In 2022, we took a group of 23 people on a small group tour to Fiji for 17 days of rest, relaxation, culture, activities and world class diving. We love Fiji. It’s a wonderful place to relax and unwind, and we wanted to share this. We had a blast! You can read all about our trip in this article.
Fiji is the perfect exotic South Pacific getaway. Only 10 hours away from Los Angeles and San Francisco on a direct flight, and you're in paradise. You can feel your stresses dissolving away. The secluded beaches and sparkling water are like a balm for your soul. Mandy Buttenshaw
Where is Fiji?
Why is Fiji such a special destination?
Fiji is a cluster of 333 islands in the South Pacific where you'll find the world's friendliest locals, beautiful beaches, lush rain forests, inviting waterfalls, stunning coral reefs, remote islands, quaint seaside resorts, small fishing villages and farms. Besides all of that, you have stunning natural beauty, unique fauna, sustainable resorts, delicious food and diving like nowhere else in the world.
Bula is the greeting you'll hear everywhere in Fiji, but it's more than a greeting. It's about friendship, joy and kindness. This Bula spirit is found everywhere you go on Fiji. It's part of their culture and it makes all the difference to your time there. You can't help it rubbing off on you.
17 days spread over two different resorts.
Bega Lagoon Resort
Our group tour to Fiji was a 17-day trip, based at two Fiji island resorts. Getting out to the smaller islands is a great way to experience traditional Fijian culture. The first resort we went to was Paradise Taveuni up in the northern region of Fiji, the second was Beqa Lagoon Resort in the southern region of Fiji. At each resort, there were 23 people in the group. Some people came for the entire 17 days, others came for the first week or the second week.
Of the people that came on the tour, half knew each other, and half did not. Our travelers came from all over the USA to converge in Fiji for a well-deserved break in paradise, and the chance to experience world class diving. Those not diving enjoyed spectacular snorkeling, beautiful beaches, hiking, fishing, kayaking, local culture and more.
Resorts and accommodation
The two resorts we chose were based on first-hand experience. We have stayed at both resorts before and enjoyed our time there. Client feedback and after trip reports of their visits to these resorts made us want to use them for our group tour.
Paradise Taveuni is an oceanfront boutique resort on the southern tip of Taveuni. It is set on an elevated site in one of the island’s most beautiful locations, giving the resort impressive ocean views. It is the perfect spot to enjoy spectacular sunsets with a cocktail in the evenings. The resort has a deep-water frontage allowing guests to dive, snorkel and swim from the lava flow edge in the warm tropical water. There is an abundance of marine life to view, and it is also home of the legendary Rainbow Reef, a short boat ride away.
Accommodation is in air-conditioned oceanfront traditional Bures complete with tropical outdoor showers in private lava rock gardens. You have spacious decks to chill out on and enjoy the views, or some rooms have tubs where you can soak in luxury.
Beqa Lagoon Resort
Beqa Lagoon Resort is a beachfront resort covering six acres on Beqa Island. Accommodations are air-conditioned spacious bungalows and some of them are beachfront with private dipping pools. The resort has a great pool and a lovely beachfront. There’s also a calm turquoise lagoon perfect for swimming, kayaking and stand up paddle boarding. Close to shore is one of Fiji’s best coral reefs teaming with marine life. As a guest, you have access to great diving and snorkeling.
We enjoyed all meals in the onsite restaurant as Beqa Island is remote and there are no other options available to guests. Happy hour with live Fijian music was a fun way to start our evenings.
Activities and cultural experiences
There was no shortage of activities for everyone to enjoy on their Fiji adventure. Complimentary water-based activities for guests at the resorts included snorkeling, snorkeling safaris, fish feeding, kayaking, stand up paddle boarding and more. There were also options to go deep sea fishing or surfing on the reef break at Fiji’s Pipeline. Both resort locations offered scuba diving with world class diving locations on hand.
Land-based activities could be as energetic or relaxing as you wanted them to be. Hiking to remote waterfalls and peaks, or walking along stunning coastal trails, was a good way to burn off a few calories and enjoy the scenery. It was relaxing walking through rain forests discovering all the local flora and fauna.
