Guam is a U.S. island territory in Micronesia, in the Western Pacific. It’s distinguished by tropical beaches, Chamorro villages and ancient latte-stone pillars. Guam’s WWII significance is on view at the War in the Pacific National Historical Park, whose sites include Asan Beach, a former battlefield. The island’s Spanish colonial heritage is evident in Fort Nuestra Señora de la Soledad, atop a bluff in Umatac.
Palau is an archipelago of over 500 islands, part of the Micronesia region in the western Pacific Ocean. Koror Island is home to the former capital, also named Koror, and is the islands’ commercial centre. The larger island, Babeldaob has the present capital, Ngerulmud, plus mountains and sandy beaches on its east coast. In its north, ancient basalt monoliths known as Badrulchau lie in grassy fields surrounded by palm trees.
The Federated States of Micronesia is a country spread across the western Pacific Ocean comprising more than 600 islands. Micronesia is made up of 4 island states: Pohnpei, Kosrae, Chuuk and Yap who have each retained their own culture. The country is known for palm-shaded beaches, wreck-filled dives and ancient ruins, including Nan Madol, sunken basalt temples and burial vaults that extend out of a lagoon on Pohnpei.
Northern Mariana Islands are a true tropical paradise (as opposed to Guam) with their turquoise waters, white sands, fine diving, snorkelling and hiking. Saipan, the largest island, is known for its sandy shores and mountainous landscapes. In clear waters off its west coast is the tiny, coral-fringed Mañagaha islet. On Saipan’s northeast coast, turtles inhabit the Grotto, a cavern dive site. Nearby, memorials mark Banzai Cliff and Suicide Cliff, sites from WWII’s Battle of Saipan.
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