PACIFIC – Ultimate 14 days Pacific island hopping itinerary: Palau, Yap, Guam & Northern Marianas

PACIFIC - Ultimate 14 days Pacific island hopping itinerary: Palau, Yap, Guam & Northern Marianas

The Pacific islands Palau, Yap, Guam, and the norther Mariana Islands make up a perfect 14-16-day Pacific island hopping trip. They offer lots of WWII history, sunshine, diving, and awesome nightlife. I visited each island for a short time and hopped around. Its 3 countries: Republic of Palau, Federated States of Micronesia, and USA territories. Isn’t that awesome? The itinerary below is 14 days if you’re already in South East Asia but you should add a day or two if you are coming from a long way. Let’s hop!

NOTE: I’ll add specific day articles over time; stay tuned for exact information on what I did and how to plan each day!

Planning tips for a Pacific island hopping trip

The most difficult to reach island will be Yap with only one flight a week to Palau and two to Guam. At the time of my visit and writing of this article these are:

  • Tuesday evening flight Guam to Yap (arrives after midnight)
  • Saterday evening flight Guam to Yap continues Yap to Palau
  • Saterday after midnight flight Palau to Yap, continues Yap to Guam
  • Tuesday after midnight, flight Yap to Guam

You have to puzzle a bit what works best for you; in my case I flew back to Guam actually and then from Guam direct to Palau. Fix your days on Yap first with flights to/from Palau and Guam. When you have that fixed add your days of the other islands around it.

On Yap island of the Federated States of Micronesia I recommend staying at the Manta Ray Bay Resort which is the only high end resort on the small island. They also take care of all your excursions including diving. On Palau, I recommend staying at the Palau Royal Resort which is an awesome place to stay and has its own private beach. Arrange your tours and dive trips through Fish n Fins which also offers a Palau Helicopter tour

On Guam, I recommend staying at the Outriggers Resort and have them arrange a one-day island tour as well. They are in the central area with all nightlife within walking distance. Saipan (stay at the Hyatt using loyalty points AND paying a small fee in cash. It’s cheap) is easily reached from Guam as is Rota (stay at the Golf Resort). Tinian however can only be reached from Saipan and I recommend having Walt from Discover Saipan arrange that for you. 

Now, let’s look at the Pacific island hopping itinerary day by day but the details I’ll share in the day trip articles I’ll write over time. 

Pacific island hopping itinerary day 1: arriving on Saipan

I had a conference in Singapore before this trip and was already adjusted to the time zone. Before this Pacific island hopping journey, I stayed overnight in Manilla. On day one I flew from Manilla to Guam and onwards to Saipan arriving late afternoon. I just enjoyed local craft beer that night. Yes, Saipan has its own brewery! Saipans icon is the submerged WWII tank as you can see in the photo below. Isn’t that awesome?

PACIFIC - Ultimate 14 days Pacific island hopping itinerary: Palau, Yap, Guam & Northern Marianas

Pacific island hopping itinerary day 2: Saipan island WWII tour

The second day on Saipan I did a WWII tour with Walt from Saipan Discovery. He drove me around the island on a private tour. He literally showed me everything related to WWII including places most tours won’t take you! It was a long day but a very interesting and educational one. Walt also knows all about the history and explains at every sight very well what happened there. The photo below is taken at the top of suicide cliff. Thousands of Japanese jumped of this cliff to avoid being captured. In the evening, I just dipped in the ocean and watched the sunset from my hotel.

Detailed day trip article follows.

PACIFIC - Ultimate 14 days Pacific island hopping itinerary: Palau, Yap, Guam & Northern Marianas

Pacific island hopping itinerary day 3: Tinian day trip

A Tinian day trip is something you must do if you are on Saipan or on a Pacific island hopping journey. It’s the island the bombers carrying the atomic bombs which destroyed Nagasaki and Hiroshima took off. You learn about WWII history and see the pits the bombs were stored. You also drive over runway Able, the runway from which the bombers took off. Walt of Discover Saipan showed me Tinian, he was so good on Saipan that I hired him again for the day. He knows so much and knows places regular tours don’t go to. You’ll also see Shinto shrines; old Chamorro culture remains including parts of the concentration camps they were put in. Tinian is small, but the story is huge!

