The Marshall Islands, Majuro, Window
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The Marshall Islands, Majuro, Window

© Creative Commons / mrlins

Marshall Islands Travel Guide

Key Facts

181.4 sq km (70 sq miles).


72,191 (2015).

Population density

398.8 per sq km.




Republic in free association with the USA.

Head of state

President Hilda Heine since 2016.

Head of government

President Hilda Heine since 2016.


120 volts AC, 60Hz. American-style plugs with two flat pins are used (sometimes with a third grounding pin).

The Marshall Islands form a nation of scattered atolls and remote islands, which are known for their marine life and diving opportunities. Many of the atolls are dotted with Flame of the Forest, hibiscus and different-coloured plumeria flowers. There are also at least 160 species of coral surrounding the islands. The atolls are noted for their coconut and papaya plantations and for pandanus and breadfruit trees.

The Marshallese are an interesting bunch. Apart from being a skilled seafaring people who know fishing and navigating as well as anyone, they're a thoroughly multicultural bunch. After two millennia of being isolated, the islands began to be settled and colonised from the 18th century by a wave of successive visitors and occupiers, from British and Russians, to Germans, Japanese and Americans.

The most modern atolls bear the marks of all the above, with diverse restaurants and cuisine on offer. The capital of Majuro Atoll leans towards the Western, being relatively developed though still pretty laid-back. The real tropical wonders are the outer islands, which for the most part are immaculate freckles of paradise, though some have witnessed the horrors of nuclear testing.

The Marshall Islands are undoubtedly a diving hotspot, with many enthusiasts skipping the capital altogether and heading for a spot of nature diving at Rongelap. Diving among wrecks from World War II is also popular, though perhaps the main diving attraction is Bikini Island. You may have heard of Bikini. From or near here, some 23 nuclear devices were detonated in tests by the US in the reef, inside the atoll, by air and even underwater. Divers can go on guided tours to explore the history of nuclear testing, while UNESCO has declared Bikini a World Heritage Site for the fact the remaining, direct tangible evidence of nuclear testing. Leased to the US military, Kwajalein Atoll remains in use for missile testing.

Travel Advice

Last updated: 22 October 2016

The travel advice summary below is provided by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in the UK. 'We' refers to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. For their full travel advice, visit


There is a low level of crime in the Marshall Islands. However, there have been reported incidents of petty crimes, including break-ins and non-violent theft. Take precautions to protect your belongings.

Sea safety

You should wear the appropriate safety equipment before engaging in water sports and take local advice on safety at all times when diving, snorkelling or other adventure sports.

Mobile telephones

International roaming is not currently available in the Marshall Islands. This means that your UK mobile phone will not be usable.