After Chris Underwood was voted the winner of Survivor: Edge of Extinction, it was announced that the hit CBS reality series will remain in Fiji for the show’s 39th season, Survivor: Island of the Idols. This wasn’t really much of a surprise, considering this will be the seventh consecutive season to be filmed in the Mamanuca Islands, and the eighth overall to take place in Fiji.
Basically, Jeff Probst has no plans to ever leave Fiji.
“I hope we stay here forever,” the host and executive producer told Entertainment Weekly in 2017. “This is our home,” he continued, “I hope we end our show here.”
Still a ratings juggernaut, Survivor won’t be ending anytime soon, so it’s safe to say that Probst will get his wish. Citing the beautiful water, incredible beaches and friendly people, he called Survivor‘s presence in Fiji a “win-win-win,” but we want to add one more win because the show is bringing attention to islands that should be on every traveler’s wish list.
Here are five reasons why Survivor keeps coming back to Fiji’s Mamanuca Islands, and why you should consider making it your next vacation destination.
Follow in Tom Hanks’ Footsteps
Survivor isn’t the only pop culture hit to film in the Mamanuca Islands. The 2000 Tom Hanks movie Cast Away was filmed on Monuriki, an uninhabited island that became a popular tourist spot following the film’s success. In fact, tours of Monuriki are offered by resorts and companies from the other islands — the actual Castaway Island provides a champagne brunch on Monuriki before snorkeling and a tour of the movie’s filming location — giving guests the opportunity to shout, “I have made fire!”
Bounty Island was also the filming location for the reality series Celebrity Love Island, which wasn’t nearly as popular as Survivor and might not inspire as many people to visit. However, Bounty Island is ideal for day trips, thanks to the SeaView water craft, which gives passengers a view of the area’s marine life.
Accommodations for All
What makes the Mamanuca Islands so great is that they’re perfect for everyone. Couples looking for a romantic getaway can head to Mana Island’s five-star Tadrai Island Resort, which was created exclusively for couples.
Malolo Lailai Island is home to the adults-only Lomani Island Resort, which was named for the Fijian word for love.
Families have a bevy of options as well. Vomo Island’s private resort takes entertaining little ones to the next level as Vomo Activities Coordinators are available to entertain children ages 4 and up in the Kids Village from 9 am to 9 pm. Baby Butlers are also available at an hourly rate for children under 4.
The Sheraton Resort and Spa on Tokoriki Island offers activities, games and fitness at the Lailai Kids Club, in addition to special family suites and even miniature golf.
Most accommodations in Fiji are bures (thatched-roof huts), and there are a handful of overwater options. Located on Malolo, the Likuliku Lagoon Resort has 10 private overwater bures highlighted by king-size beds, private decks and bathtubs that offer views of the lagoon.
The Mamanuca Islands are a favorite destination for surfers all over the world. Namotu Island is just 3 miles from Cloudbreak, known as one of the best waves in the world. In addition to Cloudbreak, pros and advanced surfers also love the wave known as Restaurants, located near Tavarua Island.
While Cloudbreak and Restaurants aren’t ideal for beginners, Mamanuca’s waters cater to all skill sets. Also near Namotu, Swimming Pools is a great spot for novice surfers, while more experienced surfers will find challenges at Wilkes Passage, northwest of Namotu.
Adventures on the Water
Less experienced wave-riders can hook up with Jet Ski Island Adventures to tour Monuriki’s filming locations, Cloudbreak and more, and snorkeling stops are included.
Larger groups can charter a luxury catamaran from Unique Charters and see the Mamanuca Islands, enjoying lunch and dinner from the catamaran’s deck in between stopping for diving and paddleboard excursions.