Located in the South Pacific Ocean, Fiji is a tropical paradise that attracts. adventure and beach lovers alike. Here are our ideas for the best things to do in Fiji.
“Bula Vinakka! Hello, Welcome to Fiji!”
You will hear these words everywhere you go in Fiji as warm and genuine smiles greet you at every turn.
What to do in Fiji
With its 322 islands to explore, planning a vacation to Fiji can be overwhelming. Where do you begin?
Well, we suggest making a base on the main island of Viti Levu at one of its luxury resorts and then plan day trips to some of the popular and more isolated islands by boat.
Fiji is a tropical paradise that's a thousand miles from anywhere filled with waterfalls, rainforests, and white sandy beaches. Here are our suggestions for what to do in Fiji.
1. Kava Ceremony
When traveling to Fiji you must take part in a traditional Kava ceremony.
As you enter any establishment, hotel, or restaurant, you people will yell Bula Vinaka and offer up Kava to welcome you.
Kava is a mild narcotic so you will feel a little numbness in your tongue, but don't worry, it won't hurt you and you'll feel very relaxed afterward.
How a Kava Ceremony Works
When visiting any village in Fiji it is customary to present a gift of Yaqona (Kava root). The root is ground down and strained through a cloth and into a large wooden bowl.
- The ceremony then begins as the villagers grind up the Kava and strain it through a cloth bag into a large wooden bowl placed in the middle of the room.
- It is then offered to your chief who is the oldest man in your group
- Then the village’s executive head drinks the Kava
- After that it is shared with everyone.
- The men drink first and then the women.
For more on the Kava Ceremony check out our Kava Ceremony Etiquette.
2. Raft the Upper Navua River
Rafting the Upper Navua River is probably one of the most peaceful and beautiful rafting trips we've ever taken.
The rapids are a leisurely class 3 and 4 but you still get the blood pumping as you bump up and down the river with your very fun guides.
If you have a fear of White Water Rafting, Fiji is the place to do it.
The trip takes you 26 km down the most picturesque scenery you will ever witness.
Waterfalls of all sizes stream down the deep canyons surrounded by lush jungle.
This is an eco-friendly tour. The village chiefs were asked and many a Kava Ceremony took place to allow Whitewater rafting on their island. All tours are run by the villagers and all guides are local.
Rafting the Upper Navua River is a must when visiting Fiji – Read more here!
3. Visit the Oho Caves – Home of the Headhunters
The Oho Caves were home to the Navatua Tribe: the fiercest tribe in Fiji.
I often think that Fiji must have been the inspiration for Gilligan's Island. After all, Fiji is the land of the headhunter, and Gilligan was marooned on a beautiful paradise island filled with headhunters.
When visiting Fiji, you can learn a great deal about its history by taking a tour to the Oho Caves.
The great Navatua Tribe was the first tribe in the area to give up the practice of headhunting and embrace Christianity. After that everything changed.
The villagers and the chiefs were so happy to have us experience their community and we highly recommend this activity when visiting Fiji.
It is a newer tour, so make sure to ask specifically for the Oho Caves tour of the Tao Village.
4. Go Ziplining
The Pacific Coast is the adventure capital of Fiji and zip lining is the number one attraction here.
Zip Fiji offers a canopy tour that lasts an afternoon taking you through 8 zip lines that soar over the jungle canopy.
The lines are long, they are fast, and they are fun!
Like most Fiji attractions, Ziplining is eco-friendly.
Ropes and harnesses are used to fasten the metal platforms to the trunks of the trees rather than nails.
Great care was taken to make sure that the surrounding vegetation was not disturbed when creating ziplines. It makes for an amazing experience zipping over an untouched jungle canopy.
- Find out more of our Fiji adventure at Zip Fiji Ziplining
5. Jet Boat Safari
Jet Boating the Sigatoka river is by far the wildest Jet Boat Experience we've ever taken.
The small boat whizzes through the river, doing 360's at lightning-fast speeds through incredible scenery.
The local guides are knowledgable about history and Fijian culture telling us stories of the old headhunter ways.
It was in 1867 that the last Cannibalized human was eaten. The Reverend Baker made the grave mistake of taking a comb out of a village chief’s hair and he paid the ultimate penalty.
