Things to DoCome enjoy the magical island of Yap
Annual Special Events
- Yap Day
March 1st – the island’s biggest cultural celebration and the most colorful day of the year
Come celebrate the beginning of summer when families and friends, new and old, reunite at the Living History Museum in Colonia.
- Canoe Festival
A cultural celebration of traditional navigation and canoe building
The reefs surrounding the islands of Yap are home to a rich diversity of tropical marine life. Our most popular natural resource is our resident population of manta rays, which divers and snorkelers have a good chance of seeing on an almost daily basis.
Usually found inside the lagoons, the dive guides in Yap are expert at finding the mantas, plus a host of other animals to keep visiting divers and snorkelers entertained. Yap also boasts lively colorful coral reefs and walls teeming with sharks, trevallys, nudibranchs and another favorite, mandarinfish. Most of the operators offer dive classes from introductory snorkeling and scuba lessons through advanced levels of instruction. For a complete list of Yap’s dive operators, please click here.
Glide through mangrove forests or through a narrow canal excavated in the early 1900s. Kayaking offers peace and tranquility as the kayak slices through the clear, warm waters early in the morning. Or watch the setting sun dip below the horizon with only the sound of the paddle dipping into the shallow lagoon. Kayaking can easily be arranged by some hotels, dive shops and independent tour operators.
Deep Sea Fishing
Fishing in the deep, clear waters of Yap produces yellowfin and skipjack tuna, wahoo, mahi-mahi (also known as Dorado or dolphin–the fish, not the mammal), rainbow runner, barracuda, red snapper, grouper and trevally. Local fishing charter companies, as well as some of the hotels, offer half and full day charters. Equipment and tackle varies. Please ask your hotel for more details and options.
Hiking / Biking
Breathtaking views of Yap can be seen while hiking and biking. Tamilyog Trail bisects the island and, as the trail winds down through the forest and up through the grassy highlands, hikers can get down to nature in this natural outdoor classroom. Local flora and fauna abound on this two-hour hike. Although it’s not a difficult hike, it can be strenuous in parts and might not be for everyone. Other hikes around Colonia feature ancient stone paths and can easily be completed in less than an hour. Biking is an option for an afternoon. Yap’s roads are well maintained and the major roads are paved. However, there are no bike paths and bikers must use caution when biking along the main roads. Several hotels offer bike rentals.
Traditional Canoe Sailing
Visitors can arrange for a ride on a traditional sailing canoe. Some of the hotels offer this service and one can explore the calm seas of the inner lagoon aboard these ancient craft. Traditional sailing canoes traversed the Pacific Ocean over the centuries, and this method of transportation is still practiced today.
Yap Visitors Bureau is making a concerted effort to promote the research and preservation of Yap’s World War II history. In this undertaking, we have partnered since 2008 with Patrick (“Pat”) Ranfranz whose uncle, T/Sgt John R. McCullough, was shot down and declared missing on June 25, 1944.
The Yap Living History Museum (YLHM)
YLHM is a unique museum which puts traditional skills, values and ideals at the forefront and increases the public’s knowledge of the significance of traditional culture as well as the history of Yap islands. Museum activities include reenactments, traditional dances, live arts, cooking, storytelling, canoe sailing, weaving and handicrafts. The elders of Yap are a treasure of wisdom. They also contain the knowledge of traditional skills and myths of the past. It is important that these skills and stories are not lost on the next generation. YLHM is an educational arena for old traditions to come alive once again. The Yap Living History Museum is in the heart of Colonia, across from Chammoro Bay, near Yap Courts. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact the museum’s coordinator, Falownug Kenmed at firstname.lastname@example.org. Visit us on Facebook
Yap offers year-round birding opportunities of endemic and migratory species. With a land area of only 38.7 square miles, Yap offers lush tropical forest, grassland, savanna and scrubby brush as well as low-lying wetlands that are particularly important to migratory birds. Yap is also blessed with several indigenous species: the Yap Monarch, Yap Greater White Eye and the Plain White Eye.
Come to Yap and explore our ancient Pacific culture and traditional ways of life. Yap has one of the last remaining Micronesian cultures and no visit to Yap is complete without experiencing the old ways up close and personal.
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).
- 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).
- 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).
- 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).
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
(minimum of 2 persons for a sunset car cruise and a minimum of 4 persons for a sunset boat cruise)