Eco-friendly travel guide to Tuvalu advises how to be a responsible tourist. Learn how to travel in a sustainable way and how to respect the local people and culture. Make your trip green by supporting locally owned hotels, organic restaurants and other businesses. Read more on how to protect the environment by making conscientious choices and how to travel green in Tuvalu, Oceania.
- Air quality: 4.1/ 5
- Bus connections: 2.2 / 5
- Train connections: 2.1 / 5
- Hitchhiking: 2.7 / 5
- National parks: 3.1/ 5
- Outdoor activities: 3.4 / 5
- Locals' English level: 3.3 / 5
- Safety: 3.9/ 5
- Accommodation: US$61 - $111
- Budget per day: US$68 - $124
- 1 Responsible Travel
- 2 Air Quality and Pollution
- 3 Respect the Culture
- 4 Top 10 Places to Visit
- 5 Explore
- 6 Eat
- 7 Drink
- 8 Activities
- 9 Accommodation
- 10 Regions
- 11 Cities
- 12 Getting There and Moving Around
- 13 Sustainable Shopping
- 14 Recycling
- 15 Work and Study Abroad
- 16 See Also
Tuvalu is a small island nation located in the central pacific ocean below the equator and about 2100 kilometers east of Solomon island and 1000km north of Fiji. The island nation was formally known as Ellice island. Tuvalu is the fourth-smallest country in the world, with an area of 26 kilometers squared. Today, the site is experiencing a threat of succumbing to water due to the rising sea levels caused by global warming. The country holds 12000 people within its boundaries. The island comprises nine small coral islands; major ones include vaitupu and Asau. Most of these islands have large lagoons and surrounded by coral reefs. The capital of the island nation is Vaiaku, where all government offices and major facilities are located. The islands have no rivers, and the only way to get clean water is through rain catchment and wells. Agriculture is also limited in the area due to the porous soils the only foods that thrive include coconut palms, bananas, taro, and breadfruit trees. Chickens and pigs are also raised for food. The Tuvaluans are Polynesian, and Tuvaluans are their primary language. English is also taught and widely used by the residents. The economy of Tuvalu mainly depends on foreign aid, with most of their products being imported from Fiji, Australia, Japan, and New Zealand. Western countries mainly influence Their lifestyle. The people mostly live in villages and tend their farms and fish. Traditional dances and dancing still receive a great follow. Most of the population are Christians, with the majority belonging to the church of Tuvalu.
Air Quality and Pollution
Tuvalu s among the few unspoiled nations that offer a peaceful and excellent environment ideal for relaxation. Air quality in Tuvalu is generally acceptable by most people, but long-term exposure may raise some health problems. According to IQAir, the air quality index of Tuvalu is 28AQI. The air quality in Tuvalu is considered safe for all kinds of people. To protect from air pollution in Tuvalu, open your windows to bring in clean air and enjoy outdoor activities. The leading causes of air pollution in this region are industrial emission, indoor air pollution, transportation, and open burning of garbage waste. The regional governments continuously improve quality by establishing incentives that promote pollution control technologies, reducing Sulfur content in petrol and diesel, and renewable energy.
Respect the Culture
The Tuvaluan people's culture has been significantly westernized, but western amenities are minimal—the only city with a regular electricity supply s Funafuti. There are no newspapers in Tuvalu apart from a brief news sheet published by the government. The region also has only one radio station, and satellite Tv services are only available by subscription. Most of the residents live in villages of a few hundred people fish from handcrafted canoes and tend to their gardens. Traditional festivals still receive a large following in these villages and wester forms of ceremonies. Popular games played in this region include cricket, soccer, and volleyball. The region's signature foods include kinds of seafood and foods from animals like pigs and domestic birds. The people of Tuvalu are super friendly and have an emphasis on their traditions. The people are well known for their dancing skills, music, and handicrafts. When it comes to religion, Christianity has influenced all over the island. The critical day in the county is 1st October, the day which the nation gained independence. It's a great nation with great people.
Top 10 Places to Visit
- Funafuti: This is the largest island in Tuvalu. It's a great place to engage in various outdoor activities. Significant activities include diving, scuba diving, and snorkeling. There is much marine life to see on this island, including different colorful fishes and sea turtles. You can also enjoy boating to have a view of the beautiful, green, and unpopulated islands of Funafuti. The residents of this island are super friendly and welcoming. It's an excellent destination for visitors.
