket list across the globe. Famed as the world’s best rights, P-Pass offers a stunning barrel ride, but you also can’t miss out on the occasional giant tide at Palikir pass. Whichever itinerary you end up choosing, great memories are awaiting you on the island.

Tour of the Nan Madol

There are over 100 sites of historical significance in Pohnpei and you are bound to spend at least a day visiting them, but you will likely love every second of it.

The artificial city, Nan Madol, known to be a construct of royal civilization is still a mystery to many archaeologists who can’t pin the race behind the ingenuity. Visitors can get to the island by boat or car from Kolonia. 

Check Out the Island’s Waterfalls

Further along, the Nanpil River lies the majestic Liduduhniap Twin Waterfalls, where you can enjoy a picnic. This destination is also a good place for a nature walk as you take in the pristine ambiance of Pohnpei.

You should also check out the Kepirohi Waterfall that has grown in prominence for it is a hidden gem and such a large and beautiful waterfall to visit.

Visit the Spanish Wall

Having been built in 1889 as a boundary for Alphonso XII’s fortress, the Spanish Wall is an eventful history-rich itinerary. But, first, you have to check the Catholic Mission Bell Tower, the only remains of the German Church destroyed by the Japanese during World War II.

Other Water Activities

The island bustles with water activities at different destinations. Fishing, snorkeling, and kayaking are all excellent ways to unwind on your trip to the island. 

How to Get To Pohnpei 

You can travel to Pohnpei via United Airlines, Air Niugini, and Nauru Airlines through Guam and Hawaii. First, you will fly for 5-hours from Honolulu until you reach the beautiful Majuro island, a pleasant sight hundreds of feet in the sky. Most flights arrive between 1 and 2 pm giving enough time to shake off the jetlag before enjoying an evening walk on the island.

Where to Stay In Pohnpei 

Given its minimal annual traffic, the vast number of hotels paint a picture of the island’s tourism industry capabilities. There are several hotels to pick from depending on budget and amenities, such as;

7 Stars Inn

Initially, the Penny Hotel, 7 Stars Inn opened in 2012 and has quickly gained prominence on the island thanks to exquisite service and amenities. The premises were carefully renovated to world hotel standards with three types of rooms available; single (2 twins), Double (Queen and twin), and Deluxe (1 king).

Cliff

Even though it may be difficult to tell, given a few modifications on the premises, Cliff is one of the longest-serving hotels on the island. The rooms are furnished from low to mid-range accommodations and a firm favorite for the Peace Corps workers, which resonates with its affordability. In addition, the Cliff has amenities like a conference room, restaurant and bar, and a car rental service.

Joy Hotel

Joy Hotel is one of the oldest on the island but has recently been given a facelift to the current concierge standards to serve its clientele best. It is located on Ohmine Street in the northern part of Kolonia. The hotel has two rooms to pick from; single (1 queen) and Double (2 twins).

Island Palms Hotel

Situated in the central part of town along Elenieng Street, just across from Kolonia Elementary School, the Island Palms is committed to a memorable stay on Pohnpei. The hotel has two rooms for guests to choose from; single deluxe (1 king) and doubles (2 twins), with rooms on the northern side having a balcony with a scenic view.

Best Time of the Year to Visit Pohnpei

Pohnpei is most visited in July, then followed by December and March. Given the demand on the island, hotel prices are likely to spike, but a hotel booking months in advance will help keep the price low.

Alternatively, you could visit during October when the traffic to the island is relatively low. In terms of weather, January through March are the dry months, whereas October ranks as the most humid month.

Wrapping Up

Pohnpei is a small tropical island with a lot to offer. It’s a great island to spend a few days on and you’ll surely have plenty to do. If you are looking for a vacation with a lot of outdoor activities and adventure, Pohnpei is a great destination for you.

The island offers a variety of diving spots, great surfing, historical sites and landmarks, beautiful waterfalls, and other nature spots to hike to or explore. Overall, it’s a beautiful island to visit with a lot to do. We hope you enjoyed our travel guide on visiting Pohnpei Micronesia, happy travels!