Fiji

Tips for Fijian Island Hopping on a Budget

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So you want to visit Fiji and island hop the Yasawa Islands? Awesome! It’s totally possible to do it without completely breaking the bank. While it may not be Southeast Asia-level budgets, you can still access amazing resorts for a steal. Here are some tips on how to do it.

Transportation:

  • There is no ‘cheap option’ for boat transfers thanks to a monopoly on the ferry system by Awesome Adventures. Our ferry costs were the highest single cost of our entire trip – about $215 USD for four transfers in total. We did go to the ‘end of the line’ to get to Nacula, so if you stayed closer to the main island you may be able to get costs down. But Blue Lagoon is worth it!
  • You can get a Bula Pass if you plan to visit more than 3 islands, which is usually the cheaper option. Three islands or less, its usually cheaper to just book each segment.

Accommodation:

  • The Bula Pass also comes with accommodation options. After extensive research, we opted to simply book our accommodation independent of Awesome Adventures so we could stay at whichever resort we wanted without having to worry about how many “Coconuts” we had. We found their package a little too confining, but it could work for people who don’t want to be bothered with researching the resorts.
  • Our favorite places to stay were Blue Lagoon and Octopus (actually, my favorite was Blue Lagoon and my sister’s was Octopus), but we only tried three places in total and there are dozens and dozens of options that have a budget/dorm component. We wouldn’t recommend Manta Ray unless you are a diver, and even then we’d suggest just one night if you’re staying in the dorms. If you’re going to be there in January like we were, air conditioning is a MUST!

Food:

  • This part is easy, since each resort provides you three meals a day for a set cost per day. My recommendation is to take advantage of these meals and eat until you are full, and you can get away with not needing to snack in between (and thus not spend any more money than you have to!).

Activities:

  • Most activities at the resorts are at an incremental cost. Each resort offers different things free of charge; for example, SUP at Blue Lagoon was free, and kayaking at Manta Ray was free. Just ask what you can do free of charge at the dive shop or front desk to find out.

Etiquette:

  • Tipping isn’t necessary or expected at the resorts in the Yasawas, but a big smile, a ‘Thank You,’ and remembering staff names goes a long way with these gorgeous people.
  • Otherwise, kick back, relax, and enjoy! The resorts really do take care of everything so you can just reeeeelax.

Our trip breakdown (cost is for one person as of January 2015):

Ferry: $214
Stay at Blue Lagoon (including food and additional activities): $180
Additional Activities at Blue Lagoon: Underwater Cave tour, Village Visit
Stay at Manta Ray (including food): $168
Additional Activities at Manta Ray: Cost for Snorkel equipment, Sunset Cruise
Stay at Octopus: $148
Additional Activities at Octopus: Nada! Beach Lounging only.

Total cost for one person to spend 7 days in the Yasawa Islands: $710
*Note that you will likely need to spend a day or two on the main island depending on your flight arrival/departure times. We stayed at Bamboo Travellers for cheap – it’s a good place if you’re passing through. 

Add your flight costs to this, and you should have a pretty accurate budget for your own trip to beautiful Fiji.

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