Welcome to Fiji! You will arrive into Nadi and start your adventure! This is also where you can jump from a plane on an optional skydive!
Adventure through Fiji on this jam-packed, two-week adventure. Start your trip by heading out to the village of Somosomo on Naviti Island where you will swim and kayak in pristine waters. Help out on a village service initiative and contribute to the community in a positive way. Spend a few days getting to know the Fiji highlands, hiking across the mountains and experiencing rural village life. In addition to all of the water activities, you will also get to zipline, go whitewater rafting, and hike to beautiful waterfalls.
Welcome to your South Pacific adventure! All of our scheduled group flights to Fiji depart from Los Angeles on Fiji Airways, Fiji’s national airline. Your flight will be non-stop to Nadi International Airport and will be escorted by a Rustic Pathways flight leader. The flight will depart LAX in the evening and take about 10 hours. During your flight you can meet other students, get some sleep in preparation for your arrival, relax with a movie or two, and start to settle into the easy-going Fijian way of life.
Today is lost as you cross the international dateline, but don’t worry too much – you will get it back on your way home!
You will immediately be greeted by our Rustic Pathways staff and start the journey of a lifetime. Board a ferry in the early morning and take a four-hour boat ride through the breathtaking Yasawa Islands. Pass by some of the most beautiful islands in the world while enjoying a cold ice-cream bar. Over the next four days, you will call one of these tropical islands home as you explore the white sandy beaches, crystal-clear waters, and lush surrounding hills. You will be without electricity while you sleep in large safari tents on cots, only a few yards from the ocean. Step off the boat and get to know a village that is ready to welcome you with open arms.
After lunch, start orientation with your trip leaders and discuss what to expect during your four days on the island. Once you have finished orientation, throw on your swimsuit, snorkel, and fins and head out to explore the exotic marine habitats of the South Pacific. Head to Dollar Beach, nicknamed for its representation on the back of the old Fiji one-dollar note. Here you can often spot a multitude of fish, squid, and rays. If you are not up to snorkeling, spend time relaxing in the sun or pull out a kayak and paddle through the aqua waters.
In the evening, enjoy a kava ceremony with the locals from Somosomo Village who will make you feel at home under the bright constellations of the Southern Hemisphere.
Explore island paradise. Each day will include new adventures, including a rewarding sunrise hike, ocean kayaking, snorkeling with manta rays, and learning a traditional Fijian war dance called the meke. There will be time to play games with the local school children and to learn some traditional Fijian phrases.
In order to better understand everyday life in Somosomo Village, you will have the exciting opportunity to engage in an ongoing service project that contributes to initiatives undertaken as part of the Village Community Plan. These may include helping with repairs to village homes, building kitchens, engaging in a sports day with students and planting mangroves.
You will have the chance to go on an add-on scuba dive if you would like to see more of Fiji’s underwater world. Fiji has the best soft coral reefs on the planet and spending a day exploring the ocean can seem otherworldly. Spend your nights hanging out at the beach bonfire or gazing up at the stars.
In the morning join in on a local church service in the village. This will be an opportunity for you to visit a local Fijian’s home and share stories about the different ways of life in the islands. Return for lunch at the islands base and finish packing before your departure.
Say goodbye to the Yasawa Islands and head back to Nadi via the Yasawa Flyer. You will be surprised at how much you have learned from your new Fijian friends who feel more like family. Tonight, enjoy some of Fiji’s best pizza before heading back to the Ecolodge for a hot shower. Be sure to reflect on your islands experience before you venture into the vastly different world of the Nausori Highlands region tomorrow!
Spend the morning soaking in the local hot pools and mud baths. Challenge our local guides to a game of volleyball on our riverside court. When you return to your bure in the evening, you can take part in a kava ceremony, relax, and listen to the Fijians sing traditional songs late into the night.
After lunch, hop into local transport and head up to the interior of Viti Levu, Fiji’s largest island. Ride through the mountains and over lush landscapes en route to your new home in a remote area of Fiji. Hike for approximately forty minutes to where you will be staying on mattresses in a traditional Fijian “bure”, or hut, by the river. Enjoy a delicious dinner and gaze at the breathtaking stars before heading to bed early in this isolated paradise. By the time you leave, you will understand why this place holds a special place in our hearts.
