10 reasons why you should travel to Tuvalu right now
There are distant and exotic destinations, but very attractive for the big traveler. However, very few have likely set foot on Tuvalu, a small archipelago located in the Pacific Ocean that in 2016 received no more than 2,000 international visitors, according to the latest report from the World Tourism Organization.
Tuvalu is one of those paradisiacal islands in the South Pacific where in theory we would all want to retire, or why not, to hide from the world during a vacation, and yet the annual average number of visitors in the last two decades does not reach 1,500.
I would recommend that you travel to Tuvalu before this small oasis far from the world disappears as the rise in the level of the oceans as a result of climate change makes it part of the past. This place deserves to be visited, why? Here I will give you 10 reasons why you should travel to Tuvalu right now.
1. Tuvalu offers peace of mind
When I say that Tuvalu is a remote archipelago, it really is. If you take a map to find out where is Tuvalu, you will not be able to find it with the naked eye because it has an area of only 26 km². And to be more specific about its location, the archipelago is located in the Pacific Ocean, just halfway between Australia and Hawaii, and it is one of the four countries that make up Polynesia, made up of several islands, including the largest one of which is Fongafale (2.8 square km), the capital of Tuvalu.
It is a perfect place to forget about the sorrows. One of the smallest and most remote nations in the world but with a peaceful and uncrowded environment, because even the Tuvalu population it’s no more than 11,792, according to the last census conducted in 2020 by the United Nations.
2. Because it`s 33 square kilometers of reefs, lagoons, and oceans
The Funafuti Conservation Area is its greatest attraction, it has 33 square kilometers of reefs, lagoons, channels, and the ocean. It was created in 1999 to conserve marine and terrestrial biodiversity.
Now that you know where is Tuvalu, Funafuti is an atoll that forms the capital of Tuvalu, and at the same time, it is the economic center of the country and the most populated. Here you will have the opportunity to dive or snorkel in the great lake with the coral reef as the main attraction.
You cannot miss this beautiful seabed, with many spectacular colors and marine fauna that you will not find anywhere else in the world.
3. Go canoeing or small boats
With Tuvalu flights in mind, let me tell you that the locals will be happy to take you to know more about what is in their small country, you will be surprised how quiet it is, there are also small islands that are not inhabited and that give unique privacy. For that, you just have to rent a canoe.
You can live the fantasy of a desert island in the islets of Funafuti, covered with palm trees. Boat tours can be booked at Fongfale Town Hall, stopping off one or two islets and diving into the magical underwater world. You can enjoy its marine conservation area.
4. Because the hospitality and cordiality of its inhabitants
Those who have had the opportunity to travel to Tuvalu highlight the hospitality and cordiality of its inhabitants.
As I mentioned at the beginning, the Tuvalu population is too low but they are very friendly people and they welcome tourists with open arms, if you pass them on the street, they will always greet you with a smile.
To learn about the Polynesian culture, visit the Women’s Craft Center, a place where they sell crafts and many accessories for women such as necklaces, bracelets, anklets, rings, and beautiful earrings, made with different materials from the island, ideal for souvenirs. This culture maintains a unique social organization.
Also, you will be pleasantly surprised by the music known as fatele and its traditional dances with flowers and multicolored skirts or you can see a game of kilikiti, a local version of cricket, as well as an exciting match of te ano, which is a game reminiscent of volleyball but has also been adapted by Tuvalu people to their form.
5. Because Tuvalu has the most liberal visa policy in the world
Talking about the cost to travel to Tuvalu, you will not need a visa so anyone from any country in the world can visit it after buying their Tuvalu flights or can receive a visa on arrival. There is not a citizen of a single country on the planet who has to apply for a visa to travel here.
Then once you arrive in Tuvalu, your accommodation options are extremely limited due to the size of the island. The Funafuti Lagoon Hotel, located in the center of Funafuti, is an option and is located 50 meters from the airport. The hotel offers incredible views of the lagoon and spectacular sunsets. It is a small building, with simple rooms but with comfortable beds. The rest of the options are guesthouses with super low prices (around U$20 per night).
