Fiji is a very popular summer destination for vacationers from the United States, Australia and New Zealand. It is an archipelago of 322 islands and 522 tiny islets that make up a total of 18,300 square kilometers (7,100 sq miles). Getting around Fiji involves crisscrossing the many magnificent resorts and beaches in on ferry boats, cruises, yachts or tiny airplanes. The biggest and most important islands are Viti Levu and Vanau Levu, where 87% of the total population reside. The capital city of Suva is located along the coasts of Viti Levu where most Fijians live.
Among the most often visited resorts are the ten luxury resorts in Mamanuca Islands, a group of 30 breath-taking islets located off the northern coast of Nadi. There are also uninhabited coral islands, picnic areas, and several dive sites. Other popular Fiji destinations are South Sea Island, Castaway Island Resort, Mana Island Resort, and Malolo Island Resort, which may all be visited on a day cruise.
Getting around Fiji by boat, a really cool way of seeing these islands would be on cruise ships. Some cruise packages include dolphin watching, line fishing, beach BBQ, kayaking glass-bottom ride, and snorkeling in the middle of the sea or along a reef, while some go to the uninhabited island of Tivua for its spectacular coral reefs.
Meanwhile, tourists must check out another popular tourist attraction – the Navala Village. Located deep in the Nausori Highlands, the drive to the village is quite bumpy but not without a magnificent rural view along the way. Arriving at the village, tourists are treated with a welcome Yaqona ceremony, the drinking of a traditional Fijian drink extracted from Yaqona tree roots. The local villagers are naturally very hospitable. This authentic local village features traditional homes called “bures”, single-room houses with thatched roofs and bamboo woven walls.
Since Fiji is an archipelago, the most scenic, common, and practical ways of getting around the islands is by ferry and air shuttle, but getting around Fiji on land is also an option for those who would rather drive. There are all-weather safe paved roads that stretch for about 1,500 km along the coastlines of Viti Levu to the main centers. Foreigners may drive using their driver’s license from home but Americans may find it confusing since traffic is on the left side of the road, similar to how people drive in Australia and New Zealand. There are car rentals at the airport and all over Nadi, but driving could be dangerous since some roads have many potholes and some bridges are dilapidated. Most local drivers don’t observe speed limits and the road could be polluted since people use diesel fuel.
Getting around Fiji shouldn’t be difficult or uncomfortable. There are a number of air-conditioned excursion buses, metered taxis and “shared taxis” available in Suva and Nadi for travelers who’d rather let the professionals do the driving and simply sit down to enjoy the view. Bus fares are cheap at only F$1 to F$2 around Suva, while shared taxi is F$17 and metered taxi about F$80. Sometimes taxi drivers negotiate for a fixed price, but using the meter is cheaper.