Reviewed on Nov. 12, 2018
Reviewed on Nov. 20, 2014
Reviewed on Apr. 4, 2020
Find your own tropical oasis in this beautiful South Pacific archipelago, known as the Friendly Islands, famous for its amazing coral reefs and deserted beaches.
Tonga is a Polynesian archipelago in the South Pacific Ocean’s tropical waters. Explore over 170 islands to find your own Tongan getaway. Discover magnificent beaches, breathtaking coral reefs, dramatic cliffs and tropical rainforest. Watch humpback whales, try game fishing or kite surfing and learn about interesting local customs at authentic Tongan villages.
Begin your Tongan adventure on Tongatapu, the archipelago’s largest island. This scenic island is skirted with remarkable coral reefs, roaring blowholes and pleasant beaches. Experience the local culture on Tongatapu and discover over a thousand years of fascinating royal history. Join a tour or rent your own watercraft to travel between islands.
Visit Vava’u, a reef collection of over 50 islands made of coral. Stop by Neiafu, the main village, to rent a yacht, kayak, surfboard or equipment for kite surfing. Dive among brightly colored corals and try your luck with a fishing reel. Join a humpback whale-watching tour between June and November.
Explore Ha’apai, an area encompassing about 60 islands, where the famous 1789 mutiny occurred on the HMS Bounty. The Lulunga islands feature a stunning landscape of untouched beaches, sheer cliff faces, interesting coral rock and lush forests of tropical fruit trees. ‘Eua is a beautifully green island covered in rainforest and hiking trails.
Choose from a range of accommodations, from simple traditional huts to upscale resorts and hotels. Relax in a hammock to enjoy the sunset or watch local people weaving baskets and tapa cloth from mulberry bark. Join a traditional Tongan feast and enjoy regional dishes and ceremonial dancing. Sample delicious fresh seafood and try a little cup of kava to experience the local drink’s soothing effects.
Tonga is located in the South Pacific and can be reached by boat or by plane to Fua’amotu Airport on Tongatapu. Rent motorbikes, scooters and bicycles or catch taxis and buses on the larger islands. Domestic flights and charter boats connect the island groups. Tonga is primarily a Christian country, so remember to dress modestly unless at the beach and to organize ahead on Sundays, as most businesses close down for the day.