Going to the Mamanuca islands and the Yasawa Islands of Fiji is the perfect endorsement for a trip to one of the most beautiful countries on earth. These islands are an absolute paradise, which can’t be compared to anything else. Nothing but unique vibes and true beauty.
This area is full of highlights to witness: pristine islands, great scuba diving spots, the most relaxed people, a surreal ocean colour and the prettiest beaches you have probably ever seen. As you might know, Fiji has many, many islands to visit (330 islands). The two main islands are Viti Levu and Vanua Levu. This blog solely focuses on the islands at the west of the country. You can not cover everything from Fiji within only one week anyway, so it’s better to only concentrate on one part of it. Otherwise you would spend way to much time on transportation.
From harbor Denarau you can take a motorized catamaran. It will bring you to the last island of the Yasawa archipel. See it as a hop-on hop-off system. You can book an accommodation on an island and when the catamaran arrives at the island it will stop. A small boat will get you off the catamaran and brings you and your belongings to the island of destination. You can stay as long as you want. The catamaran will pick you up again and will bring you to the next accommodation. The best you can do is buying a BULA pas https://www.awesomefiji.com/bula-passes/bula-pass/ You can jump onboard the Yasawa Flyer and explore island resorts freestyle with pre-paid vessel transfers. They have a list of all the Yasawa and selected Mamanuca Island resorts you can visit. Your Pass is activated on the first day of travel and remains valid until the last day inclusively – these dates will be shown on your Pass. All you have to do is choose where to next and when !
Besides enjoying the incredibly colourful underwater world full of all kind of fish, you can chill out at the world’s best beaches. I couldn’t tell, if I have ever seen anything better than that.Countless huge palms, the finest sand and just a stunning water colour. This is the typical Fiji style and the Yasawa Islands is a really MUST DO. While the snorkeling action goes on, the boat driver throws some bread crombs into the water to attracts even more fish. You’ll be surrounded by thousends of them until you can barely see your hand in front of you.
The first stop I took was at Beachcomber Island. I had been traveling through New Zealand for a month. This was very intensive. Ride a lot of kilometers, I did’t have much sleep but I had seen a lot. The island was so small that you walked around within 10 minutes. There was a big beach where people were sunbathing. In the evening this island turned into a party island.On the island I decided to work for one day. I did not have to have money for this. I wanted to do some work again. With my slippers I provided cocktails for the young people who were sunbathing on the island.
After that I spent some nights at the Naqalia Lodge at Wayasewa Island together with two Swedish guys, an older man and a young girl from Germany. This place is the wonderful secret escape on your list. My hut was located exactly right next the beach, you have your front yard again and it’s aligned towards the sunset. An absolute dream! The resort has a strong family atmosphere and you can feel that right from the beginning. Of course you get welcomed with a Meke. After that, the staff members treat you like a king/ queen until the end of your stay. It’s hard to believe how friendly they are. If you like, this is the time to try out a cooking class or learn how to perform a traditional local dance. If you rather want to take it slow, just hang out at the private beach until the sunset. It’s absolutely spectacular! As the sun sets down you can enjoy having some local drugs which they prepare in an wooden bowl but you can not compare it to the western drugs. You can eat tons of it without having a nice feeling. And ohh, due to a malfunction there was no water in the shower. We washed ourselves in a rain barrel haha.
We had the opportunity to go on a proper shark dive. You’ll see small reef sharks and you can have a close encounter with them. But watch out: you can cuddle the sharks, they like the contact. But don not touch their tails. They can get very angry and they will even bite you. Click this link to see what happens with your arm when a reef shark bites you https://www.ad.nl/video/production/het-moment-dat-freek-vonk-wordt-gebeten~vp23778
We left early in the morning with a local diver in a speedboat to a spot on the open sea. We didn’t see any land around us anymore The diver first jumped into the water. To see if the sharks would bite ghe ghe. After all, this was dangerous: hugging sharks! After that we jumped into the water. Under water it was super nice. We certainly saw five reef sharks but they were still far away. Our companion shot a few small fish with his harpoon. He used those fishes to lure the reef sharks. These reef sharks are still too small to live in the open sea. They are a prey for the adult sharks. Therefore, they stay near the reef where they can hide in the narrow crevices and under rocks.
How to cuddle a shark ? See below…
Once in the water some reef sharks swam underneath me at a distance of one meter. I tried to catch them with my bare hands but they were too fast. After 20 minutes I was lucky to stroke one. Our local man grabbed one and we were allowed to hug him. This was super creepy! If I had to do it again, I would not do it. Certainly not after seeing the video of the Dutch biologist Freek Vonk (see link above). After the action is done, you will also be brought to a matchless coral reef nearby. What you see there is absolutely wonderful. Even in places like Koh Tao or the Great Barrier Reef I haven’t seen such an amazing underwater world. So many corals, fish, sea stars, and much more in all sorts of colours and forms. Really pretty!
The next day we went with a speedboat to a village on the other side of the island. A group of people lived here in a commune. There was no school, no work. Nothing. The people lived from the harvest in their garden and from the fishing at sea. They didn’t do nothing but work together all day long. They spoke with each other, they helped each other in their gardens or reparing broken cabins. There was no envy or hatred. Everyone helped each other. The younger people were playing football and volleyball all day long. Once a month they organized a deep diving contest. The intention was to dive as deep as possible with just one breathtaking. The name of the winner was memorized in a book.The women cooked and washed all day. They were helped by their children. Money did not play a role here, simply because it was not there. They had everything that was needed.
I know everyone defines paradise in a different way, but most people have this dream of finest sand beaches, heaps of palms, perfect water and chilled out tropical vibes. This is quite similar to how I see it in a way, which is why I can say that paradise really does exist. The Yasawa Islands and Fiji as a whole are the perfect example of that. It’s a part of our planet, which is already developed quite well, but luckily still not very touristic. You don’t find this very often these days. You don’t see places as untouched as this often nowerdays. And in my opinion, places like this definitely need to remain like they are, so that future generations also have the opportunity to see what most people call true paradise. I dreamed about going to the Fiji since I was a little boy.
For me, Fiji always was the most beautiful place on earth. I kept this dream with me and thought about it every now and then. It’s no surprise that eventually it became reality. It all always comes down to your imagination, believes, attitude and actions you take to realize your dreams. And if you stick to your dreams and work towards them for a long time, then they will always become reality, no matter what. Just keep moving and you’ll be able to find your own paradise on earth, however that might look like for you.