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FijiTravelTravel Tips

One Week in Fiji: Island Hopping on a Budget

By March 23, 2018 No Comments

Close your eyes and imagine floating through crystal clear, strikingly blue water up to an island lined with people singing a welcome song offering you freshly squeezed mango guava juice as you sink your feet into the soft toasty sand.

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Sounds like an amazing dream right? Well it doesn’t have to be because you will have that experience in REAL LIFE when you go to Fiji. If you read my last post about how to plan a trip with Fiji Awesome Adventures, this article is going to talk about the specific package I booked and what activities were included with the Full Monty Package.

When I went to Fiji I purchased:

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When I arrived in Nadi I went to the Fiji Awesome Adventures office to pick up my trip tickets and vouchers. Since I bought the Welcome Package, my ride and accommodation/food for the night was covered so my driver picked me up and took me to the backpacker.

I’m not going to lie, I was a little worried because it took a long time for the driver to come and then once he picked me up, we stopped to get gas (and he grabbed a snack in the gas station) and then stopped to meet his wife and kids. That was when it dawned on me that I’m not in America so I can’t expect things to be like they are at home. So instead of getting frustrated, I tried to open my mind and embrace the differences of this new culture.

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I stayed at Smugglers Cove that evening and woke up to the most beautiful sunrise! This backpacker/hotel is right on the beach and breakfast was included. Then a bus took me to Denarau Marina to hop on the Yasawa Flyer to begin my journey.

2 things I discovered and fell in love with about Fiji:
  • It’s way more remote than I thought it would be. When we arrived at each island, usually the only thing on that island was the resort (and by that I mean, one main building where you eat meals and then the rest are little huts or dorms where you sleep) No grocery stores, no banks, no shopping, no wifi, no worries. Talk about being off the grid
  • The people. I’ve never met such kind, genuine, and generous people. They take so much pride in serving you and showing you their way of life. The south better watch out because Fijian hospitality is a force to be reckoned with.

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The first day was the longest (but most beautiful) day on the Yasawa Flyer because my journey started at the very top of the Yasawa Islands and then I worked my way down. The boat stops at almost every island to drop people off and pick people up so it was late afternoon before I arrived at Blue Lagoon Beach Resort.

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On the first day I went from Nadi all the way to the top islands and worked my way back down. source: fiji budget vacations

Hospitality: 10/10

Being greeted on the beach with a welcome song and fresh squeezed juice to be immediately guided to lunch isn’t a bad way to start off your stay. And the hospitality kept getting better from there. The staff here has the biggest hearts.

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Accommodation: 7/10

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The dorms and facilities were clean and every basic need was taken care of. I didn’t spend hardly any time in these rooms because everything else was SO beautiful, so as long as I had a place to be horizontal for the night, I was happy. The fans were a nice touch though. 😉

Food: 6/10

The first day I tried their egg pad thai and it was so amazing I ordered it every day. But aside from that, I wasn’t really impressed by their food. It wasn’t terrible, but definitely take advantage of the fresh fruit and if you’re a picky eater, pack your own snacks.

Activities: 9/10

At Blue Lagoon I took advantage of the snorkeling and island massage and since we arrived on a Sunday, we were able to enjoy a Meke Performance during dinner. My favorite, however was exploring Sawailau Caves. The scenic boat trip to the caves is worth it in itself, but swimming through a limestone carved cave with light peering through the ceiling makes this activity a must do. If you’re feeling extra adventurous you can even take an underwater tunnel to a more secretive cavern.

This is a great island for relaxation and spending all afternoon in a hammock or strolling down the beach.

Island 2: Naviti

Resort: Korovou Eco-Tour Resort

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Hospitality: 10/10

This by far was my favorite island and the people were a large part of that reason. The staff went out of their way to customize our day and make us feel welcomed and loved. When we first arrived I was one of 4 other guests on the whole island but they took us in a made us part of the family.

