Inland Fijian Adventures

It may come as a surprise that Fiji offers as many exciting land-based activities as those on the water.

Suva, Fiji
Suva is the South Pacific’s largest and most vibrant city, where all of Fiji’s ethnic, historical, modern, and culinary variables come together. Here, you’ll find paint-chipped colonial buildings side by side concrete shopping malls, scents of curry next to kava stalls, and expats chatting with Indian women in saris or Fijians in block-patterned sulus (wraparound skirts). The bustle can get overwhelming at times, but if you miss Suva, you’ll be missing a large ingredient of Fiji. It’s best explored at leisure and on foot, sampling Fijian and Indian cuisines in one or more of the many small restaurants around town.
Navala, Fiji
Framed by green mountains, the traditional thatched bures (huts) of this charming 200-year-old village make for one of the most photo-worthy inland scenery spots on Viti Levu. The village tour starts with a sevusevu welcoming ceremony and kava with the chief. From here you will tour the village, meet the friendly residents, take a dip in the cool waters of the Ba River, and learn about local life. You may see people constructing roofs or drying coconuts or bananas in the sun, or you might meet children at the primary school. End with a meal of taro, cassava, tropical fruit, and local Fijian dishes.
The three-mile Lavena Coastal Walk on Taveuni Island begins at rustic Lavena Lodge and traces a white-sand-fringed blue lagoon, then a black-sand beach, past friendly villages before climbing through forestland to Wainibau Falls. Plunge into the natural swimming pool below the falls in a landscape that looks positively primeval. You can hire a guide for this walk or go it alone by taking a taxi from anywhere on Taveuni to the lodge. (Note that you’ll be tackling a few fairly easy river crossings, so expect to get wet.) Allot time to swim or snorkel off Lavena Point, or arrange a guided kayak trip along the coast.
Near the town of Savusavu on Vanua Levu, Nukubalavu is a wonderful introduction to the lively life and cultural protocol of a Fijian village. Start with a welcome by the elders, who will walk you around the thatched huts where women prepare pandanus leaves to make mats or weave into baskets. Children smile from doorways as coconut palms from the copra (coconut oil) plantation wave in the breeze. The visit culminates in a sevusevu welcome ceremony where the elders prepare kava and drink the muddy concoction in a circle to create a peaceful bond.
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