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Tuvalu

TUVALU TRAVEL GUIDE

Tuvalu is the second smallest country in the world in terms of population, closely following Nauru at just 11,000 citizens, and measures just 26 square kilometres, making it the fourth smallest in terms of size, after Monaco, Nauru and The Vatican.

 

Tuvalu is not a destination for those in search of spectacular sightseeing opportunities. The island nation is not only small, it also lacks any city-like destination or architectural heritage. There are no hills or mountain ranges, no rivers or gorges. And yet, it is a delightful Pacific destination, where your time is well spent in the shade of a palm trees on one of the pretty beaches. Traditional local culture remains very much alive, making the people of Tuvalu one of the nation's best assets.

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TUVALU QUICK FACTS

  • Capital: Funafuti

  • Currency: Australian dollar (AUD); note - there is also a Tuvaluan dollar

  • Area: 26 sq km

  • Population: 11 508 (2018)

  • Language: Tuvaluan, English, Samoan, Kiribati (on the island of Nui)

  • Religion: Church of Tuvalu (Congregationalist) 97%, Seventh-Day Adventist 1.4%, Baha'i 1%, other 0.6%

  • Electricity: 240V/50Hz (Australian plug)

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TUVALU PUBLIC HOLIDAYS

  • 2nd Monday in March, Commonwealth Day
  • Monday after 2nd Sunday in May, Gospel Day
  • 2nd Monday in June, Queen’s Birthday
  • 1st Monday in August, National Children’s Day
  • 1 October, Independence Day
  • 11 November, Heir to the Throne Day

Also, Good Friday, Holy Saturday, and Easter Monday.

FESTIVALS IN TUVALU

Tuvalu

BEST TIME TO VISIT TUVALU

Tuvalu has a tropical climate, which means that the temperature and humidity remain relatively constant throughout the year. There are two main seasons in Tuvalu: the dry season and the wet season. The dry season, which is the best time to visit, runs from May to October. During this time, the weather is generally sunny and warm with less humidity and less chance of rainfall. The wet season, which runs from November to April, is characterized by more rainfall, higher humidity, and a greater chance of tropical storms.

 

The best time to visit Tuvalu is from May to October, during the dry season. This is when the weather is generally sunny and warm with less humidity and less chance of rainfall. This is also the peak tourist season, so it's a good idea to book accommodations and plan activities in advance.

TUVALU WEATHER SYNOPSIS

Tuvalu has a tropical climate with consistently high temperatures year-round (25-30°C) and high mean annual precipitation (2,500-3,000mm). Precipitation variability is high, with wet years receiving twice as much rainfall as dry years. Variability is linked to regional weather patterns, with higher rates in El Niño years and reduced rates during La Niña years. The tropical cyclone season in Tuvalu tends to run from November to April and the dry season from May to October.

Tuvalu

TUVALU TOURIST SEASONS

Most destinations have different times of the year when they’re more or less popular with tourists. 

Read more...

Peak Season

Shoulder Season

Off Peak Season

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FEBRUARY

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APRIL

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JUNE

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JULY

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AUGUST

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SEPTEMBER

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OCTOBER

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NOVEMBER

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SPORT & ACTIVITIES

SNOW SPORT IN TUVALU

HIKING & CYCLING IN TUVALU

The best time to enjoy outdoor activities in Tuvalu is during the dry season from May to October. Westerly gales and heavy rain are common from October to March.

BEACH OPTIONS IN TUVALU

The best time to enjoy the beautiful beaches of Tuvalu is during the dry season from May to October. Just note that you will most likely have to visit the Funafuti Conservation Area to find clean water for swimming as the main island's coast is rather polluted.

SURFING IN TUVALU

KITESURF IN TUVALU

Kitesurfing spot details and weather

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TRAVEL SAFETY IN TUVALU

Always consider the current safety risk of each destination and do not travel without travel / medical insurance

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HEALTH RISKS IN TUVALU

Be aware of possible health risks in 

Tuvalu

Yellow fever - The yellow fever virus is found in tropical and subtropical areas of Africa and South America. The virus is spread to people by the bite of an infected mosquito. There is no medicine to treat or cure an infection. To prevent getting sick from yellow fever, use insect repellent, wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants, and get vaccinated.

Zika Virus - Zika is spread mostly by the bite of an infected Aedes species mosquito. These mosquitoes bite during the day and night. Zika can be passed from a pregnant woman to her fetus. Infection during pregnancy can cause certain birth defects. There is no vaccine or medicine for Zika.

