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Explore Tonga

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Tonga is a beautiful destination that is not yet discovered by mass tourism. This backpackers paradise consists of 170 islands, of which only 36 are inhabited. Most islands consist of tropical rainforest, powdery sandy beaches and colorful marine treasures. Captain Cook called Tonga "The Friendship Islands" and after 500 years the Tongans still greet their guests with amazing hospitality. Tonga is the only kingdom in the Pacific and the first country of the international date limit; in this place, every day starts first. Being the first to start the new day on a peace of paradise is something you might want to add to your bucket list.
The kingdom of Tonga is the oldest and only remaining Polynesian kingdom. Tonga is located in the South Pacific, 500 km east of Fiji, 1000 km south of Samoa, 1200 km west of Niue (which is 1000 km west of the Cook Islands) and 2000 km northeast of New Zealand . The 170 islands of Tonga are spread over an huge area of ​​700,000 km².

When you stay on the islands and you experience the local atmosphere, you will discover that time stands still at Tonga. Life of the islanders is very simple. Faith, tradition, food and a roof over the head are the only important things in life on Tonga. Although the infrastructure is getting better and more and more resorts are being built, Tonga is still an untouched country. The Tongans live their lives in the lowest possible gear.

In Tonga you can practice many water sports: snorkeling, diving, sailing, kayaking, surfing, fishing, etc. If you want to take a break from it all, then you can just lie on one of the white sandy beaches. The islands are so diverse and each so beautiful and unique that you can easily stay in Tonga for a while.

Most travelers visit the Vava'u islands in the north of Tonga. There is a lot to do on the main island. The best attraction on Vava'u are undoubtedly the whales. With a guide you can go whale watching here. From July to November many humpback whales breed in the waters between the islands. If you go with a diving trip, you often go diving with the whales. But with a snorkel you can even see the whales. In our opinion Tonga is one of the best places in the world to dive.

North of Vava'u three small volcanic islands emerge from the sea. Here you can make beautiful walks along volcanic craters and lava fields. It is a breathtaking experience to walk undisturbed on such mighty volcanoes.

The capital Nuku'alofa is located on the largest island, Tongatapu. Despite the fact that there are few beaches on this island, Tongatapu has become a popular surfing spot. The waves break on the coral reefs 100 meters from the coast, so surfing on Tongatapu is not recommended for beginners. You can end the evening at a lively café in the picturesque harbor town of Neiafu. 

A boat trip along the islands of Tonga is an unforgettable experience. You will be amazed by the volcano Tofua, which rises from the sea. You jump out of the boat to snorkel with giant whales. And at the end of the day you watch the sunset from an uninhabited island. Sounds like a perfect day right?

Where to stay

If you're going to Tonga, Mystic Sands is an excellent choice.  This property is right on the beach and is a wonderful find. It has great reviews and for good reasons.

The owners and staff are very helpful. The location is fantastic for swimming, snorkeling, kayaking (kayaks are even provided). There is a secluded island nearby so great for viewing tropical fish and some colored coral. They get an average rating of 9.2 on and you can book it here.

Best time to visit

Tonga is a year round destination.The months of May to November are the driest and coolest. The months of December to April are slightly warmer. Click here for more average weather information of the Capital Nuku'alofa.  

This article was last updated on December 18, 2020.