Cultural activities were available at the resorts and on the islands. Besides the resort base traditional dinners and cultural entertainment, you could visit nearby villages, meet children at their local school, learn Fijian, try your hand at frond weaving or climbing a coconut tree. You can also see traditional Fijian dancing and singing and take part in a famous Kava ceremony.
Fiji has some of the most colorful reef ecosystem on earth, which is why this South Pacific paradise is nicknamed the “soft coral capital of the world.” But diving in Fiji has more to offer, including wall dives, swim-throughs, caverns, canyons and incredible shark encounters. Shore diving, boat diving and liveaboard trips are all possible here. With over 390 coral species, around 1200 fish species and five of the world's seven marine turtle species, it’s an underwater naturalist’s dream.
If you were interested in diving, there were dive instructors at each resort happy to help you start your Open Water certifications or help you continue your passion of diving in various levels of ongoing training and certifications.
Diving at Paradise Taveuni
Paradise Taveuni is perfectly located to access Rainbow Reef, one of the world's top dive locations. The Rainbow Reef is a 20 mile reef in the Somosomo Straight, a 20 to 30 minute boat trip from Paradise Taveuni. Here you will find The Great White Wall, named because of the white coral found at depths of 49 to 213 ft. The resort has an onsite dive center with 2 dive boats that make daily trips to Rainbow Reef, other local dive sites or areas from guest requests. Often they come across mantas and pilot whales on the trips to and from the reef which you can get in the water and swim with. It's magical!
Diving at Beqa Lagoon Resort
Beqa Lagoon Resort was chosen because it’s surrounded by over 190 miles of barrier reef providing great diving, including the chance of encountering big fish and up to 9 different species of shark. With dive sites as shallow as 15ft and drop offs to 100ft, divers can explore a variety of depths. The house reef is great for diving day or night and perfect for snorkeling from the resort. The onsite dive center offers all the dive services you need.
A typical day at a Fijian resort
What’s it like spending a day in paradise? It’s not a chore, that’s for sure. Here’s what we got up to most days.
Get up and enjoy a delicious breakfast after a walk on the beach.
Non divers have plenty of things they can do, including relaxing or getting involved in local activities:
Swimming and snorkeling out the front of the resorts
Visit the local school
Other activities on offer
Divers headed out at 8am. This was the organized diving time.
You will do either a 2 or 3 tank dive
2 tank dives came back to resort for lunch
3 tank dives had lunch onboard or at a beach
The afternoon is for relaxing or enjoying other activities:
Enjoy relaxing in the resort pool
Stand up paddle boarding
Walks to local villages
Learn to weave, basket making
Explore the waterfalls at Paradise Taveuni
Enjoy a natural water slide at Paradise Taveuni
Additional diving was available if you wanted to do more with shore diving out front of resorts
Evenings were all about cocktails, sunsets, music, relaxing and enjoying delicious food. You also could take a sunset cruise, see a cultural performance or partake in a traditional Fijian meal.
Why was this such a successful trip?
Fiji is a fantastic destination for good reason. It’s a beautiful tropical paradise, and the Fijian people are truly friendly and very welcoming. We wanted to take clients to this special location, give them a chance to get away from everything and be able to enjoy spectacular diving if they wanted to.
The private resorts offer waterfront accommodation in beautiful surroundings. They are not touristy at all and we could relax and detox in a stunning environment. The warm clear water was perfect for swimming, snorkeling and diving. The weather was warm and tropical every day.
Coming together as a group gave everyone a chance to make new friends and reconnect with old friends. Divers got to hang out with other divers in near perfect dive conditions. It was a great bunch of people, and we thoroughly enjoyed our time together.
Relaxing and enjoying the pace of island life was easy. Get out of bed when you want to, walk the beach, or make the most of the peace in one of the hammocks at the resorts. Evenings were perfect for kicking back in a lounger with a cocktail and watching the sunset.
Trip organization and planning
Mandy arranged and booked this small group tour, all flights and tour accommodation. This is the joy of going on a tour organized by a travel agent. You just pack and go! If you would like any information about vacationing in Fiji, please get in touch. We’re more than happy to help you plan and book a Fijian adventure.
If you are interested in joining any of our group tours, please check under our Group Tours section on the website for upcoming trips you can register for.