A self-guided island tour is the best way to get your bearings. And it won’t take long. Fongafale, the main island in Funafuti atoll, is shaped like a backwards-L and only 10 kilometres long (and only 100 metres wide in places).
It’s also an ideal introduction to Tuvaluan life (about half Tuvalu’s 11,000 people live on Fongafale) as you ride along palm-lined roads with the wind in your hair (no helmets are available, but everyone rides at the pace of a stroll) past simple houses, waving at children in handcarts being towed behind their parents’ motorbikes.
Best of all, you can go at your own pace and stop whenever you want to take photos or have a swim – the best spots for swimming are at either end of the “L”, away from the busy middle of the island.