The island nation of Fiji is situated in the shimmering South Pacific, between Hawaii and Australia. Two thirds of Fiji’s 330 islands are uninhabited, making it one of the most unspoiled places on the planet. Fiji’s jagged reefs and warrior culture kept European explorers and traders at bay for centuries. The result is a society that’s preserved it’s communal traditions and deep connections to the land and sea. Today, Fiji is one of the friendliest places on earth. The Fijian greeting ‘Bulla’ means ‘life’ and ‘good health’. You’ll hear it within minutes of arriving, and before long, you’ll be calling it out with equal gusto. The main island is Vitu Levu. This is home to 85 percent of Fiji’s population, which consists mostly of Melanesian and Indian peoples. A two and half hour drive from Nadi International Airport is Fiji’s capital, Suva. Wander the streets filled with colonial architecture, browse the markets, or simply hang out with locals by the sleepy harbor. From Suva, head west along the fabulous Coral Coast. This 50-mile of stretch of beaches and bays is fringed by a coral reef that literally touches the shoreline. No need for dive-boats here. Just pull on a face mask, step from your resort into the water, and discover why Fiji is known as one of the world’s great snorkeling and diving destinations. Fiji’s main island offers plenty of inland adventures too. Take in the scents of the Fiji Spice Gardens, zip-line through the forest canopy, or climb aboard a four wheel drive for a highlands adventure tour. A trip into Fiji’s rugged interior provides a great window into the lives of the Fijian people, who open their classrooms, homes, and hearts to visitors. When you’re ready to explore Fiji’s smaller islands, head to Denarau, just a 15 minute drive from Nadi Airport. Denarau’s marina is the gateway to two of Fiji’s most popular getaways, the Mamanuca and Yasawa island groups. Getting to the islands is easy, but requires just a little forward planning to ensure you make your transfers. The only hard part is deciding which islands to visit! In Fiji they have a saying, “each bay, it’s own wind”, and this is certainly true of its islands. While some islands cater to all tastes, others are tailored to specific types of travelers. Situated in the Mamanuca Marine Park is tiny Beachcomber Island, known ‘the party island’. Also in the Mamanucas, float away into a world of total relaxation at Malolo Island’s award-winning resorts. For those traveling without children, Malolo offers luxurious sanctuaries perfect for connecting with that someone special. Nearby, Castaway Island is the perfect place to spend quality time with family and to watch your children rediscover the natural world. Just to the north of the Mamanucas, lay the Yasawa group, a chain of twenty island jewels. The twice-daily catamarans from Denarau take between 3 to 4 hours to reach the Yasawas, but the journey from island to island is half the fun. Life here is about as unhurried as it gets. Wander the paths and hilly trails between villages. Glide with gentle giants. Explore beaches where the only footprints will be your own. Alternate read: Just to the north of the Mamanucas, lay the Yasawa group, a chain of twenty island jewels. The twice-daily catamarans from Denarau take between 3 to 4 hours to reach the Yasawas, but the journey from island to island is half the fun. Life here is about as unhurried as it gets. Explore the trails between villages, dive with gentle giants, and wander beaches where the only footprints will be your own. There are also plenty of short adventures available from Port Denarau. Cruise out to tiny Tivua to sample the best of island life in just one day. Or hoist sail aboard a coral cat and explore the pristine marine environment of the West Coast and beyond. Fiji is a paradise for fishermen too. Join a charter and you’ll soon be reeling in delicious reef fish for dinner. Fijians love music. Everywhere you go you’ll hear the heartfelt sound of singing and guitar. But if there’s one thing Fijians adore more than music, it’s children and family. And it’s that sense of family and belonging, that will soon be extended to you. Bulla, welcome to Fiji. Welcome to, life..
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