An archipelago of volcanic islands to Fiji’s west, the Yasawas can be challenging to get to—but the journey’s worth it if you’re looking for a more laid-back, budget-friendly escape than their better-known neighbor. Until the 1980s, the islands were relatively undeveloped, resulting in a traditional village feel and a rich island culture.
The Yasawa Islands are a great destination for travelers seeking a tropical vacation without the hefty price tag. In recent years, more resorts have popped up on the islands, but you’ll still find plenty of options that are easier on the pocketbook.
Go snorkeling or scuba diving in the pristine waters, or head into the lush jungle for a hike. Then, kick back on the beach under a palm tree, or make your way to one of the villages for a dance performance, traditional ceremony, or some Fijian eats.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Tours to the islands are typically part of a multi-day cruise package, though it’s possible to book transportation and accommodation on your own.
- Water and other beverages are pricey on the Yasawas—take your own to save money.
How to Get There
Most visitors to the Yasawa Islands get there on the Yasawa Flyer (aka the “yellow boat”) from Port Denarau Marina in Fiji. The ferry departs every morning and stops at various islands. Depending on the island you’re staying on, the Yasawas are approximately a 2-to-4-hour trip from the neighboring Mamanuca Islands. Alternatively, several flights leave from Nadi daily, though you may miss out on some island-hopping time.
When to Get There
While there’s never really a bad time to visit the Yasawa Islands, for fewer crowds and lower costs, plan your trip for the mild months of October and November.
Experience a Kava Ceremony
In the evening, many locals participate in kava ceremonies. People gather around a fire and sip a drink made from kava kava root—a mild sedative often ingested to aid in alleviating anxiety and stress. Ask around to find one that welcomes travelers.