Fanning Island, one of the most remote and beautiful islands in the world. Known as Tabuaeran in the local Kiribati dialect, this jewel of an island will captivate your heart and soul, just as it did mine. A certain kind of purity exists here that is hard to come by in this world.
Fanning is located 173 miles north of Kiritmati (Christmas) Island, and roughly 1,000 miles south of Hawaii, making it the closest landfall to the Hawaiian Islands. As close as Fanning is to the Western world, it has remained outside of its reach for decades, sustaining the peoples traditional culture and way of life.
Walking down the dirt path that encompasses the narrow strip of land embracing a warm turquoise lagoon, you will be serenaded by the locals singing traditional songs from the tops of coconut palms while they collect kamaimai. Hand build traditional outrigger canoes sail beyond the lagoon for sunset, the fisherman meticulously balancing while pulling hand over hand tuna almost as big as the canoe itself.
Experience the power of the Maie, a traditional chant that will touch the essence of your soul and send chills down your spine while the men pound drums and the women mimic the movement of the frigate bird in traditional hand made outfits.
Fanning island is an adventure destination like no other, and it is there waiting for the few who are willing to step outside of their comfort zone and experience the traditional way of life in the islands before its gone forever.
Getting to Paradise
After flying into Kiritimati Island from either Fiji or Honolulu you will be picked up by motorcycle (extra charge for car transportation) and taken to an overnight accommodation. Early the next morning you will be picked up at your accommodation and taken to the airport where you will get checked in for a small flight to Fanning. The price of airfare from Kiritimati to Tabuaeran (Fanning) will be included and arranged as part of the package. I can arrange for flights to Kiritimati, but the price will be charged separately from the package. As a fair warning, there is only one flight a week to Kiritimati island and one flight a week from Kiritimati to Tabuaeran. If the small plane to Tabuaeran experiences any mechanical issues or cannot fly due to weather concerns, you will be stuck on Kiritimati for a week until the next flight out. Whether you decide to wait five days on Kiritimati and continue onto Tabuaeran or return home after waiting an entire week is up to you. Tabuaeran is an adventure destination, and for that reason the island can be rather difficult to get to. Once you land on Tabuaeran a local man will be waiting for you with transport to your accommodation.
The goal of Atoll Escapes is to empower the people of Kiribati through integrative tourism, helping promote local traditions and culture before it is lost to Westernization and big corporations building unsustainable models of tourism. You will be staying with a local family in a traditional house, accommodated by a local who speaks fluent English with a goal to share his culture and to treat you as part of his family. He will arrange for boat transport to the outer islands and will act as a tour guide catering to your desires. Bikes and kayaks will be provided to explore the island at your pleasure.
Local food will be served, mainly fish considering it is such a staple food in Kiribati. A variety of fruits that grow on the island will be served as well. Bananas, papaya, coconuts, breadfruit, taro and pandanus are all foods that grow abundantly on island. Peanut butter, bread, beans and rice are options as well available on the island. If you have any special requests for food, I must be notified months ahead of time so I can ship them down to the island.
Digging an oar into the celestial pond of a lagoon, propelling yourself through what seems to be a dream world. Baby blacktip reef sharks patrolling knee deep water in the dimension below you, silvery fish orchestrating a dance as they exist between these two places, skipping across the water in such perfect harmony. You land on a white sand beach tucked away between the ocean and the jungle. A small fire awaits you, the sweet aroma of coconut husk burning amongst the white powder below. Singing a Kiribati song, a fisherman cooks a freshly caught fish on the embers of the dying flame. The sun sinks below the endless sky of the Pacific, illuminating your turquoise world in a golden hue.
Kayaking on Fanning is just as magical as I made it sound, considering the scenario that I described in full detail was one that I had experienced first hand. Whether its an evening excursion to the outer islands for a picnic, or a full on multi day expedition around the island, staying in local thatched roof houses along the way, kayaking trips will be entirely customized to your desires and abilities.