Kiribati offers some wonderful beach scenery, is a fantastic location for sailing or yachting, and several of the atolls are delightful to explore on foot or by bike. The lagoons are beautiful to look at, and the white sandy beaches and waving palm palms are characteristic of a vacation brochure scene. Traditional culture is still very much alive, especially on the outlying islands. The Kiribati people are usually warm and hospitable to tourists, and if you chance to be nearby, they will include you in their festivities.
Kiribati’s islands witnessed some of the fiercest combat of WWII, and relics of that conflict can still be found everywhere. Tarawa (particularly Betio), Butaritari, Abemama, and Banaba islands are home to the most visible WW2 sites, including as coastal defense cannons, bunkers, and pillboxes. Tanks, shipwrecks, amtracs, and aircraft wreckage may still be seen along the beaches of Tarawa and Butaritari, particularly at low tide. Take a guided tour to learn the entire tale behind the ruins.
The peaceful Phoenix Island Marine Protected Area (the world’s biggest marine protected area) is a treasure waiting to be found for anybody with an interest in aquatic life. It has some stunning scenery, including sandy beaches, coral islands, and brilliantly blue lagoons. The islands are a birdwatcher’s delight, and the undersea coral life is almost untouched. However, restricting the number of visitors is an express aim of the government. Gaining access to the islands is difficult, and although there are rumors of intentions to open the area up a little more for tourism reasons, you won’t be able to dive there just yet.