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The Kingdom of Tonga has a long and interesting history that goes back over 3,000 years. Discovered by Captain James Cook in 1773 it became known as the Friendly Islands due to the welcoming reception it gave him. It is the last remaining monarchy in the South Pacific, which has stretched back over 1,000 years. Tonga is well known for it's hospitality and has a rich culture including dance, music, art and food that has been passed down from generation to generation.

Tonga consists of an archipelago of 176 islands where you can find untouched beaches, amazing coral atolls, active volcanoes, deserted islands, national parks, caves, authentic local villages, rugged mountain ranges and virgin rainforests. It boasts a wealth of marine life that can be easily explored on a guided fishing expeditions, sea kayaking trips, snorkelling, or swimming with whales and turtles.

With so much to see and do, just make sure you don't forget to relax and enjoy some of the many picture postcard beaches.


Tour Name Tour Type Days Start Date Price


Is it safe to visit Tonga?

Tonga is a safe and peaceful country to visit, but you should watch out for petty crime, and avoid desolated areas at night.

What is the official currency of Tonga?

The currency used in Tonga is the Tongan pa’anga, which is subdivided into 100 senti.

When is the best time of the year to visit Tonga?

The best time to visit Tonga is between May and October during the country’s try season. You should avoid visiting from December to January, as these are the wettest months.

What should you wear in Tonga?

It is important to dress respectfully in Tonga. Tongan law prohibits being in a public place without a shirt. You should cover up your legs and shoulders when you are not on the beach.

Can you drink the tap water in Tonga?

In most areas of Tonga, the water is generally safe to drink. The water quality is variable in undeveloped areas. If you do want to be ultra-safe, you should drink the bottled water.


I liked the fact we were met at the airport and helped thru customs and getting a visa and then upon leaving taken to where we needed to go. Its always tough to figure out where everything is in a foreign airport when you do not travel much
We had a wonderful time and great memories. We felt safe the whole time and would recommend this trip to anyone of any age as long as you can walk a lot. They are with you from arrival to departure and any problems that arose the guides would try their best to solve. They also showed remarkable patience for other people in other groups we saw that were acting like idiots.

My experience with Encounters was excellent from start to finish. The Tour Guide, Sheriff, was the most passionate, enthusiastic and professional guide I have ever had on a tour and his love for Egypt really made me enjoy my time so much more.

Anthony has been a pleasure to work with and when he is not available, other members of the team respond in a timely manner. I have booked a total of 6 trips since December 2013 and plan to book more to fill my bucket list.

My experience with Encounters was excellent from start to finish. The Tour Guide, Sheriff, was the most passionate, enthusiastic and professional guide I have ever had on a tour and his love for Egypt really made me enjoy my time so much more.
I was cautious about arriving in Egypt given the current circumstances about the country, but felt safer that I did living in London as soon as I arrived. All of the Encounters staff are very professional.

Excellent from the initial planning to every step along the way on the trip! Worry free in every way! Islam, Hussein and Mahmoud were the greatest! Please check out my review on Trip Advisor! FIve stars from this girl!


Tonga Country Guide

Tonga Country Guide Flag


Time: GMT+13
Dial Code: +676
Area: 748 km²
Elevation: The lowest point in Tonga is the Pacific Ocean at 0m | The highest point in Tonga is an unnamed elevation on Kao Island that peaks at 1,033m (3,389 ft.)
Population: 109,008 (2018)
Capital: Nuku'alofa
Governemnt: Democracy, Parliamentary system, Constitutional monarchy
Language: Tongan, English

Tonga, officially the Kingdom of Tonga, is a Polynesian country and archipelago with 169 islands, of which 36 are inhabited. The main island, Tongatapu, is where 70% of the locals reside. The country is surrounded by Samoa to the northeast, Futuna, Fiji and Wallis to the northeast, Vanuatu to the farther west, Niue to the east, Kermadec (part of New Zealand) to the southwest, and New Caledonia (France).

In the West, Tonga became known as the 'Friendly Islands' because of the welcoming reception Captain James Cook received on his first visit in 1773. From 2010, Tonga chose to be a constitutional monarchy rather than a traditional absolute kingdom. The citizens of Tonga have free and mandatory education, provided by the government. The Tongans also have universal access to a national health care system.

Situated in Oceania, the islands of Tonga are divided into three main groups: Vava'u, Ha'apai, and Tongatapu. The islands either have a limestone base created from coral formations or limestone on a volcanic base. The climate of Tonga is tropical with a very warm period (December to April). The wettest period in Tonga is March. Bats are viewed as sacred, and property of the monarchy. Flying fox bats frequent the islands of Tonga.

Tongan is the official language spoken in Tonga, along with English. Tongan is a Polynesian language, closely related to Samoan, Hawaiian, Wallisian and Niuean. Although Tonga is a secular state, the Free Wesleyan Church of Tonga is the established religion in the state.


  • Neiafu – the second largest town, located by the Port of Refuge, on the island of Vava'u.
  • Niuafo'ou – the most northerly island in Tonga, with a volcanic rim and two lakes.
  • Ha'atafu Beach – a beautiful beach protected by a reef, with a sheltered swimming area, and lagoon.
  • Talamahu Market – a main fresh-produce market, also selling crafts that is open on Saturday mornings.
  • Port of Refuge – this picturesque harbour has a collection of bars and restaurants on its waterfront.
  • St Joseph's Cathedral – located by the Port of Refuge, this local, Catholic church rests on a small hill.
  • Mariner's Cave – this cave has a hidden entrance and glows a deep blue with the sunlight.
  • Hufangalupe Archway – also known as 'the pigeon’s doorway', this is a natural land bridge by the coast.


  • As Tonga is a conservative country, swimsuits should only be worn in resorts.
  • On Sundays, shops, businesses and restaurants close for the day, so you should plan ahead.
  • Learn a few phrases of Tongan to speak with the local people.
  • Tipping is not expected but is appreciated for good service.
  • Tonga is essentially a cash society, so make sure that you have enough.
  • Tonga is a deeply Christian country, so you should abide by the rules and show respect.
  • The best time for whale watching is from mid-July to mid-October.
  • To join the main tour, you need to be comfortable swimming in the sea.

Small Group Tonga TOURS



Our tailor-made tours seek to create a personalised experience – one that is completely exclusive to you. By taking all your interests and requests into consideration, we design an itinerary that ticks off your specific boxes. If you are after adventurous exploration, cultural immersion, a relaxing escape or a balanced blend of everything, we can make it happen.

A highlight of our tailor-made tours is that the itinerary is flexible and incorporates plenty of free time – so you can do some exploring on your own. Our local, friendly guides, experts in their country’s history and culture, will be happy to adjust the activities or your schedule as you travel.

If you are a group of friends, a large family or a company, our tailor-made tours are an ideal, stress-free option. You can even select your own hotels or make use of our recommended accommodation. We have a varied selection of sample holiday itineraries to choose from, either as they stand or as a base for inspiration.


Our video features aim to bring our adventure tours to life in a way that no photo can, giving you a great taste of the destination.


Need some travel inspiration or looking for some handy travel tips? Our blog provides excellent insight into our travel destinations - from tour updates to country guides, packing lists to little known things to do, you'll find it all in our travel blog. By: Ralph Foulds 2016-02-21 20:00:00

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