Majuro Atoll, Marshall Islands
Majuro Atoll, in the Ratak Chain of islands, is the Marshall Islands’ capital and its main port and commercial centre.
Having passed from Spanish to German hands, Majuro Atoll came under Japanese jurisdiction in 1914. It was captured by US forces in April 1944 and adapted into a base for aircraft carriers. Governed by the UN after the war, it became capital of the independent Marshall Islands in 1986. In 1997 and 1998 it suffered droughts after being hit by El Niño.
Majuro Atoll is made up of around 60 islets, with the urban area concentrated on Delap, Uliga and Darrit. A single stretch of road connects the islets, making the atoll appear one long, thin island. There is an airport. The local economy relies on tourism, port-related activities and copra processing.
Places of Interest
Laura Village, to the west of the atoll, has retained a traditional rural character. The Alele museum has exhibits of early Marshallese life. The Majuro Peace Park is a war memorial constructed by the Japanese. The capitol building is among the most modernistic of the atolls buildings. Surrounded by virgin coral reef and waters filled with remnants from World War II, fishing and diving are popular pastimes.