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Spotlight on Fiji – Everything You Need to Know Before You Go

Written By
By Munira Maricar
Travel Writer

Fiji, an archipelago in the South Pacific Ocean, is synonymous with paradise. Consisting of over 300 islands, it’s famed for its rugged landscapes, palm-lined beaches, and crystal-clear waters. This tropical haven is not only a sanctuary for relaxation and romance but also a haven for adventurers and culture enthusiasts. In this spotlight on Fiji, we’ll explore the wonders that make Fiji a must-visit destination, from its vibrant coral reefs and thrilling water sports to its rich cultural heritage and sustainable volunteer opportunities listed below.

The Magic of Fiji’s Islands


Fiji’s islands are diverse, each offering a unique experience. Viti Levu, the largest island, is home to the capital, Suva, and the bustling town of Nadi, where most international flights land. Here, you can experience the lively mix of cultures, sample traditional Fijian cuisine, and explore the island’s interior with its lush rainforests and waterfalls.

Vanua Levu, the second-largest island, is less touristy and offers a more laid-back vibe. It’s a paradise for nature lovers, with opportunities for birdwatching, hiking, and diving in the renowned Rainbow Reef.

The Mamanuca and Yasawa Islands are picture-perfect, with their white sandy beaches and clear blue waters. These islands are ideal for snorkeling, surfing, and simply unwinding on the beach.

Exploring Fiji’s Underwater World

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Fiji is known as the “Soft Coral Capital of the World,” and for a good reason. The coral reefs surrounding the islands are teeming with marine life, making it a top destination for diving and snorkeling. The Great Astrolabe Reef and the Somosomo Strait are just a couple of the must-visit spots for underwater enthusiasts.

Embracing Fijian Culture

volunteer programs in Fiji

Fiji’s rich culture is a blend of Indigenous Fijian, Indian, European, and other Pacific Island influences. A visit to a traditional Fijian village is a must-do to experience the warm hospitality and vibrant traditions of the local people. Participate in a kava ceremony, watch a mesmerizing meke dance, and savor the flavors of a lovo feast, cooked in an earth oven.

Adventure Awaits


For those seeking adventure, Fiji offers a plethora of activities. Go white-water rafting on the Navua River, zip-lining through the forest canopy, or hike to the summit of Tomanivi, Fiji’s highest peak. The island of Taveuni, known as the “Garden Island,” is a hiker’s paradise with its lush landscapes and stunning waterfalls.

Island Hopping and Cruises

One of the best ways to experience Fiji’s diverse islands is by island hopping. Take a ferry or a short flight to explore different islands, each with its unique charm. For a more luxurious experience, consider a cruise through the Mamanuca and Yasawa Islands, where you can wake up to a new breathtaking view each day.

A Culinary Journey


Fijian cuisine is a delightful fusion of flavors, with influences from the sea, the land, and its diverse cultural heritage. Seafood is a staple, and dishes like kokoda (a ceviche-like dish made with coconut milk) are a must-try. Indian cuisine is also prevalent, with curries and roti being popular choices. Dining in restaurants can vary in price, with breakfast and lunch generally being cheaper than dinner. Street food is an affordable option for authentic Fijian fare.

Best Time to Go to Fiji

When planning your trip to Fiji, consider the time of year, as the wet season (November to April) can bring heavy rains and cyclones. The dry season (May to October) is ideal for clear skies and cooler temperatures. 

Fijian Festivals and Events


Fiji’s calendar is filled with vibrant festivals and events that showcase its rich culture and traditions. The Bula Festival in Nadi and the Hibiscus Festival in Suva are highlights, featuring parades, music, dance, and food. The Fiji Regatta Week is a popular event for sailing enthusiasts, held in the stunning Musket Cove.

Visas and Entry Requirements

Fiji offers a visitor-friendly visa policy, with several countries eligible for visa exemption. Citizens of visa-exempted countries can obtain a Visitors Permit upon arrival in Fiji. This permit is typically valid for up to 4 months, allowing travelers to explore the islands and engage in tourist activities. 

If you are a citizen of a country that is not exempt from visa requirements, you will need to apply for a visa before traveling to Fiji. It is recommended to start the visa application process at least three months before your planned travel date to allow ample time for processing.

