Travel tips, country history and culture
Whether you are looking to take a romantic honeymoon in Fiji, or you are planning your dream wedding on these amazing tropical islands Journey Pacific is here to help find the best resort at the best price. There are about 50 resort accommodations on and around the mainland of Viti Levu, in the Mamanuca Islands, in the Yasawa islands and even a 5-star resort in the Northern Islands.
There are hotels and island bures for families, rooms and luxurious for or a 5 Star Fiji Luxury Resort Journey Pacific can help. We know the best Fiji Diving Resorts, where to go for Fiji Culture, Fiji Golf Resorts or the best waves to Surf in Fiji. Check out our Fiji Map to orientate yourself with the islands or give us a call so we can help you choose the perfect resort for your vacation.
Fiji – past and present
Once notorious as the “Cannibal Isles” Fiji is now the colorful crossroads of South Pacific Travel. Of the 333 islands that make up the Fiji Group, over 100 are inhibited by a rich mixture of vibrant, exuberant Melanesians, East Indians, Polynesians, Micronesians, Chinese and Europeans, each with a cuisine and culture of their own. Here Melanesian mixes with Polynesia, ancient India with Pacific, and tradition with the modern world in a unique blend. Fiji offers a great mixture of resorts and hotels, great food and accommodations, nightlife, historic sites, hiking, kayaking, camping, surfing, snorkeling and some of the best scuba diving in the world. Travel around Fiji is easy by small plane, catamaran, copra boat, outboard canoe, open-sided bus, and air-conditioned coach. With even a month at your disposal you’ll barely scratch the surface of all there is to do in Fiji. At Journey Pacific, we don’t just sell Fiji, we love Fiji. Speak to Colette, Carol, Emma, Dawn, Faye or Leanne who have all been to these magical lands and will gladly give you their first-hand opinions of each resort and tell you about their fantastic times in Fiji.
Fiji is a visitor-friendly country. You’ll love the vibrant, outgoing people whose knowledge of English makes communicating a breeze. In a word, Fiji is a traveler’s country par Excellence, and whatever your budget, Fiji gives excellent value for your vacation dollars and plenty of ways to spend them. Bula, welcome to Fiji.
The name Fiji is a Tongan corruption of the indigenous name “Viti.” The Fiji Islands are arrayed in a horseshoe configuration with Viti Levu (Great Fiji) and adjacent Islands on the west, Vanua Levu (Great Land) and Taveuni to the North, and the Lanau Group on the East. This upside-down U shaped archipelago encloses the Koro Sea, which is relatively shallow and sprinkled with the Lomaivaiti, or central Fiji, insular group. Together the Fiji Islands are scattered over 1.29 million square kilometers of the South Pacific Ocean, with over 18,300 square kilometres of land.
If every single one was counted, the isles of the Fiji Archipelago would number in the thousands. However, a mere 333 are judges large enough for human inhabitation and of these only 106 are inhabited. That leaves 226 uninhabited islands, with most of them prohibitively isolated or lacking fresh water.
Your Fiji specialist at Journey Pacific will be able to advise you how to get to different islands. They will give you options of traveling by boat, helicopter and small/sea planes.
Weather in Fiji
Compared to parts of North America, the seasonal climatic variations are not extreme. There’s a hotter, more humid season from November to April and a cooler drier time from May to October. Basically, Fiji is an ideal year round destination for vacations, weddings, and honeymoons. If you wish to travel in the December Holidays you must book early as all the resorts run at 100% occupancy at that time of year.
Fiji Flora & Fauna
Patterns of rainfall are in large part responsible for the variety of vegetation here. The wetter sides of the high islands are heavily forested, with occasional thickets of bamboo and scrub. Natural forests cover 40% of Fiji’s total land area and about a quarter of these forests are classified as production forest suitable for logging. Coconut groves fill the coastal plains. On the drier sides open savanna or talasiga of coarse grasses predominates where the original vegetation has been destroyed by slash-and-burn agriculture. Sugarcane is now cultivated in the lowlands here and Caribbean pine has been planted in many dry hilly areas, giving them a Scandinavian appearance. Mangroves can occasionally be found along some high island coastal lagoons, providing unique ecosystems where the ocean and land meet seen nowhere else on the islands.
