This small island, part of the Loyalty group, is just what you'd expect from a South Pacific paradise: a wide turquoise lagoon, coral reefs, coconut palms and 15 mi/25 km of uninterrupted white-sand beach. It's a great place for fishing. It's also one of the focal points of the independence movement—but while the locals might not like the French, they are generally friendly to everybody else (be sure to mention that you are not French). The locals rejected Club Med's proposal to make the island a stop for their cruise ship, Club Med II, fearing that it would undermine the island's traditional way of life. We suggest staying two nights. 120 mi/200 km north of Noumea.

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