Warm Welcomes and Shared Smiles
Hospitality isn't an industry in the islands of Fiji, it's a way of life. The smiles and warm friendly greetings visitors receive are genuine elements of a culture that takes pride in inclusive welcomes and open yet respectful treatment for all. Guests can experience island culture with nothing more than a visit to a lively local market or village square. More immersive experiences await those who partake in deeply-rooted Fijian traditions such as a kava ceremony, or share stories and sustenance at a lovo feast, where traditional foods cooked in open pits are enjoyed in a communal fashion.
- Best for: Solos, couples and families, beach lovers, spa afficianados and adventurers
- Best season to visit: Year round, drier from June-September
- Weather: Tropical weather patterns rotate between winter from May - Oct and summer from Nov - Apr with common rain showers. Air temperatures can drop to low 70s in the winter and mid to high 80s in summer. Chance of rain and storms increase in Jan and Feb
Cultural Activities in Fiji Overview
Modern Fiji is multicultural island nation that blends traditions of Oceania, Europea, South Asian, and East Asian. Fijians take pride in being known as the friendliest people in the world, and a welcoming and easy-going attitude permeates the island culture. It's not uncommon for Fijians to strike up a conversation with total strangers, and take a genuine interest in those they meet.
Cultural Activities in Fiji Tips
Be sure to take part in Fiji's most iconic cultural tradition, the yaqona or kava ceremony. The sharing of this mildly narcotic drink, which is made from the ground root of the kava plant, creates a sense of relation and well-being rather than impairment. The drinking of a cup should be followed by a cry of “bula.”
Best Places for Cultural Activities in Fiji
A visit to the local market in Vaileka yields fresh savory treats and local handicrafts, plus the chance to visit the tomb of Fiji's last cannibal chief. On Beqa Island, fire walkers and fire healers honor their ancestors by walking across white-hot stones. Trips to Savusavu 's Bat Island reveal a hidden grotto. In the foothills of the Nakauvadra mountain range, visitors are made welcome in a local village with a kava ceremony and traditional singing and dancing.
What to Pack for Cultural Activities in Fiji
It's the tropics, so lightweight fabrics are in order. But because Fijians are actually a fairly modest people, it's best to avoid skimpy or revealing outfits when in public. Take off hats and shoes before entering a native home, and score extra points with a gift of kava root, which is a traditional gift of welcome.
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Passport and/or Visa Requirements
A valid passport is required for entry into Fiji that must be valid for 6 months beyond your date of entry into the country. A return or onward ticket is also required. No visa is required for stays under 4 months. Your passport must have at least 1 blank page for entry stamp. Read about Fiji's entry and exit requirements here. Fiji has a departure tax of 200 FJD that should be included in your international ticket.
There are no immunizations required to enter Fiji. It is always recommended that you consult the CDC Website or check with your doctor for recommended vaccines.
Culture and Customs
Fijians take pride in being known as the friendliest people in the world. The welcoming and easy-going attitude that permeates their island culture invite visitors to venture beyond resorts and discover a traditional way of life that values relationships, traditions and inclusion. It's not uncommon for Fijians to strike up a conversation with total strangers, and take a genuine interest in those they meet. This spirit of hospitality can be found at Lovo feasts, where foods cooked in open pits are shared in a communal fashion. Fiji's most iconic cultural tradition is the yaqona or kava ceremony. The sharing of this mildly narcotic drink, which is made from the ground root of the kava plant, creates a sense of relation and wellbeing rather than impairment. When visiting a village, it is customary to bring a gift of kava root, and the drinking of a cup is followed by a cry of Bula! Traditions remain, but Fiji is not stuck in the past, and the well-developed tourism industry offers the expected range of water sports, spa services and land-based activities. There are a number of golf courses on the major islands, and tour companies provide a range of adventures from horseback rides, cycle tours and zip lines to off-road safaris and even whitewater rafting in streams that plunge from mountainous interiors.
Electricity, Phone and Internet Access
The electrical current in Fiji is 240 volts AC 50 Hz. Fiji has three flat pin power outlets identical to Australia and New Zealand. Leading hotels and resorts offer universal outlets for 240v or 110v shavers, hair dryers, etc. A converter is recommended with a transformer to convert 240V to 110V. Some hotels offer universal outlets for either voltage appliances or adapters but to be guaranteed no problems it may be best to bring your own adapter.
The country code for the Fiji islands is 679. Direct dialing is available to and from Fiji. Check with your cell phone provider for international plans or voice, data and text. Many hotels offer WiFi.
Many hotels have purified water. If in doubt, bottled water is available for purchase.
Language & Currency
Fiji has three official languages: Fijian, English and Hindi (a Fijian form of Hindi spoken by the Indian population which is different than Hindi spoken in India). There are also many Fijian dialects which are spoken by the indigenous Fijians (Bauan is the most common).
The currency is the Fijian dollar (FJD). For the current exchange rate click here. Major credit cards are welcomed by hotels, restaurants, shops, rental car agencies, cruises and travel agents. Currency may be exchanged at the airport upon arrival or from ATMs located at banks.
Fiji observes Fiji Time (FJD) which is 12 hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (+12GMT). Local time in Fiji is 12 hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time from March 1 to October 31. Fiji does observe Daylight Savings Time which is recognized as Fiji Summer Time (FJST) between November and February at which time it is 13 hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (+13 GMT). Although the 180° meridian passes through Taveuni, all of Fiji is west of the international dateline, so it's one day ahead of the United States.
Location, Size and Population
Fiji is an island nation in the South Pacific Ocean, east of Vanuatu, west of Tonga and south of Tuvalu. The country occupies an archipelago of about 330 islands, scattered across 200,000 square miles of ocean, of which 100 are permanently inhabited. The two major island, Viti Levu and Vanua Levu, account for approximately 85% of the total population. Fiji offers lagoons, rainforests, pine forests, mountains and over 1,000 miles of white sand beaches.
Fiji's population is 897,000 (2016).