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Overview

A necklace of coral atolls in the blue of the Pacific, the Marshall Islands are home to expert fishers and navigators. The wind and waves of this remote location still determine many islander's lives; traditional boat building continues, as does intimate knowledge of the sea and stars. This tiny Micronesian nation has historical connections with the various European, Asian and American powers that have passed through. There's a sense of all these influences, visible in the faces of the locals and the availability of the food of several nations. Majuro, the capital and main atoll, has the pleasant feel of tropical lassitude. Neighboring ...

A necklace of coral atolls in the blue of the Pacific, the Marshall Islands are home to expert fishers and navigators. The wind and waves of this remote location still determine many islander's lives; traditional boat building continues, as does intimate knowledge of the sea and stars. This tiny Micronesian nation has historical connections with the various European, Asian and American powers that have passed through. There's a sense of all these influences, visible in the faces of the locals and the availability of the food of several nations. Majuro, the capital and main atoll, has the pleasant feel of tropical lassitude. Neighboring Kwajelein atoll, leased to the US military for missile testing, is closed to non-military visitors. Despite the devastating nuclear history of some, the true charm of the Marshalls lies in the outer islands, where the slow-paced calm and solitude of islands like Arno and Jaluit would make Robinson Crusoe feel at home. There are world class underwater sites and sights here too. Divers head straight to either Bikini atoll for WWII wreck-diving, or Rongelap atoll for nature-diving, and game-fishers gather on Majuro.

Virginia Jealous
About the Expert

Virginia Jealous is coauthor of Lonely Planet guides to Micronesia and Indonesia.

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Facts at a Glance

  • Location: The Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI), is a Micronesian island nation in the western Pacific Ocean, located north of Nauru and Kiribati, east of the Federated States of Micronesia and south of the U.S. territory of Wake Island.
  • Language: Marshallese, English
  • Currency: US dollar (USD)
  • Weather: Rainfall | Daylight
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Climate

  • Best Time to Visit:

    Avoid Majuro's September to November wetter season. Daily temperature averages 81 degrees.