Things to do in Tuvalu
With 9 atolls to explore, coral reefs and an abundance of oceanic life, Tuvalu is a dream destination for diving, snorkeling and yachting enthusiasts.
Tours are generally fairly informal and are best arranged once you arrive on the island.
Diving and Snorkeling
With islands made from coral reef, Tuvalu is a truly inspiring location for Scuba Diving. 33 sq km of lagoon, reef, ocean and island habitats form part of a conservation area. It is still open to visitors for walking, snorkeling and picnicking. You won’t find any local dive shops or operators in Tuvalu but most of the hotels will be happy to assist you. On arrival you can rent equipment and they will direct you to the best places to go.
One of the best ways to explore the nine islands of Tuvalu is by chartering a yacht and going island hopping. A good company to consider is Neverland Yacht Charter, they rent yachts and catamarans and will organize excursions around the islands that you visit. If you are interested in fishing, you can also contact Neverland to inquire about a boating and sport fishing excursion.
Cultural and Traditional Dance
If you are in need of a little culture, you can head along to your nearest Maneapa (local town hall). Throughout the year numerous traditional and cultural ceremonies are performed. Chat to the staff at your hotel. They will know about all upcoming events and can advise you on where to go and what to wear.
The Matagigali bar near the airstrip holds discos most evening except Sundays and guests at Vaiaku Lagi Hotel guests are usually invites to functions held at the hotel
The national game is te ano (the ball). Two teams line up facing one another and competition begins with one member throwing the heavy ball toward the other team, who must hit it back with their hands. Points are scored if the opposite team lets the ball fall and the first team to reach 10 wins. The game ends with the losers performing a funny song and dance routine intended to bring the winners back to earth.
Touring the islands
The most popular way to tour around the islands is by motorbike. Bikes are readily available and reasonably priced. Ask your hotel for advice. They may have their own bikes, if not, they will certainly know the best place to go.
Historic and Archaeological Attractions
During the World War II, large numbers of American troops were stationed on the islands of Tuvalu and airforce bases were strategically located to allow the allied forces to attack enemy bases in Kiribati. An old runway exists on the north eastern side of Nanumea and the remains of World War II planes are visible in the scrub. A wreck of a landing craft can be seen on the reef near the village on Nanumea. There is another World War II airstrip on the islet of Motulalo in Nukufetau, along with the remains of plane wrecks.
Funafuti atoll was the main base and remains of World War II debris can be seen along the main island of Fongafale. A well-preserved underground bunker is found on the islet of Tepuka. On Funafuti, the site of the drilling by scientists to prove Darwin's theory on the formation of atolls can be found. Darwin's theory was proved to be correct and evidence of submerged volcanoes was found after drilling to a depth of more than 1000 feet.
Tuvalu Philatelic Bureau
The Tuvalu Philatelic Bureau is located at the southern end of the township of Funafuti. Stamps depicting facets of Tuvalu are printed overseas and are highly collectable.
Since 1975, collectors from more than 60 countries around the globe have eagerly sought new issues of Tuvalu stamps.
Why are Tuvalu stamps so popular?
In 1975, when Tuvalu separated from the Gilbert Islands & Ellice Islands (now Kiribati) and later became an independent constitutional monarchy, the Philatelic Bureau was created to deal with all stamp issues for the newly-created territory.
The popularity of our unique and original stamp designs quickly became evident and is reflected in the catalogue values of obsolete Definitive and Commemorative issues.