Pristine islands, stunning vistas, friendly people, perfect climate, humpback whales Abundant Marine Life
Over 100 species of colorful tropical fish, giant clams, manta rays, sea turtles, spinner dolphins, not to mention the Humpback whales! Whether you are a novice snorkeler or an advanced scuba diver, Vava’u has a vast array of underwater wilderness for you to explore. And you can experience it in warm tropical water with visibility often exceeding 100 ft. There are snorkeling opportunities in shallow water close to shore, where you can relax floating just above a fascinating aquatic wilderness, or we can arrange scuba diving at an additional cost.
Sail, Snorkel, Explore
We anchor near a different island each night and you can explore the island, snorkel or just relax. Some of the smaller, uninhabited islands, are surrounded by white sand beaches, while others have dramatic limestone cliffs with sea level caves. Besides snorkeling, we can hike through lush tropical forests to vistas overlooking sheer cliffs where the surf crashes in the turqouise water, or we can explore a stretch of beach, poking into tidepools full of marine life.
Choose from our 52 ft cutter “Jocara” or our 44 ft luxury catamaran “Independence”
We also offer daysails that are the best way to see Vava’u if you are just visiting and staying onshore. Daysails include a sail out to one of Vavau’s spectacular outer islands, a delicious lunch, snorkeling, and in-season whale watching. Both Jocara and Independence are available for daysails
If you plan to visit between mid-July and mid-October, we offer whale watching as part of our long-term charters. Staying onboard one of our beautiful sailing yachts is the perfect way to see the humpback whales in the tranquil and unspoiled enviroment of the Tonga islands. Each night we anchor at uninhabited islands close to the whales. There is opportunity to explore the island and snorkel at each anchorage. We are sometimes kept awake at night by the haunting sounds of humpback whale song reverberating through the hull. Often we see our first whales of the day while breakfasting on deck. With patience and care we will get an opportunity for swimming with the whales.
Sailing Charter Team
Sail with a crew that combines many years of ocean cruising and chartering experience with Tongans who have grown-up in the Vava’u islands and love to share their stunning home and culture with guests from afar.
Considered to be the best cruising grounds in the South Pacific the Tonga Islands of Vava’u makeup a breath-taking tropical wilderness. 40 islands surrounded by a fringing reef for protection from the ocean swell and many safe anchorages and secluded coves offer one of the world’s finest sailing charter holidays.
Vava’u Island, Tonga
The Kingdom of Tonga consists of about 170 islands divided into four main island groups ranging over an area from 15 to 23 degrees south latitude, and 173 to 177 degrees west longitude, situated 1200 miles north of New Zealand and just west of the international dateline. In this age of political volatility, Tonga remains a safe haven, far off the beaten track, with a popular 200 year old constitutional monarchy, the only Polynesian country never to have been colonised. Recently Tonga had its first democratic election for parliament. Tonga is a proud independent nation with a rich cultural history, maintaining customs and traditions while embracing Christianity. Tongans love to sing and Sunday mornings the air is filled with the voluminous sound of enthusiastic choirs. The shy, gentle, dignity of the handsome people of Tonga reflects a refreshing feeling of timelessness, in their easy, friendly smiles. Laughing seems to be the national pastime.
The Vava’u island group, where we offer our sailing charters, is situated approximately 240 kilometers north of Tongatapu. There are about 40 islands in an area 23 by 25 kilometres, which is protected by a semi-circular reef. The Southeast tradewinds provide excellent yacht sailing, while the surrounding reef protects the open waters from ocean swell. Most of the islands we visit are uninhabited and we are the only visitors. Vava’u is still a mostly untouristed South Pacific Travel destination. Villagers are shy, but quite welcoming if we decide to visit, and a Tongan Feast in Vava’u is local, family oriented and charmingly unprofessional.
Climate on your tropical vacation
Tonga is slightly cooler than most tropical areas, with an annual average temperature of 23C / 77F. The average daytime high temperature hovers around 25-26C (77-80F) from May through September. It rises to 29C (85F) October through April and the humidity is highest in January and February. The average sea temperature is 25C (79F). SE trade winds (15-25 knots) predominate during the Austral winter (May-Sept). In summer, breezes are lighter (10-20 knots) and more often from the NE. From November through June; the water is warmer and better for swimming and snorkeling and you will have most anchorages to yourselves.
Botannical Garden, Cultural Tours, Art of Tonga
About 3,000 years ago, the early Polynesians came to Tonga bringing with them the most vital of things; 30 different plants essential to their survival.These plants provided food, medicine, building materials, clothing and shelter, and were used in traditional ceremonies. In a tour of the Ene’io Botannical Garden you will see locals demonstrate how the early Tongans survived for thousands of years before European contact using these plants which are still used today. There are cultural demonstrations which include the making of Polynesian bark cloth (called tapa) from paper mulberry, coconut milk squeezed from fresh grated coconut meat used for food flavoring, and the coconut leaves woven to make baskets, hats and roof thatches for houses.
Hainite’s Cultural Tours
Join one of Hainite’s guided tours of Vava’u’s historical sites and learn some of the history of Tonga. Visit a village where they will be making handicrafts and preparing a feast. Join in a kava ceremony and feast on some of Tongan’s favorites like roasted baby pig, lu, fish in coconut cream and baked papaya.
The Megapode, Tongan Arts and Craft, Tonga Books
The Megapode is a shop devoted to making the best of Tongan art, crafts and culture available. Traditional handicrafts are making a revival in Tonga with local carvers reproducing traditional designs. Mats and baskets are of especially high quality, mats can be soft as cloth and baskets are sturdy and beautiful.