Read about this Pacific island hopping day in detail:
MARIANA ISLANDS – Tinian day trip: tracing WWII’s end & the start of the Atomic Era

Pacific island hopping itinerary day 4: Mañagaha Island visit and off to Rota

Time to make the first hop of this Pacific island hopping itinerary (not counting arrival) but first a morning relaxing on Mañagaha Island. I first went for an hour snorkeling before arriving to the island. As I was on a private boat I could decide myself when to go back. I stayed for 2 or 3 hours on the island. After lunch, I headed back to the hotel to get my luggage as my flight to Rota was in the afternoon. I recommend booking with Star Marianas airline which also does the flights to Tinian. On Rota hire a car with Islander Car Rental as they are affordable and professional. If you arrive before sunset try to catch sunset at one of the empty beaches Rota has. A great way to end the day.

Detailed day trip article follows.

PACIFIC - Ultimate 14 days Pacific island hopping itinerary: Palau, Yap, Guam & Northern Marianas

Pacific island hopping itinerary day 5: Road trip on Rota Island

Rota Island is a very small island and driving almost all the roads doesn’t take more than 5-6 hours which includes seeing most if not all places of interest. I stayed two nights on Rota so that I would have one full day including private time on one of the empty beaches. The island is so quiet compared to Guam or Saipan, it was great to get away from all the people. Make sure to see sunset or sunrise too!

Detailed day trip article follows.

PACIFIC - Ultimate 14 days Pacific island hopping itinerary: Palau, Yap, Guam & Northern Marianas

Pacific island hopping itinerary day 6: next hop to Guam

Although it’s just a short 35 minute flight from Rota to Guam it still eats up about 4-5 hours of a day. There are several flights a day and I decided to take one around 3PM so that I could enjoy Rota’s quiet beaches in the morning and still have time in the evening on Guam. Plan this day as you wish, it’s the most flexible day of this Pacific island hopping itinerary! More time on quiet Rota? Or more time on hectic Guam. It’s up to you.

Pacific island hopping itinerary day 7: Guam day tour

Guam is the largest island of this Pacific island hopping itinerary yet seeing all war relics doesn’t take a full day. I drove around the island with a private guide who knew exactly where to go. WWII relics, old Spanish remains and a few natural views were included on the tour. A day well spend with some afternoon time left at the beach. 

Detailed day trip article follows.

PACIFIC - Ultimate 14 days Pacific island hopping itinerary: Palau, Yap, Guam & Northern Marianas

Pacific island hopping itinerary day 8: Latte valley half day trip

Another great half day trip on Guam is to the Latte Valley where I learned about the old Chamorro culture. The trip starts with a boat ride up the river and then continues with a visit to a Chamorro village. It ends with a great local lunch and I was back at the hotel around 2PM leaving enough time to get pampered at a spa. In the evening I explored Guam’s nightlife!

Detailed day trip article follows.

PACIFIC - Ultimate 14 days Pacific island hopping itinerary: Palau, Yap, Guam & Northern Marianas

Pacific island hopping itinerary day 9: next island hop to Yap

The flight from Guam to Yap leaves late evening so I still had a full day to recharge on Guam. Sleep long, dip in the ocean, snorkel a bit in front of the Outriggers Resort and go to the spa again. A relaxing day. I arrived past midnight at the Manta Bay Resort on Yap. It was also my first visit to the Federated States of Micronesia, a new country to tick of my list.

Pacific island hopping itinerary day 10: Snorkeling on Yap

Yap is one of the states of the Federated States of Micronesia and a true paradise. With just two arriving flights a week only 12000 tourists visit the island yearly. It’s a divers paradise but I couldn’t dive yet unfortunately. After this Pacific island hopping trip I started a dive course back in the Netherlands. I went on a snorkel tour which was awesome! I swam with sharks but didn’t see any manta rays. In the afternoon, I had a massage at the spa of the Manta Ray Bay Resort Yap. Oh, you’ll get addicted there to tuna poke for sure; it’s so good. 

Read about this Pacific island hopping day in detail:
MICRONESIA FSM – Diving & snorkeling on Yap and swimming with sharks

PACIFIC - Ultimate 14 days Pacific island hopping itinerary: Palau, Yap, Guam & Northern Marianas

PACIFIC - Ultimate 14 days Pacific island hopping itinerary: Palau, Yap, Guam & Northern Marianas

Pacific island hopping itinerary day 11: Full day land tour on Yap

Most people on Yap go on a half day land tour to the south of the island. I however wanted to see all relics from WWII so I did a full day tour. I saw crashed planes, old canons and more. The tour also includes a visit to the old local houses and stone money. Stone money is unique in the world and was carried to Yap all the way from Palau. I also love Yaps nature; it’s a true paradise. If you’re a diver than make sure to plan the land tour the last day as otherwise you’ll get problems flying out.

