One's destination is never a place, but a new way of seeing things.
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Travel Guide: Marshall Islands

About  •  Understand  •  Cities  •  Get In  •  Get Around  •  Talk  •  Buy  •  Eat  •  Work  •  More »

About

The Marshall Islands are a group of atolls and reefs in the Pacific Ocean, about half-way between Hawaii and Australia.

Understand

After almost four decades under US administration as the easternmost part of the UN Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands, the Marshall Islands attained independence in 1986 under a Compact of Free Association. Compensation claims continue as a result of US nuclear testing on some of the atolls between 1947 and 1962. The Marshall Islands have been home to the US Army Post Kwajalein (USAKA) since 1964. A number of islands are off-limits to tourism (and even to locals) due to US military presence or the residue of nuclear testing.

Climate

Wet season from May to November; hot and humid; islands border typhoon belt.

Landscape

The Marshall Islands consist of two island chains of 30 atolls and 1,152 islands, of low coral limestone and sand. Bikini and Enewetak are former US nuclear test sites; Kwajalein, the famous World War II battleground, is now used as a US missile test range.

Cities

  • Majuro
  • Kwajalein

Get In

Everyone is required to possess a valid passport. Visas are not required for citizens of countries in the Pacific Islands Forum, the United States, European Union, Federated States of Micronesia, and Palau. Everyone else will require a visa. Visas cost $25 for a tourist visa that lasts 3 months. Business visas cost $50. Visas last 30 stays on the onset, but can be extended for up to 90 days once you are in the Marshall Islands. You must show that you can pay for your entire time in the Marshall Islands and that you can pay for your way to leave, or demonstrate that you've already purchased what you need to leave the islands. When you leave the islands, you must pay a $20 tax. If you are over 60 years old, you will be exempt from this.

If you come from a country infected with cholera, you must present an immunization certificate. You must get an HIV test if you plan to work or live in the Marshall Islands, or if you will be staying for more than 30 days.

By plane

Air Marshall Islands (CW) provides regular scheduled internal flights to 10 of the atolls in the Marshall Islands and has planes available for charter. Flights are available between Honolulu and the Marshall Islands and to Fiji via Kiribati and Tuvalu. Continental Micronesia (CS) stops in Majuro and Kwajalein on its island-hopper service between Guam and Honolulu. Continental Airlines (CO) also offers weekly flights to and from Guam and Honolulu.

Approximate flight times: From New York to Majuro is 14 hours; from Tokyo it is 11, from Guam it is eight hours to Majuro and five hours from Honolulu.

International airports: Majuro International Airport (MAJ). There are taxis and hotel transport from the airport to the town.

By boat

Get Around

By plane Air travel between the islands is provided by Air Marshall Islands. However, the company is fraught with financial and technical problems, so one or both of the two planes in the fleet are often downed for days, weeks, or months at a time.

By Boat Transportation by ship is also available. Field trip ships travel throughout the islands, typically to pick up copra and deliver supplies; they usually provide passenger service as well.

To give a sense of scale, the ride from Majuro to Jaluit is approximately 40 minutes by plane and 24 hours by boat.

On Majuro There is a plethora of taxis available on the main road that travels the length of Majuro Atoll. Seventy-five cents will buy a trip to anywhere in the Majuro city area. To get to Laura, on the other end of the island, there is a bus that leaves about once an hour from Robert Reimers Hotel.

Talk

Most Marshallese speak Marshallese and English. One important word in Marshallese is "yokwe" which is similar to the Hawaiian "aloha" and means "hello", "goodbye" and "love".

Buy

Costs

Eat

sea food,cassava and coconut

Work

It is possible for Americans to get work on either Kwajalein or Roi-Namur Islands in Kwajalein Atoll. Only citizens of the Marshall Islands and US Military personnel are allowed to disembark at Kwajalein Atoll.