- The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new lands but seeing with new eyes. Marcel Proust
Tuvalu, the world's second-smallest country and, according to the United Nations, one of the least developed, fulfils the classic image of a South Sea paradise. Visitors come to the islands to enjoy the peaceful atmosphere and palm-fringed beaches. Pandanus, papaya, banana, breadfruit and coconut palms are typical. Traditional buildings with thatched roofs can be seen virtually everywhere on the islands.
Most activity is centred in the capital, Funafuti, where the greatest attraction is the enormous Funafuti Lagoon. The lagoon is 14km (9 miles) wide and about 18km (11 miles) long and is excellent for swimming and snorkelling.
Things to see and do in Tuvalu
Dive or game fish
Dive or game fish; equipment is available in Funafuti. Visitors interested in watersports should bring their own equipment as there is little for hire. Swimmers should wear sand shoes as stonefish are an occasional hazard. Owing to the strong tide, swimming in the ocean is very dangerous. Swimming in the lagoon is considered fairly safe.
Visit the Philatelic Bureau, which provides stamps to collectors all over the world, and the University of the South Pacific Centre, which sells a range of books relating to Tuvalu and the surrounding region.
Watch a game of kilikiti, a local version of cricket, or te ano, a much-loved traditional ball game reminiscent of volleyball.
Head to Funafala, the second most populated island in the atoll, which can be visited by taking the Funafuti Island Council's catamaran. There are no shops in Funafala, so visitors should take their own provisions. Traditional buildings with thatched roofs can be seen virtually everywhere on the islands.