Located to the southwest of North America, Fiji is an idyllic tropical island vacation destination situated in the Pacific Ocean, around 10 hours by plane from Los Angeles. Famous for its relaxing sunny climate, spectacular beaches and ancient culture, the archipelago of Fiji is made up of 300 islands, however the main islands of Viti Levu and Vanua Levu are where the tourist industry is focused, with many of the other islands remaining uninhabited.
Every beachcombers idea of paradise, Fiji is famed for its palm-fringed beaches, impossibly blue lagoons, smiling locals, rugged landscapes and colourful coral reefs teeming with marine life. While many visitors to Fiji love nothing more than to throw on their swimsuit and sunglasses and kick back with a cocktail, there are also plenty of exciting eco-activities to enjoy including zip-lining, mountain climbing, surfing and soft-coral diving.
In fact, the underwater scenery of Fiji is some of the best in the world. The spectacular coral and colourful marine life offer some of the Pacific’s most accessible dive sites. Considered the ‘soft coral capital’ of the world, Fiji’s countless reefs, walls, drop-offs and channels offer an unbelievable underwater experience for snorkellers and divers of all skill levels. Fiji’s surfing is also legendary, and although its surf breaks are open to all, the waves of Cloudbreak are best left to the more experienced surfers.
The Yasawa and Mamanuca islands are the favourites when it comes to Fiji’s vacation destinations. Arcing north from the main island of Fiji, these islands are the rockstars of Fiji, offering incredible reefs and sapphire waters. Not surprisingly, these islands have had their fair share of Hollywood stardom, most notably featured in Brooke Shields’ now legendary film Blue Lagoon as well as the award-winning Tom Hanks film Cast Away. A visit to these most sought-after vacation spots offers pristine beaches flushed with tanning tourists.
As gorgeous as the beaches are, they are just a part of what treasures Fiji holds. To understand the ‘don’t worry be happy’ vibe of the locals, you only need to spend some time on the mainland running on island time to realise life here is relaxed and unhurried – just as it ought to be. However the capital, Suva, features a large student population and thriving nightlife, giving it an unexpectedly youthful atmosphere for those who want to kick things up a notch.
However if you take your time to discover Fiji, you’ll find that beyond the lazy poolside cocktails there are plenty of opportunities to get out and stretch your legs. Visit incredible orchid gardens, float down the river in a raft, soak yourself in a hot spring, climb a mountain or just get a taste for island life with a tour of a local village. For further insight into authentic Fijian life, the two islands of Taveuni and Kadavu are both beautiful and hospitable, with much of local life revolving around the garden, the church and the rugby field. These garden islands offer a more remote experience away from the tourist crowds and are home to some of the Pacific’s friendliest and most hospitable people.
Of course while these regions offer an authentic look at Fijian life, most visitors prefer all the trappings of the resorts found in the main tourist areas. They certainly have their benefits, particularly when it comes to dining options and activities. With much of the food available imported into Fiji, resort life offers far more choice and a higher level of service when it comes to your meals.
Most resorts also offer an excellent range of complimentary and paid activities, everything from snorkelling and diving to golfing, parasailing and a whole host of water sports. The list of activities is almost endless and you can check with your accommodation provider before arriving to see what activities they have on offer. The resorts also offer authentic Fiji dining experiences like the traditional Lovo feast, cooked underground, as well as some convenient bars and nightclubs for those looking for a little nightlife during their stay.