Of the 70 species of land birds, 22 are indigenous. The Fijian names for some of these birds, such as the kaka (parrot), ga (gray duck), and kikau (giant honey eater), imitate their calls. Red and green kula lorikeets are often seen in populated areas. The only native mammals are the monkey-faced fruit bat or flying fox, called beak by the Fijians. Some Fijian clans have totemic relationships with eels, prawns, turtles and sharks and are able to summon these creatures with special chants. Three of the world’s seven species of sea turtles nest in Fiji, the green, hawksbill and leatherback. Nesting accurs between November and February, at night when there is a full moon and high tide.
Fiji is brimming with colorful attractions, splendid scenery, friendly people and exciting things to do. From the gateway Nadi with it’s numerous shopping and dining possibilities, it’s only a quick commuter hop to the enticing Mamanuca Group of islands where about half of Fiji’s resorts are located. The long narrow Yasawa Group off the sugar city Lautoka is wilder, mightier and less developed than the Mamanucas.
Fiji’s mainland Viti Levu, is the “real” Fiji, where much of the country’s history has unfolded and the bulk of the Fijian people live out their lives. The 303 mile highway around the Island passes a series of cities and towns with bustling markets, shops, bus stations, cafes, clubs, monuments and facilities of every kind. The Coral Coast in the South is the Country’s second resort area, with a series of hotels nicely spaced between Nadi and Pacific Harbor. Pacific Harbor itself offers access to some of the best diving, fishing, kayaking, white-water rafting and golfing in the South Pacific.
Fiji’s current capital city, Suva, has the country’s finest cinemas, monuments, museums, nightlife, restaurants, stores and all of the excitement of the South Pacific’s biggest town. It’s a fascinating place to explore.
Kadavu Island to the South of Suva is a characteristic Fijian Island of small villages strewn between beaches and hills, but it is also a mecca for scuba divers who come for the Astrolabe Reef.
Anyone with even the slightest interest in Fiji’s vivid history won’t want to miss Ovalau and the timeworn capital Levuka.
Across the sea from Ovalau is Vanua Levu, which is Fiji’s second largest island and is known as the “Friendly North”. Because a slight effort is involved in getting to Savusavu, far fewer tourists ply these exotic shores, but all who do say it was well worth the 40 minutes on the plane.
Repeat visitors and local Fijians often assert that Taveuni is Fiji’s finest isle, a claim which is difficult to deny. Taveuni’s high spine is draped with impenetrable rainforest, with huge coconut plantations tumbling to the coast. Magnificent waterfalls pour down the steep slopes, and the scuba diving is world famous.
Fiji has been called “the soft coral capital of the world”, and few seasoned divers will deny that Fiji has some of the finest scuba diving in the South Pacific with top facilities at the best prices. You won’t go wrong choosing Fiji as your dive destination. Diving is possible year-round in Fiji, with the marine life at its most bountiful from July to November.
Exciting white-water rafting on the Upper Navua River and ocean kayaking around Beqa and Kadavu are very popular. All the high islands offer wonderful hiking possibilities and many remote villages are linked by well used trails.
Everyone needs a passport valid at least three months beyond the date of entry. Passports may be obtained from your local County Clerk/Recorder’s Office. If you need more information, please ask your Journey Pacific Travel Specialist. This process can take 6-8 weeks so do not delay. Journey Pacific, LLC is not responsible for any cancellation costs incurred if proper documentation is not presented.
No visa is required from visitors from 101 countries (including Western Europe, North America, Japan, Israel and most of the commonwealth countries) for stays of up to four months. Tickets to leave Fiji are officially required.
