The 10 Best Things To Do In Tarawa

Imagine stepping onto the sun-kissed shores of Tarawa, where the Pacific Ocean whispers tales of history, culture, and untamed natural beauty. This atoll in the Central Pacific, part of the Republic of Kiribati, is a place where time seems to slow down, inviting you to immerse yourself in its serene rhythm. From the remnants of World War Ii to the vibrant life beneath its waves, Tarawa isn’t just a destination; it’s a captivating story waiting to be explored.

1. Relive History at the Battle of Tarawa Site

One can’t visit Tarawa without paying homage to one of the fiercest battles of World War II. The Battle of Tarawa site is a poignant reminder of the past, where history buffs can walk through relics and monuments. It’s a place that commands respect and reflection, offering a deep dive into the atoll’s wartime legacy.

2. Dive into the Blue at Ambo Island

Ambo Island, a short jaunt from South Tarawa, is a diver’s paradise. The crystal-clear waters are teeming with marine life, offering a kaleidoscope of colors beneath the waves. Whether you’re a seasoned diver or trying snorkeling for the first time, the island’s underwater world will leave you in awe.

3. Experience Local Culture at the Maneaba ni Maungatabu

Immerse yourself in I-Kiribati culture at the Maneaba ni Maungatabu, the nation’s parliament building. Here, you can witness the unique blend of tradition and governance. It’s a rare opportunity to see a living culture that has weathered the tides of change yet remains anchored in its ancestral roots.

4. Unwind at the Pristine Beaches

Tarawa’s beaches are the epitome of tranquility, with their powdery white sands and the gentle lapping of waves. You can spend hours soaking up the sun, Reading a book, or simply watching the horizon where the sky meets the sea. It’s the perfect antidote to the hustle and bustle of modern life.

5. Visit the Sacred Heart Cathedral

The Sacred Heart Cathedral stands as a beacon of faith and architecture in Tarawa. Its peaceful ambiance provides a spiritual retreat for those seeking solace. The cathedral is not only a place of worship but also a testament to the island’s cultural tapestry.

6. Explore the WWII Relics at Betio

Betio, once the scene of intense conflict, is now a living museum. Rusting tanks and artillery guns lie scattered across the landscape, silently narrating stories of bravery and sacrifice. It’s a humbling experience to walk among these remnants, which serve as stark reminders of the cost of peace.

7. Engage with Local Artisans at the Handicraft Market

For a taste of local craftsmanship, the Handicraft Market is a treasure trove. Here, artisans sell their wares, from woven mats to wooden carvings. Each piece tells a story, crafted with skills passed down through generations. It’s the perfect place to find a keepsake that captures the spirit of Tarawa.

8. Savor Local Cuisine

Tarawa’s culinary scene is a delightful fusion of fresh seafood and tropical flavors. From savory fish dishes to sweet coconut treats, the local cuisine is a testament to the island’s Bountiful resources. Dining here isn’t just about sustenance; it’s an exploration of taste and tradition.

9. Take a Lagoon Cruise

A lagoon cruise offers a different perspective of Tarawa’s beauty. As you glide over the turquoise waters, you’ll see the atoll’s villages and palm-fringed shores from a vantage point like no other. It’s a chance to disconnect and let the gentle sway of the boat lull you into relaxation.

10. Learn at the Kiribati National Library and Archives

For those who crave knowledge, the Kiribati National Library and Archives is a haven. It houses documents, photographs, and publications that chronicle the nation’s history and culture. It’s a resource that invites curiosity and rewards visitors with a deeper understanding of this unique corner of the world.


  • What is the best time to visit Tarawa?

    The ideal time to visit Tarawa is during the dry season, from April to October, when the weather is more favorable for outdoor activities.

  • Do I need a visa to visit Tarawa?

    Visa requirements for Tarawa vary by country. It’s best to check with the nearest Kiribati consulate or embassy before planning your trip.

  • Is it safe to travel to Tarawa?

    Yes, Tarawa is generally safe for travelers. However, it’s always wise to exercise common sense and stay informed about local customs and practices.


In Tarawa, the past and present merge to create an experience that’s as enriching as it is beautiful. From the hallowed grounds of WWII history to the vibrant underwater life and the warmth of its people, Tarawa offers a tapestry of experiences that resonate long after you’ve left its shores. Whether you’re a history enthusiast, a diving aficionado, or simply in search of peace, Tarawa beckons with an array of activities that promise to fill your days with wonder. So pack your bags, set your sights on this Pacific gem, and prepare for an adventure that will etch itself into your memory. The 10 best things to do in Tarawa are just the beginning of what this atoll has in store for you.

Kurby Team

The Kurby Content Team is a diverse group of seasoned real estate experts dedicated to providing insightful, reliable information for homebuyers, real estate investors, and real estate agents. With backgrounds ranging from real estate brokerage, property investment, and residential home buying, our team combines decades of experience with a passion for demystifying the real estate world. We at Kurby are committed to helping you make informed, successful real estate decisions. Whether you're a first-time homebuyer, a seasoned investor, or a real estate professional, count on the Kurby Content Team to deliver the most relevant, actionable real estate content you need.