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Caroline Islands

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Travel Guide Pacific Ocean Caroline Islands

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Introduction

The Caroline Islands (or The Carolines) are a widely scattered archipelago of tiny islands in the northwestern Pacific Ocean, to the north of New Guinea. Politically they are divided between the Federated States of Micronesia in the eastern part of the group, and Palau at the extreme western end. Historically, this area was also called Nuevas Filipinas or New Philippines as they were part of the Spanish East Indies and governed from Manila in the Philippines.

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Geography

The Carolines span a distance of approximately 3,540 kilometres, from Tobi, Palau at the westernmost point to Kosrae at the easternmost.
The group consists of about 500 small coral islands, east of the Philippines, in the Pacific Ocean; the distance from Manila to Yap, one of the larger islands of the group, is 1,900 kilometres. Most of the islands comprise low, flat coral atolls, but some rise high above sea level.

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Sights and Activities

Micronesia

  • Nan Madol is a fascinating archaeological site on the island of Pohnpei. It's an ancient city built on numerous small artificial islands, earning it the nickname Venice of the Pacific. It was the capital of the Saudeleur dynasty until roughly 1500 AD. Construction of the islets is estimated to date back to the 8th or 9th century.
  • Scuba Diving is a major drawcard throughout Micronesia. There are many suba diving sites in Microneasia, including Chuuk that is a highlight for wreck divers, where a Japanese fleet sunk by Americans during WWII can be explored.
  • Snorkelling is a good alternative for those without their diving licenses. There are numerous good places to snorkel throughout Micronesia.
  • Surfing. Once a relatively secret destination for surfers, Pohnpei has taken off in recent years thanks to a new surf camp opened by a Brazilian expat in 2004.
  • Yapese Stone Money are large carved limestone coins, with a hole used for transportation. The coins aren't legal international currency, but are still used as legal tender in Yap.
  • Pohnpei's Waterfalls are a good place to cool down on a hot day. Access isn't particularly easy, but some of the drops are quite spectacular.

Palau

  • Scuba Diving - Palau is famous for its amazing scuba diving opportunities. The Blue Corner is one of the world's most famous dive sites, owing to its spectacular concentration of marine life. Other great dive sites include Ngemelis Wall, Peleliu Wall, German Channel, Ulong Channel and the Blue Holes. The best way to explore all the beautiful reefs is staying on a liveaboard. You get the chance to make 4 to 5 dives a day and see all the dive-spots during your stay. There are several companies offering this option to go diving (or snorkelling).
  • Rock Islands - A group of around 250 small, foliage covered islands in the country's south that appear to float above the sea's surface. Relax on secluded white-sand beaches, or explore some of the numerous World War II wrecks that can be found scattered around the islands.
  • Jellyfish Lake - Jellyfish Lake, or Ongeim’l Tketau as it is known in Palauan, is home to millions of jellyfish, which have lost most of their stinging ability. Visitors to the lake can snorkel among the jellyfish and touch them without fear of being stung. It is one of about 70 marine lakes scattered around the limestone rock islands that Palau is famous for.
  • The Belau National Museum offers an insight into the culture and history of Pelau.
  • Palau Aquarium
  • Etpison Museum & Gallery houses a large private collection of Pelauan art and artifacts.
  • Badrulchau is a group of 37 large basalt monoliths, weighing up to 4500kg.
  • Ocean Kayaking

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This is version 2. Last edited at 10:55 on Jul 19, 17 by Utrecht. No articles link to this page.

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