They killed the missionary and barbecued him over an open flame. They then ate him and even tried to eat his boots!
Between stories like this and heart-pounding twists and turns, it's an excursion we'll never forget!
6. Visit a Traditional Fijian Village
Immerse in Fijian culture as you take a boat down the river far away from civilization.
Stopping at Tuvu Village to take part in a Kava ceremony with the villagers was one of our most memorable moments on Fiji.
Everyone is friendly and welcoming and the afternoon is spent dancing, eating, and listening to music.
Here we enjoyed a very authentic Kava Ceremony. Kava ceremonies happen at all resorts and around the island, but at a traditional village, it is done as it has been for centuries.
Plus, the Kava mixture is potent. You'll have a numb tongue for hours!
- See more at the Sigatoka River Safari.
7. Visit a traditional salt factory
Gathering salt from tidal pools is hard work.
A visit to a traditional salt factory will give you a first-hand view of just how difficult that work is.
Women walk out to wells located in a tidal pool to gather water to be harvested for salt..
They carry buckets of saltwater back to a very hot and humid hut where they boil it until it evaporates.
It is here that traditional salt methods live on as they have for centuries.
- Learn more about it at our traditional salt factory visit.
8. Island Hop
There are so many islands that are waiting to be explored by you just off the coast of Fiji.
We have had the luxury of visiting Fiji twice and have taken part in three different day cruises to explore secluded islands.
The most popular islands to visit in Fiji are the Mamanuca islands. They are located just off the coast of the main island of Vitu Navu.
There are daily flights from Nadi airport if you want to go out for an overnight trip, or you can take a taxi to Port Denarau from Nadi to catch a transfer to one of the islands.
Here you'll be able to snorkel the incredible barrier reefs of Fiji.
- A popular resort on the Mamanuca Islands is the Beachcomber Islands Resort.
We took a day cruise one of our luxury stays at The Pearl Fiji to a private beach. Many resorts offer days tours to the islands.
Are you dreaming yet?
9. Swim with Manta Rays
Scuba diving is a very popular activity in Fiji with its crystal clear waters and coral reefs.
- Shark Reef Marine Reserve has some of the best shark diving in the world
- Sososomo Strait is known for its soft coral
- The Great Astrolabe Reef has incredible corals and wall dives.
But, between May and October, it's manta ray season that attracts snorkelers and scuba divers to Fiji.
Barefoot Manta Island is the main attraction for swimming and diving with Manta Rays.
10. Paintball at Sonaisali
A unique adventure in Fiji is to take a trip out to the Sonaisali Resort for a game of Paintball in the jungle.
Crawling around in the heat and humidity made me think of just how awful things must have been for soldiers on both sides of the Vietnam War.
War games in the tropics hard enough for us. But it was a pure blast to be able to crawl around in the mud and hide from the opposing team.
Everything you need is supplied. Just wear a good pair of durable shoes and bring a sense of adventure.
- Read all about our paintball adventures
11. Garden of the Sleeping Giant
If you are looking for something a little offbeat to do in Fiji, the Garden of the Sleeping Giant is a lovely attraction for outdoor lovers.
Botanists will love this garden filled with orchids and plants of the South Pacific.
Take the raised canopy through a winding forest trail to spy the original collection of flowers by Raymond Burr. (now that's a random fact)
12. Spa Day at the Pearl
There is nothing better than basking in luxury at The Pearl Fiji.
Located on the quieter side of the island it's the perfect couples retreat.
Their couples' massage was like no other. We were lucky enough to have a suite at this resort and a full day to relax and enjoy each other's company.
We also had another incredible spa day in Fiji at Outrigger Fiji.
Where to stay in Fiji
- The Pearl was by far our favourite accommodation
- Sonaisali Resort was wonderful too. We definitely would have spent a few more days here.
- Outrigger Fiji is very family-oriented and we didn't love it, but other people seemed to think it was grand.
With 332 islands to explore, it could take a lifetime to truly see all everything and experience all the things to do in Fiji, but if you have a couple of weeks, you can definitely have your dream trip of a lifetime.
We cannot wait to go back again and hear those two uplifting words again – Bula Vinakka!
Read Next: Things to do in the Maldives