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304 North Cardinal St.
Dorchester Center, MA 02124
Fiji Island is an archipelago of over 3000 islands and atolls. Located in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. It is a tropical paradise. Every year tourists from all over the world visit these islands, with the Australians and New Zealanders being the ones who go there the most. Of course, having this paradise so close to home is a temptation at hand! These islands have hotels that offer holidays for couples, families, singles, etc. with everything included. There is everything from the cheapest to glamour and luxury, for all pockets.
Ironically, the bigger islands of Vanua Levu and Viti Levu have more lackluster beaches. The area is full of stones and isn’t apt for beach activities. Also, the sand there tends to be duller and craggier. Following the logic, the best places for a beach trip are the more remote spots. The untouched landscape and tranquil vibe are a significant contrast towards the more populated of beaches. One of the best in the area is from Lomaiviti Islands. The beaches there are populated with coral reefs with lagoons spread throughout the region. The sand is undeveloped and pearl white, not to mention that it sometimes has cute turtles that lay eggs hanging around. The beach is not that far from the main. The way back usually takes you to a sight of humpback whales, while passing by Levuka. Levuka is Fiji’s old capital, a quaint village that endured one of the many firsts of the archipelago.
A lot of reefs circumvent the archipelago. Fiji is known to boast atolls that connect to beautiful lagoons, making it quite hard to figure out the best of the best in the area. With widespread marine life along with the beautiful waters common to all of Fiji, Taveuni is a sure standout. The strait between Taveuni and Vanua Levu is the stuff of legends among divers and snorkelers for their glowing and soft coral beds. The island is a win-win for both divers and snorkelers alike, given the flexibility of the island to make their tourist attraction accessible for everyone. The island offers accommodation for every budget, adequate transport around the vicinity, some dive operators, and a site that is not too remote to be traveled through by air or by sea.
From kayaking or paddle-boarding to jet-skiing or paragliding, this island holds your fix for water sports no matter how chill or extreme. Their beach also boasts a stretch of pristine white sands perfect for taking a breather in between activities. Also, the surrounding part of the ocean in the is still undeveloped and deadpan beautiful. Mamanuca is also famous among surfers for thrilling breaks that are usually only for the veterans of the sport. The islands are only an hour or two away from Nadi if taking the sea. Also, every sport can be easily set up and put up among all their local resorts, making it quite famous among tourists.
This spot is not that far from Suva and is considered as Fiji’s adventure capital. Along the long walk in this untouched beach is a ton of activities to pick and participate. There is much offered on the table: rafting, fishing and boat trips that start on the marina, and 15 equally stunning dive sites that provide plenty of interaction with their beautiful coral reefs. The harbor is also home to an 18-hole championship golf course and a zip line that goes through the jungle. The Kila Eco Adventure Park also resides in this harbor, perfect for families who want to bond over nature. The harbor also has the Arts Village, the Pearl Resort, and the Uprising resort that guests can come over for conducting some other outdoor activities. The Village has an agency you can book, and the resorts do not require you to pay for accommodation if you’re only there for leisure.
Given the remoteness of Fiji, a mindset is formed on tourists that there is not much to shop in here. In hindsight, only Nadi and Suva has some okay markets with handicrafts and some shops from international brands. Also, the archipelago’s capital has some malls in it. But nothing here compares to Port Denarau’s shopping complex, which is inside the gated part of the island surrounded by the more costly hotels. The center is accessible through a 6-km Westbus ride from Nadi and a short ride on the Bula Bus if you are around Denarau. The place is a mix of local and foreign stalls, along with several food spots, car rentals, money changers, and trip organizers for a stroll around the region. Also, performers arrive when the sun disappears, entertaining guests all through the night.
The archipelago’s capital undoubtedly holds most of its best food spots. Being one of the biggest South Pacific isles, its location pushes for a fusion of European, Chinese, Indian, and Japanese cuisine. Most of the restaurants here are as astoundingly quirky as the multicultural background of the island. Some are located inside a warship docked on the side of the city park. Some of the others can be found in a museum, and another in a mansion that dates to the colonial era. The spots can be accessed through a taxi if going at night and by walking around the streets of Suva if you’re just nearby.
