Family Trippin in Micronesia with Kids Sea Camp

Yap and Palau: Divers paradise and whole-family eco-adventure must sees

Story and photos By Brad Holland

Manta Ray Bay Resort, Yap. 2016

Yap and Palau have the strongest cultural bonds in Micronesia, are geographically next door to
each other and both offer unique family travel opportunities. Come here for the natural beauty,
island culture and iconic diving in marine sanctuaries on an eco-adventure.
The Micronesia experience is embodied in nature, culture and conservation. Yap and Palau put
an exclamation point on your family’s trip with something for everybody, divers and non-divers
alike, in a traditional or developed setting.


Although these destinations have a lot of advanced diver allure, they come with special cultural
and land-based opportunities for every traveler — nothing says bring the whole family more
than non-diver adventures that rival the experiences of Vertigo, Blue Corner or an Oolong
Channel drift.


Each day of a Family Divers package has eco-activities for small children, teen and adult non-
divers — In Yap and Palau that means kayaking through the rock islands or a rich mangrove
forest, taking a WWII history tour or visiting a traditional village, being “local” for a day – learning
about village life or a traditional skills and engaging people on a unique cultural excursion –
enjoying a private beach, snorkeling with manta rays, reef sharks, chambered nautilus and giant
clams, discover scuba diving and blue water fishing, to name a few.


Yap will help you forget about bling and the busy world. Here you’ll find a mix of fellow
adventure travelers relaxing in the natural energy that comes with visiting an undeveloped
island. Your world shrinks down to 38 square miles of mangroves and gold sand beaches with a
rainforest backdrop speckled in coconut trees, and your front yard is an glass lagoon. It won’t
take long until nature’s rhythm dominates and you’ll notice your body feeling the tide changes
and the afternoon sun falling behind the island.


Yap and Palau offer our modern lifestyle some counterbalance – busyness and our multi-tasking
world gives way to the moment and you might find yourself feeling and trying something new to
you – after all, that’s why we travel, to learn something, engage ourselves and embrace the
world we live in.


This is where family time includes understanding our eco-system, what threatens it and what we
can do to change that – then diving or snorkeling with protected animals. Yap and Palau have
taken big steps in marine conservation through locally grown island initiatives. Yap established
the world’s first government-backed manta ray sanctuary that now includes shark and turtle
protection, legislation that leads to these animals safely interacting in uber close proximity of
divers everyday.


Kids Sea Camp safely mixes kids and sharks through education and adventure via local marine
mammal experts and professional dive guides in Yap. “Vertigo” is a blue water classroom where
divers of all levels safely interact with schools of reef sharks on a wall dive. Before entering the
water divers and snorkelers learn about the site, shark behavior and how to safely observe and
photograph these animals, as a family.


Get some blue sky and clear water “me time” through careful activity planning. Parents dive on
a private boat and dive plan, kids dive with extra guides on their own boats at different sites and
non-divers begin their adventure right after breakfast – paradise for all ages, in and out of the
water, all day.


Mixing it up brings the family together in the middle of the adventure. See your kids in a village
on their surface interval and they might tell you that they just swam with a whale shark, while
you show them a local craft that you made at the village center.


At the end of the day, photography lights up the dinner table on the backs of SeaLife cameras,
smart phones with GoPro footage or tablets being passed around, while only fragments of the
stories can be heard through the excitement. Parents, kids, divers, non-divers… everyone gets
their adventure, whether you went to the reef, eco-touring, fishing or got your zen on at the spa.
Yap and Palau; do them both and get two countries, two islands, two cultures… in one vacation.
kids-sea-camp-scuba-diving kids-sea-camp-scuba-diving-yap-manta-rayskids-sea-camp-scuba-diving-yap-whalekids-sea-camp-scuba-diving-yap-shark