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  • 5 amazing things to do in Tonga

    photo by Sarah Kelemen on Flickr

    Tonga is one of those places that stand out from the crowd, so if you want to experience something unique in the already fascinating Polynesian islands, you can’t go wrong with this island nation. As opposed to most neighboring nations, Tonga has managed to escape colonization, and thanks to the warm welcome it gave to its would be colonizers in the 18th century, it was nicknamed the ‘Friendly Islands’.

    And apart from heart-stoppingly beautiful, friendly is the best word to describe Tonga even now. Traditional culture lives alongside every modern amenity you could imagine in Tonga, and while there are plenty of high class resorts for luxury travelers, the appeal of Tonga lies in its untainted culture. Here are 5 amazing things to do in Tonga, for the curious traveler.

     Whale Watching

    Tonga is an excellent destination for whale watching in June through October, and there are several tour operators that can take you into the open ocean to see humpback whales frolic. Every year, humpback whales migrate to the warm waters around Vava’u to mate and to give birth to their young, so you get to see not only adult whales, but cute baby whales as well. The only thing better than watching the whales is actually getting into the water and swimming alongside them.

    Traditional Tongan shows

    photo by Sarah Kelemen on Flickr

    Traditional culture in Tonga is not just a selling point for the islanders, but also an integral part of local culture, celebrated by most inhabitants.

    The various Tongan culture shows are not designed just for the sake of tourists, but they actually showcase authentic Tongan culture for the benefit of locals and visitors alike. These shows feature dances, songs, music and sometimes even feasts.

    Hiking

    Tonga might not have any mountains that reach the clouds, but there are quite a few interesting hiking opportunities on the islands. Most of the islands are rather flat and the forest gave way to plantations, but Vava’u and Eu’a have several scenic hiking trails that lead to islands lookouts. Tongatapu, the main island of Tonga, also has some beautiful trails along the coastal cliffs.

    Snorkeling and scuba diving

    photo by Sarah Kelemen on FlickrThe shallow waters around the islands are tropical paradises where you can see colorful fish and corals, but those who like to venture deeper under the water will also find plenty of eye-candy in Tonga.

    For snorkeling, you can rent or bring your own equipment and just head to the beach, but for scuba diving there are several tour operators that can take you to some of the most popular diving spots in the archipelago, replete with chasms, caves, and wrecks.

    Fishing

    You don’t have to be a professional in order to catch a few big fish in Tonga, all you need is some equipment, a boat and patience. The blue waters and even bluer sky of Tonga are a picturesque setting, and there are pretty high chances of catching fish like blue marlin and skip jack tuna, or other big fish.Tonga is a sports fishing paradise, and game fishing tours will make sure that you catch something delicious for dinner.

     

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