Vaccinations and Health Preparation

Before embarking on your Fijin adventure, it’s essential to ensure you’re protected against common travel-related illnesses. The CDC recommends various vaccinations for travelers to Fiji, including hepatitis A, hepatitis B, typhoid, measles, yellow fever, and rabies. 

Money and Budgeting


The official currency is the Fijian dollar (FJD). While credit and debit cards are widely accepted, especially in tourist areas, it’s advisable to carry some cash for smaller purchases or in more remote areas. ATMs are readily available, especially at international airports.

Fiji offers a range of accommodation options, from luxury resorts to budget hotels and hostels. Luxury resorts can be quite expensive, while budget options can offer a more affordable stay. Independent travel stays like rental apartments or homestays can provide a more authentic experience. 

Enhancing Your Experience with Volunteer Programs

Volunteering is a fantastic way to enrich your travel experience in Fiji. All-inclusive volunteer programs offer opportunities to contribute to local communities while immersing yourself in the culture. Such experiences transform your visit into a profound journey, blending cultural immersion with impactful work.


Explore enriching programs with IVHQ, GoEco, Projects Abroad, and more, each offering unique insights into Fijian life and opportunities to contribute meaningfully across various fields, from education and environmental conservation to healthcare and women’s empowerment. These programs not only support local advancements but also offer you a chance to grow, learn, and explore Fiji’s magnificent landscapes and communities.

International Volunteer HQ (IVHQ) 

Experience the unique opportunity to volunteer in Fiji with International Volunteer HQ (IVHQ), a reputable organization that offers an array of impactful projects on the Coral Coast. Nestled in the vibrant communities around Sigatoka, volunteers can choose from meaningful programs driven by local initiatives, ensuring a sustainable and positive impact.


IVHQ’s Fiji volunteer programs are open to individuals aged 17 and above, as well as families, with options to volunteer from one to 12 weeks. The program fees start at $500 for one week, covering essentials like airport pick-up, accommodation, meals, and round-the-clock in-country support.

Volunteers will stay in basic but comfortable dormitory-style houses near their project sites, with options for private accommodation available upon request. Meals are provided three times a day on weekdays and twice on weekends.

Explore the following IVHQ Volunteer Programs in Fiji:

  • Construction and Renovation Volunteer Project: Assist with building and maintenance at local schools in Sigatoka. Tasks include building, painting, and landscaping. Ideal for physically active volunteers. Based on community needs. 
  • Teaching Volunteer Program: Help teachers in overcrowded schools or after-school programs in Sigatoka. Teach students aged four to 16. Ideal for those who enjoy working with children. 
  • Childcare Volunteer Program: Assist teachers in kindergartens with children aged 4 and 5 in Sigatoka. Tasks include playing, singing, and setting up activities. Ideal for energetic volunteers. 
  • Sports Education Volunteer Project: Teach and mentor students in after-school sports programs in local villages. Sports include football, netball, rugby, and volleyball. Ideal for active volunteers who love sports. Volunteers also participate in the Kids Club during school holidays.


Volunteer in Fiji with GoEco and immerse yourself in a tropical paradise while making a meaningful impact. Join the Inspire Kindergartners program along the Coral Coast in Sigatoka, where you’ll teach basic English and engage in creative activities with enthusiastic children aged 4 to 6. 

marine conservation volunteering in Fiji

Your efforts will address the local shortage of teachers and contribute to the community’s educational development. Volunteers stay in shared dorm-style accommodations and have afternoons and weekends free to explore Fiji’s stunning landscapes and vibrant culture. By volunteering with GoEco, you’ll not only enhance your own experience but also leave a lasting positive effect on the lives of Fijian children.

Projects Abroad

Experience the beauty of Fiji while making a difference with Projects Abroad. Choose from diverse volunteer opportunities based in Pacific Harbour, where you’ll enjoy adventure activities and receive 24/7 support. Stay with a welcoming host family, enjoy three meals a day, and contribute to long-term community goals on this unforgettable journey.


