Chuuk, Micronesia

Scuba divers jump at the chance to explore Chuuk (Truk) Lagoon, ranked by PADI as one of the top wreck-diving meccas in the world. During World War II, the U.S. Navy wiped out an entire Japanese fleet stationed there, leaving more than 50 ships on the lagoon floor. One of four Federated States of Micronesia — each with its own language and traditions — Chuuk State comprises some 290 islands, islets and atolls ringed by a barrier reef. The vast majority of its population live on a handful of “high” islands clustered within the central lagoon. Weno (Moen), Chuuk’s main island and capital, is covered with lush vegetation and mangrove forests. Its tallest peak, the 750-foot-high Mt. Tonaachau, is considered sacred; prehistoric artifacts and pottery shards found on the summit date back to 4,000 BC, while its extensive fortifications were built by the Japanese during WWII. Meet some friendly locals while browsing Weno’s colorful markets piled with fresh fruits, vegetables and seafood.