Malaria - Malaria is a serious and sometimes fatal disease caused by a parasite that commonly infects a certain type of mosquito which feeds on humans. People who get malaria are typically very sick with high fevers, shaking chills, and flu-like illness. Although malaria can be a deadly disease, illness and death from malaria can usually be prevented.

Dengue - Dengue is spread mostly by the bite of an infected Aedes species mosquito. These mosquitoes bite during the day and night. About one in four people infected with dengue will get sick. For people who get sick with dengue, symptoms can be mild or severe.

For the latest travel health notices and recommended precautions click

TUVALU TRAVEL COSTS

The cost of traveling to Tuvalu can vary depending on factors such as the time of year, the type of accommodation you choose, and your travel itinerary.

  • Flights: The cost of a round-trip flight to Tuvalu from major cities such as Sydney or Honolulu can be around $1000 to $1500 USD.
  • Accommodation: The cost of accommodation in Tuvalu ranges from budget-friendly options such as guesthouses and hostels to more luxurious resorts. Prices can range from around $50 to $200 USD per night.
  • Food and Transportation: The cost of food and transportation in Tuvalu is relatively low. A meal at a local restaurant can cost around $10 to $15 USD, and transportation around the island can be done by bus or rented scooters for around $20 to $30 USD per day.

It is important to note that Tuvalu is a remote location, so the prices for goods and services may be higher compared to more developed countries. It is advisable to budget accordingly and have some flexibility in your budget.

 

A sample budget for visiting Tuvalu for a week might look something like this:

  • Flights: $1000 - $1500 USD (depending on the departure location)
  • Accommodation: $350 - $1400 USD
  • Food and Transportation: $70 - $150 USD per day
  • Activities: $50 - $200 USD per day (depending on the activities you choose, such as snorkeling or island hopping)
  • Total: $1470 - $3100 USD (without factoring in any additional expenses such as shopping or souvenirs)

It's important to note that this is just a sample budget and your actual costs may vary depending on your personal preferences and travel itinerary. It's always a good idea to have some extra funds set aside for unexpected expenses.

TUVALU TRAVEL TIPS

Here are some travel tips for visiting Tuvalu:

  • Pack for the weather: Bring lightweight, breathable clothing and comfortable walking shoes, as well as sunscreen and a hat to protect yourself from the sun.
  • Be prepared for limited infrastructure: Tuvalu is a remote location with limited infrastructure, so it's a good idea to bring a portable charger and extra batteries for your devices.
  • Bring cash: Credit cards and ATM's are not widely accepted, so it's a good idea to bring cash in the local currency (Australian dollar) to cover expenses.
  • Respect the local culture: Tuvalu is a small island nation with a unique culture, so be sure to respect local customs and traditions.
  • Plan ahead: Tuvalu is a small island nation, and there are limited accommodations, activities and transportation options. It's a good idea to book accommodations and plan activities in advance.
  • Be prepared for natural disasters: Tuvalu is located in the Pacific and is vulnerable to tropical storms and cyclones. Be prepared and keep informed about the weather forecast during your trip.
  • Be prepared for limited medical facilities: Tuvalu has limited medical facilities, so it's a good idea to bring any prescription medication you may need and make sure you have travel insurance.
  • Enjoy the island and the sea: Tuvalu is a beautiful island nation with great beaches, snorkeling and diving opportunities, and friendly people. Take the time to enjoy the island, the sea and the culture.

SIGHTS & HIGHLIGHTS OF TUVALU

Tuvalu is a group of nine islands located in the Pacific Ocean, and it can be divided into three main regions:

  • Funafuti: The capital of Tuvalu, Funafuti is the most populated island and the center of government and commerce. It's also home to the international airport and the main port. Highlights include visiting the Funafuti Conservation Area, a protected marine park with excellent snorkeling and diving opportunities, and the Tuvalu Philatelic Bureau, which sells stamps and other souvenirs.

  • Nanumea: The largest island in the northern region of Tuvalu, Nanumea is known for its traditional way of life and beautiful beaches. Highlights include visiting the Nanumea Cultural Centre, which showcases the island's history and culture, and taking a guided tour to see the island's WWII relics.

