Fiji was not only my first solo-travel adventure, but it also turned out to be one of the most extraordinary experiences of my entire life.
The island paradise in the South Pacific is renowned for its exquisite beaches, beautiful underwater world, and a warm culture.
Regardless of where exactly you’ll be spending your Fiji vacation, I’m sure you’ll leave the country with your mind full of vivid memories, smiles, and adventures.
However, including some of these 15 bucket list worthy travel experiences will definitely make your stay a once-in-a-lifetime adventure on the other side of the world.
Have A Pristine Beach All To Yourself
If you’ve always dreamed about having a picture-perfect beach all to yourself while experiencing your own kind of cast away moment, Fiji should be high on your travel bucket list!
Away from luxurious beach resorts and all-inclusive island cruises, the country still has many remote spots to discover. Some islands have tiny resorts that only accommodate a handful of guests so that you’ll have the beach and ocean pretty much all to yourself.
If that’s not enough, it is even possible to have an entire island all to yourself when renting one of these private islands.
>> Read More: My Ultimate Top 5 Places To See In Fiji
Go Snorkeling In The Clear Waters
Snorkeling is a must when traveling Fiji. With its colorful corals and beautiful marine life, Fiji’s is an exceptional place to go snorkeling. Especially the Yasawa Islands have incredible snorkel sites as you might even encounter reef sharks and mantas while snorkeling there.
You can rent snorkel gear in many resorts all over the Fiji Islands, so don’t miss out on this bucket list worthy snorkel experience.
Go On A Jungle Trek
The main islands Viti Levu, Vanua Levu, and Taveuni are partly covered in lush rainforests with an abundance of exotic flora and fauna.
Jungle trekking with a local guide will give you the chance to learn about local plants, encounter rare animals, and see waterfalls in the middle of the jungle. What’s even better, the refreshing pools at the foot of the waterfalls are usually deep enough and absolutely perfect for a Tarzan-like jump on a liana.
Stand On The International Dateline
Definitely, one of those ultimate bucket list moments and still among my top 5 travel highlights in Fiji: standing between the present and past on the International Dateline.
There are only three spots in the world where you can actually stand on the International Dateline and jump from one day to the next and back – one of these spots is located on the third largest of the Fiji Islands, Taveuni.
>> Read More: My Ultimate Top 5 Places To See In Fiji
Go Dolphin Watching
Encountering dolphins in the wild is always a fascinating experience for me.
Takalana Bay near Korovou on the main island Viti Levu is home to the resident spinner dolphins. These dolphins are in the area every day at the same time, making this an exceptional opportunity for travelers all year round.
The company running the tours operates in an eco-friendly way and makes sure that the dolphins are not disturbed. They won’t let you swim with the dolphins, yet seeing these playful creatures so close is a magical experience not to miss.
Participate In A Kava Ceremony
You cannot leave Fiji without having participated in a traditional Kava ceremony!
Made from the powder of the Kava root mixed with water, Kava looks a bit like muddy water and has a peculiar smell. Although the taste of Kava needs some getting used to and the effect on the body is quite controversial, Kava has become an essential part of Fijian culture, and ceremonies take place daily.
If you surround yourself with locals, it won’t be long until someone invites you to take part in a Kava ceremony – take the chance and immerse yourself in the Fijian culture.
Climb A Palm Tree
If you’ve always wanted to get that shot of yourself sitting on a palm tree, Fiji’s pristine beaches are the ultimate place to tick that off your bucket list.
On many small islands off the main island Viti Levu, you’ll find white beaches lined with palm trees, some of which grow in a more horizontal position. These palm trees offer great opportunities for an unforgettable photo shoot in paradise.
Meet And Play With Fijian Kids
Talking to a few locals and learning about their culture is a must-do when in the South Pacific. However, spending time with local kids may be even more rewarding.
Fijian children are usually very joyful and curious because they have not seen many Europeans or Americans before. So, be prepared to be asked hundreds of questions and be invited to play some games with them. Just like their parents, Fijian kids are usually very generous and will likely give you little gifts or climb up a palm tree to get you a fresh coconut.
