Funafuti, capital city of Tuvalu
Funafuti is an atoll that contains the capital of Tuvalu, a group of South Pacific islands known not for their spectacular cities, but instead for their pristine environment and opportunities for adventure. While on the islands, you will experience untouched nature, diverse marine life and the joys of relaxing under the shade of a palm tree.
Many American troops were stationed on Tuvalu's islands during the Second World War. The atoll of Funafuti was the main base, and debris from the war can be see on Fongafale, the main island. Between Fongafale and the village of Nanumea, visitors can see airstrips, plane wrecks and bunkers.
There are no museums on the islands, but the Tuvalu Philatelic Bureau is located in the township of Funafuti. Since 1975, the bureau has been printing highly collectable stamps sought by collectors around the world. The beautiful and original stamp designs reflect the creativity and spirit of Tuvalu.
The highlight of any trip to Funafuti is exploring the Conservation Area. Spanning 33 square kilometers of land and water on the atoll's western side, the area includes island, reef, ocean, channel and lagoon habitats. Native broadleaf forests thrive on six uninhabited islets, the clear blue lagoon is brimming with a rainbow of exotic fish and coral sand beaches provide a home for turtles, seabirds and coconut crabs. Perfect for diving and snorkeling, the lagoon is filled with coral reefs waiting to be explored.
Dancing is a time-honored tradition in Funafuti, and visitors can attend a mesmerizing dance show on holidays, building openings or other special occasions. They may even be inspired to learn a few traditional moves when they hear the pulsing drumbeats and see the silhouettes of dancers swaying in front of a bonfire under a blanket of stars.
The locals are known for their friendly, welcoming dispositions, and they may invite you to play a round of “te ano,” the national game. During the exciting game, two teams compete by throwing a heavy ball back and forth, trying to keep it from touching the ground. When the game is over, the losers must perform a funny dance and sing silly songs to appease the whims of the winners.
Throughout the Pacific, traditional handicrafts from Tuvalu are famous for their fine craftsmanship and creative design. While in Funafuti, visitors can shop for necklaces, mats, fans, baskets, fishhooks and woodcarvings at the many Women's Handicraft Centers. Crafted by local women, the pieces make great souvenirs and reflect the natural beauty of the islands.
There are a handful of restaurants on the island, and most are inside lodges. A variety of ethnic cuisines are well-represented, including Italian, Chinese and Indian. Traditional meals are based largely on Tuvalu's rich flora and fauna, including its staple of coconuts and many species of fish. Taro is another popular and versatile ingredient in many dishes, and visitors may enjoy the plant in cakes, chips, soups, rice dishes and more. One of the most delicious meals served up in Tuvalu is called the “palusami,” made with taro, coconut cream, spices, onions and lime juice. Do not leave the islands without trying the flavorful, distinctly South Pacific meal.
Funafuti Geographical Location
Funafuti encircles the Funafuti lagoon and is Tuvalu’s most populated atoll with approximately 4,500 people.
Tuvaluan and English are the official languages of Tuvalu while Kiribati is commonly spoken on the island Nui.
Funafuti Predominant Religion
- 98.5% Protestant
- 1% Baha’i
- 0.5% Other
The Church of Tuvalu comprises the vast majority of the protestant community and Seventh Day Adventists account for the remaining protestant population.
The official currency of Tuvalu is the Tuvaluan Dollar alongside the Australian Dollar.
Funafuti experiences hot temperatures throughout the year and is consistently rainy.
Funafuti Main Attractions
- Funafuti Conservation Area
Other Attraction in Funafuti
- Tuvalu Philatelic Bureau