The Yasawa Islands are located in northwest Fiji and make up one of the most popular regions in the country, especially among budget travelers. Approximately 30 resorts are spread through the 12 major islands in the group. Most resorts provide basic accommodation, include meals, and contain access to natural and cultural sites. These islands cater to those who are not looking to spend thousands per night at a resort but still want tropical serenity. I loved my time here and would go back in a heartbeat. It’s the biggest backpacker destination in the country, too, due to it’s low prices. If you’re on a limited budget, definitely visit the Yasawas!
Top 5 Things to See and Do in the Yasawa Islands
1. Scuba Dive
2. Sawailau Caves
3. Visit the villages
4. Attend a Kava Ceremony
5. Take a plantation tour
Other Things to See and Do
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1. Take a hike
Most all of the islands have good hiking. In Wayalailai, you can climb to the top of the mountain to see the sunrise, or hike the length of the island and cross the spit to Waya. Guides are available, or you can go alone. No matter what island you are at, the hiking is pretty easy and can be done in flip flops.
2. Go kayaking
Most of the islands offer sea kayaking and the water is calm and safe to kayak around. Most resorts have kayaks for rent or offer organized sightseeing tours.
3. Just relax
Honestly, these islands are far removed from civilization. You aren’t going to find TV, phone service, or constant Internet. Sit around, go for a swim, get a tan, drink a beer, read a book, and chill out. There’s no need to do anything else here.
4. Take a Fijian Cooking Class
Fijian cuisine has obvious influences from other South Pacific countries, as well as from China and India. All in all, this makes for an interesting mix of flavors. Take a cooking class at one of the resorts, and then enjoy eating the food you’ve learned to prepare. Prices vary but expect to pay around 75 FJD per person for a full-day class.
5. Swim with manta rays
This is a seasonal activity, available from May to October. During these months, manta rays pass through the channel between Drawaqa and Nanuya Balavu Islands to feed. Organized tours allow you to get up close and personal with them. Expect to pay around 30 FJD for a tour.
6. Go fishing
Many resorts offer the opportunity to arrange a fishing trip with the locals. It’s a great chance to see the islands from another angle and get to know a few Fijians. Prices start around 25 FJD per person.