Imagine a South Pacific destination that is a lush tropical setting, with secluded beaches, cascading waterfalls, swaying coconut trees, and lush rainforests and you’ve landed in Fiji. It is home to 333 beautiful islands, of which approximately 110 are inhabited. It’s a locale made for romance and destination weddings, but also one that is for visitors who seek not only relaxation time, but an active vacation. Take advantage of superior diving with over 4,000 square miles of coral reef, rainforest treks, visiting cultural villages and experiencing the warmth of the locals.
Among the 333 islands in Fiji, Denarau Islandis a main resort area, home to many of the major upscale international chains, including Sheraton, Hilton, Radisson, Sofitel and Westin. It is connected by a short causeway to Viti Levu, the main and largest island in Fiji. The Mamanuca Islandsare a group of tiny islands west of Viti Levu that tourist flock to in search of paradise.
The Mamanuca Islands are known for their fun-in-the-sun atmosphere, and you’ll discover watersports galore and more. The list is long and includes diving and boat snorkeling, sea kayaking and surfing. And when it’s time to get out of the water, enjoy a pampering spa treatment. World renowned dive sites include The Big W, where you might spot the local resident bronze whale shark. West of Mana Island is the Supermarket, known for shark feeding.
A great day trip leaving from Nadi, located on the western side of Viti Levu and one of its main commerce areas, is toNavala Village. Here you return to Fiji of the past with a hilltop locale of unspoiled beauty and some 150 thatched bures (huts). For more culture, most resorts host performances of Bequ firewalkers.
Nadi is a good place for shopping. You can find the usual garb, and some good-quality clothing. There are fine jewelry outlets, but woven items and wooden artifacts are what make great souvenirs. Go to the Nadi Handicraft Market for woven pandanus baskets, mats, traditional tapa cloth and other goods. Boutiques and high-end handicrafts can be found at Port Denarau.
Try some of the local delicacies during your stay including paulsami (baked taro leaves marinated in lemon juice and coconut milk often with some meat or fish filling and a bit of onion or garlic), kokoda (fish or other seafood marinated in lemon and coconut milk), and anything cooked in a lovo or pit oven.
Direct flights on Air New Zealand and Air Pacific from Los Angeles fly into Nadi International Airport, Fiji's main international airport. Direct flights from Honolulu are also available on Air Pacific. There are several domestic airports throughout the country. There are daily inter-island ferry transfers throughout Fiji’s Mamanuca Island resorts and high-speed catamarans from the mainland to Mamanuca Island.
Public transportation in Fiji includes buses, “share taxis” and private taxes. Renting a car is not encouraged as roads can be pretty tough to navigate.
Year-round tropical weather makes anytime a good time to visit Fiji. The warmest season is November until April, and the “cool” season of May to October averages about 72° F.