Introduction

Tuvalu’s capital is technically Funafuti Atoll (population 6200), a hoop of 33 islets encircling a lagoon. The biggest islet in the atoll is Fongafale Islet (also spelled Fogafale or Fagafale), which is home to the main township and the seat of government. Tuvalu’s answer to a metropolis, Fongafale is the only place in the country where tourists can change money, make international phone calls or use the internet.

The best thing about a visit to Fongafale is simply winding down to match the slow-paced island way of life. Take a stroll around town or hop on a bike or motorcycle to explore the islet from top to toe. There are also a handful of WWII relics here.

Funafuti Conservation Area, a half-hour motorboat ride west across the lagoon, is an amazing underwater world. Book a boat trip through the town council, which might include some time on one or two of the islets and perhaps some snorkelling.

To the south, Funafala Islet is a gorgeous little isle lined with talcum-powder beaches with basic accommodation right by the water.