Located in the famous South Pacific and made up of 333 islands with white-sand beaches and crystal-clear waters, Fiji is a beach lover’s dream destination. Suva, the official capital of Fiji, is located on the southeast part of Viti Levu—the largest island in Fiji, while the tourist hub of Nadi is located on the west side of the island and is a three-hour bus ride from Suva. The prime months for visiting Fiji are June through September, when there is low rainfall, low humidity, and milder temperatures all-around.

From its pristine beaches and private water bungalows to giant botanical gardens and unique festivals, there is never a shortage of things to do in Fiji, which is why it remains one of the world’s most popular travel destinations for both honeymooners and families alike.

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Things to do in Fiji: 12 Activities for the Ultimate Fiji Visit

1. Relax in an Overwater Bungalow

One of of most exclusive private island resorts in the world, the seven-mile-long Laucala Island is home to five restaurants, an 18-hole golf course, and 25 luxury villas scattered around the northern coast. The Overwater Villa is a two-bedroom residence that sits directly above the ocean with a spacious terrace, a hot tub, and a private infinity pool that has been carved directly into the rocks of the shore. Laucala Island lies to the east of Thurston Point on the the island of Taveuni and is a 50-minute flight from Nadi.

2. Drink Kava With the Locals

A 55-minute flight from Nadi, Vanua Levu is Fiji’s second-largest island and home to numerous resorts and more rural beaches. While touring Nukubaluvu Village, one of the oldest traditional villages, visitors can participate in a sevu-sevu (gift-giving) ceremony, be entertained by grass-skirted warriors performing traditional dances, and sip on kava—a relaxing local drink made from the root of a pepper plant and served in a coconut shell.

3. Visit the Fiji Museum

Learn about Fiji’s fascinating history through a variety of material and cultural objects that date back 3700 years at the Fiji Museum, located in the heart of Suva’s botanical gardens. See ancient tools, weapons, jewelry—even Fiji’s last double-hulled canoe. The museum is closed on Sundays, and admission is $7 for adults and $5 for children.

4. Walk in the Garden of the Sleeping Giant

Founded in 1977 by Raymond Burr, this beautiful garden is home to Fiji’s largest collection of orchids. Join one of the guided tours to learn about the garden’s history, or walk on your own down the canopy-covered boardwalk, enjoy a picnic on the manicured lawns, then sip on a refreshing complimentary fruit drink that is served to visitors before they leave. The Garden of the Sleeping Giant is located four miles north of Nadi Airport and admission is $16.

5. Enjoy the View from Tavoro Waterfalls

Taveuni Island, often referred to as “Fiji’s Garden of Eden,” is located just off the east coast of Vanua Levu. Full of blossoming botanical varieties that include rare orchids, over 80 percent of Taveuni Island is protected within Bouma National Heritage Park—a 40,000-acre wildlife reserve. One of the park’s main attractions are the three 60-foot Tavoro waterfalls, which visitors can access via a flat, grassy trail and then swim in the pool at the bottom.

6. Get Close to Wildlife at Kula Eco Park

The only wildlife park in Fiji, Kula Eco Park is an ecological preserve that started out as a bird park in the 1980s. Now the 28-acre property is home to endangered indigenous species and a show place for an assortment of bird, reptile and marine life in Fiji. The park is located in the southern Coral Coast area of Viti Levu and requires advance booking for guided tours. General admission is $30 for adults and $15 for children up to the age of 11.

7. Shop at Nadi Handicraft Market

Shop for souvenirs at the Nadi Handicraft Market, a collection of stalls on the Queen’s Road that offers a refreshing change from the more commercial souvenir stores located downtown. Choose from a wide collection of handicrafts such as woven baskets, pottery, wood carvings, leather goods, and much more. The market is open Monday through Saturday from 8am until the early afternoon.

8. Explore Sri Siva Subramaniya Swami Temple

The largest Hindu temple in the Southern hemisphere, Sri Siva Subramaniya is a brightly-colored architectural wonder that features wooden carvings of Indian deities and intricate décor. Dress code is modest and shoes must be removed at the entrance. Photography is allowed on the grounds but not inside the temple, which is open daily from 5:30am to 7pm. Individual admission is $3.50.

9. Take an Aerial Tour of the Islands

Enjoy a bird’s eye perspective of several of Fiji’s most beautiful islands during a 30-minute helicopter or seaplane tour with Pacific Island Air. They offer a variety of scenic flight packages, including an all-day trip to the Yasawa Islands that includes a two-course lunch and refreshments at the Boat House Restaurant at Nanuya Island Resort, as well as an optional tour of the Sawa-I-Lau Caves which were featured in the film Blue Lagoon. Cost is $820 per person for the Yasawa Island package, and $900 per person including the cave visit.

10. Catch a Wave

Fiji’s waves aren’t just for professional surfers; first-timers and newbies can join the fun by signing up for surf lessons with an experienced instructor who will teach you the essentials of surfing, along with the ocean code of respect. A full day at Fiji Surf School in Nadi costs 200 Fiji dollars and includes lunch. Note: During the months of April to October, the surf in Fiji can reach wave heights up to ten feet tall.

11. Hunt for Lairo Crab

On the small island of Qamea, which is a short boat ride from Taveuni Island, visitors enjoy outdoor activities that include snorkeling, kayaking, scuba diving, and hunting for a species of land crab known as the Lairo. Known for their unique tasty flavor, Lairo are in season from November to January, and guests staying at the Qamea Resort and Spa will venture into the jungle during sunset in the hopes of catching Lairo on their way to the shoreline. The next day, resort staff will cook up their fresh catch as part of a gourmet meal.

12. Experience the Hibiscus Festival

Founded in 1956, the Hibiscus Festival is a nine-day event that attracts large crowds from all over Viti Levu who come to celebrate Fiji’s different cultures. Held every August in Albert Park in Suva, the festival features live music, an amusement park, an opening march with a floats procession, as well the famous annual beauty pageant and crowning of the ‘Hibiscus Queen.’

*Prices shown in Fiji dollars

This article was written by Kamala Kirk.