While in Mexico, Philo of Philo’s Bar (now closed) offered advice on where to spend time in the South Pacific. In his words, “Tonga is a cruiser’s Disneyland. Be sure to spend as much time as you can”.
Heeding Philo’s advice, we spent a over a month in the Vava’u group of islands. Protected waters, diving, caves, whales swimming in anchorages by the boat, cafes in Neiafu, and amazing islands and anchorages all within an hour or two sail. At one point, we pondered whether to take up residence in Tonga. We did not, but friends Ben and Lisa did stay and opened up the Mandala Resort.