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Insider’s Guide to Fiji: Must-Know Tips For Travel Advisors 

I was lucky enough to visit Fiji recently, including a three-day Blue Lagoon cruise around the Yasawa Islands. My adventure began with a flight into Nadi (pronounced “Nandi,” as the locals affectionately add that “n” to the “d”). Immediately, we ventured to the captivating Coral Coast of the main island, Viti Levu. It was good to immerse ourselves in the properties we promote, such as the Warwick, the Intercontinental, the Shangri-La, and Outrigger resorts, all quite luxurious properties. 

One of the standout moments in this region was the exhilarating Sigatoka River Safari—an exciting New Zealand-style jetboat ride into a local village where we had a very local lunch, some good times, almost square dance style fun, and the intriguing ceremonial drink known as kava (but more on that enchanting tradition in a bit). 

From the Coral Coast, our journey led us back to the bustling Nadi area and the primary port of Denarau, where all water taxis and shuttles depart for the outer islands. Our first stop, via transfer, was the idyllic day island of MalaMala, boasting breathtaking beauty and some of the finest snorkeling spots of our entire trip. Though, as they say, the first snorkel is always the most memorable. 

After MalaMala, we boarded a charming yet comfortably mid-range Blue Lagoon Cruise vessel for a three-day excursion (they also do four and seven day). Upon returning to Denarau, we embarked on another water taxi journey, this time to the very luxurious LikuLiku resort, before finally settling in at Castaway—an undisputed favourite among our group. 

From Castaway, we hopped onto a water shuttle bound for Malolo, where we concluded our island escapade with an unforgettable overnight stay. As our journey drew to a close, we took the opportunity to explore a few properties in the Denarau region of the main island, including the Radisson and Sofitel resorts. I learned a lot on my journey and want to share with you some of the key highlights to help you share this wonderful nation with your clients.

The main island of Viti Levu has a lot to offer. 

group of people posing with traditional guitar players
Cory and his travel group posing upon arrival. (©Cory Payton)

Before this visit to Fiji, I really thought that experiencing the true island essence and Fiji’s renowned Bula spirit required a journey to the outer islands. However, I discovered an exciting truth about the Coral Coast: so many of the properties offering island experiences are situated along the shores of the main island, Viti Levu, and clients can get that spirit with a short layover in Fiji. Of course, you’d want to stay longer to soak up this amazing place. The Coral Coast embodies Fiji’s vibrant culture, pristine beaches, and warm hospitality, and if you include the Sigatoka village experience, you can really feel like you’ve seen the real Fiji. 

It’s easy to get to Denarau. 

Isn’t it amazing to finally visit a place you’ve been selling for years? I thought Denarau was its own separate island and would create complication when transferring out to the islands. Not the case. It’s super easy to get to and if you arrive in morning or midday, you can be out basking in the waves and enjoying those famous Fiji sunsets in no time. Although I would spend one day before a flight near Nadi where you get a more local feel. 

Fiji is a great family destination. 

Fiji is a huge destination for families, particularly Australians. It’s very kid-friendly and almost all resorts have a kids club that is somewhat like summer camp where families and kids come year after year. Saying that, if your clients want a quiet honeymoon experience, work with your Destination Specialist to find the perfect property for a more intimate stay. 

Don’t forget to book a jet boat tour. 

group of people heading to river in tropical environment
Cory heading onto the jetboat for his river tour. (©Cory Payton)

I really enjoyed the jet boat trip up to the Fijian village on the main island. The main draw is the idea of adrenaline rush jet boating in the tropical setting, but what becomes the highlight is meeting the true locals, sharing stories, learning about the Kava ceremony, learning how locals prepare their meals, and enjoying the local music and experience.  There were times when we were walking around the trails and a kid would just walk up and hold your hand to show you something interesting or share a favourite pastime. The generosity is amazing. 

Fiji is perfect for disconnecting and relaxing. 

Venturing to the outer islands is so important and I loved it. While you can certainly enjoy Fiji with a short stopover on Viti Levu, if you can make it to an outer island, seize the opportunity. In today’s fast-paced world, it often takes time to truly unwind, switch off, and disconnect. Plus, with the internet not being great on the islands, it’s the perfect opportunity to allow yourself to disconnect amidst the beauty of Fiji, with its relaxing spirit and ocean breezes. You’ll find yourself mentally and physically disconnected in no time.   

Survivor fans will be pleasantly surprised. 

When you stay at Malolo or the many resorts in and around that area, you can see the islands where they film Survivor. It might sound odd, but I found it quite interesting to imagine what they go through on the show when you are right there, as they certainly aren’t far from civilization when filming the show. 

Kava is a big deal in Fijian culture. 

man holding a coconut drink
Cory trying out kava during a ceremony. (©Cory Payton)

Kava is truly fascinating. It’s this almost-forbidden drink made from pepper tree root. At any village we visited, our guide had a pepper tree root wrapped up in newspaper and masking tape to offer to the chief, which showed us what an important part kava plays in local tradition. Tradition has it that one sip of kava will help you truly feel the essence of the

Don’t forget to keep your head bare when visiting local villages. 

To enter any village or when you’re in a local area, only the chief can wear anything above the eyebrows, or it’s considered disrespectful. Remind your clients: no hats, bandanas, or even sunglasses perched on the head when in local villages. The chief and only the chief has something on their head. 

It’s easy for Goway to put together an ideal trip to Fiji. 

An example of the beautiful resorts you’ll find in Fiji. (©Cory Payton)

I think the ideal way to explore Fiji would be to spend two days on the Coral Coast. Then I would do the 4-day Blue Lagoon Cruise and then two more on Castaway Island. It’s a perfect amount of time for honeymooners and families alike.

By Cory Payton


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