Detailed day trip article follows.

PACIFIC - Ultimate 14 days Pacific island hopping itinerary: Palau, Yap, Guam & Northern Marianas

PACIFIC - Ultimate 14 days Pacific island hopping itinerary: Palau, Yap, Guam & Northern Marianas

Pacific island hopping itinerary day 12: Kayaking on Yap and next hop to Palau

Flights to Palau leave late evening so I had time for a morning Kayak tour through Yaps mangroves. The rest of the day I relaxed at the pool of the Manta Ray Bay Resort and enjoyed their delicious tuna. If you are a diver you probably want to do the land tour this day as you would not be able to fly otherwise. I wish I could have stayed longer on Yap, I do need to return and to check also some other islands of the Federated States of Micronesia. It’s a true paradise but now my Pacific island hopping continued to Palau.

Read about this Pacific island hopping day in detail:
MICRONESIA FSM – Must do activity on Yap: Kayaking through the mangroves

MICRONESIA FSM - Must do activity on Yap: Kayaking through the mangroves

Pacific island hopping itinerary day 13: Snorkel trip on Palau

I still couldn’t dive, I should have learned before I started this Pacific island hopping trip, so I went again on a snorkel day trip. Fish m Fins on Palau knows where to go and they went to the best spots! I went in the water at three different spots of which one which had very shallow reef was the best. The current was strong and we just floated over the reef and the boat picked us up on the other side. It was so amazing and I could test my new underwater camera for the first time. In the afternoon, I relaxed at the private beach of the Palau Royal Resort. For dinner, I recommend Drop Off Bar & Restaurant which is the best on Palau. 

Detailed day trip article follows.

PACIFIC - Ultimate 14 days Pacific island hopping itinerary: Palau, Yap, Guam & Northern Marianas

Pacific island hopping itinerary day 14: Palau helicopter and land tour

There are several interesting places to discover on Palau. I only toured the main island and do want to return one day to see more of the outer islands too. There are more WWII relics there as on the main island and I still want to see the quarry of the stone money on Palau. That’s for another Pacific island hopping trip. I did a half day land tour to waterfalls, pre historic Chamorro stones, parliament, and a few other stops. Seeing Palau on the ground or sea is great but the best is from the air! A Palau Helicopter tour is a must-do and best arranged through Fish n Fins. It was amazing to see paradise from the air. 

Read about this Pacific island hopping day in detail:
PALAU – Must do: Palau helicopter tour; a bird’s eye view of paradise island

PACIFIC - Ultimate 14 days Pacific island hopping itinerary: Palau, Yap, Guam & Northern Marianas

Pacific island hopping itinerary day 15: Palau kayak and snorkel tour and departure

My flight was in the evening to Taipei, Taiwan. There are also flights to Manilla, Seoul, Tokyo, and some other destinations. As I still had a morning left I went on a kayak rock island tour which also included an hour snorkeling. The reef near one of the rock islands was amazing with beautiful marine life. A must do if you have a partial day left. 

Detailed day trip article follows.

PACIFIC - Ultimate 14 days Pacific island hopping itinerary: Palau, Yap, Guam & Northern Marianas

PACIFIC - Ultimate 14 days Pacific island hopping itinerary: Palau, Yap, Guam & Northern Marianas

Unfortunately, everything comes to an end and so did my Pacific island hopping adventure. I hope to hop around more soon! I have plans to visit next year several other islands in the Pacific which might include Tuvalu, Tokelau, Fiji and hopefully Cook Islands. I hope this ultimate 14 day Pacific island hopping itinerary helps you plan your trip. I enjoyed every single day and wished I had more time but I had to continue elsewhere in the world.  

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Did you visit Pacific on a island hopping adventure too or do you have questions? Please leave a comment at the bottom of the page. Love to hear from you!

Gallery Pacific island hopping itinerary

Check the gallery for more photos taken during this trip. If you like to use any photo for commercial, private or editorial use please contact first for permission and/or pricing.