Fiji has been at the top of my bucket list for as long as I can remember, and this summer we finally made that trip a reality! Located in the middle of the South Pacific, a few hours east of Australia, Fiji consists of 333 incredible islands, white sand beaches, thriving coral reefs, lush jungles and some of the friendliest people on Earth. It's a destination that blends culture, adventure, epic scuba diving, relaxation, paradise beaches, rainforests, amazing food & unique experiences. In fact, we've already booked a trip back in 2024, we loved it so much! Read on for my Fiji travel guide, the itinerary we followed for our 14 days in Fiji, my travel tips & recommendations if you're planning a trip of your own!
Why Visit Fiji?
Not that you need convincing about why you should visit Fiji...but I think it's always good to know the answer to this question especially if you're toying between a few destinations. Here are my top 3 reasons to visit Fiji:
It's easy to get there.
Nobody enjoys multiple layovers & the beauty of Fiji is that it's so easily accessible from Canada & USA's West Coast. From Vancouver YVR Airport, it's an 11-hour direct flight with Fiji Airways which makes travelling there such a breeze. Flights are a good price (ab $1400 CAD roundtrip from Vancouver) and the flight times work well. Fiji Airways is fantastic with such great service. Fiji Airways run a flight on a Monday & Friday, which allows you a good 7 days or 14 days in Fiji.
It's beautiful & there's a lot of variety.
You know this already but I've got to reiterate it because Fiji is truly STUNNING. The islands are all totally different and offer a unique experience to one another. Whether you're looking for cool cultural experiences, mountainous islands, lush jungle, incredible fish-tank like scuba diving conditions or tiny white sand islands...you'll find it in Fiji. The hotels are super cool as well - so whether you're looking for affordable overwater bungalows, a honeymoon island paradise retreat, a family-friendly luxury resort with every amenity or a rustic bungalow on the beach...you'll find that too!
The culture is so unique.
Fijian culture and people are what truly makes Fiji stand out from other island paradise destinations. From communal lovo cooking, to Kava ceremonies, to school & village visits and fire dancing shows, Fiji's culture is fascinating & so different to anywhere else I've been.
How to get to Fiji from Vancouver
Getting from North America to Fiji is easier than you think. Thanks to Fiji Airways' direct service from Vancouver & Los Angeles, you can get there on a direct flight in just 11 hours from North America's West Coast!
We loved flying with Fiji Airways & the whole flight experience was seamless. Flights depart from YVR to Fiji every Monday & Friday, departing from Vancouver at 10pm, arriving in Fiji around 5am. It's an overnight flight & you land in Fiji in time for sunrise. Similarly, you depart Fiji in the evening (which means you have all of your last day to travel or explore) and land in Vancouver at 4pm, so the times work well. We were fortunate to fly Business Class which meant we got a full night's sleep & the service and food on board was wonderful. Fiji Airways have since upgraded the plane for this flight path to an A350, which is even better, especially in Business Class.
Once you land in Fiji, you're out of the airport by 6:30am, which means you can easily hop on the first boat to the Mamanuca or Yasawa Islands from nearby Port Denarau, get a head start on your Viti Levu exploring, or grab an internal Fiji Link flight to another island. We flew to Savusavu airport on Vanua Levu island as soon as we landed, and the views from the journey were unbelievable!
TIPS FOR FLYING WITH FIJI AIRWAYS:
- Fiji Airways is very generous with baggage allowance & you get 1 x 30kg checked bag included in your ticket.
- Your cabin bag limit is 7kg + a personal item. We didn't find they were particularly strict on this.
- IMPORTANT: Some internal Fiji Link flights have a baggage allowance of 15kg per bag. You can take 2 x 15kg bags each. This is because the planes are so small & they have to limit the weight. If you travel with a 30kg checked bag, you will need to split this into two bags for this flight. We took an extra soft duffle bag each, so we could split our weight up.
How easy is it to travel around Fiji?
One of the most commonly asked questions I've received since our trip is, "How easy is it to travel around Fiji?". It's usually one of the first questions I ask too, especially if we're planning to hop around. I'm happy to report that travelling around Fiji is FAR easier than you'd expect. Everything was super organised, easy, and it's a place I'd feel comfortable travelling as a solo traveller or with kids. Here are some useful things to know:
Flying from Vancouver to Fiji
When you arrive from Vancouver or LA, you land at Nadi airport on Viti Levu (Fiji's main island). The International terminal is located next to the Domestic, so it's easy to switch terminals if you're getting a connecting Fiji Link flight. Our flight arrived early, and we were able to hop onto an earlier connecting flight which was great. Make sure to book your connecting flights in advance, as the planes are small & they book up quickly. If you're heading to a destination on Viti Levu, you can grab a taxi from the stand at the airport.
