Yap is the most intriguing island in Micronesia. It is a land steeped in ancient traditions, fascinating legends, and peopled by one of the most distinctive cultures in the Pacific. Attractions like a handmade seaside men’s house, cultural village tours, huge, ancient stone money discs and stone money banks, dancing, handicraft making, marine life and mangrove forests highlight a visit to this unique outpost.
Yap has a number of small hotels, including the finest dedicated dive resort in Micronesia, that cater to divers, sightseers and those wanting a closer look at the culture. The island’s rolling green hills and lush mangroves make Yap a true tropical Eden. These can be seen every day while heading out to explore the sea. Or an ocean kayak tour can be arranged to allow the visitor to look at these wandering passageways in a very special way.
For the active person, there’s plenty to do on land and in the ocean. The visitor can expect to go mountain biking, hike on an ancient stone path or try some deep sea fishing as part of the Yap experience. Or, just take a nap under a coconut tree on one of Yap’s unspoiled beaches.
Yap is famous for its clear waters where schools of tuna, dolphins and reef fish are found in abundance. Observing the greatly varied marine life on the reefs and in the channels has become a must for divers around the world. While clear waters and sheer dropoffs certainly describe Yap’s diving, one fact stands above the rest. Yap is the world’s foremost destination for seeing manta rays up close and personal. There is no other place on earth where they can be seen on such a consistent basis year ’round. This fact has catapulted Yap to the top on all lists of the finest diving attractions in the world.
Manta Ray Bay Hotel & Yap Divers
Manta Ray Bay Hotel and Yap Divers welcomes you to the Island of Yap. We would like to take this opportunity to show you a little bit of the Island’s culture and attractions both above and below the water. Yap is a diver’s paradise, and no Island better exemplifies all of the best that Micronesia has to offer. The Scuba diving in Yap is world class. That phrase tends to be a bit overworked, but when you have huge Manta Rays cruise inches above your head, we think you’ll agree with us. While the Mantas are the attraction that put Yap on the Map as a prime Micronesian Scuba location, the pristine reefs and walls are the icing on the cake. There are over 90 miles of coral reefs and walls to tempt you. While the popular reefs at some of Yap’s neighbouring Micronesian Islands see as many as 100 divers a day, many of our beautiful reefs see fewer divers than that in an entire year. The reefs are home to over 150 species of Corals and over 750 species of beautiful tropical fish. The Manta Ray Bay Hotel is a modern well appointed inn. All rooms are air conditioned and feature satellite TV, Mini-Bars, and attractive decor. The hotel boasts the Island’s best restaurant, a Bar on a deck overlooking the Lagoon, a gift shop, dive shop and a fully equipped photo and video center. Yap Divers, a PADI 5 Star Dive Center, is a full service operation located on the premises, catering to all of your Scuba Diving needs. Manta Rays and Coral Reefs are not the only treasures you’ll find in Yap. The Island has the most intact native culture of any Micronesian Island. The heritage and traditions of the Yapese people are carefully nourished to preserve the Micronesian way of life.
The Land of Stone Money
Yap is a lush tropical island located just 9 degrees north of the equator. Unlike many South Pacific islands, Yap is an uplifted portion of the Asian Continental Shelf. It is surrounded by a broad shallow lagoon and nearly 90 miles of barrier reef.
Long before Yap became famous in the dive community for it’s Manta Rays, it was known as the Land of Stone Money. The huge disks of stone, some over 12 feet in diameter, are still used today in major transactions. Our land tours will show you banks of stone money, villages, and men’s houses constructed in the traditional style.
The Dances of Yap tell stories and relate the history of the island. By learning the dances, children learn about the ancient heritage of their people. Dances are performed every week, and Manta Ray Bay Hotel can arrange a tour for you to witness them and see a bit of village life.
Yapese traditions are still taught to all children. The islanders are determined to ensure that their culture does not succumb to westernisation. While the island has modern facilities, many Yapese still live an idyllic traditional lifestyle.
Every village has a Men’s House constructed of large logs, bamboo, and thatch. The Men meet in the evening to tell stories and educate the village boys in the arts of fishing, sailing and crafts. Men from other villages who have strayed too far to reach home before dark can spend a night in another village’s Men’s House.
HOTEL FEATURES AND AMENITIES
The hotel has 22 rooms, including 12 Ocean View, 1 Deluxe Ocean View and 9 Garden View. All rooms have two queen size beds per room. The Deluxe Ocean View Room has one king size bed. A suite is available by opening adjoining doors in the Deluxe Ocean View Room. The suite includes two full bathrooms, one king size bed and two queen size beds, two balconies, two TV/VCRs and two mini-bars with safes. The Deluxe Ocean View room has a private spiral staircase leading to an exclusive roof top Jacuzzi and sun deck plus a special amenity package.
