Yap It Up

Undiscovered Gem in the South Pacific

It's about that time of year again—it's island hunting season.

This year, though, you've been itching to ditch the crowded, yachted-out beaches for a little stretch of undiscovered heaven. So consider a gem of an island called Yap.

A well-kept secret, Yap is one of the few remaining untouched corners of the earth—an unspoiled island in Micronesia where the locals still wear topless hibiscus grass skirts and loincloths (note to self: get loincloth out of storage). Yap boasts pristine, untouched beaches (you won't find a hotel chain in sight, much less a cigarette butt) and crystal blue waters with 150-foot underwater visibility and the best manta ray diving in the world (you hear it right—the best). Stay at the Manta Ray Hotel, which is perched on a lagoon and specializes in dive excursions and island tours. You can kayak to secluded beaches, or hike an ancient stone path through mangrove rainforests to uncover a Japanese warplane graveyard. Yap's 1500-BC birthdate means odd relics like ancient rai, massive stone coins up to twelve feet tall that were used for currency, are scattered around the island—which will make you appreciate your pocket change.

While you relax on the beaches, chew on some bitter betel-nut, and enjoy its mildly euphoric effects. If you're up for a true Yapese buzz, chase it with Yap's microbrew onboard the hotel's enormous 100-year-old schooner, the Mnuw. Most locals speak English, but gub adug (Yapese for 'I like') will roll off your tongue.

And we have a feeling you'll be using it quite often.


Manta Ray Bay Hotel

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