Getting to the Mamanuca & Yasawa Islands
Port Denarau is the place you'll go to catch your public or private transfer boat to the Mamanuca Islands or the Yasawa Islands. Upon arrival, you can purchase boat tickets or check in & store your luggage ready for boarding. There are plenty of restaurants, shops & cafes in Port Denarau. Everything is super organised, clean, lovely & well sign-posted.
We got our private transfer boat to Six Senses Fiji from here, as well as the Awesome Adventures public boat to the Yasawa Islands. The Awesome Adventures boat runs 2 routes (Mamanucas & Yasawas) round-trip each day. You can take it to your destination island (they stop off at all the major islands & resorts), or, you can island hop if you fancy a day trip from Viti Levu. Check out this page for more information.
Travel around Viti Levu
The best way to travel around Viti Levu is either by taxi, by hiring a car or by getting picked up from your hotel by tour operators. I would feel comfortable driving around Viti Levu if we spent time there again - you drive on the left side of the road, the roads are good & not at all sketchy. There are plenty of tour operators such as Off Road Safari who run great tours around Sigatoka & Viti Levu. If you are heading to a destination by taxi that's fairly remote, ask your taxi driver to wait for you while you explore. We did this at the Sigatoka Sand Dunes, and it meant we didn't have to worry about a taxi on the way back. Get their WhatsApp number too, just in case!
TIP: Get yourself an e-Sim for your trip
We only found out about the Airlo e-Sim during our recent Indonesia trip, but it's brilliant. Simply sign up for an Airalo account, purchase a data plan, install your e-Sim and you'll have data for your trip. It's super affordable and easy to top-up your data & far cheaper than roaming plans. Don't forget to turn off your roaming & there's no need to remove your local SIM card.
Our 14 Days in Fiji Travel Plan
Our route in a nutshell:
DAY 1-3: Vanua Levu
DAY 3-6: Viti Levu
DAY 6 -10: Mamanuca Islands
DAY 10-13: Yasawa Islands
Day 14: Viti Levu
Land in Fiji from Vancouver via Fiji Airways (5am arrival)
Fly from Viti Levu to Vanua Levu with Fiji Link (7am)
Arrive at Koro Sun Resort (9am) + breakfast
Check in to the Edgewater Bure
Explore the resort & snorkel from the shore
Sign up for tomorrow's scuba diving
Cocktails & sunset
Dinner & an early night
Watch sunrise from the balcony
Morning scuba dive with the resort dive team (early morning dives are great for spotting hammerhead sharks!)
Snorkel in the afternoon
Experience the Koro Sun spa
Watch sunrise from the balcony
2 x morning scuba dives with the resort dive team
Local village & waterfall visit organised by the resort
Afternoon snorkel or swim
Pack for the following day
Fly from Vanua Levu to Viti Levu (Nadi Airport)
Get a taxi from the airport to the Coral Coast ($100-$120 FJD)
Check in to InterContinental Fiji Resort
Explore the resort, grab lunch, wander the 35+ acre property
Check in for tomorrow's dive at Reef Safari
Sunset Cocktails at Club InterContinental
Dinner with a fire-dancing show at Karma Lounge
Breakfast in the Club InterContinental Lounge
Morning scuba dive with the in-house Reef Safari team
Check out Natadola Bay beach & the sandbank
Spa treatment at Spa InterContinental
Cocktails at Club InterContinental & island dancing show
Dinner at SanaSana restaurant
TIP: If your stay falls on a Sunday, check out InterContinental Fiji's Sunday morning Coral Planting program, which you can take part in!
Breakfast at Navo by the beach
Grab a taxi to the Sigatoka Sand Dunes (40 minute drive)
Explore & hike the Sigatoka Sand Dunes for 3 hours
Wander around Sigatoka town
Drive back to InterContinental Resort
Swim in Natadola Bay
Cocktails at Club InterContinental
Dinner at Sanasana
Check out of hotel & taxi to Port Denarau (40 mins)
Private boat transfer from Port Denarau to the Mamanuca Islands
Check into our Six Senses Fiji Bure
Explore the island & resort
Check in for tomorrow's scuba diving at the Adventure Centre
Alchemy bar experience to learn about the healing power of plants & local flora
Sunset cocktails & dinner
Sunrise swim to start the day
2 morning dives around the Mamanuca Island reefs
Kava ceremony with local chief
Cocktails & dinner with an island dancing show
Aerial yoga to start the day
Snorkelling off the beach
Gelato stop at the Six Senses Ice Creamery
Cinema under the stars - outdoor movie night
Iguana spotting after dusk (Six Senses Fiji runs an Iguana protection program)
Final dinner & pack for departure
Early transfer boat from Six Senses Fiji to Port Denarau
Yasawa Flyer Awesome Adventures boat to the Yasawa Islands (there is 1 boat per day at 8:30am)
Take in the scenic boat journey
Arrive at Barefoot Kuata Resort on Kuata Island
Explore the beach
Snorkelling with reef sharks off the shore
Check in for tomorrow's dive with the on-site Reef Safari dive team
Sunset & dinner
Iconic bull shark scuba dive!
