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This program is for certified or new divers alike.  Earn your PADI Open Water Certification, advance your certification (at an additional cost), or rack up fun dives on this week-long diving adventure. Stay at our Eco-Lodge Base in Momi Bay with other Rustic Pathways students from around the world. Go on up to 8 dives, challenging yourself to deeper sites if you are an advanced diver. Learn how to identify the different tropical fish and enjoy the colors of the coral reefs in some of the world’s greatest diving spots.

Uncertified divers can still travel on this program. Select the option for “Fiji Diver’s Dream (PADI Certification)” on the enrollment form and you will undergo your PADI training and Open Water Diver certification!

With our No-Stress Travel Policy, you cancel for any reason up until the day of travel, and escrow 100% of the program fees for up to two years from the cancellation date.

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2018 Departures

Departs (USA) Returns (USA) Availability
June 19 June 27 Very Limited
July 3 July 11 Available
July 17 July 25 Available

Program Profile

Country
Fiji Islands
Community Service Component
None
Get to Know
Nature
Lifestyle
Settle in at the Base
Travel Component
Stationary Program

  • Day 1

    Depart the U.S.

    Welcome to your South Pacific adventure! All of our scheduled group flights to Fiji depart from Los Angeles on Air Pacific, 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.

  • Day 2

    In Transit

    Today is lost as you cross the international dateline, but don’t worry too much – you will get it back on your way home!

  • Day 3

    Bula! Welcome to Fiji!

    You will immediately be greeted by our Rustic Pathways staff and transported to your new home at the beautiful South Pacific Eco-Lodge Base. Enjoy a tropical breakfast with your new staff and new friends. Receive an orientation about the week ahead of you while looking out over sugarcane fields that seem to fall into the ocean. The staff will help you settle into your new home and answer any questions you might have. You will be given enough time to relax and unwind while getting to know your new friends.

    By mid-afternoon you will be off to experience the world-renowned Natadola Beach for a relaxing afternoon of snorkeling and swimming in the beautiful ocean.

    In the afternoon you will have a chance to meet your PADI Dive Masters for the week and get your scuba gear sized and ready to go for tomorrow. Unwind this evening from your busy day with a swim in the pool, a friendly soccer match, or by simply watching the sunset from our huge deck overlooking the Pacific Ocean. Enjoy a good night’s sleep tonight!

  • Day 4 - 5

    Into the Open Water

    Spend these days exploring the beautiful South Pacific from below. Each morning start off with breakfast at The Base, then travel to a neighboring resort where you will do your diving. Each dive offers the chance to see beautiful colonies of fish, sea turtles, eels, octopuses, and even sharks. The great thing about diving is that you will never have the same dive twice!

    After each day of diving you will be ready for some rest. Back at The Base, relax and exchange stories with the rest of the students at the house. There will also be various night activities planned after dinner. One night you might find yourself in a heated trivia battle with your new friends, another night you might find yourself participating in a traditional Fijian dance performance called “meke.” The possibilities for fun are endless, and the staff at The Base are always coming up with new and exciting forms of entertainment. You will be sure to return home with many new stories about the exciting nights.

  • Day 6

    Add-on Activity Day!

    Within the Fijian culture, Sundays are generally observed as a day to rest, relax, and enjoy the company of family and friends. Your Sunday will be spent enjoying the wonders that Fiji has to offer in whatever way fits your mood! How you spend your day on Sunday is up to you. You can go swimming, snorkeling, or surfing at beautiful Natadola Beach, or join in the awesome add-on activities that are available. Whether you choose to explore paradise while island hopping, participate in adrenaline sports, or relax at the beach, get ready for a day you will never forget.

  • Day 7 - 8

    Dive, Dive, Dive

    There is still more diving to be had in Fiji as you complete your final dives. Practice doing some flips or blowing circle bubbles under water. There are still multiple dive sites that you have not visited yet, so put on your mask and BCD and get ready for two more great days of diving. Make sure to bring your underwater camera to document all of the action that is taking place.

    After your last dive of the week spend some time enjoying the beach, or kayaking through the mangroves. Spend your last night reflecting with the other students in your group. Enjoy some fantastic games and a dance party that will last into the night.

