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Tonga

TONGA TOURS

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.

TOP Tonga TRAVEL DEALS & UPCOMING TOURS

Tour Name Tour Type Days Start Date Price

Small Group Tonga TOURS

TAILOR-MADE Tonga TOURS

Map

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.

TOUR REVIEWS

Conscientious in early communication; knowledgeable, humorous and caring tour guides; an exemplary itinerary that was well organized yet flexible; an overall extraordinary experience. I'd recommend them enthusiastically.

Amazing tour. Any issues we had were addressed in a timely fashion and the resolutions were satisfactory. My only complaint is the driver picking us up was late and none of the cell numbers worked when we tried to call and figure out what to do.

I thought it was very good we didn't have to worry about anything everything was in order and kept with the schedule as planned, unless we wanted to deviated from it to do somethingelse. The trip really a trip of a life time.
There was a time many years ago that I wanted to travel to Egypt and didn't because of the cost. This trip was, to me, very affordable. I think everyone should experience this trip. The tour guide was alos excellent, Sherif Mohammad.

Everything about the trip was thought through, fine-tuned , and marvelous. From Ant Horribin helping us arrange the trip, to rep Waled Ali, and our guide Big Mo, we could not have asked for a better team. Our sincere thanks to them.

My contact with Encounters representative was a pleasure, she answered my questions promptly, provided a quotation and changed it quickly when different flights were preferred. Both by e-mail and phone the response was very timely.

ratings

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

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.

VIDEO FEATURE

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.

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Tonga Country Guide

Tonga Country Guide Flag

Factfile


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.

Highlights

  • 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.

Tips

  • 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.