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With its secluded white-sand beaches and palm trees, exotic far-away Fiji is impossibly romantic and the perfect honeymoon destination. So what makes this island chain, located in the South Pacific, worth the day-long trip to get there? Read on to find out.
1. Stay in a bure.
Tahiti is famous for underwater bungalows, but Fiji has beachfront ones called bures. You’ll get a wooden hut with a thatched straw roof and enough charm to make you feel like you’ve wandered way off the beaten path. Turtle Island has a personal butler for each bure, Wakaya Club has some of the largest bures, and Likuliku resort has the only over-water bures in the region.
2. Shop the market in Nadi.
Don’t leave all of your shopping for the hotel gift shop; spend a day hunting down souvenirs at this open-air market. Look for local hand-made crafts, such as woven baskets, carved wooden bowls and get this cannibal forks, the kind once used by tribal kings in feasts.
3. Get out on the water.
Whether you explore in a pair of kayaks, or charter a boat for an afternoon sail, you’ll want to see these lush green islands from the perspective of the sea. Namale has one of the best water sports programs in the area: You’ll find sea kayaking, banana boating, day boat tours with snorkeling, and even water skiing and a trampoline set in the sea.
4. Check out a fire-walking ceremony.
This is the most famous ritual of the local culture, and today it is performed by the men of the islands, the descendants of warriors, as a tribute to their tribal history. Ask your resort about opportunities: Some have a regular event on their property and the ones that don’t can help you arrange one elsewhere.
5. Eat fish curry.
Anytime you’re on an island, seafood is your best bet. Here, the fish curries fragrant with coconut milk and bright curry leaves are the way to go. For a luxurious (and delicious) date night, book a table at the Sheraton Fiji resort’s Flying Fish Fiji, an offshoot of the Sydney hot spot. They serve their mahi-mahi curry with shrimp rolls.
6. Go underwater.
If you think Fiji is gorgeous on land, just take a peak under the water line. It’s considered one of the best dive sites in the world, and you can’t leave here without diving, or at least snorkeling, around the kaleidoscope of rainbow-colored soft coral. The Jean-Michel Cousteau resort, run by the son of famed diver Jacques Cousteau, offers diving packages for those with experience and PADI courses for the uninitiated.
7. Hike to a waterfall.
The largest of these tropical islands, Vitu Levu and Taveuni, have some spectacular waterfalls, surrounded by lush green vegetation. Some of these are on national park land and require a long hike to access the site; others, such as Biasevu Falls, are easy to reach.
8. Participate in a ceremony.
While watching the fire walkers is impressive, there are plenty of traditional experiences you can have in Fiji that you can actually take part in. Ask your resort about kava-drinking rituals as well as gift-giving ceremonies, called sevu sevu.
9. Bring home some pearls.
South Pacific black pearls are elegant, and a memorable souvenir from your honeymoon. Bring one, or a whole strand home, and you’ll remember this moment every time you put them on. Pearls are available everywhere in Fiji: There are duty-free shops in Nadi, and there’s also a pearl farm in Savusavu that offers tours and shopping.
10. Find a beach to call your own.
Get away from the crowds on the main island, and explore the empty strands until you find a beach that’s the perfect home for the two of you, at least for the day. Yasawa, one of the more remote Fijian resorts, has spectacularly long stretches of white sand.