It turns out Tuvalu is not exactly top of the tourist league table; in fact it’s the third-least-visited country on earth. That’s right: more people think it would be fun to travel to Kazakhstan than here.
But Tuvalu and its main island of Funafuti are a mere 2.5 hours flight from genuine tourist mecca of Fiji, so we decided to visit it on our least visited countries tour.
How to get to Funafuti
Tuvalu is really in the middle of nowhere, and to get here you’re gonna need to fly either from Suva in Fiji (twice a week), or to Funafuti on the one-a-week service from Tarawa in Kiribati.
Accommodation in Funafuti
There’s basically two hotels, located within walking distance of the airport, which is really rather convenient. We stayed at the Funafuti Lagoon Resort Hotel, which has a restaurant, a bar, regular parties, and offers vehicle services. Can’t say better than that!
What is there to see in Funafuti?
It’s a tiny island of 6000 people, so let’s get this straight: Funafuti is not exactly a mecca for tourist things to do, but you can easily kill some time here.
- Rent a bike – When you visit Funafuti and Tuvalu, rent a motorbike and go driving around the island, top to bottom side to side and witness the amazing scenery;
- Better still! Take your bike and ride it down the runway at Funafuti airport, which doubles as a road! There’s not many countries you can do that;
- Watch planes land at Funafuti airport! Yes, another Funafuti airport-based jolly! There’s probably not an airport in the world that you can get closer to see planes landing than Funafuti;
- Climb shipwrecks – there’s shipwrecks to play with dotted along the coastline of Funafuti and depending on your level of adventure they make for some great Tuvalu urbanexploration!
- Island hopping in Tuvalu! Nice and simple, you rent a boat head to one of the atolls and do BBQ and beers!
- Party with the locals! There seems to be a party almost every night at the Funafuti Lagoon Hotel and Tuvaluans are extremely friendly.
What to eat in Tuvalu
There are basically 4 restaurants in Funafuti, 2 of which are Chinese:
- 3T’s restaurant – Supposedly the best restaurant in Fanafuti, but really not that great, and not very friendly either;
- Funafuti Lagoon Hotel – Decent western menu, cheap prices, specials and a good drinks list;
- FunafutiCafé – Directly under 3T’s restaurant, the only place where you can get local food in Funafuti, fresh coffee and amazing owners. The BEST place to eat in Funafuti.
Nightlife of Funafuti?
Funafuti Beer Garden and liquor store! They’ve got a beer garden and a wall of shame (which I managed to get on), liquor by the bottle, cold beers, and locals a-plenty hanging out. Alternatively, there’s the bar at Funafuti Lagoon Hotel where you can crash a party maybe. It is also the only bar open on a Sunday in Fanafuti.
Is it worth visiting Funafuti and Tuvalu?
Funafuti is the amazing capital island of a truly special country in Tuvalu! It is very much worth travelling to Tuvalu!
Getting out of Funafuti
There’s a few flights a week to Suva in Fiji, and one to Tarawa in Kiribati, which means you will spend at least 4 days in Tuvalu, which is more than enough. Unless, ofcourse, you really enjoy relaxing in a tropical paradise, in which case you should stay in Funafuti longer.
Check out Funafuti yourself on grand sister site Young Pioneer Tours’ Least Visited Countries tour!