Fiji

Fiji

Though Fiji has palm-lined beaches and coral reefs like many other parts of the South Pacific, it’s often the people of the islands, rather than the scenery, that make it memorable. Their friendliness to visitors is well-known, expressed with a pleasant bula (welcome) and with an invitation to join them for a bowl of lip-numbing kava.

Fijians have not always been as friendly to one another: Political struggles between ethnic Fijians and the descendants of Indian laborers have resulted in three political coups since 1987. Visitors were largely unaffected by the events, however, and although the situation remains somewhat unstable, Fiji is considered a safe destination. As a result, it is in the middle of a record-setting tourism boom.

A Fiji vacation promises a lot of enjoyable possibilities: exquisite scuba diving, lovely natural surroundings and an appealing range of places to stay—from secluded, eye-poppingly expensive resorts to pleasant guesthouses on the beach to simple accommodations with local villagers.

Geography

Located 1,300 mi/2,100 km east of Australia, the Fiji archipelago is made up of thousands of islands. Only 322 islands are considered large enough to support humans, and of these, just 106 are inhabited. Most of the islands are volcanic, although none of Fiji’s volcanoes are active. On the two largest islands, Viti Levu and Vanua Levu, sharp peaks and rock outcroppings punctuate lush vegetation.