Snorkeling, Sea Turtles & Culture
Marine Debris Beach Clean Up to Restore Nesting Sea Turtle Habitat
Micronesia has 300 species of corals and 1,000 species of fish, and on this expedition we will have an opportunity to appreciate some of this region’s renowned biodiversity.
*Nesting sea turtles in Ulithi
* A profusion of fish
This expedition is offered in collaboration with Hawai’i Wildlife Fund
whose co-founder Hannah Bernard will lead the expedition. Hannah has led four previous expeditions to Micronesia including one to Yap and Ulithi in 2016.
Our adventure begins in Yap, known as the best place for seeing manta rays year round on a consistent basis. We visit the protected channels where manta rays congregate to be cleaned by small reef fishes called “cleaners.” Yap leads the world in manta ray conservation with the establishment of the Manta Ray Sanctuary in 2008.
The reefs and channels surrounding the island are home to a spectacular array of fish.
Yap is widely known for its strong traditional values, and as the land of stone money.
We explore the main island of Yap, visiting the traditional houses, and seeing some the stone money for which Yap is famous. Our cultural tour includes opportunities to see local crafts made on the island. Photographic opportunities are exceptional.
Located approximately 100 miles northeast of Yap State, Ulithi Atoll has 200 miles of reef, andthe lagoon is surrounded by 36 tropical islands, only four of which are inhabited.
The clear, warm waters abound with coral and colorful tropical fish. This remote, untouristed area offers exceptional snorkeling from the beach as well as from our by snorkeling boat anchored off uninhabited islands.
The atoll hosts the most important nesting grounds for green sea turtles in all of Micronesia. Our trip coincides with peak nesting activities and we will learn about monitoring activities from our local guides.
A highlight will be visiting the remote Turtle Islands to witness the green turtles’ nesting activities.
On this expedition, we provide a community service with a marine debris beach clean up to help restore nesting sea turtle habitat.
The Ulithi community continues to practice their traditional lifestyle, and hosted by our local nonprofit partner organization we can experience traditional cultural practices including dances and the weaving of a lava lava, the wrap-like skirt the women wear.
Day 1 Home/Honolulu/Guam. Fly United Airlines flight to Yap via Guam. Cross the International Date Line and arrive in Guam the following day.
Day 2 Guam/Yap. Continue on from Guam to Yap. Late night arrival in Colonia where you will be picked up and transferred to your comfortable hotel.
Day 3 Yap. The people of Yap have retained many ancient traditions and customs, including the famous stone money, and we will learn what these customs signify. Afternoon snorkeling excursion to Manta Ray Channel to look for the manta rays for which Yap is famous. We overnight at a comfortable hotel in Colonia.
Day 4 Yap/Ulithi. This morning we take a 45-minute flight to Falalop on Ulithi Atoll and transfer to our comfortable lodge. Excellent snorkeling from our beachfront hotel. Next four nights at the Falalop lodge.
Day 5-7 Ulithi. Daily snorkeling excursions to Loosiep and Asor to visit untouristed snorkel sites. Learn about the island’s ecology and cultural traditions. Opportunity to snorkel along the island’s fringing reef. One evening enjoy traditional dance by community members.
Visit the outer island of Gielop known as the largest green turtle nesting site in Micronesia. Opportunity to explore the island’s small forest, and to observe nesting frigate bird and booby colonies. Weather permitting, we camp overnight in this island paradise. We will likely be the only visitors in the entire atoll.
We will help restore the nesting green turtles’ habitat by conducting a marine debris beach clean up.
Day 8 Ulithi/Yap. Morning beach snorkeling. Lunch and farewell to our hosts. Early afternoon flight back to Colonia on Yap. Overnight in comfortable hotel.
Day 9 Yap. Morning snorkel. Afternoon at leisure for shopping. and exploration. Prepare for late night departure home.
Day 10 Yap/Guam/Honolulu/home. Early morning flight from Yap to Guam. Cross the International Date Line.
Optional Extension: You may wish to extend your time on Yap for scuba diving, more snorkeling, or cultural activities. Our staff is happy to provide details. Contact our trip manager below.
While snorkeling is a highlight throughout our trip, scuba diving is possible only in Yap. Snorkeling excursions are aboard privately chartered boats. We stay in comfortable, double occupancy rooms with private baths, air conditioning and a ceiling fan.
Contact our office for more details:
2019 Cost: $2,890
— includes: airfare from Yap to Ulithi roundtrip, double-occupancy room accommodations, most meals, snorkeling excursions, leadership
— does not include:
flight from home to Yap, some meals.
Group Size Limit: 7
Hannah Bernard executive director and co-founder of Hawai’i Wildlife Fund will lead the expedition. A marine biologist and experienced guide, Hannah has led three previous Micronesia expeditions, including to remote Ulithi Atoll for Bluecology. She is an award-winning marine biologist and conservationist, with 30 years of experience.
Contact Trip Manager here