Yap Island

Travel Guide

Where is Yap?

Yap is a cluster of islands that stretch for 600 miles in the vast Pacific Ocean. Yap proper, a group of four main islands within a barrier reef, is approximately 500 miles southwest of Guam, 300 miles northeast of Palau, and 800 miles due east of Cebu, Philippines. The other islands that comprise the state of Yap extend eastward towards Chuuk, with one atoll about 80 miles to the south. Yap lies just nine degrees north of the Equator.

How do I get to Yap?

Most visitors arrive via United Airlines, which is only doing 1 flight per month with 165 passengers. Flight information can be found on the United Airlines web site. Local island flights from Palau are available every Wednesday, departing at 10:00AM Palau time. The only other way to arrive is by sailing vessel (privately owned).

How should I be prepared to pay for goods and services in Yap?

There are three commercial banks in Yap: the Bank of Guam, FSMBank and the Community Ayuw Credit Union. US currency is used. Credit cards are accepted by most hotels and some shops but cash is the commonly used currency. Travelers checks can be cashed at banks that are open Monday to Friday. ATM machines are available at the Bank of Guam and FSM Bank.

What are the Visa requirements?

Micronesia Custom Regulations, Visas and Entry

Most visitors are allowed entry to the FSM as long as they have a valid passport and an onward ticket. U.S. citizens are allowed to stay indefinitely, provided they have a valid passport. Most other nationals are allowed between 14 and 30 days. Please check with your travel agent or email the Yap Visitors Bureau for more information.

Is there a departure fee from Yap?

There is a departure fee of US $20.00 that is payable in cash upon check-in for your departure flight.

What should I bring?

Yap’s year round climate is sub-tropical, with average temperatures in the high 80’s (F) to low 90’s during the day, and low 80’s in the evenings. Loose cotton clothing, shorts, t-shirts, sarongs, and sandals for the day, and light slacks/polo shirts for the evening. There is no formal dress in Yap, so dress casual and be comfortable. Women should cover their thighs with loose slacks, long shorts or skirts. While acceptable in western cultures, a woman’s thighs must be covered in Yap. Sunscreens are available at hotels and dive shops, but if you have a particular brand you like, bring your own supply. Hats are worn by just about everybody to keep out the sun, and good sunglasses are essential for boating.

What is the best season for diving?

Diving is good year round, with the Trade Winds blowing from November to May. During these months, manta dives are done in Mi’il Channel and our reef and wall dives are at the southern end and western side of the island. Boat rides for the reefs can be rough at times, but the diving sites are calm and safe. In the summer months, June through October, manta dives are done in both Mi’il and Goofnuw Channels for the mantas, and all of the reefs around Yap are accessible as the winds cease and the ocean is usually calm.

How long should I stay in Yap?

With our current flight schedule of three arrivals per week, visitors can stay anywhere from two to seven nights or more. Visits of five to seven days are typical, with some visitors staying three weeks or more. Many divers who come for only a couple of days leave disappointed, having learned once they arrived that they’ll be missing out on some of Micronesia’s best diving and cultural activities.

Is there beach diving in Yap?

No, the reef is too far from land to make any beach dives.

Where is the nearest Recompression Chamber, and who is in charge of it?

Yap has its own recompression facility, owned by the Yap State Health Department, located at the hospital in Colonia, and operated by volunteers from both the hospital and the diving community.

Is Yap a place to bring the whole family?

Absolutely! Bringing your family to Yap is a wonderful experience for children and parents alike.

How do I get around the island?

There are several taxi companies. Typical fares are US$1.00 anywhere in Colonia and about US$12.00 to the farthest point of the island. It’s a good idea to ask your hotel or service operator to make an arrangement for a taxi because there are no taxis looking for customers on the street and taxis do not have fare meters. There are public buses for US$1.00 that operate each morning and evening only, bringing people to work and back home again at the end of the school and work day. Rental cars vary in price from about US$38.00 to $60.00 per day.