It is not common for tourists to look for nightlife in Fiji. There are numerous bars located inside hotels that provide local entertainment to guests. But still, it is quite a far reach compared to the likes of Noumea, Phuket, and Bali. The most of a “nightlife” the island can offer are sleazy bars in questionable locations and women that most people would find unpleasant to hang. These bars operate from 6 pm until the crack of dawn but are the worst to come alone in. Foreign women do not even dare go near one, with taxis being the safest bet to get around the area once they are alive and operational. If you’re looking for a good time in these islands, a safer place with a livelier vibe and incredible live performances are around Beachcomber Island. Located at Mamanuca, this place has sweet expat spots perfect for people who love to party.
Following the logic, the archipelago’s capital Suva was a total no-brainer when figuring out where the best markets in the area are. The cityscape here is thriving; with the Produce Market just near the station for the bus and The Suva Handicraft Center near the capital’s park. With no real surprise, the Produce Market fits its stereotype. The stretch is vast and looming with chaos, surrounded by the chanting of vendors to make a good sale. But despite that, the selections are overwhelming. Here you can find poultry still alive and in their cages. Also, their meats that are of the unusual kind just hung around to be sold in retail and even some fruits native to the region that seem straight out of outer space. The handicraft center, on the other hand, is a length of local shops inside a seedy-looking building. But do not have that have you held back from the treasures the place has to offer. The warm vendors are welcoming enough to show you their art in the most negotiable of prices.
The magnificence of the islands, the waters, and the corals can only go so far to entertain. Let’s be real; at one significant point, the children will start berating you for better entertainment once they get tired of what’s going on. Hence, we head onto Viti Levu, a bustling area in Fiji that never ceases on moving. It also helps that staying on these main islands help the tourists get away from expensive, time-consuming connecting flights. The best place the island must boast is the Sunset Strip. The stretch is filled to the brim with attractions such as rafting, exploring caves, the Tavuni Hill Fort, and the Sigatoka Sand Dunes to name a few. The fort and the dunes located at Sigatoka also offers a local market nearby for you to check for more stuff native to the region. The Kula Wild Adventure Park is also within the vicinity, along with calmer and cleaner beaches surrounding the island. The streets are relatively quieter, but the fun the island offers is just overwhelming.
We cannot deny that some tourists travel to learn about a region’s local culture. This habit usually leads to trips to remote village areas along with trying things native only to the region. Maybe even spending a day like a local would be most apt and satisfying for some. The only problem is that most of this “authentic” experiences are forced to happen with not-so elaborate set-ups that don’t even try too hard. The look and feel do not sell well to the audience. It then makes it look as scripted as a television reality show. With this case in mind, Vanua Leva offers a chance to live in a real village, remote and sincere. While most islands are usually inhabited by resorts and their crew, Vanua Leva offers engagement with some native communities that reside in the area. Most of these can be reached by rent-a-cars or some rare stops by the bus. The trip would then start from the astonishing, little town of Savusavu, taking you to a tilting troll to a more remote location.
The location of Fiji on the globe makes it vulnerable to heavy rains (and occasionally cyclones) from November until April. The occurrence is unmistakable but usually does not last that long. The islands get different exposures to the rough weather. For example, the mountains of Viti Leva and Venua Leva make it receive a different saturation than that of soaking wet Taveuni.
On the other hand, the Mamanuca Islands and its neighboring isles tend to receive rain that is better to get along with. Weirdly, some parts of the country are even experiencing drought. The tourists love this dry climate, although the locals hate it.
Honeymoons and romantic holidays are very apt for the setting of Fiji. A lot of their local establishments are aware of this, so they make a conscious effort to bring people in. Couple-oriented promos tend to pop-up a lot around the region, which is usually inclusive of private dinners, private spa sessions, private pools, and bungalows only for two. Of course, this would then lead to having most of it offers fantastic and romantic sceneries while going on with tandem-related activities. Only 2 hours from Nadi through the sea, the island never fails to wow its guests with the sights, scenes, and attractions it can offer. Nature is rich, the sea is thriving, and love can be found everywhere in the islands. What more can you ask for?
