The South Pacific island of Nauru is the smallest independent republic in the world, and it takes under an hour to drive completely around it. The capital of Yaren is a good jumping-off point for exploring the tiny place, and although it is small, Nauru is filled with plenty of things to love. The spectacularly beautiful waters are great for diving, the many beaches are fringed with palm trees and the magnificent jungles are a joy to trek.
There are few traditional tourist sites in Yaren, but a walk around town will reveal a number of interesting government buildings, including the Parliament House.
The most popular places for swimming are the beaches at Anibare Bay. White sand invites you to spend a day relaxing under the sun, and the warm waters await swimmers, divers and snorkelers.
The lower middle portion of Nauru is marked by the Buada Lagoon, a picturesque freshwater lagoon hugged by dense groves of palm trees. Unfortunately, the water is not suitable for swimming, but the area is quite lovely for strolling and picnicking.
The island’s interior can be traversed by car in just under a half hour. By bike, the trip takes about two to three hours, and walkers can explore the entire interior in about six hours. The beautiful scenery is well worth the time.
History lovers will delight in the capital. There are several relics left over from the Second World War in Yaren. Throughout the town, you can spot remains of pillboxes, Japanese guns and bunkers.
Although Nauru is surrounded by tempting turquoise waters, always ask before venturing into the sea. A shallow reef surrounds the island, and strong currents often make swimming in the shallow waters dangerous.
Other popular activities in Yaren and Nauru include shopping at the only department store, game fishing in the blue crystalline waters, swimming in Anibore Harbor and climbing the island’s highest point at Command Ridge. The ridge was used by the Japanese to keep watch over the harbor in the 1940s, and you can also explore a communications bunker and spot some rusted guns from the Second World War at the site.
Seafood is very popular in the island nation, and most restaurants base their menus off the catch of the day. The national cuisine is a mix of influences, including British, German, Chinese and Australian.
There is only one public bar in Nauru, but it is equipped with pool tables, satellite television and a DJ station. You won’t find many other people in it on the weeknights, but locals flock there on the weekends to dance, chat and enjoy international spirits and Australian beers. New faces are generally welcomed enthusiastically by the locals, and there are many expats eager to mingle with travelers.