6. Because its gastronomy is completely homemade
Between sunbathing, dips in the lagoon, and water sports, you cannot forget to indulge in grilled fish, freshly caught, and on barbecues that are always ready in the Funafuti’s homestays, the capital of Tuvalu as almost there are not too many restaurants. There will be no shortage of coconuts prepared to refresh you, although the usual thing is to drink beer.
In addition to coconut, fish, and shellfish, the Tuvalu menu is completed with pulakas and taros (vegetables similar to sweet potatoes), as well as crabs, turtles, pork, bananas, and sauces made from curry or coconut milk. The service is totally homemade, the islanders enjoy sharing their food with new visitors. Definity, the cost to travel to Tuvalu will whort it.
In case you want to go on an excursion through deserted atolls, Los Futi, government food stores, is the best way to buy food.
7. Because arriving is an adventure
I am sure you are wondering how to travel to Tuvalu? Going there is not so easy but it is very exciting after knowing where is Tuvalu. There is only one airport, located in the capital, which is connected to Suva in the Fiji Islands: there are only flights on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays, and the pilots, jokingly, comment that the island is so small that it gives you the impression that you are going to land in the middle of the ocean. The flight between Fiji and Tuvalu takes about two hours.
Do not worry about the Tuvalu language, if you speak English you will be able to communicate very well. Okay, returning to how to travel to Tuvalu, some stopovers are Shanghai (China) and Auckland (New Zealand), before arriving in Fiji; or in Dubai (Emirates) and Melbourne (Australia). Both, until reaching Funafuti, involve about 50 hours of travel depending on where you travel from.
8. Because the simplicity of the country is incredible
In the capital of the island and its surroundings, you will find typical places of thatched huts, surrounded by palm trees. It looks like a real set from a movie! Yes, many locals live that simple. Also, as I said before, Tuvalu hotels and restaurants are very simple, they are not luxurious, they offer the essentials and this is reflected in the cost.
But let’s start by saying that the local currency is the Australian Dollar and it is convenient to know in advance that they do not accept credit cards of any kind, so the cash will be your ally.
The cost to travel to Tuvalu is not too high if we take into account that 1 USD is equivalent to 1.30 AUD. Now, leaving aside the Tuvalu flights costs, you will need around AUD 100 per person for the entire meal day, if you want to drink something special, you will need around AUD 15 per person, maybe where you will spend more will be on the flight tickets and visiting the conservation area which cost around AUD 270 per person.
9. Because the stamps on its postcards are worth gold
Do not lose the habit of sending a postcard and if it is from the most remote place in the world, better!
The beauty of its postage stamps stands out because some of them are really beautiful, some are weird and others have the Tuvalu language, which can be obtained at the Tuvalu Post office. For those passionate about philately, sending a postcard to loved ones will be a great memory especially if that person collects them.
10. Tuvalu population will understand you
If before to travel to Tuvalu you think that in this Polynesian archipelago, the locals will not understand you, then do not worry anymore because the official Tuvalu language is English. Even if your native language is not English, just knowing a few common words will be enough. Don't know how to ask for water? Use your cell phone as a translator.
On the other hand, they also have their local indigenous language which is Tuvaluan. In fact, Tuvalu means 8 islands in this language.
We must be honest, climate change is destroying many islands and archipelagos that are a paradise. That is why I encourage you to travel to Tuvalu, one of the smallest and most remote nations in the world, I assure you that it will help you to renew those energies that you need.
Also, I hope that if you had doubts about how to travel to Tuvalu, they have been clarified.
Roxana Acosta Sosa is an Argentinan writer who likes to help different people who are looking for answers when reading a post. She is dedicated to writing on different topics including travel. Many are based on her own travelling experience to different countries and her motivation is to share them with those who want to live new adventures. For the past 5 years, she has been residing in India to experience the culture more closely. She has been invited to give a speech at the International Book Fair in Calcutta city about the Argentine culture and she plans to write a book to tell everything lived in her own flesh as a foreigner in the country. She is known for her love for animals and respect for the environment wherever she goes.