This unique Polynesian territory is rich in nature, culture, and history. There are many exciting activities you can cross off your bucket list without leaving a large carbon footprint.
#1. Bike coastal roads
The road around Wallis Island provides an epic 21.7-mile cycle adventure, so pack your bike in your bike travel case. Cycling rather than driving will help to conserve the environment. The route takes in Vailala, a fishing village on the northern tip of the island, and Lalolalo Lake.
The 20-mile road around Futuna follows its rocky coastline. In the village of Vaisei, you’ll see traditional fale fono huts. On the east coast stands the Basilica of Saint Peter Channel, a modern church built to honor Pierre Channel martyred in 1841.
#2. Enjoy relaxing on the beach, swimming, and diving
One of the best beaches in Wallis and Futuna is found on uninhabited Alofi Island, 1.2 miles south of Futuna. Don your water shoes and head out onto the sands. This pristine beach is a popular destination for enthusiastic swimmers. The islets of Nukuhifala and Nukuhione feature beaches with coral reefs that are ideal for scuba divers or capable snorkelers. Ensure that you use marine-friendly sunscreen to protect the beautiful sea life.
#3. Canoe in the Pacific Ocean
Wallis and Futuna is a wonderful destination for water sports, especially paddling. Paddling a sea kayak is the most eco-friendly way to explore the shoreline of the islands and to travel from Futuna to Alofi in good weather. The most fascinating way to explore the islands is aboard a traditional Polynesian va’a canoe, which has an outrigger to help maintain balance and room for 6 people to paddle.
#4. Dive into a volcano
In the southwest of Wallis Island are 5 lakes formed from ancient volcanic craters. The largest is Lalolalo Lake, which is 262 feet deep and 1,312 feet in diameter. The lake is surrounded by 98-feet-tall cliffs from which you can dive into the inky waters. Tropical birds and flying foxes live in the surrounding jungle while eels populate the lake.
#5. Discover local history
In the south of Wallis Island, you’ll find Talietumu, which is a 15th-century Tongan fortress. The fort is surrounded by a basalt wall and contains several buildings, raised walkways, gardens, and an elevated central platform. During the 16th-century breakup of the Tu’I Tonga Empire, it was the last remaining Tongan stronghold on Wallis Island. Nearby Tonga Toto is a battle site related to this turbulent period of local history.
#6. Climb mountains
The tallest peak of Wallis and Futuna is Mont Puke (Mont Singavi) which rises 1,719 feet above sea level. Experienced hikers can easily climb through the tropical jungle in the north of Futuna to conquer this summit and enjoy panoramic views.
This tallest peak on Wallis is Mont Lulu Fakahega, which is only 476 feet above sea level on the northeastern coastline. However, it is worth a climb because of the multiple craters and lakes found on its slopes and the picturesque chapel perched atop its summit.
#7. Join traditional ceremonies
Wallis and Futuna is rich in ancient cultural traditions that have been maintained despite recent European influences. While visiting the islands, you must attend a soamako. This is a gathering where friends and families sing songs, dance, and drink a relaxing beverage called kava. The dances and songs tell the cultural history of the indigenous people.