This seductive chain of South Pacific islands offers a world of mystery, surprise, and spectacular scenery.
Writer: Jacquelyne Froeber
1 of 6Photo: Chris M. Rogers
The Colors of Fiji
From any seaplane window or over-water bungalow, the waters surrounding Fiji look like an artificial blend Mother Nature spilled by mistake. Jaw-dropping shades of neon blue, mint green, vibrant emerald, and deep turquoise span as far as the eye can see.
2 of 6Photo: Chris M. Rogers
It’s clear that the 333 islands that make up Fiji hold a truly magical quality: A scuba-diving adventure may find you surrounded by bio-fluorescent squid, and only a full moon brings bright purple crabs out to the beach.
3 of 6Photo: Chris M. Rogers
Bula! (Welcome to Fiji!)
Fiji's ancient villages, still bustling today, provide a real glimpse into the islands’ friendly, welcoming culture. Days are spent "on Fiji time," or at your leisure. "Everyone wants to know why Fijians are so happy--it's all about simplicity," says Fiji Eco Tour Director Michael Crocker. "And we're eager to share our culture with you."
4 of 6Photo: Chris M. Rogers
Meals typically begin with a traditional kava (the ground root of a pepper tree) ceremony, the centerpiece of which is a mouth-numbing beverage said to induce relaxation. Just-pulled-from-the-water whitefish, spinach pie, tapioca, and fruit juice are also common staples. Fresh fruit produce is abundant throughout Fiji.
5 of 6Photo: Chris M. Rogers
A 10-hour flight via Air Pacific from LAX takes you to the city of Nadi on the main island of Viti Levu. Temperatures in Fiji average in the low 80s year-round.
6 of 6Photo: Chris M. Rogers
Where to stay
Laucaula Island Resort: Choose from 25 luxury options. Rates start at $3,800 for double occupancy and include breakfast, lunch, dinner, beverages, and most activities; laucala.com.
Likuliku Lagoon Resort (pictured): This village-style resort offers deluxe beach-front bures with private plunge pools, garden bures with private courtyards, and unique over-water bures. Rates start at $892 and include breakfast, lunch, and dinner; likulikulagoon.com.
Outrigger on the Lagoon: At Fiji's first official five-star resort, accommodations include resort and ocean views from the hotel, ocean-view suites with private balconies, and spacious family and beachfront bures. Rates start at $320; outrigger.com.