- Fongafale: This is one of the most popular tourist destinations in this part of the region. There are many facilities and necessary amenities on this island. It is also hoped to the primary airport in the area. The destination is excellent, especially during the mornings as the sunset and evening as the sun goes down. While here also sample the significant foods in the region. These foods include palusami which consist of breadfruit, onions, coconut cream, and lime juice. Another primary food is pulaka which is considered the favorite of the natives here.
- Vaiaku Stadium: Vaiaku stadium is one of the major attraction areas in this part of the region. It is also known as Tuvalu sports ground and used for various occasions in Funafuti. The stadium is used primarily by rugby and football players during training and matches. The stadium has a capacity of 1500 people. The actual ground is established on a coral surface with river sediment being carried in from Fiji to form a base on which the grass lies. It's a great place for soccer and rugby lovers.
- Funafuti Women's Craft Center: The craft center is an excellent destination for those who want to carry some souvenirs from this part of the region. There are plenty of handmade necklaces, handicrafts, and artifacts made from quills and shells. The place is beautiful and well organized. You can also ask the natives to stitch clothes for you and later purchase them, boosting their businesses and skills. It's a great place to visit and even interact with the locals, creating a connection with the culture.
- Funafuti Marine Conservation Area: Funafuti, the marine conservation area, is packed with plenty of green tropical trees fringed with blue spackling water. It's a great place to engage in various outdoor activities like snorkeling and diving. The area is restricted to fish; hence you will find many fish species and much other marine life. Due t the many species of sea animals, the place attracts many local and foreign visitors. The island is also home to many different bird species.
- Funafala: Funafuala is another major tourist destination in this part of the region. Only a few families are living in this part of Tuvalu hence tranquil and ideal for relaxation. It's a great place to engage in diverse activities, including boat riding and feat on different kinds of seafood cooked by the natives. The location is excellent to learn about the culture of the Tuvaluans and also interact with them.
- Nanumea: This is among the biggest islands in Tuvalu. It is estimated to cover around 4.6 kilometers and is located on the northern side of Tuvalu. The island is also 600 meters wide and is home to a few hundred people. nanumea is also famous for its position during the second world war. The place was a bomber base for the federal forces protecting the pacific. There are too much action remains that are today being used by the locals. The [lace is rich in history and many myths surrounding the world war. It's a great place with a colossal history to learn.
- Vaitupu: Vaitupu is a famous island located a few miles away from Funafuti. It consists of an extensive reef platform number of tinier islets and a big central island. The island has the second largest population, according to the survey. It holds around 1600 people within its boundaries. The island is home to the only secondary school in the country. Motufoua carries learners from all over the country to develop their education. It's a great place to visit and experience the life of the locals.
- Nui: Nui is among the most significant islands in Tuvalu. It has 11 primary islets within its boundaries. A 200 meters broad coral reef connects the islets. The place is covered by plenty of different kinds of trees, including coconut trees, pandanus, and breadfruit. Other foods produced in the region include tauroro, Babai, and Bero. The main occupation of the locals is fishing. It's a great place to experience the locals' culture and have a taste of their foods.
- Vaiaku: Vaiaku village is located on the southern shore of Fongafale island. The island holds around 516 residents within its boundaries. vaiaku is in the atoll of Funafuti,Tuvalu. Most of the government offices, hospitals, banks, and hotels are located here. The village is also home to Teone church, the only church of the Latin catholic mission Sui Luris of Funafuti. The place is secure and with all necessary social amenities. It's great to experience day to day life of the residents.
- Niulakita: Nikita is located in the southern tip of Tuvalu. The island holds a population of 27 people within its boundaries. Most of these inhabitants have transferred to the island from Niutao. The place is excellent with fantastic weather and lovely places to swim and have fun. The locals are welcoming, super friendly, and easy to interact with. It's a great place to hang out during weekends and holidays.
- The philatelic bureau of Funafuti: This is an excellent place for people who love collecting stamps. Whether you are a stamp collector or not, it's a great place to stroll around. It will introduce you to a valuable collection of imprints, including those used in Tuvalu before and after independence. You may also decide to buy the stamps you like, especially those that feature Charles and Diana's royal wedding and even the American civil war. It's a great place to spend a weekend.