Spend your day hiking to one of the country’s largest waterfalls, swimming in pristine rivers, and enjoying the tranquility of the Highlands. Join in with the locals on the rugby field or try your turn on the volleyball court. When you return to your tent in the evening, you can take part in a kava ceremony, relax, and listen to the Fijians sing traditional songs late into the night.
Prepare for your final morning in the highlands and hike back to the road early as the morning mist rises from the valley. Your transport will be waiting to take you back down to the coast where you will arrive at the Ecolodge Base in Momi for lunch.
After lunch change into your bathing suit and head out to Natadola Beach. Soak in the sunshine as you swim, stroll down the beach, or try body surfing in the waves.
Tonight, enjoy a dinner at the Ecolodge and get a good night’s sleep to prepare yourself for your coastal tour the next day.
Rise early and head to Pacific Harbour, the adventure capital of Fiji. Expect magnificent coastal vistas as you drive up to the resort. Before you reach your accommodation for the evening, visit and hike the unique Sigatoka Sand Dunes, where four miles of windswept mountains of sand unfold along the coast. The area has been granted protected national park status and is administered by the National Trust of Fiji. In addition to admiring the towering hills of sand that lead straight into the ocean, you can sometimes find pottery shards from the Lapita Era (1,000 years ago) that were buried by drifting sands.
After you get settled in to your dorm at a local hotel, spend the afternoon playing beach volleyball, relaxing by the pool, or kayaking. Stroll down the beach at sunset and start to feel at home on the Pacific Harbour Coast.
Wake up and enjoy a leisurely breakfast overlooking your coastal resort before a morning of high-flying fun. Soar through the canopies of the rainforest and get your adrenaline pumping as you travel from platform to platform among the trees. Conquer your fear of heights while traveling 30 mph through the air and let out a loud “Wananavu!” as you enjoy stepping outside your comfort zone.
Next, experience the big city life in Suva, Fiji’s capital city, for lunch and some souvenir shopping. Following your meal, you’ll head to Colo-i-Suva Forest Reserve for a hike through another one of Fiji’s National Parks.
Return to your accommodations before dinner for some free time. Play a game of beach volleyball, or find a hammock for an afternoon nap. Enjoy a last dinner in Pacific Harbour before you return to the Eco-Lodge tomorrow!
Wake up and say goodbye to your Pacific Harbour home. Get ready for a full day of whitewater rafting! Leave your resort and travel to the Luva River where you will enjoy class II and III whitewater rapids aboard inflatable kayaks. The river will take you deep into the mountains where you can jump out of your boat and enjoy a side hike to the Wainuta Falls and a local village. This day of adventure and scenic rafting will leave you with a smile on your face.
Settle into the Eco-Lodge for the evening and get ready for the kayaking adventure still to come.
After a hearty breakfast at the Eco-Lodge, spend the day kayaking the beautiful waters of Momi Bay. You will explore the mangroves and coral coastline as you make your way to Robinson Crusoe Island for the night. Get comfortable in your dormitory before enjoying a delicious beachfront dinner.
Spend the next morning relaxing on the beach, or participating in one of the activities with the resort’s famously wacky staff. Then it’s time to jump in your kayaks and paddle back to the Eco-Lodge.
After a tasty breakfast your group will head out island hopping through the Mamanuca Islands. You will tour around the islands where you will get to see the notorious waves at Cloudbreak and watch surfers try and ride out perfect barrels. Enjoy a smoothie or cold drink when we stop at a nearby resort for lunch. See the famous island where Tom Hanks’ “Cast Away” was filmed. Jump into the water for some snorkeling at one of Fiji’s beautiful reefs.
When you reach dry land again you will be transported back to the Eco-Lodge for a warm shower.
Take a day to go souvenir shopping or get your adrenaline up one last time. This morning you will have time to say goodbye to your new friends and the community that you have become a part of. Spend the morning enjoying the Eco-Lodge, relaxing by the infinity pool, or doing some last-minute packing.
The serious thrill seekers in the group may participate in an optional heart-pumping skydive. Your legs will be shaking on the way up, but the fall is pure adrenaline.
Head to Nadi in the afternoon where you can explore the town and purchase gifts for your family and friends. Enjoy your final dinner in Fiji with a view of the sunset before leaving for the airport.
