About 300 islands in the South Pacific and two distinct cultures -- native Fijian and Hindu -- make up the alluring tropical nation of Fiji. Viti Levu and Vanua Levu are the two largest islands, and many smaller islands are also worth considering. Known for its friendly people, lush foliage (many of which is found nowhere else in the world), and rich sea life, Fiji is the ideal destination for couples seeking castaway tranquility, an exotic culture, unspoiled beaches, and dreamy thatched-roof bures ("boo-rays," a word that means both bungalow and sanctuary).
Before You Go: Need-to-know info
(To Nadi, Fiji) 16 hours from NYC, 10 hours from LA
Bus, taxi, ferry
When To Go: Fiji at its best
Dry season, called Fiji Winter, from May to October.
December to April
What To Do
Enjoy the surroundings:
The garden island of Taveuni, southeast of Vanua Levu, includes Mount Uluiqalau -- notable because it lies at the 180th Meridian, 12 hours east and west from Greenwich -- and the Bouma National Heritage Park. Here you can stroll the Lavena Coastal Walk or take the guided Vidawa Forest Walk, ending with a natural water slide and swim in the idyllic Bouma waterfalls, which was a rain-forest movie set for Return to the Blue Lagoon
. There's plenty of nature off the coastline, too -- Jean-Michel Cousteau named Fiji the Soft Coral Capital of the World.
Once used as part of a spiritual ceremony, this tea-like beverage brewed from the ground roots of the Piper plant is now a mainstay at every social gathering. It's tradition to clap once before you drink the Kava and three times after you're finished.
Get a workout:
Fiji offers terrain to suit every degree of athlete. Trek the Sigatoka sand dunes; hike the Mt. Korobaba; tee off on palm-studded golf courses by the sea; or careen down the rock mazes of the Wainikoroiluva River on Viti Levu in a white-water raft.