Why should I come here?
How's the scuba diving in Fiji?
What can I do here in one week?
Do you recommend renting a car?
Should I bring a tent?
What's the best time of year to travel to Fiji?
Are there any health hazards in Fiji which I should know about?
Fiji is the largest and most popular vacation destination in the South Pacific, with the best selection of things to see and do. From the beach resorts of the Mamanucas and Yasawas to adventure travel on Kadavu or Taveuni, the Fiji Islands have something for everyone. It's inexpensive, the people are friendly and helpful, and the facilities are excellent. Fiji is a place where you can really relax.
Fiji is known as "the soft coral capital of the world" and you'll be able to experience some of the finest scuba diving in the South Pacific here. Pacific Harbor, Kadavu, Savusavu, Taveuni, and the Mamanuca Islands are only a few of the many dive centers and most dives are just a 15-minute boat ride from Fiji's top resorts. Fiji is a good place to learn to scuba dive as most of the dive shops offer certification courses at reasonable prices, otherwise you can take an "introductory dive" to test the water.
You can easily travel right around the main island, Viti Levu, by road. On this 486-kilometer journey you could trek over the Sigatoka sand dunes, spend a night at a Coral Coast resort, take advantage of the many sightseeing and entertainment options in the capital Suva, and explore the unforgettable north coast. You might still have a day or two left over for daytrips to some of the resort islands off Nadi, and with a little planning you could even throw in the old colonial capital, Levuka.
That depends on you. Public bus service is very frequent and inexpensive on Viti Levu, making a rental car a definite luxury. It's also rather expensive, starting at just over US$50 a day with unlimited kilometers. Gas costs US$2.50 a US gallon. On the plus side, the traffic is light, the main highways are paved, and your home drivers license will be accepted. Driving is on the left and it can be hazardous at night due to people/animals on the road, unmarked speed humps in the villages, erratic local motorists, etc. If you do decide to rent, a dozen companies have offices at Nadi International Airport, including Avis, Budget, Hertz, and Thrifty.
Not unless you plan to hike or surf in some really remote areas, and even then it's better to stay in local villages and experience the culture. Backpacker camps are found on the vast majority of islands you'll want to visit and the only advantage in having a tent is that you'd be able to pitch it on the premises at a discount if the dormitory happened to be full. That said, camping is allowed and accepted in most parts of the Fiji islands, so long as you get permission, observe the local etiquette, and don't leave a mess. If you camp freelance on a beach without permission you could become a victim of theft.
If you're coming from North America, you should try to set out between April 26th and June 17th, or July 19th and August 26th, because that's when airfares on Air Pacific and Air New Zealand are at their lowest levels. The return portion of your ticket can be used anytime during its validity (you don't need to leave by August 26th). The airlines have made late April to August their low season because that's winter in New Zealand and Australia, their main destinations, but by a happy coincidence June to October are the coolest and driest months in Fiji. You'll also miss the hurricane season, which runs from November to April.
Malaria doesn't exist here and the water is safe to drink, but outbreaks of mosquito-borne dengue fever do occur. The only way to prevent it is to try to avoid being bitten. You might check the Centers for Disease Control, listed on our Pacific Links page, for current information on dengue fever as it's not always a problem. In practice it's usually local residents who are affected, not visitors.