The official currency of Fiji is the Fiji Dollar (FJD). Major credit cards are widely accepted at hotels/resorts, restaurants and shops. There is a currency exchange located just outside Immigrations & Customs, easy place to get some local currency for incidental purchases, suggest about $200.00 USD or CAD. ATM’s are found at some hotels, major towns and banks (they do charge a 3-6% fee).
English is widely spoken in Fiji and is one of the 3 official languages, the others being Fijian (there are several dialects but Bauan is most common) and Fiji Hindi.
Best time to go
Fiji time is anytime! The dry season, May thru October, is considered to be the best of the best with more moderate temperatures and humidity, water clarity is best during the dry season. The holiday season is also very popular with families.
Tropical at its best. Dry season is May thru October with daytime highs around 28-30C and lows around 18-21C, moderate humidity and typically an afternoon breeze. Rainy season is November thru April, with daytime highs 30-32C and lows 20-23C. The rainy season is also when you could have a chance of a cyclone.
Fiji really does have something for just about every traveler. Honeymoons and romantic escapes, family and multi-generational groups, adventure seekers, cultural travelers, and more. Accommodation includes beautiful resort/hotel complexes, smaller resort complexes, private island resorts, and cruises to remote island locals., from 'flash-packer' to high end luxury.
Getting There From North America
The main international airport for Fiji is Nadi International Airport (NAN) is located in Nadi, all flights from North America arrive at Nadi International Airport. Nausori Airport (SUV) is located in Suva and has some international flight from Australia and Tonga.
Major Air Routes from the United States
All flights from North America are operated by Fiji Airways with gateways in Los Angeles (LAX - daily), San Francisco (SFO - 3x weekly) and Honolulu (HNL - 3x weekly). Fiji Airways codeshares with American Airlines, Qantas Airways and Air New Zealand. Connecting flights to Fiji Airways gateways are available from most North American airports.
Major Air Routes from Canada
All flights from Canada are operated by Westjet or Air Canada code sharing with Fiji Airways via Los Angeles (LAX - daily), San Francisco (SFO - 3x weekly) and Honolulu (HNL - 3x weekly) and are available from all major Candian airports.
Essential Sights of Fiji
Fiji is a country made up of over 330 islands, about 1/3 of which are inhabited. The main tourist islands are Viti Levu, he largest island; Vanua Levu, the second largest island, Taveuni, the Mamanuca Island Group, Yasawa Island Group; Beqa Lagoon; Kadavu Island Group, Lau Group and several islands off Viti Levu and Taveuni.
On Viti Levu the most beautiful beach (and the longest) is at Natadola, but there are many many others. Some of the most beautiful beaches anywhere are in the Yasawa Island group, from long powery sugar beaches to small palm rimmed coves..
Fiji’s tropical hinterland is ideal for hiking to remote waterfalls, whitewater rafting/kayaking excursions, bird watching or learning about the rich biological diversity of the islands.
Lagoons and reefs
Fiji has some of the most beautiful turquoise lagoons in the South Pacific. Glass bottom boat tours allow you to see abundant marine life, or for those that want a closer look, try snorkeling in the warm, crystal clear water. Fiji is one of the top Scuba Diving destinations in the world, even being considered its ‘soft coral capital.’ Many of the reefs and lagoons are marine preserves, keeping them pristine and beautiful. A few of the more famous sites include Rainbow Reef, the Great White Wall, Beqa Lagoon (site of adrenalin-pumping shark dives), Namena Marine Preserve, Somosomo Straights, and Bligh Waters.
Other Highlights of Fiji - Off the Beaten Path
Hot Springs & Mud Pools
On Viti Levu, Sabeto Hot Springs or Tifajek Mud Pool and Hot Spring both offer hot mud pools to hop in and rejuvenate your skin with soft, warm mud. After you get out and the mud dries, take a series of dips/soaks in the hot springs to clean off and soak your cares away.