(Barefoot Kuata is one of the only dive operation in the Yasawas & Mamanucas that runs the bull shark dive, outside of Pacific Harbour on Viti Levu)
Snorkelling off the beach
Morning hike up to the summit / peak of the island
Snorkelling off the shore
Tour to the local village & primary school
Dinner & pack for departure
Day 13 + 14 / Viti Levu
Morning snorkelling off the beach
Check out of Barefoot Kuata
Hang at the resort
Board the Yasawa Flyer boat back to Port Denarau (this comes 1x per day, at 3pm)
Arrive in Port Denarau
Taxi to InterContinental Fiji ($100 FJD)
Check in to resort & dinner
Morning beach walk
Naihehe Cannibal Cave tour with Off-Road Cave Safari
(this includes a kava ceremony, tour of the caves, Fiji history session, short hike & off-road tour)
Back to the resort
Pack & prepare to leave
Head to the airport to fly back to Vancouver
Things to know about Fiji
Here are a few good things to know if you're thinking about visiting Fiji:
Ease of travelling around: I was pleasantly surprised how easy & organised travel was within Fiji and we found this aspect to be relatively stress-free. Boats were organised & ran on time, everything was clearly sign posted, taxis were plentiful & English is one of the main spoken languages. You can fly between the islands (via Fiji Link), or, hop on a boat. It's very easy to get from Nadi/Viti Levu to the Mamanuca Islands & Yasawa Islands, via the Awesome Adventures hop-on-hop-off boat from Port Denarau.
Safety: I felt incredibly safe in every destination we visited around Fiji. Of course, with any destination you have to have your wits about you, but at no point did we feel unsafe or taken advantage of. Even down to taxi fares - we were expecting to be overcharged as tourists (let's face it, it happens!) but we found we were undercharged a lot of the time which was such a pleasant surprise.
Friendliness: The Fijian people are among the friendliest people I've ever met. Big claim - I know - but we found every person we encountered to be so warm & friendly, kind, and willing to help. It's well known that Fijian people are incredibly kind and lovely, but I didn't realise just how much so until this trip. It's one of the (many) things I loved about it!
How family-friendly is Fiji? We found Fiji to be very family-friendly and in every resort we visited, there were activities, kids clubs & experiences geared towards kids as well as an abundance of child-care programs. Travelling around is fairly seamless & although we don't have children, it's a destination I'd happily visit with my future family one day.
Currency: The currency used in Fiji is the Fijian Dollar (FJD). Fiji was cheaper than North America & Europe for some things, but prices were still fairly high especially for hotels.
Time difference: Fiji is 19 hours ahead of Vancouver BC which is the biggest time difference I've experienced. However, it wasn't as painful as you'd think. Because Fiji is almost 1 full day ahead, the time difference is actually only 5 hours, so our sleeping patterns weren't too bad. 5am in Fiji is 10am in Vancouver, which meant we were waking up at the crack of dawn for sunrise. It made working remotely quite easy & we weren't fighting to wake up in a morning, which was nice!
Best time of year to visit Fiji: Being in the Southern Hemisphere, Fiji's seasons are flipped and they enjoy summer over Christmas time, and winter in North America's summer. We visited in June and the climate was perfect. From December to April, expect higher temperatures, more humidity and more rain. And in Fiji's winter, expect slightly cooler temperatures from May to November. We visited in June, and temperatures dropped to around 16°C at night and up to 28°C in the day. It was actually perfect with less humidity than I expected.
Food: We LOVED the food in Fiji and you'll find a mix of traditional Indigenous Fijian food, Indian food, Indo-Fijian food as well as Western food. We loved sampling it all & the curries & seafood were out of this world! We found the resorts served a range of dishes, including vegan & vegetarian, and the food was one of my highlights.
Our 14 days in Fiji flew by far too fast & it's a destination I'd visit again and again! I also want to give a special thanks to our partners for this trip - Fiji Airways, Koro Sun Resort, InterContinental Fiji & Six Senses Fiji - who helped us to pull our trip together.
I hope you've found this useful - let me know if you have any questions in the comments 🙂