Join YPT on an essential adventure for all country collectors. We visit 7 countries, 5 of the 15 least-visited countries in the world including the third, Tuvalu, and the first, Nauru!
YPT’s Least Visited Countries tour is now in its third year and we’ve established plenty of local contacts with insider knowledge so we can take you to some places you won’t find in any travel guide!
Our trip starts in the Marshall Islands – nominally an independent country but arguably a pseudo-colony of the US – where we check out the capital and visit the beautiful island of Eneko, which was linked to a fraudulent micronation in the 1990s.
After that, we head to Nauru where we will spend the next 5 days not only celebrating New Year’s Eve, but exploring every last inch of the third-smallest – and least-visited – country in the world.
Following this, we’ll have two nights and three days in Kiribati, scene of one of the fiercest battles of World War 2, and check out the shipwrecks, pillboxes and gun turrets. We’ll also sample the local moonshine, made of fermented palm tree sap.
Continuing our trip to the fifteenth least visited country in the world – the Solomon Islands, which lies next to Papua New Guinea but is thankfully much safer.
We will then travel to Vanuatu, an archipelago and relatively new country, having been granted independence from the French and British in 1980.
After that it’s Fiji and a stop in its main tourist town, before heading to our main destination – Tuvalu, the third least-visited country in the world.
We finish up in Suva, the capital city of Fiji, with a Pacific island night to remember!
These are some of the hardest-to-reach and most untouched places in the world, with our group tour offering amazing savings as opposed to doing it by yourself!
The current price is an early-bird discounted rate, which will expire at the start of April 2019. Numbers are capped at 20 and this tour sells out quickly, so act fast to secure your place!
Arrival at your own leisure in Majuro, the capital of the US freely-associated state of the Marshall Islands! We will arrange for pickup to take you to the Marshall Islands Resort hotel.
Once all the group arrive we will have a quick orientation at 6pm before heading out for dinner.
We take the very short journey to the Tide Table Restaurant, a popular place with locals and expats alike for a dinner, drinks and a chance to make some new local friends and learn about life in the Marshall Islands.
Overnight at Marshall Islands Resort hotel.
Saturday 28th December
At 11 am we go to take our boat for the one hour journey to the paradise of Eneko Island. The trip is worth it for the journey itself, with us passing through a number of islands and atolls. Eneko Island itself is famous for being part of a fraudulent 1990s micronation, but taking that aside it is genuinely an island paradise and a great place to spend the day.
We now expertly cook our BBQ on the beach using coconut shells as the fuel, giving it a unique taste. Eat to your heart’s content! BYOB.
We have lots of options for stuff to do for the rest of the day on the island, with kayaks, a pontoon to jump from, snorkeling, and of course pristine beaches to simply hang out on. If this island was anywhere else in the world it would be packed with people. It’s not packed, but there’s usually some locals hanging out playing volleyball that might let you join in.
We head back on our boat at around 6pm, stopping halfway through the journey for you to get perfect sunset shots, weather permitting!
We go for dinner in the hotel restaurant, which has some of the best sashimi in the world (in our opinion)!
Overnight in the Marshall Islands Resort hotel.
Sunday 29th December
Early start to go to Majuro airport for our 3 hour 40 minute flight from the Marshall Islands to country number two, and the world’s least visited nation: the Republic of Nauru, at 9.25am (arriving at 13.05).
Met at the airport by our guide for the next 5 days.
We check into the Menem Hotel, the main international hotel of Nauru.
We have lunch at the international restaurant at the hotel.
We head to Anibare Bay, which is where the best beaches are to make the most of this tropical island with swimming and beach time.
We go for dinner and drinks at The Bay restaurant, renowned as being the best restaurant in Nauru. This bar is also popular with the expat community, which will give us a chance to learn about what it is like to live in Nauru.
Overnight at Menem Hotel.
Monday 30th December
Whilst Nauru is famous for being a country without a capital, it does have a capital village (where the airport is), and we head there to check out the parliament building, high court, and all the other little quirks that make Nauru a country.
Lunch at Od’n Aiwo Hotel.
We also know how important it is for people to buy fridge magnets, t-shirts and postcards, so we head the main gift shop and post office to deal with this.
During our time in Nauru we’ll meet plenty people who arrived as asylum seekers, who’ll be happy to answer any questions that you might have about how they arrived there, what life is like for them and what hopes and aspirations they have for the future.
Overnight at Menem Hotel.
Tuesday 31st December
Get up relatively early and head out after breakfast to explore World War 2 relics In Yaren. Explore the remains of Japanese guns, bunkers and pillboxes left over from the Pacific Theatre of the war, and visit the Japanese prison which was used to lock up any non-compliant locals during the occupation.
We head to Island Restaurant, one of the newest and most popular restaurants in Nauru, run by Iranian refugees, that offers great food.
NEW YEAR’S EVE – Luckily the best party in town is held right at our own hotel, so we head down for dinner in the hotel and a few drinks in the disco, before heading poolside to join the eclectic mix of refugees, expats and locals to see in a very unique 2020 in style!
