With 333 idyllic islands in the heart of the South Pacific, Fiji is the quintessential island escape. For millennia, the South Pacific archipelago has been the stuff of legends, from its mighty ancient warriors to its natural beauty and sheer remoteness (in The Truman Show, it’s here that the restless protagonist dreams of visiting). What’s the allure? As we look to the country’s reopening on December 1, we’re outlining why Fiji is high on our list for a return visit.
Fiji is reopening to international arrivals. Contact Indagare or your Trip Designer for assistance planning your trip to the South Pacific. Our team can match you with the accommodations and activities that are right for you and provide information on coronavirus travel safety, COVID-19 hotel policies, transportation options, private villas and charters and more.
Fiji is home to beautiful tropical beach resorts that epitomize island escapes. Turtle Island, a pioneering clean-energy resort with a community focus, is a blissful, all-inclusive retreat with 14 solar-powered vales (Fijian-style villas) and beautiful beaches (you may recognize some: the island was the setting for the 1980 film The Blue Lagoon. Vomo Island Resort is a family favorite, with a great kids’ club and lots of activities geared for young travelers. Honeymooners, meanwhile, often head to Royal Davui, a private island resort with 15 vales, each with a plunge pool to enjoy the views. Another property Indagare loves is Kokomo Private Island, where nautical-chic villas have a Fiji-meets-Nantucket vibe. The Great Astrolabe Reef, one of the world’s largest barrier reefs, surrounds the island, making for excellent at-sea explorations just offshore. And of course, there is Laucala, a fantasy island (and Indagare Index property) set on five square miles of lush paradise. Its 25 bungalows have the ultimate South Pacific wow factor, scattered along the island’s beaches, coves and verdant hilltops, or on stilts over the water so you can jump from room to sea. It’s also 90 percent self-sustainable, so almost everything on the menus has been raised organically and free-range on the island.
Visitors to Fiji can easily spend all day poolside or on beach walks. But when you’ve traveled halfway across the world, it takes more than a good pool scene to make it worth the effort. And Fiji delivers in spades. Snorkelers and divers, especially (and individuals looking for a gorgeous place to receive their PADI certification), will appreciate access to epic reefs, which give the country its reputation as the soft coral capital of the world.
Depending on your location and season, expect to see up to five species of sea turtles, along with sharks, rays, dolphins, numerous types of tropical fish (more than one thousand species call Fiji’s waters home) and humpback whales. Overwater activities include sailing, kitesurfing, windsurfing, fishing and day boat charters. Thankfully, the government recognizes that Fiji’s future depends on the health of its marine ecosystems: in 2020, it fulfilled its 2005 commitment to the creation of a vast network of protected areas, totaling 30 percent of its ocean territory. And at many resorts, guests can also take part in conservation efforts, from planting corals to photographing manta rays for identification and tracking.
Not all activities are on or under the sea. The archipelago’s rainforested islands play host to myriad opportunities for exploration. On Veti Levu, for example, zip-lining, white-water rafting and four-wheel buggy treks beckon. On Vanua Levu, Fiji’s second-largest island, the rainforest meets the reef. Here, expect treks to hidden waterfalls and giant inland lakes. Meanwhile, even the smallest of islands offer beautiful nature walks with the chance to see endemic birds, frogs and iguanas.
“Bula! Welcome home.” These are the words most visitors will hear when arriving in Fiji. The greeting is heartfelt and sincere. In fact, Indagare staff and members continually come back from Fiji with the same feedback: Fijians are some of the nicest, warmest and cheerful people. (It’s true, too: a 2017 global survey from Gallup found Fiji to be the happiest country on earth.) That’s not too surprising, given the country’s physical beauty, strong economy and overall focus on family, village and community. What this means: interactions with everyone you encounter are genuinely enjoyable. Plus, visits to local communities help travelers get a better understanding of Fiji beyond its resorts.
Despite its distance, Fiji is surprisingly accessible from the U.S., thanks to direct service from West Coast hubs Los Angeles (daily) and San Francisco (five flights a week) on Fiji Airways. The airline is a OneWorld partner, making for easy connections with American and Alaska airlines.
Beginning December 1, Fiji will (at last!) reopen to fully-vaccinated travelers from around 25 countries, including the United States. Fiji pushed back its reopening timeline to ensure public safety for both visitors and its citizens. Now, more than 85 percent of adults are fully vaccinated—including 100 percent of all eligible employees in the travel and tourism sectors. Beyond that, hotels and tour operators are following stringent Care Fiji Commitment protocols. These include enhanced sanitation practices and new staff training procedures. Fiji Airways, meanwhile, holds five stars in Skytrax’s Covid-19 Safety Ratings.
All travelers will need to show proof of a negative PCR test result from within 72 hours before boarding their flight to Fiji. Visitors will also need to have international travel medical insurance that covers Covid-19-related costs, as well as the country’s careFIJI app on their phone for contact tracing. A rapid Antigen test is required after the first 48 hours of stay. These measures will help keep visitors and locals safe without the need for quarantine periods.
Contact Indagare or email your Trip Designer for assistance planning your trip to the South Pacific. Our team can match you with the accommodations and activities that are right for you and provide information on coronavirus travel safety, COVID-19 hotel policies, transportation options, private villas and charters and more.
This content was created in collaboration with Tourism Fiji and published by Indagare Travel.
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