Tuvalu lies in the Central Pacific 1,000 kilometers north of Fiji. Our Tuvalu map shows the nine islands and atolls stretching in a chain 676 kilometers long from Nanumea to Niulakita. Together the islands account for only 25 square kilometers of land in an exclusive economic zone of 900,000 square kilometers.
Funafuti is Tuvalu's main atoll with government, business, and nearly half the country's population. Tuvalu's only international airport and hotel are on Funafuti, and to travel beyond the capital both visitors and locals must board one of the infrequent supply ships which visit the outer islands and atolls.
Tuvalu is best known internationally for its status as an endangered country. The highest point in Tuvalu is only about five meters above sea level aqnd rising sea levels caused by global warming associated with climate change threaten to submerge the islands by the end of this century.
During British colonial times, the group was known as the Ellice Islands. It was administered jointly with the Gilbert Islands, now Kiribati, until the two groups separated in 1975. In 1978 Tuvalu was granted full independence and the country recently joined the United Nations to raise its voice in defense of its scarce land.
Those interested in seeing Tuvalu before it sinks below the waves can board a flight to Funafuti in Suva, Fiji. However, due to high airfares, only a few dozen Pacific travelers make the trip each year and few of them get beyond Funafuti.