All rooms are air-conditioned and have a ceiling fan, colour TV with built-in VCR, satellite TV, international direct dial telephone, mini-bar with safe, private bathroom with hot water and built-in hair dryer, as well as a private balcony for the Ocean View rooms. In addition, a sophisticated and highly efficient water purification system has been installed, resulting in fully potable in-room tap water (the only hotel on Yap with this feature). The hotel’s 20,000 gallon storage tank means that the Manta Ray Bay Hotel always has 24 hour potable water, which is a unique bonus in the dry season on an island.
The rooms are decorated in tropical elegance including tiled floors throughout the hotel. Furniture is natural rattan with a tropical pastel fabric, and pots of exotic tropical plants can be found everywhere. The motif of the entire hotel is marine life. Each room bears a fish name, and is decorated accordingly, with photographs and paintings of that fish, right down to the hand carved key chain. The double doors connecting the rooms of the suite are adorned with carvings of manta rays.
Manta Ray Bay Hotel and Yap Divers are dedicated to providing the international diving community an opportunity to enjoy world class diving in world class comfort. From the moment you step off the plane, the friendly staff will be there to greet and assist you. Your baggage will be tagged and transferred directly to your room with a receipt given to you at the airport! Your registration forms, dive shop waivers and room keys will be in your room waiting for your arrival. Check in is at your convenience. The dive shop, dock and training center are located right on the hotel premises, and our secure dive lockers eliminate the need for carrying wet and heavy gear bags between dives. The fleet of 5 dive boats provides the flexibility to insure that our guests’ unique diving desires are met. All of the boats have radio contact with each other and to the hotel/dive shop, first aid kit and oxygen at all times.
Yap Divers is Yap’s only PADI 5-Star Dive Facility and as such, you can be assured of clean, pure air, safe diving plus a full range of instruction available to you from Open Water through Divemaster. A number of specialty dive certifications are offered for those who want to expand their formal dive training at the same time they are enjoying a Pacific Island vacation.
If you are looking for a place to enjoy some of the finest diving in the world and a place where “everyone has not been”, Yap was made for you. Yap is served by Continental Airlines’ 727 jets and a stop in Yap is free of airfare charges; when you are on your way to or from Palau. There are currently 2 flights a week: Wednesday the itinerary is Guam, Yap, Palau, Manila, Palau, Yap and back to Guam. On Sunday the itinerary is Guam, Yap, Palau, Yap and back to Guam. All flights departing Yap connect direct with flights to Truk Lagoon or other destinations in Micronesia.. To most people, a dive trip to Micronesia is considered to be a “once in a lifetime trip”. The diving is that spectacular but with modern jet service, Micronesia is much closer than one normally thinks.
Although we provide exceptional comfort and convenience for our diving guests, we offer the government, business and leisure traveller the amenities which are important to you. Our large rooms have extra desk space to facilitate your work. Direct dial phones in all rooms, mean that you are connected to the world instantly via phone or the Internet. AT&T direct is available to all guests, as is room service, secretarial services, 2 fax machines, extra reading lights, plenty of electrical outlets and because we are located in the heart of the business district, you are close to the “action”. Rental automobiles are available and corporate rates quoted upon request.
A new division has been added to the resort which is called Yap Anglers. The specialty is whipping for Giant Trevally off the reefs of Yap. Using 20 pound test line, these fish offer a good fight and provide for an exciting day. Yap Anglers is dedicated to “catch and release” fishing only, thus saving this resource for our future guests. One fish is allowed to be brought aboard and prepared in the restaurant for dinner but all others are returned to the sea. Prices vary depending on number of people, length of time desired and gear to be provided. YAP ANGLERS offers another service to help make your stay in Yap more enjoyable.
At the end of the day, even the heartiest appetite will find satisfaction at the Manta Ray Bay Bar & Grill, located on the third floor of the hotel – overlooking the lagoon. Truly world class food and service is provided in a comfortable atmosphere. The menu features European, Asian and American food, utilizing fresh seafood and produce from Yap along with the finest imported foods. The fully stocked bar features a variety of beer, wine, and premium brand liquors.
The Nautical Weaver Deck and Bar features a happy hour every afternoon from 5:00 ‘til 7:00. Lagoon side barbecues and slide shows are held regularly and you can have meals served on the deck or just lay out and enjoy the cool Trade Wind breezes blowing in from the Pacific Ocean. The Nautical Weaver is located out over the lagoon adjacent to the dive dock and is a wonderful place to relax while others are cleaning dive gear or preparing to board dive boats.
Manta Visions Photo and Video Center, is a full service, in-house photo shop and offers the underwater photographer the services you have come to expect from first class dive resorts. Manta Visions offers same day E-6 film processing and a wide variety of photo instruction. Classes in Underwater Videography and Underwater Production and Editing are available for divers wishing to hone their video skills. Group and Custom video productions are available from Manta Visions.