Friday, October 30, 2009
There are many great activities to do in Fiji, and with its clear aquamarine water, wide variety of marine life, and year-round tropical climate, the island nation is excellent for water sports and activities. Based on your interest level and physical fitness, you can choose which one(s) you would like to participate in during your Fiji getaway.
Diving and Snorkeling
Fiji is excellent for diving and snorkeling, as the water is always warm and has great visibility so you can see the large array of marine life, such as eels, sea turtles, dolphins, sharks, colorful tropical fish, and different types of hard and soft corals (Fiji is known as the "soft coral capital of the world, after all).
The world-renowned Rainbow Reef, beautiful Rainbows End, and the magnificent coral-covered Great White Wall are some fantastic snorkeling and diving spots. Many resorts, including the Koro Sun Resort, Mumu's Resort, and Jean-Michel Cousteau Resort also have great diving and snorkeling sites.
Whether you want to kayak the sea or river, Fiji is a great spot for both. Kayaking in the ocean allows you to enjoy the beautiful sights of the pristine aquamarine waters and untouched rainforests, as well as various native wildlife, marine life, and even traditional Fijian villages. River kayaking is excellent for both those who want a peaceful ride down the river and those who want to battle Class V rapids! The Upper Navua and 'luva are a few rivers in Fiji that are perfect for kayaking.
Kayaking trips are also available on the islands of Vanua Levu, Kadavu, Taveuni, and the Yasawas.
Fiji's great surf spots include beach breaks for beginners and amazing offshore reef breaks for the more experienced. The world-renowned Cloudbreak and Namotu Left in the Mamanucas are recognized as the most challenging reef breaks in the South Pacific. You can also find excellent surfing at the Nagigia Island Resort, which offers uncrowded breaks because of its remote location. Plus, the scenery there is lovely.
Fiji's beautiful waters and natural scenery make the Islands a prime location for sailing. There are also several charter companies operating in Fiji, and some marinas even have private sailing schools. Each yacht includes a local skipper who has lifetime knowledge of sailing the Islands. Destinations include the Yasawas, Lomaivitis, Mamanucas, and the Northern Islands. Regattas take place in Fiji a few times during the year as well.
There are some excellent spots for game fishing in Fiji where you can catch fish of all types, sizes, and tastes, such as Spanish Mackerel, Trevally, Marlin, and Tuna to name a few. The rich reefs along the islands of Kadavu and Beqa, as well as the areas along the southern Mamanucas and off the northern coast of Taveuni, particularly the reef alongside Matangi Island and Laucala, are some great fishing areas. Denarau Marina in Nadi town and Pacific Harbour along the southern coast of Viti Levu are home to terrific fishing charters. The Matangi Island Resort also offers game fishing trips to its guests, and the Tokoriki Island Resort has its own fishing boats that are available for game fishing.
Thursday, October 29, 2009
The basic unit of currency in Fiji is the Fijian dollar, which is available in denominations of $2, $5, $10, $20, and $50. Coins are available in 1c, 2c, 5c, 10c, 20c, 50c, and $1. Approximately 2 Fijian dollars equals one US dollar.
There is no limit to the amount of money you can bring into the country. You can only take out of the country up to the amount that you imported.
Major credit cards are welcomed by most hotels, restaurants, shops, travel agents, and other places and services in Fiji. Visa, American Express, Mastercard, JCB International, and Diners Club are represented in the Fijian capital city of Suva. VISA and American Express can also replace lost credit cards and travelers cheques.
You must have a passport valid at least three months beyond your intended stay in Fiji, though it is recommended that it should be valid at least six months. You also must have a valid ongoing or return airline ticket.
For stays not exceeding 30 days, visas are not required for visitors who are nationals of the US, Japan, and EU and Commonwealth countries.
Unlike many tropical countries, Fiji is free from malaria, yellow fever, and other major tropical diseases. It has an effective medical system in place, though locals still will use age-old herbal remedies. Fresh water reticulated in Suva, Lautoka, and other major towns, along with water in hotels and resorts, has been treated and is safe to drink, though some resorts will use artesian water for bathing but will provide separate drinking water. Guests will be advised if this is the case.
However in Fiji you could still be at risk of contracting diseases through insect bites, so bring light long-sleeved shirts and long pants to cover yourself, along with insect repellant, to prevent this. You should also bring sunscreen to protect yourself from the harmful rays of the sun.
Yellow Fever and Cholera vaccinations are only required for those coming from an infected area that is designated by the World Health Organization, and a Yellow Fever vaccination certificate is required for those coming from an infected area who are at least 1 year of age.
Keep in mind that driving is on the LEFT-hand side of the road. Fiji has two international airports located in Nadi and Nausori, which provide air connections to all of the world's major cities and provide direct flights to the US, Canada, New Zealand, Australia, Japan, and Korea. Fiji also has a national airline, Air Pacific, so you can easily and quickly travel to different areas in Fiji.
Tipping is not encouraged in Fiji, so it is completely the individual's decision. However, some resorts will host a staff Christmas fund where tips are shared among employees.
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
Fiji is located in the South Pacific and is made up of over 300 islands. Its ideal location results in a year-round warm, tropical climate, so whether you plan on visiting these islands to hit the many pristine beaches, to snorkel, or even to visit quaint Fijian villages, it does not matter which season you go.
Cruises, delicious multi-ethnic cuisine, and a wide variety of tours are other highlights to a vacation in Fiji, plus the locals are very friendly as well. So make the reservations, pack the sunscreen and swimsuit, and get ready for a trip that you will never forget!