The currency is the Fijian Dollar, which is about 1.86 to 1 U.S. dollar in value (as of the 30th of May, 2012). Banking hours are Monday to Thursday 9:30am to 3pm and 9am–4pm on Fridays. Fiji is one of the least expensive countries in the South Pacific. Tipping isn’t customary here, although some resorts do have a staff Christmas fund, to which contributions are welcome.
Marriage under Fijian law involves two parts:
The first part is the registration of the intent to marry with the Nadi Registry office. Your Journey Pacific Fiji Specialist will arrange all of this for you. We prefer to organize an appointment for the bride and groom on the first or second day of arrival in Fiji, which will allow for the completion of the Fijian Registry requirements before going to the island of your choice for the wedding ceremony. The Nadi Registry office is open from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm Monday through Friday, and the appointment will take 15-30 minutes.
It is important to note both bride and groom will need to present an original or certified copy of their respective birth certificates as well as their passports. If either were previously married, a copy of the divorce papers or death certificate of the former spouse must also be presented. If married within the last five years, a Certificate of Single Status may be required and you are advised to check with the island directly well prior to your intended arrival date in this regard.
The second part is a religious ceremony to be held at the resort of your choice. Usually the ceremony takes place at sunset on a jetty, on a beach or in a traditional chapel. We will arrange the minister to be available prior to the wedding to discuss the wording to be used in the ceremony. Getting married in Fiji is exotic, romantic, and beautiful. I can strongly recommend it!
Please let your Fiji Travel Specialist at Journey Pacific know if you are having a birthday or anniversary while on the trip. We would also like to know of any medical or special dietary requirements, or food allergies that need to be considered in planning your trip.
Fiji’s geographic position makes it the hub of the South Pacific and Nadi is the region’s most important international airport. From Los Angeles there are direct flight on Air Pacific on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays.
Your Fijian Specialist at Journey Pacific will help you with all your plans to get around Fiji. We can help with domestic air transportation to Taveuni and Savasavu along with seaplane and helicopter services to many of the island resorts. We also book transfers to the Marina where you can take the catamarans out to the Yasawas or the Mananuca Islands.
Minors traveling with one parent or a guardian MUST have a notarized letter of consent from the other/both parents to take the minor out of the country.
Although every effort is made to insure a safe trip for all, we strongly recommend that you protect yourself, your belongings, and your vacation through the purchase of a short-term traveler’s policy. A trip cancellation policy covers your non-refundable payments in most cases, should you have to cancel your trip at the last minute due to illness or injury. Trip participants should realize that in the event of illness or injury on a trip, evacuation could be prolonged, difficult and expensive. Participants are responsible for the cost of evacuation. Personal belongings and cameras are carried entirely at the owner’s risk, and Journey Pacific LLC. accepts no responsibility for lost, damaged, delayed, or stolen property. Click here for a free quote.
A Word of Warning
Fiji has very strict and harsh laws regarding possession of illegal drugs. For your own peace of mind, do not put your vacation in jeopardy by bringing anything that is not in its original prescription bottle or packaging.
Fiji is a truly wonderful place where the people are so friendly they cannot help leaving you with a smile on your face and a heart full of Bula!
What happened to simple human interaction? Where two people could express love for each other not just through words, but through looks and touch as well? Where did the Bula go? That’s right, Bula.
See, Bula is a Fijian word that, on the most basic level, can mean hello, or cheers, or welcome. But in Fiji it means a lot more. In Fiji it comes alive….it becomes a philosophy….a way of life. In Fiji, people smile at you….all the time….for no particular reason…..That is Bula! They believe that the bear hug and the belly laugh are two of the finest forms of communication ever invented, and as you walk down the beach with someone you love, you get the feeling that, while your holiday may only last a week or two, the feeling will stay with you forever. Bula only works in person. It can’t be faxed or emailed or instant-messaged. It needs human interaction to survive. It has to pass from hand to hand, eye to eye, heart to heart. Bula truly needs us. And what’s more, once you’ve been to Fiji, you’ll see how much we truly need Bula as well.
If you are feeling the need for a dose of Bula call the Fiji Experts at 800-704-7094 or contact Sales@JourneyPacific.com