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Expat Exchange - Best Places to See While on a Look-See Trip to Fiji (Plus, Itineraries) 2024
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Drawaqa Island in Fiji


Best Places to See While on a Look-See Trip to Fiji (Plus, Itineraries)

By Betsy Burlingame

Universal Tax Professionals
Universal Tax Professionals

Summary: For those contemplating a move to Fiji without a specific locale in mind, embarking on a look-see or exploratory journey to explore various expat havens can provide invaluable insights. Here are some top suggestions for places to explore while scouting out Fiji.

Embarking on a Look-See trip to Fiji is a crucial step for anyone considering relocation to this tropical paradise. Such a trip allows potential expats, retirees, and digital nomads to explore the islands firsthand, experiencing the culture, lifestyle, and amenities each location offers. It's an opportunity to assess the practicalities of daily life, from healthcare facilities to shopping and entertainment options, ensuring that the chosen destination aligns with one's personal and professional needs.

Recommended Itineraries

For a comprehensive Look-See trip in Fiji, it's important to tailor your itinerary based on the length of your stay. A 10-day trip could focus on the main island of Viti Levu, exploring Suva, Nadi, and the Coral Coast. If you have 20 days, extend your journey to include the second-largest island, Vanua Levu, visiting Savusavu and Labasa, and consider a trip to the Mamanuca or Yasawa Islands for a glimpse of island life. These itineraries provide a balanced view of urban centers, expat communities, and serene island living, helping you to identify the perfect spot for your new home.

Suva

Suva, the capital city of Fiji, is a bustling hub with a diverse population and a vibrant cultural scene. Expats and digital nomads are drawn to its urban amenities, including shopping centers, restaurants, and entertainment options. With a population of around 85,000, Suva offers a mix of modern living and traditional Fijian culture. The cost of living is relatively affordable, and the city is known for its colonial architecture, lush parks, and waterfront areas.

Travel Tip: While in Suva, visit the Fiji Museum located within the Thurston Gardens to immerse yourself in the country's history and culture. For a culinary treat, try the local cuisine at the renowned Governors Restaurant.

Nadi

Nadi is the third-largest conurbation in Fiji and serves as the main gateway to the country through its international airport. It's a popular spot for expats due to its proximity to stunning beaches and luxury resorts. Nadi has a more tourist-centric vibe, with a lower cost of living compared to Suva. The town is also close to Denarau Island, known for its upscale properties and golf courses, making it an attractive option for those seeking a blend of leisure and convenience.

Travel Tip: Don't miss the Garden of the Sleeping Giant, which showcases a magnificent collection of orchids and native plants. For dining, indulge in the flavors at Tu's Place, which offers a mix of Fijian and international dishes.

Coral Coast

The Coral Coast is a stunning stretch of coastline on Viti Levu, known for its resorts, white sandy beaches, and crystal-clear waters. It's an ideal location for expats looking for a slower pace of life while still having access to necessary amenities. The region includes several towns such as Sigatoka, with its famous sand dunes, and Pacific Harbour, the adventure capital of Fiji. The cost of living here can vary but generally offers good value for those seeking a beachside lifestyle.

Travel Tip: Visit the Kula Wild Adventure Park in Sigatoka to enjoy a family-friendly experience with Fiji's wildlife. For a taste of local food, stop by the EcoCafe for a meal with an ocean view.

Savusavu

Located on Vanua Levu, Savusavu is often referred to as Fiji's hidden paradise. This small town is a haven for expats who prefer a tranquil environment surrounded by natural beauty. Known for its hot springs and pearl farms, Savusavu has a lower cost of living and offers a tight-knit community feel. The town is also becoming a hotspot for eco-tourism and sustainable living.

Travel Tip: Explore the Copra Shed Marina, a historical landmark that now serves as a yachting hub with shops and eateries. For dining, the Captains Table at the marina offers fresh seafood with a picturesque view.

Labasa

Labasa is the largest town on Vanua Levu and presents a more local Fijian experience. It's less frequented by tourists, providing a more authentic insight into Fijian life. The town is known for its sugar cane industry and has a vibrant market and a few cultural sites. Expats looking for an off-the-beaten-path experience and affordable living costs might find Labasa appealing.

Travel Tip: Visit the Labasa Market for fresh produce and local crafts. For a unique dining experience, try the Bulaccino Café, which offers a range of healthy and organic options.

Mamanuca and Yasawa Islands

The Mamanuca and Yasawa Islands are perfect for those considering a more secluded island lifestyle. These islands offer some of the most picturesque settings in Fiji, with opportunities for snorkeling, diving, and enjoying the pristine beaches. While visiting, consider checking out the towns of Nacula, Yaqeta, and Tavewa, each providing a unique perspective on island living. The cost of living can be higher due to the remoteness and reliance on tourism, but the quality of life is unparalleled for beach lovers.

Travel Tip: Take a day trip to Modriki Island, the filming location for the movie "Cast Away." For a memorable meal, visit the Mamanuca Island Grill at Castaway Island Resort for fresh, locally-sourced dishes.

About the Author

Betsy Burlingame Betsy Burlingame is the Founder and President of Expat Exchange and is one of the Founders of Digital Nomad Exchange. She launched Expat Exchange in 1997 as her Master's thesis project at NYU. Prior to Expat Exchange, Betsy worked at AT&T in International and Mass Market Marketing. She graduated from Ohio Wesleyan University with a BA in International Business and German.

Some of Betsy's articles include 12 Best Places to Live in Portugal, 7 Best Places to Live in Panama and 12 Things to Know Before Moving to the Dominican Republic. Betsy loves to travel and spend time with her family. Connect with Betsy on LinkedIn.


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Drawaqa Island in Fiji

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