Planning a trip to Fiji? If not, you may reconsider after learning about the amazing adventures that await for you on this renowned paradise islands. If you aren’t familiar, you may be surprised to learn that Fiji is made up of different islands, each unique in their own way. But, like most people, you probably don’t have the time or the funds to explore them all. So, which ones should you navigate to?
From private getaways, delicious foods, snorkeling, to fun family vacations, these white sand beaches and crystal clear waters host it all. Even if you don’t want to explore the dense jungles or hike around the island, nobody will judge you for plopping down on the beach and soaking up the sun. Fiji is known for not only it’s warm weather, but also the friendliest atmosphere. So, plan your trip now!
Also see: The Best 3 Bedroom Luxury Villa in Fiji with a Private Pool
Vanua Levu is Fiji's best kept secret! It's Fiji's second largest island and is relatively secluded and not overrun by tourists. If you are looking for a getaway thats off the beaten path and searching for adventure Vanua Levu is it! Savusavu is the main city on the island and is picturesque and filled with friendly locals.
Quite a few glamorous yachts come to rest at Savusavu's bay and several top of the line resorts have made their home in beautiful Savusavu. Survivor Australia is currently filming on the island so make sure to visit before this gorgeous island becomes overrun with tourists!
There are so many spectacular nature discovery opportunities in Vanua Levu, it's a natural paradise with endless hikes, the Wasali Nature Reserve rainforests, coral reefs, oceans and more. It's one of our favorite places in the world and you have to make sure to stop by when you are visiting Fiji!
Did someone say Cast Away? No seriously, this is where Cast Away with Tom Hanks was filmed. So, get ready for literal picture perfect quality. The Mamanucas are known for their dazzling blue waters and expansive white sand beaches. It is only an hour boat ride from Viti Levu, making it the closest group of islands to the Nadi International Airport.
The Mamanucas are regarded for being one of the best surf spots in the world: Cloudbreak, among being a hub for other popular water sports. You’ll find several diving opportunities, all of which are family-friendly! Compared to the other islands, Mamanuca is a more relaxed destination day trip that would give you everything you need for relaxation, including being served fancy drinks on the beach. What more could you want? Unless, you head over to party city Beachcomber island.
To stay on Mamanuca Islands, you actually have a handful of options. If you are a backpacker, you can bed up in a lodge or hostel. If you want something more posh, there are luxury resorts, complete with spa packages.
If you want to get a glimpse of Fijian culture, without the hustle and bustle of the main islands, check out Kadavu. There are very few roads to navigate on and only one town with a population of around 10,000. You can find the Great Astrolabe Reef here. You can fish here and dive to explore the underwater cavern and tunnels. Besides experiences the ocean and all within it, you can also explore Kadavu by foot (due to the unpaved roads).
The good news? Most resorts and lodges will provide you a guide to show you all the hotspots around. What better way to see Kadavu’s lush forests and booming ecosystem then trekking like a Fijian? Kadavu is home to many exotic bird species that you might get a glimpse of while they soar overhead. Kadavu also takes pride in it’s many natural resources, including Manta Reef which is home to Manta rays. These islands are perfect for trekking through the jungle and taking the road less travelled to a beautiful waterfall. Or, diving in on of the most popular reefs in the world and jet skiing around a gorgeous island.
While we are on the topic of lush tropical hiking paradise, nothing quite compares to the forests of Taveuni. It is the third largest island in Fiji. Taveuni is regarded lovingly as the Garden Island. Almost all of the forests that make up this oasis are protected in some way. But, that does not mean they are off limits to hikers and travellers. The most popular way to get to Taveuni is by ferry from the mainland, but you can also get there by seaplane! Bouma National Heritage Park makes up about a third of the island and is home to over one-hundred species of birds.
This park also has several miles of hiking trails through the jungle, some of which lead to picturesque waterfalls like Bouma Falls. If you aren’t diving the famous Rainbow Reef, maybe you’d enjoy just walking along the coast to experience epic views and maybe even stumble upon a lagoon. The most famous lake in all of Fiji can be found here, Lake Tagimoucia, which is in a volcanic crater. If you plan on stopping by to see it, please don’t miss out, it will take you a whole day’s trek just about.
So, if you’re like us, you’re probably planning on spending more than one day on Taveuni. You have many options when staying on Taveuni, most of which include beautiful resorts, many of which feature nature retreats. But, if you want to sleep out under the stars there are campgrounds as well.
Viti Levu is the main hub of Fijian fun and is home to the airport you will fly into. Since this is the main landing point for travelers, it is often overlooked as a travel destination and is instead regarded as a waypoint. However, Viti Levu has much to offer. The capital of Fiji: Suva, is located here and boasts lively Melanesian culture. Besides many recreational activities that can be found on almost all of the islands like kayaking and snorkeling, Viti Levu is home to a temple, fort, and museum.
