Between Hawaii and Australia is a scattering of over 300 islands and 500 islets that make up the Fijian archipelago in the South Pacific. It is said that you can explore Tahiti and Hawaii in about 3 weeks each, but it would take a life time to discover all the treasures of the Fijian islands.
The islands are known for their rich history, culture, food, secluded hideaways, beautiful beaches and the people, who are considered some of the friendliest in the world. Once you become part of their village you are treated like family. As they say in Fiji, BULA or Welcome! What you see in Fiji will largely depend upon where you stay and what you like to do. Many people arrive in Nadi, on the big island of Viti Levu, and immediately head to the outer islands. I don’t recommend going that route as there is so much to see right on Viti Levu. I suggest splitting your stay up and spending at least 4 nights on the big island before heading out the smaller islands.
Here are my top ten suggestions of things to do while on your honeymoon or vacation in Fiji:
1) Sigatoka Sand Dunes, located at the mouth of the Sigatoka River on the big island, spans over 1600 acres forming a barrier between the Pacific Ocean and the island’s interior. The dunes range from 65 to 200 feet high. You are rewarded with breathtaking sea views and lush tropical vistas. Make sure to bring some sneakers with you as the sand can get really hot!
2) Orchid Island Fijian Cultural Center, located about 15 minutes from the capital of Suva, is a hidden gem steeped in history and culture. Go back in time and experience how local villagers lived before Christianity arrived to their shores. You will visit a small village and will be invited in exactly as guests were invited in hundreds of years before with the beating of the drums. Visit the Bure Kalou, pagan temple, reproduction. This is where enemies were sacrificed to the Gods. You’ll also get to see the largest war canoe called a Drau and how they make canoes. They will show you tools that they used to kill and capture their enemies, how to make fish traps, grow crops and so much more. Take some time to get to know the villagers, many speak English. They are happy to talk about their culture and island. There is also a nice shop where you can purchase gifts before you leave. Please do not wear a hat, only the Chief is allowed to wear hats. Also women should be covered up, no shoulders showing, bathing suits, or shorts- Bring a sarong along to wear over your shorts. Tribal men also wear sarongs, so your hubby won’t feel out of place if he wears one too! Shoes are not worn in the home, so please leave them outside the door.
3) Visit the Coral Coast Town of Sigatoka on the big island and take a trip to the interior with the folks from Off-Road Cave Safari or if you prefer they also offer a Jet Boat Safari of the Sigatoka River. Both trips are a blast! On the first you will get to see Naihehe Cave, one of the largest in Fiji, this after riding around in an ATV in the Jungle and crossing the river! You will meet the Priest in charge of the cave, have a Kava ceremony and then everyone will take a walk up to the Cave. Lights will be provided since the cave is pretty dark. All in all it is an amazing experience seeing Fiji from a different prospective. You can check out both tours here.
4) Beqa is an island about four miles off the southern coast of Viti Levu. The island is a haven for divers, especially those that enjoy some adventure and don’t mind swimming with sharks! Shark Reef Marine Reserve was created to study the sharks that visited this area. There are 8 varieties of sharks to include Bull, Tiger and Lemon. If you decide to try out this adventure remember there are no cages! The island is also known for its traditional fire-walking ceremonies, which originated here. You might want to arrange a visit one of the few isolated villages to experience this amazing tradition.
5) One of the best ways to see the interior of the big island and some of the smaller islands is via helicopter tour. Soaring over the mountains and hills of Viti Levu you will see waterfalls, hidden villages, and lush tropical forests. Much of the interior of the island is secluded from the rest of the world because of the lack of roads. Your journey will take you over the azure waters of Fiji where you will see coral reefs from the sky and many islands that dot the landscape.
6) If you love to snorkel or Scuba dive, the Northern Islands are surely the place to go. You will be greeted by vibrant orange, magenta and yellow coral and fish as bright as the coral they swim in. Two spots that are on my “must do” list are Namena Marine Park on Namenalala Island and Somosomo Strait located between Vanau Levu and Taveuni islands. Namena Marine Park started out when the local Chiefs and Villagers realized that the overfishing and predators were destroying the coral. If there is no coral there is no fish, so they put a fishing ban in place and worked on restoring the coral. Today, the marine reserve is alive and well and able to be enjoyed by those who visit. Somosomo Strait is rated one of the top 10 dive spots in the world by Scuba Diver magazine. It boosts 1500 different types of fish, turtles, and 390 species of coral. The majestic Great White Wall rock formation covered in delicate snowflake like coral is a must see on this dive!
7) Bouma National Heritage Park on the Garden Isle of Taveuni is great for hikers and nature lovers alike. Tavoro Waterfalls, which consists of 3 waterfalls, the largest, 78 feet tall, is within 10 minutes of the entrance to the park. There is a nice swimming and changing area. The second fall is about a 40 minute hike up a steep hill. Make sure to wear sneakers as it gets really slippery. The third fall is about an hour further, but the paths are not well kept, so be careful when hiking up there. However, it is really peaceful since not many people travel all the way to the top. Make sure to bring mosquito repellent. If you don’t feel comfortable hiking alone, you can hire a guide to take you all the way up to the top of the falls.
8) Surfing has become a huge sport in Fiji and the Mamanuca islands holds the record for some of the best breaks in the world. If you are new to the sport the best time to learn would be during the summer months from November to April when the surf is not so strong. The more experienced will enjoy the challenging surfs that come during the winter months of April-October. Taravua and Namotu islands are popular with surfers. Cloudbreak, with waves as high as 20 feet, is one of the top 10 most challenging waves in the world. It’s located right off of Taravua Island and only 3 miles from Namotu. Other popular waves such as Restaurants, Taravua Rights, Kiddieland, Swimming Pools, Namotu Left, Wilkes and Desperations are all nearby!
9) Golf- There are several golf courses on the islands including the home of the Fiji Open, the Natadola Golf Course designed by famous Fijian golfer Vijay Singh on the Coral Coast; Pear Champion course designed by Robert Trent Jones Jr. on the Pacific Coast; and Denaru Golf and Racquet Club near Nadi.
10) The Meke and Lovo are two Fijian ceremonies that should not be missed if you want to get a true taste of island life. Meke is all about music, dancing, singing and having fun. The men are dressed in full warrior costume and the women wear traditional clothing and are adorned with flowers during the ceremony. One group will sit on the floor and sing while the other group dances. The men usually do not dance with the women as the men will be performing more warlike dances. The Lovo is a feast that is cooked in an earth oven. It is a traditional way of preparing large amounts of food for special occasions and ceremonies. The Lovo is prepared by the men. They dig out a hole and pile in firewood on top of soft hard stones and start a fire. Once the stones are red they remove the firewood, adjust the stones and put in the food. The food which consists of sweet potato, taro, cassava, ham, chicken, fish, beef, and lamb is wrapped in banana leaves and and then put on top of the stones to cook. The entire pit is covered by coconut palm fronds until the food is done and ready to eat!
Ready to plan your honeymoon to Fiji? I’d love to work with you one-on-one to get to know you and help you plan the trip of your lifetime! Contact us today!