Wallis and Futuna – islands so small you could easily miss them on the map.
Despite their small size, these islands have an interesting and rich history dating as far back as 800 B.C.E. The earthenware found during excavation belonged to the Lapita people – known to spread their settlements across uninhabited islands in a section of the Pacific.
It was during the Lapita settlement wave that Wallis and Futuna found its first inhabitants. Over the years, both the islands came under the influence of countries like Samoa, Tonga, the Dutch, and the French. Eventually, on July 29, 1961, both Wallis and Futuna became French territories and now are tourist attractions.
The inhabitants of both these islands are mostly Roman Catholics. Due to their history, these islands have a rich cultural heritage that they are more than eager to share with the world, but before you go, make sure to purchase
travel insurance or
travel medical insurance
for protection against unexpected accidents and illnesses. Interestingly not many know about these islands, but the fact that you do makes you genuinely fortunate.
Things To Do For Travelers In Wallis And Futuna
Being a part of the few tourists that visit these islands, you are in for a treat. From snorkeling to visiting ancient ruins, Wallis and Futuna have a lot to offer. Additionally, the people and their culture are also something that you can look forward to experiencing.
Here are five things you can do when you visit Wallis and Futuna:
Visit Lake Lalolalo
Lake Lalolalo is 1 kilometer (about 0.62 miles) wide and located on the island of Wallis.
What is so special about this, you might ask.
Well, the lake is actually in a volcanic crater and is simply stunning to look at. The cliffs around the lake are 30 meters (about 100 feet) high, and the lake is 80 meters (about 260 feet) deep.
A birds-eye view of the lake shows that the crater it's in is almost a perfect circle. Now that is impressive, considering it formed naturally. Lake Lalolalo also comes with its history. During World War II, American troops used the island of Wallis to train. Rumor has it that they discarded munitions in this very lake.
Ancient Ruins of The Talietumu Fort
The Talietumu Fort was the fortress for a king whose feet could never touch the ground. The Tongans – of the Tongan dynasty built this fort in the 1400s of the common era.
The Tongans had built their empire over a considerable period starting from the 10th century. Their territory included many islands of the south pacific, including Wallis. This fort did not have a long life because the Tongans abandoned it after the assassination of their ruler, King Takalaua, in 1535.
Once French archaeologists restored this fort in the 1990s, it became a tourist attraction. The Talietumu Fort is great memorabilia that highlights the island's rich history, and an absolute must-see.
The Beaches of Wallis And Futuna
The islands of Wallis and Futuna have stunning beaches. Since the islands have few tourists, the beaches are in pristine condition. The uninhabited island of Alofi—just 13 kilometers (about 8 miles) from Futuna—also has beautiful beaches.
These beaches allow you to spend quality time away from all the noise. You can almost go an entire day without meeting people. However, if you keep a keen eye on the water, you could spot dolphins and maybe a pygmy killer whale.
The islands of Nukuhione and Nukuhifala are good snorkeling spots. The coral reefs are a thing of beauty and are worth any effort you put into getting to see them. The uncrowded waters make snorkeling a peaceful and enjoyable experience.
Fewer humans also mean that you get to see more of the sea life. You can expect to see parrotfish, stingrays, butterflyfish, and so many others, creatures. The beaches on these islands are also amazing. So, once you’re done snorkeling, you can head over to the beach to relax.
Try the Local Cuisine
Local dishes like pork, tubers, shellfish, and breadfruit are items that the people of Wallis and Futuna love to eat. If you manage to time your trip during festivals, you can expect to taste the local specialties.
The people still use traditional means of cooking and use earthen ovens to slow steam and cook their food. Delicious food and the company of welcoming hosts make for a great meal.
Travel Risks for International Travelers in Wallis and Futuna
The islands of Wallis and Futuna are usually safe when it comes to the people. The crime rate in these islands is low, and its people are very helpful. However, there are some other risks worth knowing about:
Although there is no yellow fever risk, there is a requirement for a yellow fever vaccination certificate if you’re traveling from a country with yellow fever risk. Health risks also include waterborne leptospirosis and Dengue fever.
Insect or tick bites can also cause medical issues. Take the necessary precautions to avoid getting bitten. Ensure your accommodation has proper hygienic facilities. Also, take care of your hygiene to avoid falling sick.
Apart from diseases, injuries also add to the risks. Injuries due to trekking or while snorkeling may require air-evacuations. And broken bones can take months to heal.
The fact that the population in these islands is low can make traveling at night risky. The suggestion is to avoid it entirely. However, if you must, ensure you’re in a group.
Last-minute trip cancellations can put you at a financial risk. Unfortunately, unexpected events can cause either you or the trip provider to cancel at the last minute. Travel insurance would be beneficial in such situations.
Wallis And Futuna Travel Medical Insurance for International Travelers – FAQs
Travel medical insurance will not lower the risks you face. But, it will provide you financial security. Medical care can be expensive. Getting a travel medical insurance plan will take care of the expenses while you recover.
Do I need travel medical insurance for Wallis and Futuna?
There is no legal requirement to get travel medical insurance before you visit Wallis and Futuna. Yet, experts recommend that you obtain travel medical insurance for mental peace and as a backup.
Why buy travel medical insurance for Wallis and Futuna?
Accidents happen unannounced. Since they can’t always be prevented, taking precautions is important. Travel medical insurance is the best financial safety precaution that you can take.
Air-evacuations and medical treatment are costly. Buy travel medical insurance to dodge the financial misery.
Wallis and Futuna Trip Cancellation Insurance for International Travelers - FAQs
Trip cancellations can be a nightmare to deal with. Due to factors beyond your control, either you may have to cancel the trip, or your trip service provider might cancel the trip. The financial strain is an unnecessary burden to bear.
Why buy trip cancellation insurance for Wallis and Futuna?
The financial burden of trip cancellations along with the mental strain that they bring is reason enough to buy trip cancellation insurance. When you buy travel insurance, you not only get financial support in case of unfortunate events but also mental peace during the trip.
What all is covered under trip cancellation insurance for Wallis and Futuna?
Trip cancellation insurance mostly covers non-refundable expenses. However, it can be extended depending on the plan you choose.
Insurance companies lay down a list of reasons when trip cancellation insurance can be used. Read the fine print and select insurance that works for you.
Before You Travel to Wallis And Futuna – Do This
This checklist can act as a general reminder of things you should do and keep in mind before you travel to Wallis and Futuna.
Travel with all your documents like the visa and passport. Ensure you keep these documents in a safe and easily accessible place.
Take the necessary health precautions before you travel. Don’t drink water from taps or rivers. Ensure your accommodation is hygienic.
Take time to read the fine print of the insurance plan you wish to buy. Ensure it covers all your requirements concerning medical expenses and trip cancellations.