Updated: 1/26/19 | originally Posted: 01/18/10 (Updated prices)
Whenever I hear the word “Fiji,” I believe of those postcards you see in airports: white sand beaches, palm trees, a bit boat in the ocean, as well as the bluest, clearest water in the world.
Essentially, it’s my concept of heaven.
With my buddy Gary from Everything-Everywhere heading to Fiji, I believed there was no much better time to cross off one of my travel goals: going to the islands of Fiji as well as discovering to diving dive. even though I was checking out the south island of new Zealand, I chose to modification course. completing new Zealand might wait — I was on my method to traveling Fiji as well as enjoying the beach.
Travel, is after all, discovering to choose the flow.
What might be much more choosing the flow than this!
The Yasawa Islands are composed of 20 volcanic islands in the western region of Fiji. The very first Europeans to stumble upon the islands were the British, in 1789, though the islands weren’t correctly charted up until 50 years later.
Up up until 1987, land-based tourism was really prohibited in the Yasawas. No tourists were enabled to set foot in this tropical paradise, as the regional leader of the islands did not want any type of foreigners to go to without permission. When the government lastly opened up the area in 1987, tourism started to grow as well as has ended up being an ever much more essential part of the regional economy.
Looking out over the boat to the Yasawa Islands, I was struck by the sheer charm of Fiji. The deep blue water, the white sand beaches in the distance, as well as the rich jungles poking out on the horizon. Paradise doesn’t accurately explain this place. The Yasawas are beautiful. Mind numbingly, stupidly beautiful. (Pictures are worth a thousand words, so I‘ll let the photos right here fill in the adjectives for you.)
In addition to being heavenly, the islands are simple to get around, the Fiji dollar is cheap, as well as there are all your common island activities to do. Basically, you have whatever you requirement to make this not only paradise however a backpacker’s paradise too. throw in the noise of crashing waves, the unwinded mindset (you rapidly find “Fiji time”), as well as the starlit nights, as well as you‘ll never want to leave. You‘re a million miles from anywhere, as well as after a day here, that‘s precisely where you want to be.
Island-hopping the Yasawa Island chain, I’ve identified that backpacking in Fiji is like nowhere else in the world. close to the mainland, these islands are prominent with backpackers since they‘re cheap, simple to get to, as well as understood for their vibrant atmosphere. There’s only one boat with these islands, as well as all the islands have two or three resorts you can get dropped off at. The resorts offer all your meals, as well as you book all your activities with them. It’s packaged backpacking. You relocation from resort to resort like a tour. except these resorts focus on budget plan travel — organized activities, dorms, as well as inexpensive beer. No five-star high-end here. It’s not my typical mode of travel, however it hasn’t taken away from the experience at all.
While I’m a enthusiast of all things tropical, one thing that‘s truly struck me right here has been the locals. everybody has been friendly as well as incredibly welcoming. They‘re always stating hello, asking where you‘re from, exactly how you like it here, as well as having a 20-questions style conversation with you. At night, they come over as well as spend time with the guests.
On a remove as well as balmy night, Gary as well as I were invited to hang out with the personnel of Waya Lai Lai resort (I extremely suggest staying there) as well as drink kava. Kava is the conventional drink of Fiji. made of the kava root as well as mixed with water, it has an earthy taste, as well as as a moderate relaxant, it makes your mouth as well as tongue numb as well as tingling.
There’s a special ceremony to drinking it. You should clap when before you drink, shout bula, drink in one gulp, as well as clap three times when you finish. The clapping is out of respect for the drink. They drink this every night as well as spend the night relaxing. Bowls as well as bowls of kava get passed around, as well as the night that started out loud gets much more unwinded as well as quiet. Handing out drinks to us, they always asked if Gary as well as I desired high tide or low tide (essentially a great deal or a little). up until your last drink. then they surface you off with a “tsunami.”
Needless to say, I slept well that night.
How to get to as well as around Fiji
Despite being in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, Fiji is rather accessible. It’s a basic stop on round-the-world tickets. If you‘re coming from Australia or new Zealand, you can get an simple stopover flight.
Expect to pay at least 430 FJD ($200 USD) for a one-way flight from Australia as well as about the exact same if you’re coming from new Zealand. If you’re on a RTW trip, inspect out AirTreks to see if you can get a totally free stopover.
Getting around Fiji is easy. There’s a great network of buses, trucks, as well as ferries for travel within Fiji’s primary islands. To check out the Yasawa Islands, you can purchase a boat “Bula Pass”. It’s essentially a hop on, hop of boat pass for the islands. You very first select the length of your pass (5, 7, 9, 11, or 13) as well as then utilize the pass to check out the islands. You can purchase the pass when you get to the islands so there’s no requirement to do it before hands. It’s is valid for travel onboard incredible Adventures as well as South Sea Cruises vessels. costs begin at 455 FJD ($212 USD) for the 5-day pass as well as go as much as 845 FJD ($395 USD) for the 13-day pass.
Just keep in mind that numerous of the ferries don’t show up or depart on schedule so never try to get somewhere in a hurry. accept the island life as well as relax!
Another choice for getting around the islands is the Tavewa Seabus. This new catamaran is much quicker as well as is a great choice for single journeys if you don’t want the multi-day pass. costs begin at 100 FJD ($46 USD) per person as well as go as much as 160 FJD ($75 USD), depending upon where you are heading. inspect their site to see what locations/resorts they can decrease you off at.
Book Your trip to Fiji: Logistical suggestions as well as Tricks
Book Your Flight
Use Skyscanner or Momondo to discover a inexpensive flight. They are my two preferred browse engines since they browse sites as well as airlines around the globe so you always understand no stone is left unturned. begin with Skyscanner very first though since they have the most significant reach!
Book Your Accommodation
You can book your hostel with Hostelworld as they have the most significant stock as well as finest deals. If you want to stay somewhere other than a hostel, utilize Booking.com as they consistently return the most affordable rates for guesthouses as well as inexpensive hotels. My preferred locations to stay are:
Waya Lai Lai
Mantaray Island resort
Don’t fail to remember travel Insurance
Travel insurance coverage will safeguard you against illness, injury, theft, as well as cancellations. It’s extensive security in situation anything goes wrong. I never go on a trip without it as I’ve had to utilize it numerous times in the past. My preferred business that offer the very best service as well as value are:
Safety Wing (for everybody below 70)
Insure My trip (for those over 70)
Medjet (for extra repatriation coverage)
Looking for the very best business to save money With?
Check out my resource page for the very best business to utilize when you travel. I listing all the ones I utilize to save money when I’m on the road. They will save you money when you travel too.
Want much more info on Fiji?
Be sure to go to our robust destination guide on Fiji for even much more planning tips!
Photo Credit: 2 – Victor Ulijn, 4 – Paolo Rosa, 5 – Timo