If you are departing to the U.S. today, you will bid Fiji farewell (until next year perhaps) and head to the airport for the escorted group flight home. If you are continuing on to another Rustic Pathways program, your staff will help you connect with your new leaders.
Rustic Pathways reserves the right to change, alter, or amend the daily itinerary for this trip at any time. Changes can be made for various reasons including changes in flight or program schedules, changes in the schedules of various external tours incorporated in our trips, the addition of new activities into a trip, or the substitution of an old activity for a new activity.
The itinerary shown here provides a good outline of the anticipated daily schedule for this program. As with any travel program, some changes may occur.
“Optional Activities” are fully included in the cost of your program, but you can choose to not do these activities.
“Add-On Activities” are not included in the cost of your program and must be paid for separately. Add-on activities are rare, but include things like skydiving, bungee jumping, or weekend side-trips. Not every program has add-on activities.
For more information, email email@example.com
All programs in Fiji connect easily together. On the final day of each program, participants will go to the airport to connect with the staff, arriving participants, and other connecting participants for their next program. Participants connecting to programs in Australia will depart on the final day of their Fiji program and connect with their next trip as it begins.
US citizens do not need a visa for entry as a tourist into Fiji. On arrival into Fiji, immigration will issue US citizens with a tourist visa for entry into the county. No prior arrangements for US citizens are needed.
A flight leader will accompany participants on the group flight to Fiji from Los Angeles. Participants will meet their flight leader at the departure gate in Los Angeles. Participants joining a program in Fiji from Australia will not be accompanied by a flight leader. Our program staff will greet participants when they arrive at the Nadi Airport in Fiji.
Fiji is 10 hours by air from Los Angeles. Flights from Australia are 3-4 hours.
Yes, the trip length includes international travel to and from the United States.
This program operates on the main island of Fiji, Viti Levu. This program will be traveling from the interior mountain region of Viti Levu to Naviti Island in the Yasawas.
Each program will have leaders who are certified in First Aid and CPR. Some of our program leaders are also certified as Wilderness First Responders, Emergency Medical Technicians (EMTs), Wilderness EMTs, or Life Guards.
Rustic Pathways maintains a minimum of 1 Program Leader for every 7 participants. Additionally, each program maintains at least 2 primary program leaders, one male and one female.
Rustic Pathways uses sterilization techniques to ensure that all drinking water for participants is potable and safe to drink. We ask participants to bring reusable water bottles in order to reduce plastic usage.
Participants are allowed to bring phones on their Rustic Pathways program, but must abide by our cell phone policy. Participants will not be allowed to use their phones during group activities, nor at any other time where it is disruptive to the group dynamic. If participants are unable to abide by this policy, disciplinary action may be taken.
Fiji operates at 240 V and uses plug I, the same as in Australia and New Zealand. You will just need a plug adapter in order to use U.S. appliances.
The weather is an average of 75 degrees Fahrenheit. Mornings and evenings tend to be a little cooler so a light jacket is advisable. Rain is not likely but can occur.
While in the mountains the participants will be staying in traditional Fijian bures and sleeping on mattresses on the ground. There will be access to flush toilets and cold showers, but no electricity.
hile out on the islands participants will be sleeping on a comfortable cot in a large safari tent without electricity a few meters from the beach. Girls and boys will stay in separate tents and enjoy meals in a central kitchen area. There will be cold showers and a low impact compost toilet for use.
In between each adventure and at the end, participants will stay at the Eco Lodge where they will have electricity, a hot shower, and modern amenities.
Each location has its own resident chef and team of cooking staff. Participants will eat a combination of local Fijian dishes and more western-style dishes. Breakfasts typically include cereal, breads, eggs, crackers, and fruit. Lunches and dinners range from traditional Fijian lovo feasts of chicken, cassava, and dalo (root crops similar to potatoes) to barbeques, pastas, stir fries, curries, salads, and vegetables. Vegetarians can easily be catered for, and most dietary restrictions can be accommodated.
There are cold showers and flush toilets while in the mountains. There will be cold showers and a low impact compost toilet for use while in the islands.
Local phone cards typically offer the best rates (about $5 for 15mins) and participants can purchase these when in Fiji. Participants are not allowed to use cell phones during scheduled program activities.