  • Nukufetau: The southernmost island in Tuvalu, Nukufetau is known for its beautiful beaches and excellent diving and snorkeling opportunities. Highlights include visiting the traditional village of Alapi, where you can learn about the island's history and culture, and swimming with the friendly reef sharks.

It's worth noting that Tuvalu is a small island nation, and it's possible to visit all the islands with a short boat ride or flight. All the islands are peaceful and have a unique charm and culture, it's a great opportunity to experience the Polynesian way of life.

Tuvalu is a small island nation with a unique culture and stunning natural beauty. Here are some of the best things to see and do when visiting Tuvalu:

  • Snorkeling and Diving: Tuvalu is home to some of the most beautiful coral reefs in the Pacific, and snorkeling and diving are popular activities. The Funafuti Conservation Area is a protected marine park that offers excellent snorkeling and diving opportunities.
  • Island Hopping: Tuvalu is made up of nine islands, and island hopping is a great way to experience the different cultures and landscapes of the islands.
  • Visit the traditional villages: Tuvalu has a rich cultural heritage, and visiting the traditional villages is a great way to learn about the island's history and culture.
  • Visit the Tuvalu Philatelic Bureau: The Tuvalu Philatelic Bureau sells stamps and other souvenirs, it's a great opportunity to purchase something unique and learn about the country's history and culture.
  • Visit the WWII relics: During the WWII, the islands of Tuvalu were the scene of many battles and bombings, and remnants of that time are still visible on some of the islands.
  • Relax on the beautiful beaches: Tuvalu's beaches are known for their crystal-clear water and white sandy shores, it's a perfect place to relax and soak up the sun.
  • Take a guided tour: Guided tours are a great way to learn about the island's history and culture and to see the island's WWII relics.
  • Attend a traditional dance performance: Tuvalu's traditional dances are a unique and colorful part of its culture. Attending a traditional dance performance is a great way to experience the island's culture.
Tuvalu

WHAT TO EAT IN TUVALU

When visiting Tuvalu, you'll have the opportunity to try traditional Polynesian cuisine that is heavily influenced by seafood and coconut. Here are some traditional dishes you should try when visiting Tuvalu:

  • Fish and Taro: Fish is a staple food in Tuvalu, and it's often served with taro, a root vegetable that is similar to a potato.
  • Uga: Uga is a traditional dish made from coconut milk, fish, and taro leaves. It's a hearty and flavorful dish that is often served at special occasions.
  • Palusami: Palusami is a traditional dish made from taro leaves stuffed with meat or fish and coconut milk.
  • Ika Mata: Ika Mata is a raw fish dish that is marinated in lemon juice and coconut milk. It's a popular dish in Tuvalu and other Pacific Island countries.
  • Taro and Banana: Taro and banana are both commonly grown on the islands, and they are often cooked together and served as a side dish.
  • Traditional drinks: Coconut milk, coconut water and Kava are the traditional drinks in Tuvalu. Kava is a drink made from the root of a pepper plant, and it's often consumed during special occasions and ceremonies.

It's worth noting that Tuvalu is a small island nation and has limited resources, so it's good to be open-minded and flexible when it comes to food options. Some dishes may be limited by availability.

LGBTQ IN TUVALU

Tuvalu

WHERE TO STAY IN TUVALU

When visiting Tuvalu for the first time, you'll have a few options for accommodations. Here are a few options to consider:

  • Hotels: There are a few small hotels on Funafuti, the capital of Tuvalu, which are a good option for those who want to be close to the airport and the main port. These hotels offer basic amenities such as air conditioning and en-suite bathrooms.
  • Guesthouses: Guesthouses are a popular option for budget-conscious travelers, and they can be found on most of the islands. They are typically family-run and offer a more authentic experience, you'll be able to interact with the locals and learn about their culture.
  • Homestay: Homestay is also a great option for those looking to immerse themselves in the local culture. You'll have the opportunity to stay with a local family and experience the traditional way of life in Tuvalu.
  • Camping: Camping is another option for those who want to experience the natural beauty of Tuvalu. Some of the islands offer camping grounds or you can ask permission to camp on the beach.

It's worth noting that Tuvalu is a small island nation, and accommodation options may be limited, and it may be necessary to book in advance during peak season.

 

It's recommended to check the availability and reviews of the places before making a decision. It's also good to keep in mind that Tuvalu is a developing country, so don't expect luxury accommodations. The island's main draw is its natural beauty, culture, and way of life, and staying in a more basic accommodation will allow you to fully experience it.

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