Kiritimati Travel Guide

Get ready to explore Kiritimati, a remote island in Polynesia, with our comprehensive travel guide. Discover the must-see places, activities, and local culture of this beautiful destination.

Introduction to Kiritimati

Kiritimati, also known as Christmas Island, is a remote island located in the Line Islands group of Kiribati in Polynesia. It is popular for its stunning natural beauty, crystal-clear waters, and unique wildlife. The island offers a perfect blend of adventure, relaxation, and cultural experience.

The island was discovered on Christmas day in 1777 by British explorer Captain James Cook, hence the name Christmas Island. Since then, the island has attracted visitors from all around the world. With miles of pristine beaches, crystal-clear lagoons, and rich marine life, it’s a paradise for nature lovers and adventure seekers.

List of Places to Visit in Kiritimati

Culturally Important Attractions: Museums and Historical Places

  • Gilbertese War Memorial - A must-visit for history buffs. The war memorial commemorates the Gilbertese people who fought in WWII.
  • Kiritimati WWII Relics and Artifacts - A museum where you can learn about the World War II history of the island and see artifacts and relics from that period.

Natural Attractions of Kiritimati: Outdoor Adventures and Scenic Views

  • Teraina Bay - A spectacular bay with white sandy beaches, crystal-clear waters, and palm trees swaying in the breeze.
  • Kiritimati Atoll - The largest coral atoll in the world. A must-visit for snorkeling and scuba diving enthusiasts.
  • Mira Mar Lagoon - A shallow lagoon with mangrove trees and unusual marine life. A perfect spot for kayaking and paddleboarding.

Hiking/Biking Routes of Kiritimati

Tabwakea Coastal Walk

A scenic coastal walk that takes you through the picturesque village of Tabwakea, along the rocky shoreline, and through the mangrove forest. The trail is an easy 3km hike and takes about an hour to complete.

Best Things to Do in Kiritimati: Activities and Tours

Snorkeling and Scuba Diving

Kiritimati is home to some of the best snorkeling and scuba diving spots in the world. The pristine waters of Kiritimati Atoll are home to thousands of fish species, coral formations, and unique marine life.


Kiritimati is famous for bonefishing. The bonefish is a game fish that moves in schools and can be seen in shallow waters near the shore. Bonefishing is a popular activity among visitors to Kiritimati.

Kayaking and Stand-up Paddleboarding

The calm and shallow lagoons of Kiritimati make it an ideal destination for kayaking and stand-up paddleboarding.

Week-Long Itinerary for Kiritimati

Day Activities
Day 1 Arrival and check-in at the hotel
Day 2 Snorkeling and swimming at Tabwakea Beach
Day 3 Bonefishing excursion on the island’s east coast
Day 4 Scuba diving in the Kiritimati Atoll
Day 5 Hiking or biking along the coastline and through the forest
Day 6 Kayaking or stand-up paddleboarding in Mira Mar Lagoon
Day 7 Departure

Food and Drink Scene of Kiritimati

Must-Try Dishes

  • Ika Mata - A traditional dish made with raw fish, coconut cream, and citrus juice.
  • Palusami - Seafood cooked in coconut milk and wrapped in taro leaves.
  • Kakai - A sweet dish made of grated coconut and sugar.

Local Beverages

  • Kava - A traditional Polynesian drink made from the roots of the kava plant.
  • Coconut Water - Fresh coconut water is a popular beverage on the island.
  • Beer - You can find locally brewed beer on the island.

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

Kiritimati Village

Kiritimati Village is a perfect spot for budget travelers. It offers clean and comfortable rooms, a restaurant, and easy access to the island’s attractions.

The Villages

The Villages is a small, family-run guesthouse that offers personalized services and a quiet atmosphere. It is located near the beach and is a great option for couples and families.

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

  • Kiritimati T-Shirts - A souvenir t-shirt is a great way to remember your trip to the island.
  • Handicrafts - You can find beautiful handicrafts made by local artisans.
  • Jewelry - You can buy unique Polynesian-style jewelry on the island.

Local Culture and Customs of Kiritimati

The local culture of Kiritimati is heavily influenced by Polynesian and Micronesian traditions. The people of Kiritimati are friendly and welcoming to visitors. As a visitor, it is important to respect the local customs and traditions.

Best Time to Visit Kiritimati

The best time to visit Kiritimati is from April to October. During this period, the weather is dry and warm, with less rainfall and humidity. December and January can be hot and rainy, which makes it uncomfortable for outdoor activities.

Do’s and Don’ts of Kiritimati


  • Respect the local customs and traditions.
  • Wear comfortable and lightweight clothing.
  • Spend time exploring the island’s natural beauty.


  • Bring alcohol or drugs to the island.
  • Remove any shells or coral from the beaches.
  • Take photographs of the locals without their permission.

Safety and Health

Safety in Kiritimati

Kiritimati is a safe destination for tourists. However, it is important to take precautions when swimming or participating in water activities.

Health in Kiritimati

It is recommended that all visitors receive a Hepatitis A vaccine before traveling to Kiritimati. Drink bottled water and use insect repellent to avoid mosquito-borne illnesses.

Getting to Kiritimati: Transportation Options and Logistics

Airports Near Kiritimati

  • Cassidy International Airport (CXI) is the main airport serving the island.

How to Get Around in Kiritimati

The best way to get around in Kiritimati is by rented car, scooter, or bicycle. Taxis are also available but can be expensive.

Where to Go Next from Kiritimati: Nearby Destinations and Excursions


Tarawa is the capital of Kiribati and offers a great insight into the country’s culture and traditions. Visitors can explore the local markets, historical sites, and the national museum.


Fiji is a popular travel destination that is located close to Kiritimati. Visitors can relax on the beaches, explore the traditional villages, or participate in adventure activities such as scuba diving, kayaking, and surfing.


Kiritimati is a beautiful and unique destination that is perfect for those who love nature, adventure, and experiencing new cultures. With its pristine beaches, crystal-clear waters, and friendly locals, it is a perfect place for a vacation. We hope this travel guide has helped you plan your trip to Kiritimati and that you have an amazing experience on this beautiful island paradise.