Safe arrival emails will be sent out when participants settle in country. Participants will have the opportunity at least once during the week to check the Internet in town.
Laundry can be washed by hand at any time. It is best to pack without the expectation of doing laundry.
On average, our programs in Fiji are 60% female and 40% male.
This trip will have the opportunity to travel to two different areas of the country. Travel will happen by bus, boat and foot.
Please visit HX Global for an up to date report on current situations regarding visiting Fiji. Staff will alert participants if any changes to safety occur within the country.
This program is very remote and access to healthcare can take several hours depending on conditions. Severe allergies with risk/history of anaphylaxis cannot be accommodated on this trip due to the remote locations visited.
Please consult with a travel doctor or your family physician for immunization and other medical recommendations, based on the area(s) where you will be traveling and on your own medical history. In addition to consulting with a medical professional, please visit the HX Global and Centers for Disease Control websites for country specific information around immunizations and traveler’s health. Please let us know if you have specific questions.
HX Global is one of the world’s leading providers of medical evacuation and travel services. All participants traveling with Rustic Pathways will have access to HX Global benefits through Rustic Pathways’ membership.
As a member you will have access to HX Global’s extensive travel information database to help you make informed decisions prior to travel. Additionally, all travelers who travel outside their country of residence will have access to medical evacuation support during their program. For more information please visit our HX Global webpage.
We are a 2 hour drive away from the doctor and public hospital in the town of Nadi while staying in the mountains. While in the islands, participants are 5 hours away by boat from the healthcare in Nadi. For more critical cases participants are an additional 3 hours away from the more advanced private hospital, and 4-hour flight to Western-style in New Zealand or Australia.
This program can cater to most specific diets including but not limited to vegetarian, vegan, gluten and lactose free, as well as peanut free cooking.
Mosquitos are prevalent in Fiji and participants are expected to bring bug spray. Participants will be provided with a mosquito net over each individual bed.
Personal gifts, Internet, phone calls, and snacks are not included. All other costs (accommodation, meals, in-country transportation, and activities) are included in the program price.
$300 plus additional for skydiving
Please refer to our Community Service Hour Awards webpage for more information on how service hours are awarded.
Up to 8 community service hours will be awarded.
Rustic Pathways works with local community leaders and organizations to identify and prioritize the needs of each community.
Participants should be able to be mobile and a small day bag/back pack is necessary to stay light and visit the remote locations.
Participants interested in Scuba Diving will have access to intro (no certification required) dives and certified dives. Please bring your certification card if you are a certified diver.
Packing the right gear (and the right amounts) is the first step to an incredible travel experience. Follow these tips to pack like a pro:
Travel light. Pack only the essentials. You’ll need less than you think!
Bring the right clothes. Pack clothes that are culturally appropriate for your destination and acceptable for service projects. This means bringing long shorts (think Bermuda and basketball shorts), t-shirts with sleeves to cover shoulders, and appropriate footwear.
Leave your valuables behind. While traveling, it’s easier for things to get lost, stolen, or damaged. Keep any prized possessions safe at home.
Check with TSA. Make sure your luggage complies with TSA regulations, especially your carry-on. Useful tip: Pack an empty water bottle and fill it up after security.
Extra paperwork? If you need additional forms filled out to get credit for your service hours, no problem! Bring these forms with you so they can be completed in-country.
A school backpack or similar sized bag is ideal.
A 50-70 Liter duffel bag or backpack is ideal.
(Travel size bottles in Ziploc bags)
Welcome to Fiji! You will arrive into Nadi and start your adventure! This is also where you can jump from a plane on an optional skydive!
Stay beachside at our Rustic Retreat! Head into Somosomo Village to meet the Lady Chief and embrace village life. Snorkel with manta rays, kayak, hike, and get involved in service initiatives in this little beachside village.
This is where the Rustic Pathways eco-lodge is located. You may stay here during your trip to repack your bags and get a good night of rest before continuing on your journey.
Head to the mountains to camp next to the largest waterfall in the Western Division of Fiji.
The adventure capital of Fiji! You will zipline, go on a ropes course, and whitewater kayak while you are here.
Enjoy this tiny lodge on the eastern side of Viti Levu where you will go dolphin watching, snorkeling on moon reef, and enjoy the black sand beaches.