Top Hotel of the Area: Fiji Gateway Hotel
Despite having the busiest international airport of Fiji, the island is quite small and is confusingly a let-down. The entire island is separated into two; one is Downtown, and the other is New Town. Downtown is a seedy 500m stretch with very questionable food spots, a quaint hotel, the local bus station, and some banks. The location gets worse after dark, giving tourists no reason to stay in the area after all. A better spot is at New Town which is located at Marintar only 4km shy. This place offers excellent hotels, fantastic cafes, some okay bars, and a mall with a cinema and a supermarket. The town is just by Queens Road, as in relatively near the airport, Wailoaloa beach, and Denarau.
Top Hotel of the Area: Sheraton Denarau Villas
The changing of times got the best of this area; turning a mangrove plantation into a luxurious gated complex. Now, the island houses a marina, a water park, a golf course, and excellent resorts. It is clear how the direction of the isle steered from a chill swamp into a money-grabber of an island. From the island, Nadi is only 8km away, and the airport is 15km away. Near as it is from other local establishments and cities, it is now far from what an authentic Fiji experience it would and should have offered. The tourists are mighty aware of the situation, so it only attracts the likes of people it was bound to have over in the first place. The island also has a port, which offers ferries and cruises around the archipelago. Going to Denarau is easy; you can take a public bus from Nadi to get here. To go around, feel free to board a Bula Bus.
Top Hotel of the Area: Ramada Suites
This beach is located in a cluster located along Queens Road, which is a route to take between the airport and Nadi. What once were lodges available for backpackers in the area are starting to be replaced by more extravagant hotels. Nothing to fret about I guess, because there are still numerous food spots and bars in the stretch. The beach is not that astounding, and booms from jets going in and out of the airport tend to disturb the vibe. Even so, it is still a viable candidate as a good spot in Fiji. The location is also very near to key spots in Fiji, as it is only 8km from the airport and 2.5km from Queens Road.
Top Hotel of the Area: Grand Pacific Hotel
This island is the largest of all South Pacific, and it is also considered to be Fiji’s capital. It is relatively offering a more chill and tranquil vibe like that of a province, in comparison to that of Nadi. Despite feeling more suburban, it is home to some malls and some buildings dating back to the colonial era. Tourists stay for the vibe of the tropics, and sometimes even paying a visit to the astounding Fiji Museum. The island is also considered home to some fantastic restaurants, markets with a wide array of selections, and glamorous festivals that occur from time to time.
Top Hotel of the Area: The Pearl Resort
The harbor is home to a few great to excellent hotels, along with a subdivision that is inclusive of a golf course and marina. Located an hour away from Suva by land, their resorts such as the Pearl and Uprising offer a remarkable experience of the beach. The Arts Village is also located here, a favorite of the tourists with some cafes that provide a relaxing atmosphere for people that come in.
Top Hotel of the Area: Outrigger Fiji
The coast is loosely referenced from Pacific Harbor’s coastland that extends to Momi Bay. The area consists of only some scattered villages that have enough supplies for tourists that are only passing by. Shops are 15 minutes away from the airport, while the beaches are 90 minutes away and are secluded inside private and luxurious resorts. Around the Outrigger Resort lays the Sunset Strip. This stretch of land is home to a lot of food spots that are strategically located. This relocation was done so you can have a beautiful view of the sunset while having a great meal. The beach is not much of a standout, but the reef and lagoon are okay. If you want to move from here, Sigatoka is just a taxi or bus away.
