Micronesia Tours1 tours available
More About Micronesia
Spread across the western reaches of the Pacific Ocean is a group of far flung islands with as much scenic beauty as historical intrigue. While humans have inhabited this region for millennia, the world is still learning about these seafaring civilizations that had to survive storms and isolation. Our Micronesia tours offer the chance to see first hand customs that have survived and the reason these places earn their paradisal reputations.
Micronesia tours showcase societies that are made up of clan groupings, with descendants traced through the mother. The head on each island can trace its lineage back to the island's original settlers. Most islands operate on the basic subsistence economy based on cultivation of tree crops (breadfruit, banana, coconut and citrus) and root crops (taro and yam) supplemented by fishing with small scale agriculture and various traditional fishing practices continuing to today. Sharing and communal work are fundamental to the subsistence economic system and the culture of the island societies.
In Pohnpei, evidence of the earliest human activity here dates back to the 1st or 2nd century BC, and the construction of artificial islets probably started around the 8th or 9th century AD. However, construction of the megalithic structures began around the 12th century. Here you can find basalt rocks that make up the base of structures weighing upwards of 80-90 tons, which have been there for over 1000 years piled neatly on top of each other.
Nearly 2,100 islands make up Micronesia, with Guam being the largest of them all. As well as being the southernmost island in the Mariana Islands archipelago, it is a melting pot of Asian, European, Pacific Rim and American cultures. First discovered by people from southeastern Indonesia around 2,000 BC, most of what is known about pre-contact settlement comes from legends, archaeological evidence, missionary accounts, and observations from visiting scientists. With its strategic location in the Pacific Ocean, this territory of the United States has been claimed and conquered by many different nations throughout its long history. Claimed for Spain in 1565, and then later colonized by the Spanish beginning in 1668 as the island was in perfect position to become a resting place for Spanish traders for three centuries until after the Spanish-American war when Guam became under US authority.
Like Guam, many islands in Micronesia were involved in the devastating War of the Pacific during WWII. One such battleground is Peleliu in Palau. With the Japanese controlling Palau by World War II, Peleliu became an important military target for the United States. The Japanese had built a series of underground tunnels and fortifications, and they had tens of thousands of men stationed here. By the time the war was over, nearly 11,000 Japanese and 1,000 American soldiers had lost their lives in this small area.
Beyond history and culture, our Micronesia tours showcase a world of outstanding natural beauty. Shaped by volcanic activity millions of years ago, among the islands and atolls are tips of mountain peaks thrust above the surface and are now surrounded by fringing reefs. Around the atolls are rings of coral barrier reef or tiny island islets encircling a coral and sand lagoon.
Despite gorgeous scenery and fascinating history, Micronesia remains off the beaten track, with countries such as Nauru being among the world's least visited. The region is a place best explored by the intrepid and curious.