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Honeymoon in Tuvalu

Tuvalu, a distinctive Polynesian culture with a unique South Sea ambience

One of the smallest and most remote nations in the world, this unspoiled corner of the Pacific offers a peaceful, and non-commercialized environment that is ideal for rest and relaxation.

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 ambience.

In Tuvalu you will discover a distinctive Polynesian culture of atoll island people who vigorously maintain their unique social organization, art, crafts, architecture, music, dance and legends.

Location

Tuvalu lies west of the International dateline and 1,000km north of Fiji in the central Pacific just below the equator and is 12 hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time in the same zone as Fiji.

The six atolls and three islands that make up Tuvalu together total only 25 square km in land area, curving northwest-southeast in a chain 676 km long on the outer western edge of Polynesia

History of Tuvalu

tuvalu honeymoonThe ancestors of Tuvaluan people are believed to have arrived on the islands about 2,000 years ago. Under the leadership of chiefs, known as 'Aliki', traditional Tuvaluan society continued for hundreds of years before it underwent significant changes with the arrival of European traders in the 1820s.

Even greater changes took places when the Samoan Pastor of the London Missionaries Society arrived in the 1860s. Tuvaluans soon embraced the new faith and virtually all of the people are now Christians, mostly Protestants. Religion plays an important part in everyday life, although much of the previous culture and traditions are retained.

Tuvalu (then known as the Ellice Islands) first came under British jurisdiction in 1877. In 1892 Tuvalu became as a colony. In 1975, following over-whelming support for separation in accordance to referendum held the previous year, the country became an independent constitutional monarchy and the 38th member of the commonwealth on October 1, 1978.

Tuvalu is classified by the United Nations as one of the world's peaceful least developed countries. Tuvalu has recently been accepted and elected as the 189th Member State of the United Nations for the New Millennium.

Visitor attractions and amenities

There are no mountains, waterfalls or natural streams, but there are number of features that are of interest to visitors. In fact, the very lack of such features, along with the smallness of the land area, is an attraction in its own right. The vastness and the special features of the ocean interspersed with atolls, magnificent lagoons and small islands, all provide a unique ambience that makes the country exceptionally attractive. swimming (118K)

The Island of Tuvalu is very small and separated by significant distances of nothing but water. With the maximum of 4 meters above sea level, the Islands provide the classic image with blue sea and sky, white breakers along the fringing reefs, sand and swaying palms. Within the lagoons, the contrast between the colors of deep and shallow water, and the beach is especially dramatic.

The smaller, uninhabited atoll islets surrounding the lagoons are a unique attraction to visitors, rarely found elsewhere. The natural flora of Tuvalu comprises only a restricted number of species. Pandanus and salt-tolerant ferns predominate. The few areas of atoll scrub are interesting and provide a valuable nesting habitat for birds. Other rare habitat includes the uncommon but important mangrove areas.

Historic and archaeological attractions

During 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 northeastern 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 1,000 feet.

Tuvalu Funafuti Conservation Area

The Funafuti Conservation Area (FCA) covers 33 square kilometers of water and land on the western side of the Atoll. It includes reef, lagoon, channel, ocean and island habitats. There are six uninhabited islets with native broadleaf forest and coral sand beaches are located within the protected area and are home to coconut crabs, nesting seabirds and turtles. A variety of colorful fish can easily be seen through the clear blue lagoon while coral reefs and bommies provide for excellent snorkeling and scuba diving

The Conservation Area includes lagoon, reef, channel, ocean and island habitats. The waters of the conservation area are home to many species of fish, corals, algae and invertebrates. The islets within the area contain 40% of the remaining native broadleaf forest on Funafuti atoll, are home to significant seabird populations and are nesting sites for the green turtle. The following islets are included in the Conservation Area.

1. Tepuka Savilivili
2. Fualopa
3. Fuafatu
4. Vasafua
5. Fuakea
6. Tefala

Source: www.timelesstuvalu.com

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