Above The Water
The islands of Yap lie between Guam and Palau, in the Federated States of Micronesia. The islands offer endless sights and activities for the off-the-beaten-track traveller. Take part in cultural tours, kayaking, hiking, sightseeing, biking, visit the Yap Living History Museum and more. The locals of Yap are delightful, and you can visit villages and fields with war relics – don’t miss the wild carnivorous Nepenthes “pitcher plants” growing everywhere! The most striking symbol of Yap is its traditional stone money, which can be found at the stone money bank in the forest.
Below The Water
Yap is one of the last unexplored frontiers of diving. Steep walls and gutters shelter hundreds of fish with Manta Rays making their home in Yap waters. Yap is relatively undiscovered, consisting of four main and ten smaller islands, encircled by exquisite coral reefs. Generally, visibility in Yap’s waters ranges between 30 to 60 meters, with occasional drops down to 10 meters in the reef channels where the cleaning stations are.
The island is surrounded by a lagoon which edges a reef harbouring over 200 species of hard and soft corals and fantastic sea life including schools of bumphead parrotfish, turtles, eagle rays, sting rays and different species of barracuda. As well as this, divers can mingle with sharks on a daily basis including grey tip, black, tip, white tip and silver tip, and less regularly nurse, leopard, hammerhead, silky and even oceanic white tip sharks. All of this with crystal clear water over brilliant coral reefs.
On the other hand, Yap offers a rich macro universe with mandarin fishes, mantis shrimps, ghost pipe fishes and leaf fishes as well as anemone crabs, coral shrimps and different species of nudibranchs, among them some that have not even been described yet.
The archipelago of Yap in Micronesia first became famous with divers for its population of manta rays inhabiting the surrounding waters with more than 100 specimens recorded living off Yap. Thus the state of Yap became the first manta sanctuary within the Western Pacific in September 2008. In the last 25 years, divers have discovered several cleaning stations where guests are very likely to enjoy close encounters with Yap’s gentle giants. Often enough, the mantas hover only a few inches over the divers’ heads.