I have heard about Yap’s intact culture, and I don’t want to offend anyone. What should I wear or do when visiting the villages?

Women should cover their thighs when in public places. Long shorts or skirts (down to the knee) or sarongs are fine, as are jeans or slacks. Men should also not wear shorts that are “too short”. Bathing suits should be used for swimming or on the boat or at poolside only.

What time zone is Yap in?

Yap is GMT + 10 hrs. We are ten hours ahead of London, 15 hours ahead of the U.S. East Coast, and one hour ahead of Tokyo. We are in the same time zone as Sydney, Australia and Guam. Yap does not observe Daylight Savings Time.

What kind of hotels are there on Yap?

Remarkably, there is a wide variety of different hotels on Yap. Every hotel has its own niche that is clearly defined, such as Diving, Eco-tourism, Business, Historic Inn, Resort, Beach, and Economy Hotel.


  • Always ask for permission before entering private property or taking a picture of people. Please note that 99% of Yap is privately owned.
  • Drive slowly in residential areas, especially in villages.
  • Feel free to try out local practices and/or attire, after asking for permission. It helps when Yapese know you’re genuinely interested.
  • Sit properly. For women, don’t squat in public. It’s improper and disrespectful.
  • Learn how to say “Sirow” and “Kammagar” meaning “Excuse me” and “Thank you” respectively.


  • Walk around in public in transparent or skimpy attire. Yapese culture requires women to cover their thighs. Women can wear clothing with hemlines reaching to just above the knees.
  • Step or walk over people or their baskets when they are sitting down. It’s disrespectful.
  • Cause too much noise in residential areas, especially when in a village.
  • Walk around villages empty handed. It shows you’re visiting an area without a purpose and therefore are likely to cause trouble. A small branch (Muteelpaaq) would do if you don’t have a handbag.
  • Walk around at night without carrying a light, especially in the village. It means you are looking to cause trouble.


If you whisper, people will strain their ears to listen but if you shout people will shut their ears in annoyance… meaning: Don’t be loud and obnoxious but humble and modest… people will respond better to you that way.

Available Tours & Visitor Experiences

  • Island Tours
    Our local guides will be happy to take you to spectacular parts of the island. The guides are an excellent source of knowledge of the history and culture of the island and are very proud of their heritage and will be happy to share this knowledge with you. The tours can be tailor made to suit your preference, whether it be flora & fauna, WWII or other historical sites. Island tours are available every day and are either two hours long, half day (four hours) or full day (eight hours). Full day tours come with a packed lunch. Prices: Full Day – $79/person; 1⁄2 Day – $49/person; 2 hours – $30/person (price based on minimum of 2 persons). Book a Tour >
  • Village Tours
    The Village Tour is a customized two-hour tour designed to highlight the village life of a Yapese, by experiencing the taste of the local cuisine shared with an island renowned local doctor, who is also well versed in the Yapese culture. It is also an opportunity to learn about the local navigational skills and traditional canoes indigenous to the island. Prices: 2 Hours – $49/person (maximum of 4 persons). Book a Tour >
  • Rumung (Forbidden Island) Tour
    This half day tour is done by boat and it offers you a chance to visit the Forbidden Island of Rumung. On the Rumung Tour you will be able to snorkel around the bay of the island and visit one of Yap’s largest stone money. The tour includes packed lunches. Prices: $120/person (required minimum of 4 persons). Book a Tour >
  • Kayak tours
    Discover Yap by kayak and enjoy a unique experience in the diverse mangrove system of the island. This is the perfect way to explore one of the few eco-systems on this planet that remains untouched by man. These guided tours depart from the hotel by boat, or sometimes van, and are designed to be easy, relaxing and very enjoyable. Kayak tours are available in half day (four hours) or full day (eight hours). Full day tours come with a packed lunch, bottled water and fresh fruits. Prices: Full Day – $109/person; 1⁄2 Day – $69/person (minimum of 1 person). Book a Tour >
  • Hiking Tours
    For those interested in a more up close and personal tour of Yap’s flora and fauna, we suggest our Hiking Tours which is an easy trail walk thru the jungles of Yap. Our various trail walks can feature a lovely walk across jungles or up hills for a beautiful panoramic view of the town center. The hike is 2 hours long and includes bottled water and a light snack. Prices: $35/person. Book a Tour >
  • Guided Snorkeling Tours
    Snorkeling tours are tailored to fit the preference of the customer and can be for the length of either 2 hours to 5 hours long. This tour can be either on the beautiful reefs of Yap or with the Sharks and mantas. Snorkeling tours come with light pastry snacks, hot tea and ice water. Prices: $49/person/trip. Book a Tour >
  • Bird Watching Tours
    Our bird watching tour is 4 hours long and takes thru the hills and jungles of Yap in search of bird life endemic to the island, from the Yap Monarch to the Micronesian Starling. This tour also showcases the diverse flora and fauna of the island. Prices: 4 Hours – $35/person. Book a Tour >
  • Sunset Cruise
    An evening cruise by either boat or vehicle to enjoy the beautiful island sunset. This cruise is 2 hours long and includes delicious coconut cocktails. Prices: 2 Hours – $35/person. Book a Tour > (minimum of 2 persons for a sunset car cruise and a minimum of 4 persons for a sunset boat cruise)

