With a land area of five square miles, Arno Atoll is one of the smaller atolls in the Marshall Islands. It is part of the Ratak archipelago, which is one of the Marshall Islands' administrative districts. Arno's closest neighbor is Marjuro Atoll, which contains the capital city of Majuro. Arno is home to about 2,000 people. The majority of the atoll's population lives in the village of Ine, but there are several other smaller settlements on the atoll's islands too. While the Marshall Islands in general exports a high volume of copra, (dried coconut meat used to make coconut oil), Arno is particularly well-known for having high quality copra and a high volume of production. Because it is close to Majuro and was largely spared from nuclear testing in World War II, Arno is a popular destination in the Marshall Islands for tourism.
Arno's history is similar to that of the other atolls in the Marshall Islands. Spanish and English explorers documented visits to Arno and the Marshall Islands in the 1500s and 1600s, but the islands remained independent for several hundred years. Arno Atoll was eventually claimed by the German government in 1884. By 1885, all of the Marshall Islands had been sold to Germany by Spain. Like the other atolls, Arno fell under Japanese control in 1914 through the South Pacific Mandate. It was then handed over to the United States in 1944. Unlike the other atolls, Arno was not used as a base for nuclear testing by the US Army, which has preserved its human, plant, and animal populations from World War II onward. Arno became fully independent in 1986 when it officially joined the Republic of the Marshall Islands. Today, the atoll is a destination for diving vacations and for people simply wanting a tropical getaway. There are several notable lodging facilities on Arno, including the Arno Beachcomber Lodge.
Arno's climate is warm, humid, and tropical. This climate, combined with the fact that it has rich, fertile, and nuclear-free soils, makes it an important area on the Marshall Islands for growing coconut trees. Its coral reefs, sandy shores, and sparkling blue waters bring colorful tropical fish, seabirds, and other marine life such as dolphins and sharks to Arno. The atoll is a paradise for scuba divers and snorkelers, and diving adventures are frequently arranged by private companies for people who want a guided offshore tour of the islands.