Tuvalu is an island rich in luxurious sites to visit and have fun. There is a wide range of beaches, museums, archeological sites, parks and many other places you can spend your weekends and holidays. Though being one of the least visited cities in the world, its nature can have you make memories. You can easily spend more than a week on this island and still have more left to discover. People never go to Tuvalu due to the inadequate publicity and information about the pacific islands. While here, you can decide to visit the urban city of Funafuti. The place has many old mines, Japanese world war two staff, and caves. Apart from the exploration, you can also visit Anabare Harbor and swim with the locals. Tuvalu is a beautiful island with friendly people and a super friendly atmosphere.
- Tuvalu caravan parks: Caravan parks are a great place to make lasting memories. They offer families and groups a place to stay far more humble than the lucrative hotels and resorts. The spots are budget-friendly and safe. Most caravan parks provide many fun and engaging activities like pools, game rooms, picnic facilities, and playgrounds. When going for hikes, always remember to carry some water and hiking boots. The parks are clean, well maintained, and located in easily accessible locations. The owners and locals are super friendly, welcoming, and ready to help if the need arises. Most of these parks feature a kitchen area and some spacious rooms.
There are a few national parks in Tuvalu. They are a major attraction, especially during summers and holidays. The gardens are maintained and run by the government of Tuvalu.
- Funafuti Marine Conservation Area: This is a famous national reserve located in Funafuti. The place attracts a large number of both foreign and local visitors. Funafuti, the marine conservation area, is packed with plenty of green tropical trees fringed with blue spackling water. It's a great place to engage in various outdoor activities like snorkeling and diving. The area is restricted to fish; hence you will find many fish species and much other marine life. Due t the many species of sea animals, the place attracts many local and foreign visitors. The island is also home to many different bird species.
- Tezuka Vili vili: Tezuka vili vili is a famous island located in Funafuti, Tuvalu. It's a central conservation area in this region and part of the large Funafuti marine conservation area. The park was founded in early 1996 to protect the natural plants and animals in this region. It includes reef, lagoon, ocean, and island habitats. The area also consists of six uninhabited islets with coral sand beaches and broadleaf forest, home to turtles, coconut crabs, and nesting sea birds. The place is tranquil and silent to hangout. It's a great place to connect with nature. While visiting here, carry some water and hiking boots since it gets muddy sometimes. Remember that hunting, fishing, and collecting of marine plants and animals are prohibited in this area.
- Nui: Nui island is home to a national reserve. It has 11 primary islets within its boundaries. A 200 meters broad coral reef connects the islets. The place is covered by plenty of different kinds of trees, including coconut trees, pandanus, and breadfruit. Other foods produced in the region include tauroro, Babai, and Bero. The main occupation of the locals is fishing. It's a great place to visit and connect with nature.
There are several main beaches in Tuvalu. These beaches attract significant visitors all year long. Though not that classic like in the European countries, the beaches are perfect and safe for the typical water sports from both adults and children. The most popular beaches in the region include:
Pristine beaches: This is a famous basic beach with no plastic chair and life vests. There are three significant sports on this beach a place to snorkel and others to swim. The island is small, and you can walk in about 10 minutes. The beach features some warm turquoise waters and pure white sand that have helped it become much popular. The beach is busier during weekends and national holidays abut mostly free from people during weekdays. While here, grab a fresh coconut from some of the local vendors and enjoy the stay. It's a great place to visit with family and friends.
- Funafuti atoll: This beach is found on the isle of pines located in the nation's capital Funafuti. The beach is trendy in this region due to its face toward the wide-open ocean. There are also accommodation facilities in case you will need to stay longer. The beach features some calm, clear waters and pure white sand. There are also other significant activities you can engage in, including snorkeling, paddling, and swimming. The place again goes to some of the best restaurants in the region where you can grab some foods and drinks. It's a great place to visit with family and friends during weekends and holidays.
- Tausoa beach: This is a famous beach located in northern behind the Funafuti town hall. It's a great place receiving a large number of both local and foreign visitors all year long. It's a great spot to sit and relax and enjoy nature at its best. The primary activities you can engage in include snorkeling, swimming, and jet skiing. The beach is also home to some great restaurants and bars to get great meals at low prices. It's a great place to visit with friends and family.