If you’re someone who loves immersing yourself in a nation’s culture, you will want to stop and stay awhile on Viti Levu. This island holds all the rich history of the Fijian islands, all the way back to their inception. You’ll learn all about the little islands surrounding this area as well and how each one is uniquely different. This island is incredibly diverse, supporting cities, villages, tourists, and an ecosystem. Visitors tend to enjoy going for a drive around the entire island, which can take around two to three days. Don’t worry, there are plenty of accommodations along the way and plenty of sightseeing to do!
Nestled in the Northern Fiji Islands, Qamea is regarded as the jewel. Qamea is an oasis with only small villages dotting it’s perimeter, you are almost guaranteed a secluded getaway. There are no developed roads, no streetlights, and not a lot of accommodations. One of the main things that draws people to Qamea is just how secluded they will be. This little island provides the perfect romantic getaway for couples or a quiet family vacation.
The luxurious Qamea Resort and Spa is located here, which is the prime accommodation, but there are two other top resorts on the island. This resort has you stay in a beautiful bure that has a thatched roof and sits perfectly on the beach. You can have a pool or rock shower included with your room. Swimming off the coast is a popular activity, as the water here is incredibly clear. Most of the resorts and places to stay include trips into the villages and hikes in the nearby wilderness. You can also snorkel and boat right off shore.
The Yasawa Islands sit north of the Mamanucas. Fiji’s western border is dotted with the lovely and oh so serene Yasawa Islands. You won’t find a strip mall or expansive city, but Yasawa has plenty of lodging options from resort to backpacker hideaway. We love Yasawa for a break from the hustle and bustle of the main islands. It is incredibly peaceful and perfect for hiking or backpacking.
Nobody was even allowed to step foot on these islands until 1950, so this is still a very new paradise that awaits to be discovered. The best part about these islands? Staying here is extremely affordable and we would even go as far to say as some of the best offerings throughout Fiji. The islands are small, but the resorts that are here (about thirty of them) host meals, some cultural activities, and access to the wilderness. The villages are fun to stop by and visit, but if you’re looking to be a little adventurous check out Sawailau Caves. These caves are amazing.
There are two different ones, but you need to get a tour guide in advance! While in the villages, don’t hesitate to ask the locals to show you around their farms or plantations. They are very friendly and will often show you bananas, mangoes, cassava and more that they grow on the island.
Nacula is an oddly hilly Fiji island part of the Yasawas and is the third largest island of Fiji. But, hidden in Nacula’s hills are unique little villages and small coves. Some of the resorts on opposite sides of the island are connecting by somewhat trodden paths through mangrove forests. These particular paths can become quite muddy, but are often frequented by many different varieties of wildlife. So, keep your eyes open!
There are only a few resorts to stay at, with the most popular one being blue lagoon beach resort. Nacula is slightly underdeveloped, with no roads and no street lights. But, it has massive charm. That’s one of the reasons we love it so much. Tourism only breathed it’s first breath on Nacula thirty years ago. So, this island is still very much focused on the traditional ways of life, but embrace the industry wholeheartedly as it has provided the locals with job opportunities. You are greeted with a Fijian song upon arrival, depending on where you arrive. Nacula is the definition of South Pacific charm.
Last, but not least, we have Denarau Island. This family oriented vacation hotspot is located just off of Viti Levu. It is actually connected by a causeway, meaning you can take any transportation to get to this island. It is only a short drive from the Nadi International Airport, which makes this island one of the most popular. So, be prepared for a party!
There are also ferry services and seaplanes available, especially if you want to take a day trip to a nearby island. All the top tier resorts are here, but not only that. If you’re looking for a familiar hotel chain, such as Hilton, you’ll find that here as well. This island is the definition of luxury, complete with a splendid golf course and fine dining. There are plenty of activities within the resorts, but you can also venture out for a wilderness activity or tour as well. You might even be surprised to know that Denarau has a giant water park! If you are looking for a more tourist engaged island, complete with wine tours and festivals, Denarau is the island for you. You will find yourself being pampered in one of the most beautiful places on Earth.
Fiji is a Pacific getaway that should be on everyone’s bucket list. These islands have pristine beaches and some of the clearest water I’ve ever seen. They are picturesque and would make a lovely vacation destination or even a day trip from the main Fiji island. These islands are rich in culture, history, and some have untouched habitat. They protect their natural landscapes and keep their culture alive, inviting you to share in it when you visit. You might be surprised that some of the seemingly uninhabitable landscape is home to resilient people who live off the land and you might even be lucky enough to get a tour of their one of a kind farms.
What are some things to know before you go to Fiji?
Find out which island you want to be on. Although we haven’t listen all the Fijian Islands, these are by far our favorites. You’ll want to decide where you’re staying way in advance because you’ll have to figure out how to get in, especially depending on budget. You may be able to ferry, fly, or seaplane in.
Plan your itinerary! This is the fun part. You’ll want to get an outline of what you’ll be doing in advance and look up what there is to do on the island. This will also help you estimate how much you will be spending. Don’t forget, there’s plenty of free activities on each island!
Book in advance. Most of the islands and resorts have special outings or tours available. Make sure to check the dates of these and book them in advance so you don’t miss out.
Enjoy your trip!