Fiji isn’t just about soaking up the sun on white-sand beaches (though we aren’t complaining!). Fiji’s 300-plus islands are an adventure-lover’s paradise. Although it would be so easy to work on your tan all day, Fiji offers an underwater world and stunning nature reserves that beg to be discovered. If you’re planning on visiting the stunning island (you know, when travel is a thing again) here are the best adventure activities to try out on the islands.
For the underwater explorer
Known as the “soft coral capital of the world,” Fiji draws thousands of snorkelers and divers looking for a chance to see several hundred types of brilliantly colored coral and sponges. For a unique experience, travelers can swim with giant manta rays between May and October in the waters off of Manta Ray Island. If swimming with manta rays that can reach the size of 6.5 meters doesn’t get your heart racing, head to Pacific Harbour on the Coral Coast, home to more than 20 shark-dive sites. Beqa Adventure Divers in Pacific Harbour operates the Shark Reef Marine Reserve, a marine park dedicated to conservation of and research into sharks, and hosts excursions that allow guests to view up to eight different species of sharks, all on a single dive. Not an official diver yet? No problem, Beqa Adventure Divers is a PADI Dive Center that offers a full spectrum of certification courses, from Discover SCUBA all the way to divemaster.
For the adrenaline junkie
See Fiji from above! There’s only one place that offers the opportunity to take in the glory of Fiji’s natural beauty from 14,000 feet in the air, and that’s SkyDive Fiji, located in Nadi. Thrill-seekers can take in the views of turquoise waters, white-sand beaches and the gorgeous coral reefs of Fiji through a 125 mph free-fall sky dive, which can be captured on video or through digital photos. If you prefer to get your adrenaline fix from the sea, try a guided Jet Ski safari! Adrenalin Jet Ski on Denarau Island offers a 2.5-hour safari where guests learn how to ride their vehicles, then speed off toward the outlying islands. Upon arriving at a reef location, guests hop off their watercraft for a bit of snorkeling and a light lunch, before zooming back to the base, where the journey ends.
For the nature enthusiast
Fiji’s diverse natural landscape includes tropical rain forests and volcanic mountain areas, which make for a wide range of hiking options for those looking to experience the great outdoors. Taveuni Island, just off the coast of one of the largest Fijian islands, Vanua Levu, is thick with vegetation and offers visitors rich natural history. The Lavena coastal walk on Taveuni Island is a 1.5-hour adventure walk that begins along a white sandy beach and passes rivers, continues through remote villages and ultimately leads to Wainibau Falls, a trio of cascading waterfalls. Taveuni Island is also known for bird watching. As there are no bird predators in the area, guests have the opportunity to view some of the rarest species of exotic bird wildlife in the world. including orange-breasted doves and silktails.
Formerly Air Pacific, the recently re-branded Fiji Airways has introduced three new state-of-the-art Airbus 330s and will increase flight frequency from LAX to Nadi to seven times a week starting in December, with eight flights a week during peak travel season. The new airplanes bring the Fijian experience to life through new crockery, linens and cabin uniforms adorned with Fijian Masi artwork, and menu items that feature traditional Fijian recipes. Business-class guests enjoy optimized comfort in seats that provide 76 inches of bed length, Panasonic 15.4-inch LCD displays and a USB interface.