There are a few landmarks in Tuvalu. These landmarks are a significant attraction to both local and foreign visitors. The country receives around 7000 foreign visitors per year. The most popular include:
- Nanumanga fire caves: This is among the most famous landmarks in this part of the region. It attracts large numbers of both local and foreign visitors. It is located 37 meters below the water level. The place features a small museum with a few historical artifacts. The location is excellent and full of nature and history. There are great places to sit and enjoy the fresh air. The site is immaculate, with all facilities well maintained.
- Tepuka and fuakea islands: They are trendy tourist destinations in Tuvalu. The islands receive a large number of visitors, both local and foreign. The place is home to many sea animals, including turtles, different types of fish, and lizards. It's a great place to connect with nature and also take some photos.
- Te faleatua: This is another famous landmark in Tuvalu. It is located in Nukulaelae, south of the atoll. It's a large stone in the abandoned Niuko Village where the early Christians practiced their religious ceremonies and rites. It's a great place to stroll around and also take photos.
There is only one famous museum in this part of the region. The museum attracts a large group of both local and international visitors all year long. The museum is also a learning facility.
- WW11 wreckage sites: During the second world war, Tuvalu and its archipelago were used to press defense and counter-attack enemies occupying the Kiribati island. The remains of the war have today become an observation deck for both local and foreign tourists. All across the nation, you will find the remnants of warplanes. While in this part of the region, make sure you take a look at the bunker of Tepuka islet, which has a lot of history.
Tuvalu has a wide range of hotels and restaurants offering a wide range of foods and drinks. The eateries range from vegetarian and vegan restaurants to gluten-free options. Most of the restaurants serve breakfast, light lunch, and delicious dinner at favorable prices. While here, try traditional dishes. Almost all water, food, and every other item are imported. Major restaurants in the area include:
- 3 T's Funafuti: This is among the most visited restaurant in this region. The restaurant is located a few minute's walks from the government offices in Funafuti. It offers Chinese and Asian-based foods and drinks. The restaurant serves a delicious breakfast, simple lunch, and a heavy dinner. It also features a drinking bar within its boundaries and outdoor seating. The staff are professional, super friendly and offer fast services. The restaurant is cozy and super clean. During weekends and on holidays, the restaurants hosts several events which are unique and engaging.
- Funafuti lagoon hotel: This is another popular local restaurant in this region. It is located in Funafuti, Tuvalu. The restaurant mainly serves many Chinese and Asian delicacies. They offer various plates of seafood, including prawns, scallops, carpaccio, and grilled octopus. The place is super clean and well maintained, giving it a very fantastic atmosphere. If the government of Tuvalu has a function, the catering is provided by the hotel chefs and staff. It's a great place to try plates of seafood—best for family and friends' dinner.
- Ls lodge: The lodge and restaurant receive a large number of customers all year long. It is allocated in Funafuti, Tuvalu. They offer cooked breakfast, mostly eggs, bacon, plunger coffee, and toast. It is a great place to try some authentic traditional foods. The staff are welcoming, professional, super friendly, and offer fast services. The restaurant is cozy and super clean.
- Afelita island resort: The restaurant is trendy among the locals and visitors. It is located on Mulitefala island, Tuvalu. The staff is welcoming, super friendly, and ready to help in case the need arises. The cost of food may not be the most affordable choice for many people, but it's well worth the money. This hotel's foods and services are a top-notch—great place to visit with family and friends during special events.
Tuvalu has some excellent places to drink. The most popular drinks include tap water, beers, and cocktails. Most of these products are imported from neighboring countries like Fiji and New Zealand; hence you will find them at a higher cost. Though there is primary imported alcohol from around the world, the residents also have some homemade liquors. The drinking areas feature pool tables and a steady stream of music.
Tuvalu is surrounded by the Pacific Ocean and struggles to find secure portable water sources. The island has no rivers, while the underground water is limited. The primary way many residents survive is by harvesting rainwater. Tap water is perfectly safe to drink since it is from water reservoirs that collect rainwater. There is also bottled water, though, at a higher price.
There are many fun activities you can engage with while in Tuvalu These outdoor activities help improve physique, the feel-good factor, and improved bonding. The significant actions to engage in while on the island include scuba diving, playing football, scuba diving, and hiking.
