Getting Around on Kwaj
On the island, the primary mode of transportation is the bicycle. While there are motorized vehicles for business use, privately owned motorized vehicles are not allowed unless a physical disability requires one. For those who are not comfortable on a 2-wheeler, 3-wheel adult trikes are available. Everyone keeps rain gear handy, because rain or shine, this is how we get around.
There is a small selection of electric "golf carts" and gasoline powered trucks available for rental on a first come, first served basis.
There is a free ferry service to and from the neighboring island of Ebeye. The boats used are LCM-type landing craft like you might see in old WWII movies. Normally, the front ramp is not dropped for boarding or exiting the boat although this feature is very handy when we charter one of these for a diving trip!
Getting to and from the more distant islands of the atoll is accomplished by helicopter, 19-passenger turboprop planes, and a large motorized catamaran. Mostly, these are used for business commuting, not for pleasure/sightseeing trips.
Since everything is so close here, I should also mention that walking, roller blading, or jogging is also quite popular here.
- Hiking and Walking
- Sailing and Boating
Getting to Kwaj
There are two ways one can come here for a casual visit.
The preferable method is to have someone living here sponsor you for a visit. The Army, for once, requires a minimal amount of paperwork in order for one of us to get an official OK for you to travel to Kwaj. It's not a big deal if you are a United States citizen. If you are a citizen of another country, though, it can be VERY involved and permission may or may not be granted. If this is applies to you, give the person sponsoring you lots of advance notice. I don't know what a good estimate of the time is, but I would guess at least three months in advance. For US citizens, 3 weeks is normally enough time. Less than 2 weeks requires justification and more paperwork on the part of your host. On approval, you will be given a travel authorization. Make several copies of this. You will need one copy for Continental Micronesia, and another copy to security when you get here on Kwaj.
Also, be aware that your sponsor is responsible for you while you are on the island. If you get into a bar fight, it will be your sponsor standing in front of the Colonel explaining things. This is not on the list of 10 Most Fun Things To Do Here. Also, if you have a medical emergency, they will treat you at the clinic here, but your sponsor will be responsible for the bill, so be understanding if he/she wants to know whether or not you have medical insurance.
The second way to get here for a visit, which does not require a sponsor, is to transit through Kwaj to the neighboring island of Ebeye. After clearing customs and security, you will be escorted by the police department to the pier where you can catch a ferry to Ebeye. There is no charge for this and you do get to ride in an air conditioned van. It will most likely take time (maybe a LOT of time) to get a reply/confirmation about accomodations/reservations from the folk on Ebeye, so start this early...like a month or two ahead. Telephone service to Ebeye is sometimes...OK, often...very iffy. Keep trying.
- Adventure Travel
- Water Sports
- Diving and Snorkeling