There is, quite simply, no paradise like Fiji. More than 300 islands and atolls make up this South Pacific nation that you can reach on an overnight nonstop flight aboard Fiji Airways from Los Angeles and San Francisco in roughly the same amount of time it takes to fly to Europe.
Once you land, the friendly Fijian exclamation of greeting, “Bula!”, will meet you at every turn, and landscapes you swore only existed on screen savers become reality. With a population of roughly one million people, the friendliest and happiest islands in the world, it turns out, might just be the most beautiful ones.
Resorts in Fiji cater to budget backpackers doing the Robinson Crusoe thing or families in search of complimentary childcare. From all-inclusive resorts and overwater bungalows to family resorts and affordable hotels, visitors will find no shortage of properties offering access to the best beaches and world-class snorkeling.
Honeymooners, too, are catered to in Fiji, where you’ll find some of the most romantic honeymoon resorts in the world complete with traditional beachfront villas called bures, usually outfitted with their own private plunge pools and decadent outdoor showers.
You could easily spend your entire Fiji vacation on the main island of Viti Levu, home to the capital city of Suva and the beautiful beach at Natadola Bay, or on the second-largest island, Vanua Levu, to the north. But do enough research on Fiji and make enough to stay here, and you’ll surely be beckoned further offshore, too, to the Garden Island of Taveuni, the clear lagoons of the Yasawa Islands, Kadavu to the south or Beqa Island, known for its fascinating fire walking tradition.
Scuba divers and surfers arrive in equal measure to these islands known as the soft coral capital of the world and for having some of the best reef breaks of anywhere, inching the legendary surf spot, Cloudbreak, in the Mamanucas. Indeed, the profusion of rainbow hues you’ll see when you don a mask to snorkel off the Great Astrolabe Reef or within Namena Marine Reserve is an underwater landscape like no place on the planet, with hard and soft corals painted as colorfully as the tropical fish that inhabit them.
White-water rafting trips, riverboat tours, multi-day hikes and visits to pristine waterfalls are just a few of the soft-adventure outings to keep you busy when you’re not basking on a beach. And wherever you are in
Fiji, make time to visit a village or head out on market day across the islands to witness the diversity of the nation, with its strong Indo-Fijian culture and cuisine. The lush islands are fertile oases where all manner of tropical fruits—guava, pineapples, passionfruit and mangos—flourish. Pristine surrounding seas mean a bounty of fresh fish is always on offer (don’t leave without trying the ceviche-style Fijian dish called kokoda, marinated with fresh citrus juice and coconut milk), too.
Fiji is a year-round destination, and while the weather is driest and sunniest from July through September, there is really no bad time to find yourself here. That’s why so many people even dream of living in Fiji.
Leaving Fiji, however, is another story. When it’s time to go, chances are there will be a send-off song at your resort and a crew of smiling faces wishing you a good voyage, as is the islands’ ritual. Leaving Fiji is never easy, but with so many things to do on these incredible islands, there is always a reason to return.