Travel & Expat Lifestyle Magazine

Monday Escape: Funafuti, Tuvalu


Tuvalu ranked highly on our list of the 10 best places to live for escaping world conflict, and we think it’s also a great place to escape to whether its Monday or any other day of the week.

The tiny nation of islands and atolls in the South Pacific boasts a meager population of just around 12,000 people, making it the third least populated nation in the world, behind only Vatican City and Nauru.

Funafuti is the nation’s capital and its most populated atoll, with around 4,500 residents. The atoll itself is a narrow sweep of land between 20 and 400 metres wide, encircling a large lagoon 18 km long and 14 km wide, with 275 sq km—by far the largest lagoon in Tuvalu. The land area of the 33 islets aggregates to 2.4 sq km, less than one percent of the total area of the atoll.

If you’re a fan of peace and quiet, this is clearly the place to be. It’s also somewhere that you can go to enjoy the simple life. There is an airstrip, hotel (Vaiaku Langi Hotel), and administrative buildings, as well as homes, constructed both in the traditional manner, out of palm fronds, and more recently out of cement blocks.

The most prominent building on Funafuti atoll is the Church of Tuvalu. Other sites of interest are the remains of United States aircraft that crashed on Funafuti during World War II, when the airstrip was used by the U.S. forces to defend the Gilbert Islands and the Marshall Islands.

In June 1996, the Funafuti Marine Conservation Area was established along the western rim of the reef, encompassing six islets. It has an area of 33 km², containing 20 percent of the reef area of Funafuti. So if you’re a fan of diving and snorkeling, you’ve landed in the perfect place moving to Tuvalu.

Tuvalu maintains close relations with Fiji, New Zealand, Australia and the United Kingdom, as well as with the United States, so an expat from one of these locations may consider Tuvalu as a top destination, if it suits their fancy. The island nation’s nearest neighbors are Kiribati, Samoa and Fiji.

Usually when people say they want to ‘get away’ they mean it as a cliche, but for those who really want to get away, Tuvalu might be the place for you.


9 thoughts on “Monday Escape: Funafuti, Tuvalu

  1. I would love to take a year or two off from my life and just hang out there, enjoying the culture, the water, and letting go of all the BS in the world. I wonder how much it would cost to just live there on a basic bare budget per year. If I could live there for about 5,000 us I would take three years of and just chill out and relax. Any body else interested??

  2. like G said. I’d be fine living there for the low budget life.. local produce and fish under a grass hut for a few years sounds great, but nobody has really explained what has to happen to be able to actually live there.. there’s got to be some immigration rules somewhere!

  3. I have to tell you G (and scott) that i 100 %%%%% agree with you. I ve been to other pacific islands such as Raroronga & Aitutaki and i love them, especially Aitutaki, really an amazing place, truly paradise, not only amazingly beautiful but also so relaxed, you feel it, traffic(not really) goes at 40km/hour, 2000 people(after 3 weeks you know them all by face) and beautiful beaches, fruit, nature, the silence, people are so pacific, you can kayak to deserted islands and have beautiful motus all to urself….pick fruit that grows on trees…the only noise you ll hear is the waves and the only danger will be standing under a coconut tree(coconuts are hard on th head)….or unfortunately the occasional every 5 year cyclone….
    but lets talk about tuvalu, that is different,it seems even more isolated but i would love to live there for a while(or more…more ), even if possible in the outer islands(or if not funafuti) there is also tokelau(have u heard of it?), officially the poorest country(made up of 3 atolls) in the world just because they don’t use money that much, they dont have banks, no prisons, no airstrip…… I’m really studying these places.sometimes i feel i’m living already there I ve had enough of the so called western life,of the BS (as you say)…. i’m italian, i lived years in argentina and now i live in Canada but it doesnt fit my nature. my nature is the pacific, i feel it, i felt it when i was there…so when you say anybody else interested, i say….ME!!!!!!!!!!!

  4. yes scott, like all places there must be immigration laws, of course there are. the best would be to inquire to the ministry in tuvalu (just in case we become really serious with our intentions….). I’m sure they are going to answer our enquiries. One way could be to arrive as a volounteer with some organization and then see if there s a weak spot in the law(for example after you stayed more than a certain number of months you can apply for a working visa or residence card). or with a lot of money arrive as a tourist and then stay..”.overstay”…come back and settle…there are always many ways, if one wants something(thats my experience) at the end you reach ur goal)…also there s another option marry a native, but i have to admit that i dont want to think about that option…im already married and one marriage is enough for me….LOL

  5. how do you apply to the minister of Government in these places. I am tired of the BS in the USA also. Pretty soon the US dollar will be mute point in other countries and the our polititions will still be trying to compete on who can pee the furthest. I need a cheap quiet place to retire, with good people and very little crime perferably an ocean nearby. Help..Phyllis

  6. So G, if you are serious I’d be willing to consider it. I have been wanting to go there for over a year now. I currently live in the virgin islands but I think going somewhere to live closer with nature would be a good experience. I’m very free spirited, fun and kinda wild. I’m up for anything. It’s slow season for me now in the islands but after busy season I can afford to take on the journey!!!

  7. Ed Side Note: I’d love to see April and G make the trip. It would be so awesome to have a couple people meet up and do something adventurous because of this site.

    Now back to your irregularly scheduled programming…

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