For me, Fiji has always been a country i’ve longed to visit. Its tropical climate, white sandy beaches and simple, island beauty are the very definition of paradise, with films such as Tom Hanks’ Castaway and Blue Lagoon both being set here. If you have high expectations for how stunning and tranquil Fiji is, then you won’t be disappointed especially if you’re planning to visit the unspoilt, white sandy beaches of the Yasawa island group.
Fiji is made up of 333 islands, with two large main land islands; Viti Levu (where you’ll fly into) and Vanua Levu, as well as many clusters of islands that house traditional villages and of course its many island resorts. The Yasawa island group is just to the west of Viti Levu and accessible by high speed catamaran from Port Denerau near Nadi Airport. Every day the Yasawa Flyer sets off from Port Denarau at 8.30am for a round trip of the island group, stopping at each one to pick travellers, holiday makers and villagers up that wish to go north or south.
It’s run by Awesome Adventures and South Sea Cruises and is basically like a big yellow bus that glides through the water, has free wifi and with a crew that, if you’ll pardon the pun, ‘run a tight ship’ to make sure all luggage on board arrives safely with each passenger as you island hop between the Yasawas. You then board a smaller boat which takes you to the islands, where you’re then required to wade to the shore if there’s a low tide!
Where To Stay
There are 22 resorts across 8 islands in The Yasawas, with accommodation ranging from 1 coconut to 3 coconuts – the Fijian standard system for rating facilities.
The most basic accommodation and a true Fijian experience. Limited Electricity, Lots of Charm.
More Western home comforts but still in keeping with Fijian style and hospitality. More choice of food, but still quite basic.
Luxury accommodation for ‘Glampackers’ and holiday makers. I can’t comment on how luxury as we didn’t stay in any 3 Coconut Accommodations.
We stayed in 1 Coconut accommodation as although it’s basic, it’s everything you need. It was nice however to stay in a 2 Coconut resort towards the end of our trip and we’ve never appreciated having electricity or hot running water so much!
How To Get There
Awesome Adventures offer three different ways for you to island hop between the Yasawas.
The Bula Pass allows you to island hop for a set number of days at a far cheaper rate than buying a ticket each time you get on the boat. The minimum time you can go for is 5 days and you can pay for all your accommodation separately, giving you a lot of flexibility for where you want to stay and which accommodation rating you choose.
Bula Combo Pass
The Bula Combo pass includes the boat transfers over your preferred number of dates as well as all your accommodation and food. You can book which accommodation you’d like to stay in when you’re on the boat or in advance, giving you a lot of flexibility to customise your trip however as the pass ranges in price depending on the level of accommodation you choose, you may have to pay extra if you want to ‘upgrade’. We were on a Bula Combo pass (1 coconut) and wanted to upgrade but were told we couldn’t for some of the resorts.
Island Escapes Packages
Awesome Adventures also offer island escapes ranging in accommodation type and length of time but the trips are pre-planned for you and include some activities. It can be hard to choose where you might want to stay and which islands to go to, so the packages are a really great way to solve these problems! The inclusion of activities is also a big advantage and after speaking to many other travellers that were on packages, we came to the conclusion that this was the best way to see the Yasawas.
After a lot of price comparison, I found the cheapest way to book your trip is through STA travel. There are no special offers on the packages or sales, however STA travel seem to have the best prices (even better than Awesome Adventures website).
The islands are very small and you won’t find shops, restaurants, or internet on most of them. In fact, some of the islands are so tiny you can walk around them in about 5 minutes! That being said, there are many activities you can do such as snorkelling, kayaking, diving and certain excursions such as swimming with Manta rays or reef sharks. If you don’t have a package, you can expect to pay between $40-55 FJ for these trips, depending on which resort you stay at.
- Buy any alcohol from the shops at Port Denerau before you board the Yasawa Flyer as there are no shops on the islands and it can be expensive to buy alcohol from the resorts.
- The same goes for any chocolates/crips/snack food you might like.
- Drink lots of water! Make sure you budget at least $5 per day for water as you can’t drink the tap water here.
- Take a Power Pack charger with you as many islands don’t have electricity all day. These are lifesavers for when your phone or camera are on the blink!
- Take a Torch! Vital for when there’s no lights at night and you’re trying to find the toilet.
We loved our time in the Yasawas. Check out our latest Youtube video which gives you a taste of what to expect!