Tuvalu - beautiful beach
Tuvalu - beautiful beach

Tuvalu

The spectacular marine environment consisting of a vast expanse of ocean interspersed with atolls, magnificent lagoons, coral reefs and small islands all provide a unique South Seas ambiance.

TUVALU

Oceania

Tuvalu Travel Information

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Key facts

Capital:

Funafuti

Location:

Oceania, island group consisting of nine coral atolls in the South Pacific Ocean, about half way from Hawaii to Australia

Currency:

Tuvaluan dollars or Australian dollars (AUD)

Area:

26 sq km

Population:

11,448 (July 2021 est.)

Languages:

Tuvaluan (official), English (official), Samoan, Kiribati (on the island of Nui)

Religion:

Protestant 92.4% (Congregational Christian Church of Tuvalu 85.7%, Brethren 3%, Seventh Day Adventist 2.8%, Assemblies of God .9%), Baha'i 2%, Jehovah's Witness 1.3%, Church of Jesus Christ 1%, other 3.1%, none 0.2% (2012 est.)

TimeZone:

UTC+12

Tel Code:

+688

Weather

Climate

Tuvalu has a tropical climate with temperatures averaging around 30 degrees Celsius (86 degrees Fahrenheit) year-round. The island nation experiences high humidity and plenty of rainfall throughout the year.

Best Time to Visit

The best time to visit Tuvalu is from April to October, during the dry season, as there is less chance of rain and storms during this time. The rainy season is from November to March, and it can be quite wet and humid during this time. This is not the ideal time for traveling as it may affect outdoor activities and also the infrastructure may not be able to handle heavy rains.

Transportation

Tuvalu is a remote destination, and transportation options are limited. Here are some of the transportation options available for visitors to Tuvalu:

Air

The main way to travel to Tuvalu is by air, with flights to Funafuti International Airport from Fiji, Kiribati, and Samoa. There are also occasional charter flights available from other islands in the Pacific region.

Boat

There are no regular boat services to Tuvalu, but visitors can charter a boat from nearby islands such as Fiji and Kiribati. this is not a common option as it is mainly used by local fishermen, cargo ships and yachts passing through.

Bicycles and Motorbikes

Bicycles and motorbikes are available for rent on Funafuti and can be a good way to explore the island. Visitors should note that the roads are not in good condition and helmets are not always available.

Cars

Cars are also available for rent on Funafuti, but visitors should note that the roads are not in good condition, and many areas of the island are not accessible by car.

Buses and Taxis

There are no regular bus services on Tuvalu, but visitors can hire a taxi or minivan to get around the island.

Given the limited options, visitors should plan ahead and book transportation in advance to ensure their travel runs smoothly.

Accommodation

Tuvalu is a remote destination, and accommodation options are limited but there are a few options for visitors to choose from.

Hotels

There are a few small hotels available on the main island of Funafuti, offering basic amenities such as air-conditioning and private bathrooms. These hotels are suitable for budget-conscious travelers looking for a simple and comfortable place to stay.

Guesthouses

There are also a number of guesthouses on Funafuti, offering more affordable rates than hotels. These guesthouses are usually family-run and provide a more authentic and local experience.

Home-stays

Home-stays are a popular option for visitors to Tuvalu, as they provide a unique opportunity to experience Tuvaluan culture and lifestyle firsthand. Visitors can stay with a local family and have the opportunity to learn about Tuvaluan culture and customs.

Camping

Camping is also possible in Tuvalu, with permission from the island's council. Visitors can camp on the beaches or in the forests, but should note that facilities are limited and they should come prepared with their own camping gear.

Overwater Bungalows

There are a few overwater bungalows available on the main island of Funafuti for visitors who want to experience the luxury of an overwater bungalow while visiting Tuvalu.

It's worth noting that the availability and standards of the above-mentioned options can change and might not be available throughout the year, so it's better to inquire in advance and make your bookings accordingly.

Money

Money Tips for Travel

  • Research the currency and exchange rates of your destination before you depart.
  • Notify your bank and credit card companies of your travel plans to avoid any potential issues with international transactions.
  • Bring a mix of cash, credit, and debit cards--and possibly a travel money card.
  • Be aware of the fees associated with withdrawing money from ATMs and using credit cards abroad.
  • Make sure to have a backup option for accessing money in case your primary method doesn't work.
  • Consider using a card with no foreign transaction fees.
  • Be aware of the local customs and etiquette when it comes to paying.
  • Keep an eye on the exchange rate throughout your trip and try to make large purchases or withdraw large sums of money when the rate is favorable.
  • NEVER accept currency conversion at ATMs! Always get your home bank to convert at much better rates.
  • Think about getting a Wise or other travel debit card; these can provide much better rates and some free ATM withdrawals.

