“Welcome to the Friendly Islands” is how you will be greeted on arrival to Tonga, and with a warm display of hospitality provided by the locals, you will soon realize why this nickname is wholly appropriate. Comprising of 176 islands in the South Pacific Ocean, of which 52 are inhabited, Tonga provides an enchanting place to get away and soak up tropical island life.
Tonga presents an undulating atmosphere in which visitors can take part in water sports, such as diving and snorkeling, in the warm waters of the Pacific Ocean. In these waters, it is common to spot migrating humpback whales, and if you go with a licensed operator, you can swim with these curious mammals. There are ample boating opportunities around Tonga, and chartering a yacht to go island hopping is a popular adventure here.
The country has long been used to receiving visitors, ranking as one of the most frequented places in the South Pacific. Across all of the main islands, you will be provided with comfortable and high standard accommodation. There are plenty of places to dine, with the restaurants here providing a great mix of local and international cuisine. In particular, if you are a seafood lover, you must try the outstanding lobster.
The Tongan islands cover a large area of the Pacific Ocean, at around 270,000 square miles. There are scheduled flights to get you around the main islands or you can rent a boat. However, even if you just visit one island, your trip to Tonga will be worthwhile, with several wonderful beaches and cultural attractions on the main island of Tongatapu alone.
Like so many other Tropical regions, Tonga experiences only two distinct seasons per year: one wet season and one dry season. The wet season is from November to March and the dry season May to November. Surprisingly the average temperature in the wet season is higher than that of the dry season (77°F vs. 70°F) but the precipitation levels are significantly higher. The most popular time to visit Tonga is during the dry season when beaches and scuba are at their best, but if you want to go whale watching the best time to visit is July and September.
Most visitors arrive at the international airport in the capital, Nuku’alofa, on the main island of Tongatapu. From here, it is possible to travel onward to other islands by domestic flight. There are taxis available on Tongatapu; however, most hotels offer free transfer and sightseeing services around the island. Another option is to rent a car, which is only possible on Tongatapu. Elsewhere, the islands are small and friendly enough to walk around.
- Take the opportunity to go diving in the warm waters of the South Pacific
- Spot humpback whales at one of the finest whale-watching destinations of the world
- Charter your own yacht and go island-hopping around Tonga’s 176 islands
- Get the wind in your sails and take up the thrilling activity of kite surfing
- Learn about ancient Polynesian culture on the main island of Tongatapu
- Discover lush, tropical rainforests on the island of ‘Eua
- Get away from it all by heading to the isolated Niua islands
- Sit back and relax at any one of the pristine sandy beaches on the many Tongan islands