Funafuti atoll consists of Fongafale, the main island, and about 20 smaller islands encircling a large, protected lagoon. The prettiest and most pristine of these smaller islands, called “motu”, lie within Funafuti Conservation Area, which is about 30 minutes by open boat from the mainland.
Most are barely big enough for a dozen palm trees, but home to hundreds of nesting seabirds such as black noddies and crested terns. There’s also a good chance you’ll see endangered sea turtles, manta rays, colourful tropical fish swimming in the gin-clear water offshore (sea turtles nest on these islands at certain times of the year).
Take a picnic lunch, laze under palm trees, walk right around some of the islands, go snorkelling and swimming (it’s about the only place to swim in Funafuti as the water around the mainland can be polluted and there can be strong currents, sharp coral and rough surf on the ocean side). This is one of the gems of Funafuti.