This is a Guest Post by Matt Reider
Think of a South Pacific vacation and odds are that Tahiti or Fiji comes to mind. Although those destinations are indeed stunning and beautiful, there are hundreds of additional places in the South Pacific that are equally impressive. If you are considering an upcoming holiday in the South Pacific, get off the beaten track and explore some unique destinations. Islands which are still pristine, natural and let the visitor understand the culture. At the same time, tourists can relax in unparalleled scenery, taste exotic cuisine and swim in crystal clear waters. Not to mention, you can still find excellent travel deals to many of these destinations. For three unusual South Pacific vacations, consider the islands of Palau, Samoa and Yap.
Palau: The group of islands known as Palau is not officially associated with Micronesia, but is in that region of the Pacific Ocean. Little is known about the history and the culture of the people who traditionally have called Palau home prior to the 18th century. Since then, travelers from around the world have been enamored by the stunning tropical islands and friendly local people. Most visitors plan to enjoy water sports while in the islands. The area is known for world class scuba diving and snorkeling, as well as kayaking and fishing. The food is a unique blend from all cultures, with an emphasis on local ingredients and Asian preparation techniques.
Samoa: Roughly halfway between the nation of New Zealand and the Hawaiian Islands is another island chain known as Samoa. While it is believed that the islands were inhabited for over three thousand years, it was not until 1830 that Europeans discovered Samoa. Today, tourists from around the world frequent the stunning islands, specifically the two larger ones called Upolu and Savaii. Many of the most popular attractions are natural scenery like the many waterfalls, national parks, blowholes in the volcanic rock and traditional villages found in the dense vegetation. As it is now a popular tourism destination, there are also upscale accommodations, international dining, golf and shopping opportunities on the island.
Yap: This island chain is part of the Federated States of Micronesia, and is known for being of the best scuba diving sites in the South Pacific. The major city of Colonia boasts interesting architecture that combines local Micronesian style with European traditions. Along with diving, the most common pastimes include relaxing on the beach, enjoying hiking or walking around the villages and meeting the local population. The island is famously known for their stone money which is nearly impossible to use. However, credit cards and US dollars are readily accepted around most of the island.