Top Hotel of the Area: Koro Sun Resort and Rainforest Spa
Vanua Levu is an excellent spot to escape from the most populous places of Fiji. Despite having not many people, the area is also not remote and is packed with supplies and facilities. Its biggest center is Lavasa, but its main attraction is the town of Savusavu. Savusavu is a quaint little town that offers a good time for people who likes yachts. The island also boasts trekking, internationally acclaimed snorkeling and diving, and authentic villages you can visit. Going around the area is made easy through rent-a-cars although some paths are not that agreeable. Accommodation for tourists is everywhere in the island, great for families, and are easy to go to by either sea or air.
Top Hotel of the Area: Taveuni Dive Resort
Comparatively remote, this third-biggest island of Fiji still stands easy to go to. The island feels quite desolate, but the tranquility is what you go here for. Accommodations here are cheap, while glamorous resorts are scattered throughout the coast. Diving is just as charming here, boasting the riches of the South Pacific Ocean.
Top Hotel of the Area: Mana Island Resort and Spa
This area is considered as the most famous island in all of Fiji. Surrounding the landform are numerous coral reefs and lagoons. Most of the islets in the island group are turned into resorts. Two of them, named Mana and Malolo, actually have villages you can go to to check the culture and vibe of the area. The island offers swimming with the corals, diving, snorkeling, and even kayaking. The island is apt for both families and couples, with sites such as Beachcomber is now famous for holding great parties. The place is generally accessible and is famous among tourists because it is only an hour away from Nadi.
Top Hotel of the Area: Barefoot Manta Island
These islands are not yet too populated, yet boasts picturesque lagoons, kind villages, and towering volcanoes. Going around takes roughly an hour, and most activities and accommodations are very cheap. Most attractions are untouched and undeveloped, making it perfect for a serene and non-bothersome session with nature. Only 2 hours from Nadi, the island group proves itself to be quite accessible.
Top Hotel of the Area: Royal Hotel
These islands are perfect for a cheap stay if you are being bothered by a connecting flight. The island is remote as it is often overlooked by tourists but gifts its visitors with tranquility. Ovalau, its main island, has accommodations for every possible budget while the reefs and lagoons house the luxury resorts. Water activities are also rampant here, but what makes it different is that the island offers hiking through waterfalls and jungles. Also, Levuku (located at Ovalau) boasts a UNESCO listed expanse of buildings that date back to the colonial period.
When taking a plane, you may opt to land at either Nadi or Suva. You’re more likely to land at Nadi, which is right about the far west of the island of Viti Levu. Most people tend to stay on the island get away from wasting time waiting for the boat the connects to their flights. Some attractions here are the Sunset Strip and the Pacific Harbor which exist on the far south of the island. Suva, on the other hand, is the east coast’s proud capital. Charming as it is, the island offers no beach; but it boasts fantastic restaurants and vibrant history.
From the airport at Nadi exist two famous beaches in the area. One of them is Denerau, which is a sanctuary to a lot of 5-star resorts, a golf course, and a marina. Despite their rankings, most resorts here do not offer an excellent beach experience. Wailoaloa, on the other hand, shies away from their dull, gravelly beach and instead prides on the views and sunsets they can offer. A most pleasant stroll can be managed if it is not by their beach.
Other famous spots in the region are Yasawa and Mamanuca. From Nadi, these groups of islands are only an hour or two away. The islands are comparatively tourist-famous, providing a more flexible budget for guests who want to stay over. On the other hand, the islands of Taveuni and Vanua are usually overlooked. It’s quite weird because these comparatively larger islands tend to offer a more local vibe. Along with this, going around the island with vehicles ain’t much of a feat either, as the island itself is also not that remote.
As it is with everything, there are positives and negatives to check before proceeding with big decisions. Do note that the island here is quite remote, so there will be problems popping up here and there. Upfront, getting here by plane is costly and would require connections from Nadi or Suva that go overnight. There aren’t many facilities, not many villages to interact with, and almost everything is expensive given the narrow line of competition between resources. Despite everything, it still proves that its beauty transcends the cost. Tranquil, serene, and unexploited, it is sure enough to be worth your while. The only thing that will be keeping you from your rest are probably the same people who are eager to find what you currently have.