The Marshall Islands are so tiny they almost seem like they’re floating amongst their calm tropical waters, like they’ve just rocked up on their own paradise-hunting cruise and decided to bed down for a few coconuts next to the lagoons. A plethora of international influences (including Russia, Japan, Britain and America) are still evident, but at the end of the day, the Marhsall Islands are all about pristine Pacific waters and topping up your tan on your own tropical paradise.
In fact, you could get away with bringing nothing but a bikini (or mankini, if you’re so inclined) and towel to the many spectacular beaches. Some of the outer islands were the unfortunate victims of nuclear testing (some islanders still suffer from radiation poisoning), but the others are the Marshall Islands’ unmissable highlights. Playing out Crusoe fantasies is made harder by the sporadic access routes, but that just serves to make these coral-guarded islets all the more appealing on arrival, when you can take up residence on a beach front, barbeque some freshly caught seafood and splash around as the astonishing tropical sunsets drop in.
Even tiny capital city Delap-Uliga-Darrit (DUD) has its own lagoon, where you can wallow in the shallows and watch the gentle pace of life continue on shore. Divers love the Marshall Islands, which – due to its strategic position between the US and Japan – is home to numerous World War II wrecks including submarines and huge warships turned accidental wildlife sanctuaries. Fisherman flock here too, to enjoy pricey trips chasing down massive tuna, brutal barracuda and breakneck marlin.
With plenty of the Marshallese beaches entirely uninhabited (most of the soil is simply to salty to grow anything at all, and the weather can occasionally wash right over some of the lower islands), though, most will just want to lie back, enjoy that desert-island feeling, and soak up the friendly tropical hospitality.