Nan Madol, Pohnpei

4.5
#1 of 7 in Things to do in Pohnpei
Described by locals as "the city built on coral reefs," Nan Madol was inhabited as early as the 1st or 2nd century CE. Constructed within a lagoon, the city consisted of a series of artificial islands linked by canals. Today, the semi-submerged site can only be explored by taking a kayaking tour. Drive or take a boat to the island, and then paddle to the man-made islands and their ancient ruins, preserving the story of a long-lost civilization. Prepare for your adventure by wearing footwear suitable for rugged terrain, and don't forget to bring plenty of bug spray. It couldn't be easier to arrange your visit to Nan Madol and many more Pohnpei attractions: make an itinerary online using Inspirock's Pohnpei vacation planner.
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Reviews
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
78 reviews
Google
4.3
TripAdvisor
  • August 5, 2017
    If you visit Pohnpei, you MUST visit Nan Madol. It is truly the Venice of the Pacific--the ruins of a complex of buildings constructed a thousand years ago from volcanic basalt "logs" weighing tons. T...  more »
  • August 1, 2017
    This is an incredible site, recently listed as an UNESCO World Heritage site, understandably so. It pays to pick up a map from the tourist centre in town first as there is no signage or any form of in...  more »
  • July 18, 2017
    It's hard to believe that a tourist would visit Pohnpei and not make it out to Nan Madol. It is a mysterious and beautiful place. You can't help but wonder how they built it and what happened there du...  more »
Google
  • Very powerful ruins, with a foreboding feel. There is no interpretation at the site, so read up before you go. A couple of islands are readily accessible with just a little wading, but I would love to come back with a boat. Even better, I hope the land ownership issues are worked out and this site can become a World Heritage site. It would be amazing to have more of the sites cleared of vegetation and some interpretive signs. I suppose the price would go up, but the access fee right now is only $4. $1 for the road and $3 to the landowners. However, the road guy told us he would take both payments so we gave him $4 each and still had to give the owners $3 each. Still worth it. But don't give him both payments.
  • The place is really historic and mystique. The ancient ruins in Pohnpei put me in awe and questions. How did the Pohnpeian ancestors built such a things? Enormous and magical!
  • Worth the visit, Hired car instead of taking the boat, low tide made it easy to access. Beautiful ruins. Highly recommended.
  • It was magnificent but kinda scary
  • The alien God's where talented

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Where to stay in Pohnpei

The accommodations in Pohnpei are primarily concentrated in Kolonia and along Nan Mal Road. Standard hotel rooms and more expensive resort stays are available, along with some apartments available for short rentals. However, the number of accommodations is fairly limited, so pre-booking is advisable. Many of the hotels offer airport pickup and car rental, along with onsite restaurants, bars, and tour booking services. Pick lodgings next to the lagoon, or farther out of town for easiest access to the landscape at additional cost.
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