Kayaking, Canoeing & Paddleboarding
Hiking & Trekking Surfing SCUBA Diving Kayaking, Canoeing & Paddleboarding Sport Climbing Biking


Kayak, Canoe, and Paddleboard Launch Locations

With mangrove forests full of twisting passages surrounding all the coasts, more than a dozen beautiful lagoon islands, amazing snorkeling spots on the reef inside the lagoon, marine protected areas, and barrier reef passages, Pohnpei is absolutely fabulous as a paddling destination (suggested kayak, canoe, or paddleboard launch sites are marked on the map below). If it has a fault (and you can judge for yourself whether this truly is a fault or not), the paddling sport hasn’t been developed yet and not many places provide kayaks or paddleboards for visitors — yet. The northern, northwestern, and eastern sides of the island are pretty well covered — with a little effort you can acquire kayaks when you need them. The northeast, south, and southeast, however, have always been black holes when it comes to tourist services. And it’s unfortunate, because they offer some of the best opportunities. Luckily, bringing equipment as luggage is not terribly difficult even if it may cost a bit.

Bringing Kayaks, Canoes & Paddleboards on the Airplane

United Airlines allows passengers to bring a single kayak or canoe with an over-sized baggage fee of $200 each way (plus the usual excess baggage fee, which depends on your point of origin). Maximum weight allowed is 45.3 kg (99.9 lbs). Maximum length is 396 cm (156 in).

You can also check a stand-up paddleboard in a bag for the same price — $200 over-sized baggage fee each way plus the usual excess baggage fee. The weight allowance is the same — 45.3 kg (99.9 lbs), but you’re only allowed 292 cm (115 inches) of length.

There is no redress for kayaks, canoes, or paddleboards damaged in-flight. If the flight is extremely full, United has the right to send your gear on a later flight.

When to Paddle

You can paddle at any time of year on Pohnpei, but the period between late March and October is the least prone to wind. Winds can come from any direction, but the prevailing pattern is from the northeast, which means that the eastern side of the island is the most affected, while the west and southwest are partly protected by Pohnpei’s mountainous bulk.


Getting your craft in the water can be trickier than one might think if you don’t know much about Pohnpei. Since most of the coastline is surrounded by mangroves, you need to know how to locate the natural channels leading to the lagoon. These usually correspond with the points at which rivers or streams strike the mangroves, though not always. Not every stream that passes under the main road, however, will do, as some of them are consistently too shallow for paddling. Others have banks that are too steep for easy access. Man-made causeways are good, but they are often private, so it’s necessary to get permission from people living nearby.

The Marine Attractions Eco-Adventure Guide shows the locations of all of the launch sites we identified during our field research.

Where to Paddle

Where can one paddle? The easy answer is anywhere and everywhere. Each of our eco-adventure guides highlights a collection of destinations or routes (with distance info) that we encourage visitors to seek out. We’ll be adding to the list continually, as the guides are completed. Additionally, all of the paddling routes and launch sites appear on the huge island map in the Marine Adventures Eco-Adventure Guide, now available for free at the Australian Embassy on Pohnpei.

  • Entering any marine protected area, sanctuary, or mangrove reserve requires a permit. Visit our MPA page for details.
Pohnpei, Federated States of Micronesia

The Doldrums at APSCO Quarry

Picnicking & Swimming "The Doldrums" The hottest days call for the coolest swimming holes, and there’s no better place than the "Doldrums" at APSCO Gravel Quarry, owned by the Akinaga family. The ...
Read More
Pohnpei, Federated States of Micronesia

Nett Point

Nett Point Nearly all of Pohnpei's coastline is surrounded by mangroves, and though these otherworldly swamp forests are incredible to explore by kayak, canoe, or paddleboard, they tend not to make ...
Read More
Pohnpei, Federated States of Micronesia

Marine Parks

Marine Parks Awak Pah Marine Park Awak Pah Marine Park is the most well-known of the parks in the area and has a nice big sign right out on the main road ...
Read More
Pohnpei, Federated States of Micronesia

Nahpali Island

Nahpali Island Nahpali is a long, narrow reef island running roughly northeast-southwest and located northeast of Temwen Island in Madolenihmw Municipality. The island is privately owned by the Senda family and ...
Read More
Pohnpei, Federated States of Micronesia

Sokehs Island Paddling

Sokehs Island Paddling Daumwoakote Daumwoakote, the magical 2 km (1.24 mi) mangrove passage running between Sokehs Island and Pohnpei Island, is an absolute must-see for anyone with a heart for adventure and ...
Read More
Pohnpei, Federated States of Micronesia

Paddling Lenger & Sapwtik

Paddling Around Lenger & Sapwtik As the closest lagoon islands to Kolonia and with the highest concentration of WWII historical sites anywhere around Pohnpei, Lenger and nearby Sapwtik make fantastic destinations ...
Read More
Pohnpei, Federated States of Micronesia

Protected: Paddling in Nett, U & Northern Madolenihmw

This content is password protected. To view it please enter your password below: Password: ...
Read More
Pohnpei, Federated States of Micronesia

Paddling Around Central Madolenihmw

Paddling Around Madolenihmw Dauen Sapwalap / Senipehn Mangrove Reserve Dauen Sapwalap is the largest drainage in Madolenihmw, a wide, meandering channel that cuts through the mangrove forests from Kitamw and eventually empties ...
Read More

Temwen Vicinity Paddling

Temwen Island Vicinity Paddling If Nan Madol is your primary destination, the southern route around Temwen is the shortest, following the tranquil passage of Dauen Moahk (a meditative way to begin ...
Read More
A local canoe in a mangrove passage in western Kitti, Pohnpei, Federated States of Micronesia

Paddling Around Western Kitti

Paddling Around Western Kitti Pwudoi Mangrove Sanctuary This small reserve covers an area of 1.39 km2 and includes the pristine mangrove forests around Pwudoi (north of Dolen Uh) and some of the ...
Read More


Kalangan to Danny and Arlene Rosenkrans for helping explore all the kayaking Pohnpei has to offer.

Adventures >> Kayaking, Canoeing & Paddleboarding