Accommodation facilities in Tuvalu are clean, neat, and affordable. The types of accommodation facilities available include apartments, luxury lodges, hostels, and guest houses.
- Funafuti lagoon hotel: The famous green hotel is located a few minute's walks from the airstrip. It's a popular destination among both locals and foreigners. The government of Tuvalu is the sole owner of the hotel. The rooms feature a restaurant, dining area, lodges, and a spa. The location is easily accessible and close to many social amenities. Its premises are clean, neat, and well maintained. The staff is very professional, super friendly, and courteous. It's a great place to spend your weekend and holidays.
- Essam lodge: Essam lodge is among the famous hotels in this region. It is located on the vaiaku side, Funafuti, Fongafale, Tuvalu. The hotel features some spacious rooms, tv, a restaurant, and a spa. It's a great place with a wide variety of quality foods and drinks at very affordable prices. The staff is welcoming and offers fast services. The site is clean and well maintained, with all necessary amenities provided. Free assistance in the hotel includes parking and wifi. It's a great place to visit with family and friends.
- L's lodge: This is a popular 2-star hotel located in vaiaku, Tuvalu. It receives a large number of visitors all year long. The hotel is easily accessible and close to shops and restaurants. The staff are very welcoming, helpful and will make you feel comfortable. The rooms are clean, spacious, and well furnished, with all amenities included. All necessary amenities are provided while extra come at a small fee. It's a great place to visit with family.
- Filomena hotel: Filomena hotel is among the most visited hotels in this part of the region. It is located a few minute's walks from the airstrip in Funafuti. The hotel features a beautiful view, a restaurant, a bar, and some sleeping rooms. The location is easily accessible and close to shops and other social facilities. Its premises are clean, neat, and well maintained. The staff is very professional, super friendly, and courteous. It's a great place to spend your weekend and holidays.
Hostels and Guest Houses
- Hideaway guesthouse: This is a popular guesthouse located in vaiaku, Tuvalu. The guesthouse receives a large number of visitors all year long. It features some private rooms, modern dorms, and complimentary continental breakfast. It is allocated in a few minute's walk from the airstrip of Funafuti. The staff takes care of everything to make sure all clients are comfortable. The owner is very hospitable and kind.
- Bugcrowd: This is another popular guesthouse located in vaiaku, Tuvalu. They are excellent rooms that can carry upto six guests. They feature two bedrooms and two bathrooms. The room is in a good location overall for sightseeing, dining, and getting around. The place is clean, well maintained, and has quite comfortable beds. The staff is friendly and ready to help in case the need arises. The pricing is relatively cheaper compared to other guesthouses nearby.
Apartments are ideal for groups of friends, families, or even sole travelers. They feature more freedom, more space, and more options. Tuvalu has plenty of rooms for every visitor. You will find furnished living rooms, multiple bedrooms, and laundry facilities. Some of the most popular apartments in the region include:
- Funafuti house: These are popular apartments located a few minute's walks from the airstrip. The guest house features some modern dorms, a kitchen area, and a shared pool. The place is clean, well maintained, and has quite comfortable beds. The staff is friendly and ready to help in case the need arises. The pricing offers good value for your money.
Couchsurfing in Tuvalu helps discover unique places that you would never have got to know. The island's residents are welcoming and willing to share their culture with interested visitors. To get businesses to go or people willing to hold you, visit Couchsurfing sites or even connect with people during events, live meetings, or even social media platforms.
Many picnic and camping sites are clean and well maintained in Tuvalu. The camps provide beautiful scenery and other facilities like the playgrounds, parking spaces, toilets, water services. Most picnic sites are free while camping sites require a small fee. Some of the main campsites include:
The caravan camps. Caravan camps are the most popular camping facilities in Tuvalu. They are cheaper compared to renting in the apartments and guesthouses. Caravan camps help experience Tuvalu at its best and also make lots of memories. The facilities are well maintained, clean, and too spacious. They are a great place to visit with family and friends.
- Funafuti: Funafuti is among the most populated islands of Tuvalu. Its main village is called vaiaku, where many social services are situated. Funafuti covers a total of 277 kilometers squared, with a population of 6,025 living within its boundaries. The region also has 30 islets and nine villages. It's a great place to experience Tuvalu at its best. Here you will learn the people's culture and engage in many activities, including stamp collecting, swimming, and other major water sports.