ATM and Credit Cards

  • Research the availability of ATMs and credit card acceptance at your destination before you depart.
  • Keep your ATM card in a safe place and be mindful of your surroundings when using it.
  • Try to stick to using ATMs that are affiliated with major banks.
  • Keep your credit card information safe and secure, and be aware of potential scams.
  • Make sure your cards have the necessary security features, such as chip and pin.
  • Be aware of the fees associated with withdrawing money from ATMs and using credit cards abroad.

Exchange Rates

  • Research the currency and exchange rates of your destination before you depart.
  • Consider using a card with no foreign transaction fees.
  • Be aware of the local customs and etiquette when it comes to paying.
  • Keep an eye on the exchange rate throughout your trip and try to make large purchases or withdraw large sums of money when the rate is favorable.
  • Be careful of places that may offer to exchange money at rates that seem too good to be true.

Mobile

When traveling, getting mobile access is very important these days. If you are working remotely, wanting to update social media, or need to access your banks SMS authentication messages having a reliable service is a must. At WhereNext we recommend:

eSIM

Services such as those offered by our partner, Airalo, allow you to easily order and install an eSIM for different countries or regions that you are traveling in.

Dual SIM phone

If you have a phone that supports dual SIM's then you can get a SIM on arrival for each country, this is probably better done at a telco store rather than at the airport.

Extend your home plan

Depending on where you live and your mobile service provider you may be able to extend your plan to cover mobile roaming at reasonable rates.

Keep your primary SIM

With the amount of accounts we all have that require two factor authentication via SMS, keeping a constant number for these accounts is a must.

Community

There are several online communities and platforms that you can use to meet people while traveling, both for making new friends or for networking professionally. Some popular options include:

Facebook groups

There are many Facebook groups dedicated to connecting people while traveling, from expat groups and travel communities to groups specific to certain cities or regions of the country. You can search for groups based on your interests or location and connect with others who share similar interests.

Meetup

Meetup is a platform that allows you to find groups of people that share your interests in your local area. There are Meetup groups all around the world, and they cover a wide range of topics, such as language exchange, sports, and cultural activities.

Internations

Internations is a social network for people who live or work abroad. It has a large community of expats and organizes regular events, activities and gatherings that allow members to connect and socialize.

Couchsurfing

Couchsurfing is a platform that connects travelers with local hosts, who offer free accommodation and a chance to experience the local culture. It's a great way to meet locals and make friends!

Reddit

Reddit has a large community, and there are several subreddits dedicated to connecting expats and travelers. You can use it to ask questions, get advice, and connect with others who are also living or traveling in the country.

Linkedin

LinkedIn is primarily a professional network, but you can also use it to connect with people who work in the same industry or have similar backgrounds. It can be useful to connect with people before you arrive and establish a few professional contacts to help you get started.

At WhereNext, we use Nomad List as a global community and then research more local ones for our destination. These are just a few examples of online communities you can use to meet people; please suggest any others that you think are appropriate for this destination.

Insurance

Travel insurance can provide financial protection and peace of mind for travellers in the event of unexpected situations or emergencies. It covers a wide range of needs--even some you might not expect!

Medical Coverage

Travel insurance can provide coverage for medical expenses if you become ill or injured while traveling. This can include coverage for doctor visits, hospital stays, and emergency medical transportation. It's also a good idea to ensure that your travel insurance covers COVID-19 related illness and delays!

Trip Cancellation and Interruption

Travel insurance can provide coverage if you need to cancel or interrupt your trip due to unexpected events such as illness, weather, or travel bans. It can also provide coverage if your trip is delayed or if your travel provider goes out of business.

Lost or Stolen Luggage

Travel insurance can provide coverage for lost or stolen luggage, as well as personal items such as passports and electronic devices.

Emergency Assistance and Evacuation

Many travel insurance plans offer emergency assistance services, such as providing information on local hospitals and doctors, assistance with replacing lost or stolen documents, and help with arranging transportation in the event of an emergency. At WhereNext we have partnered with Global Rescue for evacuation services, which are highly recommended if you are undertaking dangerous activities or are travelling to dangerous parts of the world.

Liability coverage

Travel insurance can also provide liability coverage in case you cause an accident or harm someone while you are traveling.

Travel insurance can provide financial protection and peace of mind for travellers in the event of unexpected situations or emergencies. It can help cover the costs of medical expenses, trip cancellations, lost or stolen luggage, and more. It's always a good idea to review the coverage and compare the different options available before making a decision. At WhereNext we both use and have partnered with Safety Wing for general travel insurance.

