Yap, Chuuk, Pohnpei, and Kosrae make up the Federated States of Micronesia. Rising from the ocean south of Guam in a roughly east-west line, the four islands are the anchors among a total of 607 islands which have been an independent sovereign nation since the mid-eighties under what is known as a Compact of Free Association with the United States.
Inhabitants of the FSM speak 17 indigenous languages. The nation owes its impressive marine biodiversity to the convergence of three major ocean currents from the Indian Ocean, the Philippine Sea and the Pacific Ocean.
The distinct rooflines of Yap's A-frame huts are just the first of many clues that you have arrived in an extraordinary place. Stone currency is still in use on Yap, right down to its stone banks. Village inhabitants still enjoy a livelihood of fishing, weaving, and carving. Traditional dances which are the vehicle for storytelling and other cultural lineages are learned at a young age by boys and girls alike.
Just as at any destination, respect is paramount when traveling among the reserved but caring people here.
Four volcanic islands and 11 outer island atolls make up the approximately 46-square-mile state of Yap. The island has become a world-class diving destination, due in part to the large manta rays which are reliably encountered year-round by divers in Yap's waters.