- Nanumea: Nanumea is a popular destination among the locals and foreigners. Its main village is also called nanumea, which features some shops and a few government facilities. The region overs a total of 22 kilometers squared and has 544 people living within its boundaries. There are a total of five islets and two villages. It's a great place to visit and interact with the locals.
- Nukulaelae: This is another popular destination in Tuvalu. It's the largest settlement in pepesala on Fangaua islet. The region covers a total of 43 kilometers squared and holds 324 people within its boundaries. There are 15 islets and a total of two villages.
- vaitupu: vaitupu is the second largest island in Tuvalu in terms of population. Its main town is called Asau. It covers a total area of 10 kilometers squared and has a population of 1,555 within its boundaries. vaitupu also has nine islets and seven villages.
- Nukufetau: Nukufetau is a famous atoll in this part of the region. Its main village is called savage. It covers a total of 145 kilometers squared and a population of 536 people within its boundaries. The atoll also has 33 islets and two villages. It's a great place to stroll and interact with the super friendly locals.
- Funafuti: Funafuti is the capital and largest city of Tuvalu. It is located on the islet of Fongafale in the Funafuti atoll. The city is home to central government offices and other public facilities like the airport and stadiums. The city is also the most popular destination among foreigners due to its luxurious hotels and beaches.
- Motufoua school: The city holds the largest secondary school in Tuvalu. Its located in vaitupu atoll, Tuvalu. The school is funded and run by the national government. The place is excellent and with all the necessary social amenities and enough teachers.
Getting There and Moving Around
To get to Tuvalu, you can use either air or water, depending on which part of the region you are in. Both international and domestic travel connections are excellent. While moving around, you can opt to either travel by taxi or walk.
Air is the most convenient means to get to Tuvalu. There is only one airport in Tuvalu that operates both locally and internationally. The airport is called Funafuti international airport and is located in Funafuti, the capital of Tuvalu. Major flights in the region include Fiji airways and air Kiribati.
There are no bus services in Tuvalu. Though very popular in most regions globally, bus transport is not standard in the pacific islands. Most of these regions have one or no bus transport services. Residents depend on motorcycles or walking.
Train is a convenient means of transport especially in transportation of heavy goods.There are no rail transport systems in Tuvalu. Residents depend on travel by foot or by motorcycles.
Hitchhiking is very popular among pacific countries. The country of Tuvalu is entirely safe for hitchhikers. The locals gladly offer free rides to anyone on the roads. Due to the low population, the people live like one family. The lack of taxis and buses stray dogs makes walking quite dangerous, making hitchhiking the best way to move around.
Other modes of transport that get you to Tuvalu include:
- Personal cars
Sustainable shopping makes sure that everything we buy has health, social, and environmental benefit. It gives visitors a chance to support the local fabrics, shops, markets, and eco-friendly factories.
Recycling is a beautiful and vital way to keep Tuvalu clean. Recycling prevents the pollution of air and water bodies. Major recyclable items on the island include plastic bags, plastic bottles, deodorant bottles, old clothing, and batteries. Most of these products end up unrecycled due to a lack of workforce in the region.
The amount of waste collected in Tuvalu is still low. The government attempts to extract recyclable wastes in landfills before much waste is added to the site. Most of the waste is burned without proper disposal, which poses considerable risk to the island's residents.
Work and Study Abroad
Tuvalu is home to major companies in this region. These companies are a great source of jobs for the locals the significant industries in Tuvalu include the tourism and fishing industry. The country also exports small quantities of dried coconut meat from which oil may be extracted. Other minor sectors include small-scale timber processing and other various handcrafts popular in the pacific.
There are three prominent universities and colleges in this part of the region the university of south pacific, a joint university in the Pacific countries, the maritime training institute founded in the late 1970s, and a newly established education center, all located in the capital Funafuti.
Tuvalu residents choose to pick Au pairs from their localities or even from families and friends due to trust issues. Most people who need au pairs are the working class. The residents opt for au pairs who have good skills in English and Tuvaluan.
There are numerous volunteer activities you can engage in in Tuvalu to give back to society. Volunteering helps deepen your relationship with the community and also learn about their culture. Volunteer groups, you can join include:
- Marine conservation
- Teach English as a second language