How to Backpack the Yasawa Islands

By NomadicMatt

Backpacking the Yasawa Islands in Fiji is a unique experience. It’s not like any backpacking I’ve ever done. I’m not even sure backpacking, with its notions of independent, find your own way travel, is even the right word. Yasawa Island travel is more like an inexpensive organized hop on, hop off tour. Everything is taken care of for you – all you need to do is pick the island you want to visit.

There is only one boat through the islands. The company, Awesome Adventures, offers island packages as well as a hop on and hop off boat pass. The resorts are all inclusive and they all offer night time fire and dancing shows, snorkeling, sea kayaking, local food, and island tours. Only a few of the islands have scuba diving though, so be sure to check while on the boat. Here’s a short video on how to travel the Yasawa Islands:

Yasawa Islands Travel Tips
  • You can buy a boat pass when you get to the pier. You don’t need to book it before you arrive in Fiji.
  • A free shuttle is provided to and from the airport as well as your hotel or hostel. Don’t pay for a cab.
  • Get a Bula Boat Pass! Even if you won’t use all your days (you only plan to stay for 5 days though the smallest pass offered is 7), it still works out cheaper. Paying as you go can cost around $100 Fiji dollars each trip. If you plan to do multiple islands, you’ll spend more money.
  • Conversely, if you are only going to one or two islands, it is cheaper to simply buy a return ticket.
  • Buy water and alcohol before you get to the islands as they cost about 40% less on the mainland.
  • Beachcomber, the famous party island, is a waste of time. Everything costs double there. You can have an equally good time on South Sea or Bounty Island. They both look the same as Beachcomber and aren’t as expensive.
  • If you are traveling with friends, it’s cheaper to rent a double than it is for each of you to buy a dorm bed. (Dorm beds are $65 while a double can cost as little as $100, though they are around $130 on average).