This trip takes you to the highlights of Fiji. The Queens Road, a two-lane highway, links Nadi, the Coral Coast, and Suva, so you'll make this part of the trip overland. Bus connections are available, but I always rent a car in order to have the maximum flexibility. Ferries run from Suva to Taveuni and Savusavu, but don't even think about taking them. Fly instead.
Days 1-2: Relaxing in Nadi
Take the first day to recover from your international flight lounging around the pool, shopping in Nadi Town, or sightseeing. Spend Day 2 on land-based excursions, such as to the late Raymond Burr's Garden of the Sleeping Giant; Lautoka, Fiji's second-largest city; and Viseisei Village, the country's oldest native Fijian village. Finish off with some more shopping and dinner in Nadi.
Days 3-4: Exploring the Coral Coast
Get up early and drive south to the Coral Coast, on the southern coast of Viti Levu, Fiji's mainland. Stop on the way at the Sigatoka Sand Dunes National Park and Kula Eco Park, which I like because they give an interesting glimpse of Fiji's geology and wildlife. You can swim or snorkel in the afternoon, or hike to a waterfall with Adventures in Paradise Fiji. Catch an evening show featuring the "fire walkers" from Beqa Island.
Day 5: Rafting on the Navua River
One of my favorite Fiji excursions is up the Navua River, which carves a dramatic gorge through Viti Levu's mountainous interior before spilling into a flood plain west of Suva. The usual trip takes you upriver on a fast speed boat but brings you back on a bilibili (bamboo raft). Or you can ride an inflatable boat over white waters with Rivers Fiji.
Day 6: Suva
On the way to Suva, Fiji's humid capital city, stop and see a presentation of native arts, crafts, and dancing at the Pacific Harbour Arts Village, the country's best cultural center. Once in Suva, take a walking tour of downtown, ending at the Fiji Museum. The city is the best place to do after-dark bar hopping.
Day 7: A Trip Back in Time to Levuka
A short trip from Suva to Levuka always highlights my visits to Fiji. The country's original capital, the old town has retained its 19th-century appearance, and its backdrop of sheer cliffs makes it one of the South Pacific's most beautiful towns. Get Ovalau Watersports to organize a morning walking tour and an afternoon excursion on Ovalau. Either catch the late afternoon flight back to Suva or overnight at the charming Levuka Homestay.
Days 8-9: Exploring Taveuni
Take the early morning Air Fiji flight back to Nausori Airport near Suva and connect from there to Taveuni, Fiji's third-largest island. Famous for world-class diving on the Great White Wall and its Rainbow Reef, Taveuni also is a hiker's paradise. Stay near the airport, from where it's an easy trip to the waterfalls in Bouma National Heritage Park and the Lavena Coastal Walk. The next day, hike to mountaintop Lake Tagimaucia, where you might see the rare flower of the same name.
Days 10-11: Savusavu: "Little America"
Spend your first day exploring Savusavu, on Fiji's second-largest island, Vanua Levu. Although it is rapidly developing, the town still recalls its days as a 19th-century copra (coconut oil) port. Stroll along the harbor, have lunch at the Bula-Re Cafe, and visit the famous Savusavu Hotsprings, where Fijians still cook their evening meals. Stop by Curly's Cruising/Bosun's Locker to rent a kayak or arrange an excursion to a Fijian village. If you have brought your children, stay at Jean-Michel Cousteau Fiji Islands Resort, one of the South Pacific's top family resorts.
Days 12-13: An Island Retreat
Spending at least 1 night on a small island in the Mamanucas or Yasawas is almost an essential ingredient of any trip to Fiji, whether it's at the raucous Beachcomber Island Resort, the family-oriented Plantation Island Resort, a quiet couples-only hideaway like Matamanoa Island Resort, the charming Navutu Stars Resort in the Yasawas, or one of the backpackers dotting the islands. They have much better beaches than you'll find on Viti Levu, and it'll give you a chance to rest for the trip home.
Day 14: Last-Minute Shopping in Nadi
If your homeward flight departs late at night, you can stay in the islands for an extra day. Otherwise spend your last day catching up on shopping or any excursions you might have missed in and around Nadi.
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