Places to Stay in Yap

Visitors to Yap have a wide choice of accommodations when visiting our islands. From full service resorts with glistening swimming pools to eco-friendly bungalows and quaint seaside inns, there is something for everyone and every budget. Here is an alphabetical listing of our resorts and hotels.


ESA Bay View Hotel

ESA Bay View Hotel is a family-run business offering clean and comfortable rooms with reasonable prices that also attract many business travelers. Restaurant on the premises that serves breakfast, lunch and dinner, rental car services and we also offer free airport shuttle.

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Hiltop Motel

Traveling on a budget? Check into the clean, family-run Hiltop Motel. Free airport shuttle and rental car available. We have hotel rooms as well as fully furnished apartments for those guests coming for a longer stay. Free airport shuttle.

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Manta Ray Bay Hotel

Manta Ray Bay Hotel is a PADI 5 Star Resort offering fantastic service and amazing dive sites from a family-run business.

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O’Keefe’s Waterfront Inn

Enter a world of authentic charm and genuine hospitality at the quaint O’Keefe’s Waterfront Inn where modern comfort blends seamlessly with timeless tradition.

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The Oceania Hotel

Yap’s only traditionally inspired hotel, Oceania consists of eight individual and unique huts that sit nestled into the tropical landscape. Modern amenities go hand and hand with local building traditions and materials. Each room is appointed with organic cotton bedding, ceiling fans, and air conditioning to ensure a comfortable stay.

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Ulithi Adventure Lodge

Our lodge has ten comfortable guestrooms, six facing the stunning Pacific and four with garden views. Each guest room is outfitted with a private tiled shower and bathroom, a sink and a wardrobe along with a built-in writing desk. All rooms have air-conditioning, a ceiling fan, and twin sized bed. The rooms are invitingly quiet and the upper deck is open to the stars

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Yap Pacific Dive Resort

Yap Pacific Dive Resort, “Where Adventure and Luxury Meet”. Here you can enjoy world-class scuba diving and instruction in our SSI and PADI approved dive center by day, and gourmet dining & exotic island drinks in our restaurants at night. Relax by our fresh water pool or spoil yourself at our private massage retreat offering a wide range of popular spa services!

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YCA Apartments

YCA Apartments are centrally located in Colonia within walking distance of stores, bars and restaurants. Short and long-term arrangements available. Choose from several studio layouts with lagoon views, private balconies and hillside location.

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