Overnight at Menem Hotel.
Wednesday 1st January 2020
After our busy New Year’s Eve, we start New Year’s Day in relaxed fashion with a late start, or for early risers a chance to explore the island at your own leisure.
Ever walked around a country? Ok, maybe you have, but have you ever done it in one day? Nauru is the only country in the world where it is genuinely possible to do this in a few hours! It’s about a 5 hour walk at a gentle pace. For those feeling slightly less energetic, we can arrange for scooter rental at an extra charge.
Following this, we give the walkers some time to rest, before heading out for Chinese food for lunch. Believe it, or not 8% of people in Nauru are Chinese, and that means great quality food.
At night we head to Od’n Aiwo Hotel, for dinner, drinks, pool, and maybe a bet on the pokeys!
Overnight at Menem Hotel.
Thursday 2nd January
We’ll have our local guide take us to some of the secret caves around the island, and tell us some of the scary stories about events that took place there in the relatively recent past.
We head to the fish and chips restaurant for locally-caught fish and a few beers for lunch.
After lunch, we grab our supplies and head on a short hike to the Buada Lagoon: the only fresh water lagoon on the island, a beautiful place surrounded by palm trees, great photo opportunities, and a wonderful place for us to hang out.
After this, we explore the other side of the nation’s recent past by looking at the detention center at topside, as well as doing some serious urban exploration at the former phosphate ore processing plants of Nauru, and checking out the abandoned industry and shipwrecks at the port.
Sunset drinks at the local Jules bar.
Overnight in Menem Nauru.
Friday 3rd January
Up early for the 5.15am one-hour flight from the world’s least-visited country to the third-least-visited – Kiribati, arriving at 6.30am. Kiribati was formerly the Gilbert and Elise Islands before it gained independence, with Tarawa the capital island chain/city.
Get picked up at the airport and transfer directly to Mary’s Motel to freshen up (as well as get some internet).
Lunch at George Hotel.
Tarawa was where one of the bloodiest battles of WW2 occurred, so we meet our local guide and head out to explore the island’s WW2 past and see some of the many relics of the war such as coastal defence guns, bunkers, pillboxes, tanks and shipwrecks. If you like WW2 history, Kiribati is heaven.
As well as checking out the WW2 stuff we get a chance to explore the villages that make up Tarawa, where we will see real Kiribati life almost unchanged for centuries. So few foreigners come here that you can expect the locals to be very friendly!
Dinner at Mary’s Motel followed by drinks at the one and only Fab Ace bar.
Overnight at Mary’s Motel.
Saturday 4th January
After an early breakfast, we head off to see the rest of Tarawa, including the Parliament complex.
We’ll get out our high-altitude oxygen masks to hike to the highest point on the island, a whopping three metres above sea level. We’ll also explore one of the local villages and meet the children playing in the rockpools made, according to local legend, by giants’ footprints.
We’ll take a canoe taxi, local-style, to one of the islands and sip drinks by the beach while our lunch of freshly-caught fish, chicken and vegetables cooked in coconut milk is prepared.
Those with strong stomachs can sample karewe – a local moonshine made by fermenting the sap of palm trees.
Boat and bus back to Tarawa.
Head out for a dinner and few last drinks in one of the cool local bars near our hotel in Tarawa; karaoke optional.
Overnight at Mary’s Motel.
Sunday 5th January
Relaxed start for the 11.50am flight to Honiara, the capital city of the world’s 15th least-visited country – the Solomon Islands, arriving at 3pm.
Met at the airport and transfer to the Honiara Hotel where we will have a chance to freshen up.
The Honiara Hotel is a local institution – we’ll get the chance to talk to the eccentric owner, Sir Thomas Chan, about his life in politics on the island, as well as his experiences meeting various member of the Royal Family and being invested as a knight by the Queen.
We dine on the generous buffet and finish with drinks by the pool at our hotel.
Overnight at Honiara Hotel.
Monday 6th January
Up early to explore Honiara central market, which is where real Solomon life occurs, and where we will have a chance to buy local souvenirs.
Following this, we do a full city tour including all the monuments to WW2, parliament and the national museum.
The way to really discover a country is through its street food, so on the journey to the next part of our tour we stop at street-food heaven, where the choices are pretty much chicken or fish served with rice and pumpkin.
#TRIP HIGHLIGHT# We head to a beach which has a major Japanese WW2 wreck for some wreck snorkelling and underwater photography, as well as great views of the city of Honiara, whilst enjoying the beach.
All good things must come to an end, including tours to the least-visited countries in the world, so we enjoy a specially cooked meal for us put on by the Honiara Hotel, a few snaps on the bed that Kate Middleton slept in, goodbye drinks by the pool, and a general end to our Least Visited Countries Tour Group A.