Entry Requirements

Here are some general travel tips regarding entry requirements that apply across all countries:

Passport

Make sure that your passport is valid for at least six months from the date of your arrival in the country you are visiting. Some countries will not allow you to enter if your passport is set to expire within a certain period of time.

Visa

Check with the embassy or consulate of the country you are visiting to see if you need a visa. Some countries require a visa for entry, while others do not. Make sure to apply for a visa well in advance of your trip as the process can take several weeks. Check the latest Visa requirements and if necessary get an online Visa with our partner iVisa.

Health Requirements and COVID-19 Rules

Check with the embassy or consulate of the country you are visiting to see if there are any health requirements for entry. Some countries require vaccinations or proof of medical insurance. Check the latest health requirements and if necessary get an online Visa with our partner iVisa.

Travel Insurance

Consider purchasing travel insurance, especially if you are traveling internationally. Travel insurance can cover you in the event of trip cancellation, medical emergencies, and other unexpected events. Our travel insurance partner is SafetyWing. For dangerous activities and/or countries consider a rescue service like those offered by our partner, Global Rescue.

Customs

Be familiar with the customs and laws of the country you are visiting. Some countries have strict laws regarding drug possession, alcohol consumption, and dress codes.

Currency

Check the currency exchange rate and make sure you have enough local currency for your trip. Some countries may not accept credit cards or travelers cheques, so it is always good to have some cash on hand. At WhereNext we recommend use a Wise debit card, which provides low cost currency conversions and ATM withdrawals.

Research the country

Research about the culture, customs and laws of the country you are visiting. It will help you to understand the place more and also prepare you better for the trip.

Contact Information

Make a copy of your passport and keep it in a separate place from your passport. Also, leave a copy of your itinerary and contact information with a friend or family member at home.

COVID Status

I am vaccinated 
Tuvalu Closed
Test
Not required
Quarantine
Not required

Check Visa Requirements

      Things to Do

      Tuvalu, a collection of nine islands located in the Pacific Ocean, is a true paradise for travelers looking for a unique and off-the-beaten-path destination. With its stunning beaches, lush tropical forests, and vibrant culture, Tuvalu offers a wide range of activities for visitors to enjoy. Here are some of the top things to do in Tuvalu:

      1. Learn about the Local Culture

      Tuvalu has a rich and unique culture that is deeply rooted in its Polynesian heritage. Visitors can learn about the island's history and customs by attending traditional dances, visiting the Tuvalu National Museum, or listening to local legends and stories.

      2. Snorkeling and Diving

      Tuvalu's waters are home to an abundance of marine life, including colorful fish, turtles, and dolphins. Snorkeling and diving are popular activities and you can see the different species of coral and the marine life.

      3. Go Fishing

      Fishing is an important part of Tuvaluan culture, and visitors can join local fishermen on a traditional outrigger canoe to catch tuna, wahoo, and other local species.

      4. Visit the Bird Island

      Nukufetau is one of the smaller islands of Tuvalu. It is a protected bird sanctuary, where visitors can see a variety of seabirds and migratory birds, including the rare Polynesian megapode.

      5. Explore the Lush Forests

      Tuvalu's islands are covered in lush tropical forests, home to a diverse range of plant and animal life. Take a hike through the forest and discover the island's unique flora and fauna.

      6. Visit the Traditional Village

      Tuvaluans still live in traditional villages, where you can see the traditional houses and learn about the island's lifestyle.

      7. Experience the Local Cuisine

      Tuvaluan cuisine is heavily influenced by its Polynesian heritage and features a wide range of seafood dishes. Visitors can try traditional dishes like taro, coconut, and fish, and also the local drink called kava.

      8. Attend Local Festivals and Events

      Tuvaluans are known for their love of music and dance, and visitors can attend local festivals and events to experience the island's vibrant culture. Festivals such as the Independence Day and the annual cultural show, Te Afua Festival, are held every year.

      9. Explore the Beaches

      Tuvalu's beaches are some of the most beautiful and secluded in the world. Relax on the powdery white sand, swim in the crystal-clear waters, and snorkel among the colorful coral reefs. Some of the best beaches to visit include Funafuti Lagoon and Fualefeke Island.

      10. Visit the Capital Island of Funafuti

      Funafuti is the capital and largest island of Tuvalu. It offers a glimpse into the local culture and lifestyle. You can visit the local market and craft shops, explore the island's WWII history at the Funafuti Conservation Area, and take a tour of the island's traditional village.

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