Discover these exciting Projects Abroad Volunteer Opportunities in Fiji:

Involvement Volunteers International (IVI)

Volunteer with Involvement Volunteers International (IVI) in Fiji with projects in Nadi, Lautoka, Mamanuca Islands, Suva, and the Coral Coast. With over 25 years of experience in Fiji, IVI offers incredible support, accommodation, meals, airport pickup, orientation, and 24/7 in-country assistance. Live like a local in homestays or volunteer centers, enjoying generous meals and contributing to meaningful projects.


Take a look at a few of IVI’s Volunteer Experiences in Fiji:

  • First Aid & Disaster Management: Work with local communities in Nadi and Lautoka to prepare for and respond to disasters. Assist in community education, planning sustainable solutions, and recovery efforts. Tasks may include distributing emergency packs, aiding in post-disaster rebuilding, and providing first aid or mental health assistance. 
  • Women & Children Commune: Support a community in Lautoka comprised mostly of single mothers and their children. Assist in childcare, teaching English, women’s empowerment programs, and community maintenance. Use your skills in social services, construction, or counseling to help improve the lives of residents. 
  • Volunteering for Animals: Assist at animal shelters in Nadi and Lautoka, helping with the care and maintenance of unwanted animals. Get involved in community education on animal welfare, assist with medical procedures, and help prepare animals for adoption. Suitable for animal lovers and those interested in veterinary medicine. 
  • Koroipita Community Development Construction: Help complete the stage 4 development plan in Koroipita, near Lautoka, by assisting local builders in constructing affordable, cyclone-safe homes. Work as part of a team to build houses from scratch and contribute to community development. Suitable for volunteers with a strong work ethic and willingness to work in challenging conditions. 
  • Mental Health Outreach: For health students and professionals, assist in mental health outreach in Nadi, Lautoka, and Manamanuca Islands. Conduct mental health checks, participate in counseling sessions, and engage in public health activities. Help support women and children who have escaped domestic violence and help local communities with mental health.

Global Vision International (GVI)

Volunteer with GVI in Fiji and immerse yourself in traditional culture while contributing to marine conservation efforts. Based in the district of Dawasamu on Viti Levu, GVI’s programs are ethically aligned with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, ensuring a meaningful and responsible volunteering experience. 


Explore a few GVI Volunteering Initiatives available in Fiji:

  • Volunteer Public Health Project: Support community well-being by assisting local nurses, conducting public health workshops, and collecting health data. Focus on nutrition, sanitation, and reducing inequality. Gain experience in health education and community engagement. 
  • Sustainable Fishing Volunteering: Learn about sustainable fishing practices and marine conservation. Assist with documentation of fish catches, educate on sustainable resource use, and support marine conservation initiatives like dolphin surveys and beach cleanups. 
  • Community Development Expedition: Empower communities through sustainable living and resource management. Assist with infrastructure construction, freshwater management, education, and environmental monitoring. Experience traditional Fijian culture and contribute to long-term community sustainability. 
  • Tropical Marine Biology and Conservation: Dive in the South Pacific Ocean and contribute to marine conservation. Conduct underwater surveys, assist with coral reef conservation, and develop environmental education programs for local communities. Gain PADI certifications and experience in marine biology. 
  • Rainwater Harvesting and Water Security: Enhance water security by setting up rainwater harvesting systems and promoting sustainable water management. Work on projects addressing water scarcity, sanitation, and waste management for healthier communities and environmental sustainability.

A Land of Natural Wonders and Cultural Splendors

Fiji stands as a remarkable testament to the beauty and diversity of our planet. Its islands, each with its own unique character, beckon travelers to explore their lush landscapes, pristine beaches, and vibrant underwater worlds. Beyond its natural wonders, Fiji’s rich cultural tapestry, woven from various influences, offers visitors a chance to connect with the warm and welcoming Fijian people, whose traditions and hospitality are as memorable as the islands themselves. 

volunteer in Fiji

Whether seeking adventure, relaxation, or cultural immersion, Fiji promises an unforgettable journey that touches the heart and enriches the soul. As a destination that continues to prioritize sustainability and community well-being, Fiji not only offers a paradise for travelers but also sets a standard for responsible and meaningful tourism.