Overnight at Honiara Hotel
Tuesday 7th January
[End of Group A / Beginning Group B]
Arrival in the Republic of Vanuatu. We are picked up from the airport and transfer directly to Hideaway Island Resort. This resort is on Imere Island and is the ancestral home of the people of Mele village.
Least Visited Countries group B arrive in Vanuatu at 15:05 from the Solomon Islands.
We check into our beachside huts and settle down for dinner and drinks by the sea.
We head out to a nakamal – an informal place where the famous local kava drink is sold. Kava is a natural, mildly intoxicating drink made from the kava root.
Vanuatu is one of the few countries in modern history run as a condominium with authority shared between the French and British. We’ll dine at the top French restaurant on the island, L’Houstalet, whose signature dish is the flying fox.
Overnight on Hideaway Island.
Wednesday 8th January
Option 1: after breakfast in the resort, we make the most of our full day in Vanuatu. We head off for a short hike (20 mins) to the spectacular Evergreen Cascades Waterfall where we cool off in the pool at the bottom of the falls. After lunch, we head to Port Vila for a walking tour of the city.
Option 2: Fly over a volcano! – YPT can arrange a day tour where you will fly out to Tanna Island for the flight of a lifetime over the live Tanna Volcano, before going by 4×4 through the rainforest to as close to the volcano as we can get (extra charge, roughly $500 USD; let us know in advance if you are interested).
Option of rum or more kava before heading for a unique experience where we’re invited to the house of a local family for an authentic homecooked dinner.
Return to resort and overnight.
Thursday 9th January
Breakfast and morning on the beach, taking advantage of our free access to the resort’s snorkeling gear.
Port Vila is famous for the world’s only underwater post office, so you can snorkel down to this to mail unique waterproof postcards, or we can arrange a Scuba diving trip (extra charge, and you will need to bring your PADI licence).
Transfer to the airport for the 15.50 2-hour flight to our next country, Fiji, and the city of Nadi (pronounced “Nandi”).
The flight takes just over 2 hours, but due to the time difference we arrive at 19:05 and transfer directly to our hotel by Nadi Bay.
Dinner, drinks and overnight in Nadi.
Friday 10th January
Breakfast at the hotel.
Tour of Nadi area including the Hindu Temple and the Garden of the Sleeping Giant – founded by American actor Raymond Burr of Perry Mason and Ironside fame, who wanted to retire to this area.
Lunch in Nadi.
In the afternoon, we pick up some cold beers and head to the beach for some body surfing and optional beach massages.
In YPT tradition we head to a Korean restaurant for dinner!
Overnight at Nadi Bay Hotel.
Saturday 11th January
Up nice and early for the 07.50 flight to Tuvalu.
#TRIP HIGHLIGHT# Arrival in the third-least-visited country in the world, Tuvalu, where we arrive at 9am – this is where the trip really gets into least visited territory!
Funafuti is hardly a metropolis and the island’s only hotel is conveniently only 50 metres’ walk from the airport. We have time to freshen up and eat lunch before beginning our adventures in country number three.
We’ll head off with our Tuvalu guide on an island tour including the government buildings, conservation area, and shipwrecks.
On a Saturday evening, our hotel is often the location of local family celebrations such as birthdays or weddings, which happen on a grand scale in Tuvalu, so hopefully we’ll get a chance to watch or join in.
Overnight at Funafuti Lagoon Hotel.
Sunday 12th January
Tuvaluans take their Sundays seriously, so those that want to can attend a local church service to repent their sins!
The best way to navigate Funafuti is by scooter, so we’ll rent some for anyone wanting to explore by this means. The airport runway is only used for planes a few hours per week and the rest of the time it’s available for recreation, but sadly it’s not permitted to race scooters on it 🙁
Overnight at Funafuti Lagoon Hotel.
Monday 13th January
Seeing as we are on an island surrounded by other islands we do what should only come naturally and take a boat out for the day across the lagoon to explore some of the other islands, whilst enjoying the odd drink.
Picnic lunch on any undisturbed beach that we come across.
Those aquatically inclined should bring their snorkeling masks to check out the reefs.
We head out to the local disco/beer garden (yes, you read that correctly) at the Matagigali bar.
Barbecue dinner, with local dance show entertainment.
Overnight at Viaaku Lagi Hotel.
Tuesday 14th January
For anyone interested in stamps and sending postcards we can make a visit to the Philatelic Bureau where unlikely stamp themes including the King of Rock n Roll. Elvis is still alive, at least in Tuvalu…
All good things must come to an end so we head to the airport to check in for the 12.20 flight back to Fiji.
It’s a local tradition to give necklaces made of shells to people heading off on a journey, so we can pick up some of these souvenirs from the vendors outside the airport terminal
When there’s a plane about to land, a loudspeaker gives instructions to any stragglers to clear the runway. We can watch our plane land before boarding our flight back to Fiji, but this time to the capital city – Suva.
Arrival around 4pm and transfer to our hotel in the centre of the city
Overnight at the Raintree Lodge.
Wednesday 15th January
End of tour – YPT can advise about onward travel from Fiji.