Remote and pristine, with waterside reefs and inland forests to explore, the Marshall Islands epitomize tropical paradise And there is a lot of paradise, as the Marshalls are actually two long, parallel chains of volcanic islands and coral atolls in the central Pacific Ocean. In total, there are roughly 1,200 islands, islets and atolls spread across some 750,000 square miles of ocean. Located between Hawaii and the Philippines, the Marshall Islands were important strategically during World War II. Bikini Atoll, in the northwest part of the chain, was used as a ship graveyard after the war and remains a hugely popular wreck-dive site today. The other “big name” attraction here is the teeming Kalalin Pass coral reef. It is close to Majuro Atoll, the capital of the Marshall Islands and the chain’s largest settlement.
Crystal Clear Water, Vibrant Sea Life for Excellent Diving
“The Marshall Islands are one of the best dive spots in the world, for both wreck and reef diving,” according to the website Scubadivingresource.com. The site goes on to rave about the area’s almost untouched dive sites, their beauty and the water clarity, noting that there are more than 1,000 species of fish in addition to 250 species of soft and hard corals along with “spectacular visibility.” Whether diving a shipwreck-turned-reef or natural coral pinnacles, dives into the deep, clear blue include breathtaking drop-offs and deep channels full of spectacular marine life.
Remoteness Equals Peace and Tranquility
You don’t have to go far to get away from it all in the Marshall Islands. There are settlements throughout the chain, many with modern conveniences, shops and restaurants. Accommodations are also available in many of these hubs, but all it takes is a 15-minute boat ride to be whisked away to your own island paradise for a day or a week (or longer). A mere 15 miles from the city of Majuro sits Arno Atoll, offering guests of the Arno Beachcomber Lodge a pristine private beach, solitude and a place to snooze for just $35 to $50 per person. Similarly, Eneko Island provides sanctuary on Majora's north shore and is only 25 minutes by boat from downtown Uliga. The property features a private beach cottage ($125 to $150 per night) as well as shared accommodations in a building with three bedrooms ($40 to $45). A separate cookhouse serves guests at mealtimes. Boat trips cost $20 per person (roundtrip).
With its thousand-plus islands set in the fish-friendly tropical Pacific, the Marshalls make catching something as close to a sure bet as you can get it. According to Southpacificspecialist.org, the islands are home to more than 1,000 fish species. To further break it down, the site notes that 860 inshore/reef species can be found here, along with seven freshwater/brackish species, 67 open-water and 125 deep-sea fish types. Charters offer fishing excursions in various settings, from lagoons and reef flats to the open ocean. While fishing is terrific throughout the islands, some of the best charters launch from the capital of Majuro. From there, fishers can catch charters to neighboring Arno Atoll or venture further afield by island-and-atoll hopping via Air Marshall Island. There’s likely something to catch year-round, but in terms of favorable weather and wind, conditions for the best fishing are May through October.