Salt Lake Kayak
If you’re staying at one of the resorts on Vanua Levu, a must do is the Salt Lake Kayak trip. A small channel from the coast to Salt Lake is a fun kayak or float trip that takes you to a place few tourists get to see.
Want to experience staying in a Fijian Village? Take a hike across the highlands. Talanoa Treks offers 1 to 4 night treks as well as day trips into the highlands and interior of Fiji.
Full day trips are available departing Pacific Harbour on the Luva River, Middle and Upper Navua River. The Upper Navua trip (class II –III) is a particular favourite, with waterfalls, deep gorges, birds, and fruit bats amid the lush rainforest. Also included is a riverside deli lunch.
If spending time at one of the upper Yasawa group resorts or taking a Blue Lagoon or Captain Cook Cruise, be sure to take in the Sawa-I-Lau Caves. Snorkel through an underwater passage and explore.
Circle Island Tour of Viti Levu
Not that many people do this, but the trip over the top of Viti Levu via the Kings Road, and returning via the Queens Road is well worth the full day it takes.
Top Activities and Experiences in Fiji
When staying on an out island do one of the Village Visits or visit one of the village schools. On Sundays taking in a church service is great – no matter your persuasion.
Kava ceremonies, fire walking shows, Meke performances (traditional dance and song), and lovos (Fiji’s version of the Hawaiian luau) are all fun and educational experiences that give an insight to Fijian culture.
Sri Siv Subramaniya Temple
This beautiful and elaborate Hindu temple sits on the outskirts of Nadi. If you’re transferring from the airport to anywhere on the Coral Coast, there’s a good chance you’ll drive by it.
Simple, we know. But what better way to relax on a lazy afternoon than in a beachside hammock with a good book and beverage?
Most of the island resorts offer free use of non-motorized sports equipment. Try snorkeling, kayaking, stand-up paddle boarding, sailing, spy boards or just floating in the warm clear water. Most resorts also offer motorized water sports or have access to them, Scuba Diving is a must do if you’re certified (or, lessons are available and easy).
Up Up and Away
Scenic flights via helicopter, fixed wing or seaplane are fantastic.You can even try tandem skydiving for that extra adrenaline rush.
Learn how to make a couple of traditional dishes, Fijian and Indo-Fijian, with the freshest ingredients, then have your masterpiece for lunch.
Essential Fiji Foods to Try
A bit like ceviche, but better (don’t tell Goway South America!).
Roufou, taro or dalo leaves
Fijians like to get creative with their spinach and greens, with several ways to serve.
A feast prepared in an in-ground oven with lots of different items, all of them delicious.
Also known as “sea grapes” these are served as a fresh vegetable or garnish.
There are curries on the menu of course, with fish, chicken, beef, lamb, goat, and vegetarian options. Try a dhal soup with roti, finished with unique Indian sweets and desserts.
Most Popular Itineraries for Fiji
The Classics – Whether it’s to one island or several, tailor-make your perfect Fiji escape.
Romance & Honeymoons – Where it’s at for seclusion in the South Pacific.
Family and Multi-Generational – Fiji is for families too!
Cruising – The best small/boutique cruises anywhere, perfect for island hopping.
Tips for Sustainable Travel
Tipping might not be customary in Fiji, but many resorts do have Staff Funds. Donations are shared by the entire staff, even those that make your stay better, that you never see.
Some properties also have an environmental fund to help protect their local area. Donating to this assists in beach/reef cleanup efforts and clean water projects.
Not to make it all about money, but village and school funds play a big part in helping local villages and schools. It’s a great way to give back to one of the most welcoming nations on earth.
Refuse single use plastics whenever possible.
Please use a reef friendly sunscreen to protect both your skin, and marine life.
Where to Go Next
Try a stopover in Australia or New Zealand. Daily flights from Nadi make it easy and getting a taste of the destination primes you for your next South Pacific holiday.
If you really loved the island experience and want more try French Polynesia (Tahiti), the Cook Islands, Samoa or one of several island nation destinations in the South Pacific. You can even complete things with a Hawaii stopover pre or post trip.
17 Jun 2020, 5:43 p.m.