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Accommodation: 8/10

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The accommodation here was similar to Blue Lagoon. Big open room with beds, fans and a shower/bathroom facility. Nothing fancy, but it did the job. They also have personal huts for rent so you can have your own space and amenities, but are more expensive.

Food: 10/10

Out of all the islands I visited, this one had the yummiest food. They were also very accommodating when meal times and schedules got off to make sure we were fed. That’s one important thing to know is that in Fiji… you’re on island time. The schedules are always a rough guideline so if it says lunch is served at 12, that just means it will be served at some point between 11:00am and 2:00pm. Haha be patient, don’t get frustrated, let go of your schedule and relax.

Activities: 10/10

I felt super spoiled on this island because one of the workers, Pyro took it upon himself to let us do whatever we wanted!!

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This is Pyro

Here are some of the highlights:

  • He climbed a tree to chop down some coconuts for us and taught us how to open them with your hand!
  • He took us to a house close by to visit a family with a mango tree and we got to meet their family and see their house and how they lived
  • We took a boat around to one of the villages to see the church, school market and even got to play with the kids! (this was my favorite part)
  • We climbed to the top of the island to take in some spectacular views!! (This was a really sketchy hike though, I thought I was going to die)
  • They did a dance performance while we ate dinner and taught us how to fire dance
  • Playing volleyball with some other guests at the nearby resort

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Korouvo definitely know what it means to #DoStuff and live in community. I LOVED this and was so sad to leave.

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Island 3: South Sea Island

Hospitality: 10/10

I think it’s clear by now that anywhere you go in Fiji, the people are incredible. This island was no exception. This island may be tiny (you can walk around the entire thing in about 4 minutes) but the entertainment, hospitality and joy is BIG.

Accommodation: 9/10

I was in a girls only dorm and two friends that I made and I found a room all to ourselves where we could sleep on the top bunks! It worked out really well to have our own place to sleep that night.

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Food: 9/10

I only had dinner here, but they set up a long table on the beach for everyone to sit and we watched the sun go down as we ate dinner. I’m convinced a good sunset makes your food taste better. I mean look at this!! And I didn’t even edit this photo.

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Activities: 5/10

Since this island is so tiny, really the only activities you can do are in the water. Snorkeling, diving, kayaking, laying on the beach etc. These are all amazing, especially given how clear the water is, but there aren’t as many options as some of the other islands. I didn’t care though because I was only here for one afternoon and one sleep and then I took off again in the morning for my last day, full day sailing adventure.

Seaspray Day Sailing Adventure

This is an extra, full day activity you can add on to spend your last day on the sea or you can just spend more time on your last island. I, personally, think this was an incredible way to spend your last day and see more of Fiji.

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In the morning you hop on a big sail boat and sail out to the island where they filmed Castaway. Then you’re free to swim, snorkel, explore the island or bask in the sun for a few hours while they cook up a mean BBQ on the boat.

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Once the lunch bell rings you better paddle fast to the boat because you’ll want to be first in line for this lunch. YUM. It is absolutely amazing. Then you sail to another island to visit a village and participate in a traditional Kava ceremony.

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I’m going to warn you, Kava is an acquired taste (kind of tastes like dirt water) but it’s said to have medicinal properties and its deeply rooted in Fijian culture so if you’re up for it, try it!!

Finally you sail back to the Yasawa Flyer, which takes you back to Denarau Marina and then its back to your backpacker or hotel for the evening. I stayed at the same place I did in the beginning, Smugglers Cove, and spent my last night on the lively patio where there was music and fire dancing.

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The Moce Fiji Departure Pack includes transportation back to the airport so I didn’t have to think about a thing the next morning. I hope this gives you a better understanding of some of the islands and how I laid out my trip using the incredible guidance of Awesome Adventures.

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They truly made my trip so easy to plan, which let me focus on relaxing and being stress free the whole time. Now it’s time to plan your trip!! Where are you thinking about traveling next? Let me know in the comments below! Tell me where you’re from and where you want to go!

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Happy Traveling!

Xx Nicole #DoStuff

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NicoleERenard
Author NicoleERenard

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