Abaiang Travel Guide

A detailed travel guide inclusive of all the information about Abaiang, including things to do, places to visit, where to stay, and local customs and culture.

Introduction to Abaiang

Abaiang is a coral atoll located in the Gilbert Islands, part of the island nation of Kiribati. Known for its stunning landscape, crystal-clear waters, thriving marine life, and rich cultural heritage, Abaiang is a must-visit destination for anyone exploring the Polynesian region.

List of Places to Visit in Abaiang

Abaiang offers a plethora of attractions, from cultural landmarks to natural wonders. Here are some of the top places to visit in Abaiang:

Culturally Important Attractions: Museums and Historical Places

  • Abaiang Maneaba, a multi-purpose community center that serves as a venue for various social events.
  • Bewarekai Tomb, a historical tomb that houses the remains of the paramount chief of Abaiang.
  • Te Rau n Te Mwenga, an important cultural site that preserves the traditional lifestyle of the I-Kiribati people.

Natural Attractions of Abaiang: Outdoor Adventures and Scenic Views

  • Abaiang Lagoon, a picturesque lagoon that is perfect for swimming, snorkeling, and diving.
  • Kuria Island, a small island on the outskirts of Abaiang that features stunning white sand beaches and crystal-clear waters.
  • Tarawa Atoll, a popular tourist destination that offers a variety of outdoor activities including fishing, kayaking, and bird watching.

Hiking/Biking Routes of Abaiang

Abaiang is the perfect place for outdoor enthusiasts who love to explore on foot or by bike. Here are some of the top hiking/biking routes in Abaiang:

  • The Abaiang Loop, an approximately 15-mile trail that circles the island and takes you through traditional villages, plantations, and stunning coastal views.
  • The Betio Causeway Ride, a beautiful bike ride that takes you across a causeway to Betio Island, where you can explore its many cultural and historical attractions.

Best Things to Do in Abaiang: Activities and Tours

Abaiang offers a host of exciting activities and tours for travelers. Here are some of the best things to do in Abaiang:

  • Experience the traditional dance and music performances of the I-Kiribati people.
  • Explore the island’s rich history and culture by visiting the various museums and historical landmarks.
  • Take a boat tour of the Abaiang Lagoon and experience the breathtaking views of the island from the water.

Week-Long Itinerary for Abaiang

Day 1: Visit the Abaiang Maneaba and explore the local markets and shops.

Day 2: Rent a bike and ride along the Abaiang Loop, stopping to take in the stunning views.

Day 3: Swim and snorkel in the Abaiang Lagoon.

Day 4: Take a boat tour of the lagoon and visit the nearby Kuria Island.

Day 5: Visit the Betio Causeway and explore the cultural and historical landmarks on Betio Island.

Day 6: Attend a traditional dance and music performance.

Day 7: Relax on the beaches of Abaiang and enjoy the stunning sunset.

Food and Drink Scene of Abaiang

Abaiang offers a range of delicious traditional dishes and beverages for tourists to enjoy. Here are some must-try dishes:

Must-Try Dishes

  • Te Bwanabanera, a traditional I-Kiribati dish made from taro leaves, coconut cream, and fish.
  • Tuna Poke, raw tuna mixed with vegetables and spices.
  • Palu Sami, a dish made from coconut cream, onions, and fish.

Local Beverages

  • Betel Nut, a traditional nut that is chewed for its stimulating effects.
  • Toddy Juice, a drink made from fermented coconut sap that is sweet and refreshing.
  • Bush Tea, a herbal tea made from locally grown herbs and plants.

Where to Stay in Abaiang: Hotels, Hostels, and Guesthouses

Abaiang offers a range of accommodations to suit all budgets and preferences. Here are some options:

  • The Abaiang Guesthouse, a basic but comfortable guesthouse with affordable rates.
  • The Te Kowataki Hotel, a mid-range hotel that offers comfortable rooms, excellent amenities, and friendly service.
  • The Mwaneaba Lodge, a luxurious beachfront lodge that provides a range of high-end facilities and services.

What to Buy in Abaiang: Souvenirs and Local Products to Bring Home

Abaiang offers a range of locally made handicrafts and products that make great souvenirs. Here are some options:

  • Woven mats and baskets made from pandanus leaves.
  • Hand-carved wooden figurines and statues.
  • Decorative items made from cowrie shells, including jewelry and trinkets.

Local Culture and Customs of Abaiang

The I-Kiribati people are warm, friendly, and welcoming to tourists. Here are some customs and traditions to be mindful of:

  • Remove your shoes before entering someone’s home or a place of worship.
  • Dress modestly when visiting cultural sites or interacting with locals.
  • Respect the environment and the fragile ecosystem of the island and the surrounding waters.

Best Time to Visit Abaiang

The best time to visit Abaiang is between December and March when the weather is dry and pleasant. This is also the peak tourist season, so be sure to book accommodations in advance.

Do’s and Don’ts of Abaiang


  • Respect local customs and traditions.
  • Take plenty of sunscreen and hats to protect yourself from the sun.
  • Enjoy the traditional dance and music performances.


  • Swim or dive in areas marked with “no swimming” signs.
  • Litter or damage the environment.
  • Take photographs of people without their permission.

Safety and Health

Abaiang is a relatively safe destination for tourists, but it’s always important to take necessary precautions.

Safety in Abaiang

  • Lock your valuables in a safe place and keep an eye on your belongings.
  • Be cautious when swimming or diving in the water, and always follow local safety guidelines.
  • Be mindful of your surroundings, especially when walking alone at night.

Health in Abaiang

  • Be sure to drink plenty of fluids to avoid dehydration.
  • Use insect repellent to protect against mosquito-borne diseases like dengue and malaria.
  • Seek medical attention immediately if you experience any unusual symptoms.

Getting to Abaiang: Transportation Options and Logistics

Abaiang is located in the Gilbert Islands, and the best way to reach the island is by plane.

Airports Near Abaiang

  • Bonriki International Airport
  • Cassidy International Airport

Other Options

  • Boats and ferries are available from other islands in Kiribati, but the journey can be long and uncomfortable.

How to Get Around in Abaiang

The best way to get around Abaiang is on foot or by bike. Taxis are available, but they can be expensive.

Where to Go Next from Abaiang: Nearby Destinations and Excursions

Some nearby destinations and excursions from Abaiang include:

  • Tarawa Atoll, the bustling capital of Kiribati.
  • Kiritimati Atoll, a remote and peaceful island famous for its red crab migration.
  • The Phoenix Islands Protected Area, a World Heritage Site and one of the largest marine conservation areas in the world.


Abaiang is a hidden gem in the Polynesian region, offering a unique blend of cultural heritage, stunning natural scenery, and exciting outdoor activities. With this comprehensive tour guide, you’ll be well-equipped to explore all that Abaiang has to offer.