Against popular belief, Fijian kids are not always fluent in English. Therefore it helps to know at least a few words in Fijian. For example, Bula = Hello, Vinaka = Thank You, Moce = Bye.
Go Scuba Diving In The Rainbow Reef
Fiji’s Rainbow Reef is often considered one of the best dive spots in the world for a reason!
The water temperature is pleasant, the visibility is great, and the marine life is diverse. From colorful coral formations to schools of small reef fish and big swimmers like turtles, white tip sharks, and Manta Rays, Fiji offers incredible diving for scuba lovers of all levels.
While snorkeling is an option on many islands, I recommend going scuba diving in the Rainbow Reef, which is located between Taveuni and Vanua Levu. It has beautiful dive sites and only a handful of divers, which makes the experience even more bucket list worthy, don’t you think?
Learn how to scuba dive the world in an affordable way!
Drink A Fresh Coconut
This might be something you’ve already done in another location. But if you haven’t tasted any fresh coconuts yet, Fiji may be the right place to try them out.
While you could buy them in touristy spots or in one of the towns, I suggest trying them while traveling around Fiji’s more rural areas. I’m sure it won’t be long until you’ll come across a friendly Fijian who finds you a fresh coconut, grabs his machete and prepares the fruit for you to enjoy.
If this is your first coconut, be aware: the taste might be a lot different from what you were expecting. However, coconut water is a very healthy snack full of vitamins and minerals.
Experience Village Life
If you have the chance, definitely consider visiting a traditional Fijian village.
It is there that you will get to know the warm “Bula” – culture, hospitality and generosity. You’ll learn about the art of simple living and the importance of food. The values these people share. The happiness and gratefulness they carry around with them. You’ll get to experience what makes Fijian culture so unique around the world.
In fact, surrounding myself with the locals and immersing myself in their culture has taught me so much about my own values and mindset – nowadays I refer to it as my own “eat, pray, love” journey.
Always be sure to dress and behave appropriately when going to a traditional Fijian village.
>> Read More: 3 Incredible Pearls Of Wisdom I Gained In Fiji
See A Magical Sunset
Watching the sun go down is always a magical experience. But watching sunsets in Fiji is the best! 🙂
I’ve seen many sunsets around the world, yet I feel the sunsets in Fiji were particularly colorful and stunning. It could’ve been the environment or the sea or the people around. I don’t know.
BUT who doesn’t want to enjoy an epic sunset on an empty beach on a gorgeous island?
Enjoy Scenic Views
Whether you’re trekking through the jungle, climbing a mountain, visiting a local village or strolling along the pristine beaches of a desert island, Fiji’s views never disappoint.
Now, this might sound a bit cheesy, but Fiji is a colorful nation rich in flowers, turquoise water and traditional sulus. Just open your eyes and take in all the details of this beautiful country.
If you’re keen on photography, you’ll likely come back home with thousands of photos – simply because Fiji is such a photogenic destination.
Indulge in Local Flavors
Fiji’s local cuisine is shaped by the indigenous’ tasty island dishes as well as the Indo-Fijians’ spicy curries and brings out an exotic mix of spices. The main ingredients they use are sweet potatoes, rice, taro, cassava, coconut, fish and chicken.
The national dish “Lovo” is definitely a must and is usually served in many resorts as part of a lovo-night once a week.
When invited to dinner by a local, be aware of certain “rules”. For example, not finishing your food means you didn’t like it. And if you do finish your meal, be prepared that your plate will immediately be refilled – even before you may say “Au sa sinai” (“I’m good – I’m full!”). 🙂
In Fiji, there’s no false modesty, and everyone lives life (and eats food) to the fullest. That’s part of their unique culture.
Drink Fiji Bitter / Fiji Gold Beer
They might not be the best beers in the world, yet they’re pretty much the only local beers available.
And although the taste of both beers is not particularly distinctive or incredibly delicious, they most certainly belong to Fiji’s culture just like Kava and Lovo.
Plus, beer ALWAYS tastes good at the beach while watching a stunning sunset, right?