Weary of waiting in line for your spot on the beach? Hop a northbound plane from Fiji to the island nation of Tuvalu, and you just might be the only beachcomber there. Formed by six coral atolls and three islands, Tuvalu's small size (16 square miles of land) and its remote location render this South Pacific gem unspoiled and well under-the-radar for most travelers (fewer than 1,000 visit each year). Look for the community-oriented people of Tuvalu to be particularly tuned in to the protection of natural resources: Roughly 20 square miles of the country's largest atoll is off-limits for fishing, hunting and gathering. In the capital of Funafuti, the town council will take you on a boat tour of the glassy Funafuti lagoon, including a trip to the immaculate beaches of the Funafuti Conservation Area, a nesting site for green turtles. If you're athletically inclined, try your hand at te ano, the local take on dodge ball. Head to the island's best -- and only -- hotel, the Vaiaku Lagi, for superb sunset views and a dinner of fresh reef fish caught right out back in the lagoon and drenched in coconut cream. One thing is certain: You won't have to wait in line.
Boat tour prices start at $93, room rates from $74.
Tuvalu's Official Tourism Board website: timelesstuvalu.com.