  • Day 9

    Something to take home with you!

    Your week has flown by and you will now be very familiar with Fijian culture. Today is a chance to enjoy a break from your marine exploration. In the morning, head to the Sigatoka Sand Dunes for a hike, then spend some time in town shopping for souvenirs. You will get the chance to explore the local handicraft market for gifts and reminders of your time in Fiji.

    In the evening, you will be treated to a nice final meal to conclude your wonderful experience in Fiji. This will give you some time to reminisce about your adventures, exchange contact information with friends and staff, and prepare for your journey home.

    You will be escorted to the airport by staff where you can take some time to say good-bye.

An Important Note About Schedule Changes

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 fiji@rusticpathways.com

Program-Specific FAQs

  • 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 focused in Momi Bay.

  • 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.

  • The Eco Lodge consists of a main house with kitchen and activity space and several small houses that sleep six to eight participants on bunk beds. Participants share rooms with others of the same gender and one same-sex staff member. Each house has an attached bathroom with solar powered hot water showers, sinks, and flush toilets. There is an infinity-edge swimming pool, soccer field, small weight room, and pool table.

  • The Eco Lodge 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.

  • Bathrooms are western style toilets with running water while at the Eco Lodge.

  • Participants can call home in the morning of a program before their program departs for the day’s activities. 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 a 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. Laundry can be sent out once a week for $25-$50 a load depending on weight.

  • On average, our programs in Fiji are 60% female and 40% male.

  • Please visit International SOS 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.

  • 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 International SOS 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.

  • International SOS is one of the world’s leading providers of medical evacuation and travel services. All participants traveling with Rustic Pathways will have access to International SOS benefits through Rustic Pathways’ membership.

    As a member you will have access to International SOS’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 International SOS webpage.

  • We are a 45 minute drive away from a doctor and public hospital in the town of Nadi; 3 hours from a more advanced private hospital in the capital, Suva, and a 4-hour flight to Western-style care in New Zealand or Australia.

  • The Eco lodge 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.

  • Students participating in diving programs will not be able to Skydive or Zipline because of decompression regulation restrictions.

    • Skydiving: Nadi, $300 to $500
    • Skydiving Photos: $120-$150
    • Island Hopping: Mamanuca Islands: $80 
(extra $ for add-on Banana Boat – $20 Parasailing – $40 Wake Boarding $40 Hotel Lunch – $20)
    • Zip-Lining: $60
    • Fijian Massage: $30

  • $250 to $1000 depending on skydiving and additional specialty dive certifications

  • Participants should bring their certification cards and log books if they are certified divers. Though not required, some participants choose to bring their own mask. The Scuba vendor will provide all the gear during the program.

  • If participants are getting a higher certification they will need to be previously certified divers.

  • Participants will be required to fill out PADI Scuba participation forms before coming to Fiji. Those forms are downloadable on the Rustic Pathways website.

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.

Rustic Gear. Want to get all your shopping done for your program in one place? We’ve got you covered. Check out Rustic Gear and get all the essentials sent right to your door.

Carry-On

A school backpack or a similar sized bag is ideal.

  • Passport
  • Photocopy of passport
  • Wallet/money
  • Book and/or journal
  • Pen
  • Phone
  • Camera
  • Chargers
  • Ear buds
  • Change of clothes
  • Water bottle
  • Medication
  • Additional community service forms
  • Any relevant Scuba Diving certifications
  • Small backpack or overnight bag (if not already using as carry-on)
  • Outlet power converter
  • Consent to Travel form
  • Rustic Pathways emergency contacts

Checked Luggage

A 50-70 Liter duffel or backpack is ideal.

Clothes

  • Socks (3-4)
  • Underwear (6-8)
  • Base layers/long underwear
  • Pants/capris (1-2)
  • Long shorts (must be knee length)
  • Long skirt (1-2)
  • Tank Tops (2-3)
  • T-shirts (3-5)
  • Long sleeved shirt (1-2)
  • Fleece/hoodie
  • Pajamas
  • Swimsuit (1-2)
  • Quick dry towel
  • Beach towel/sarong
  • Rain jacket
  • Strappy sandals (like Tevas or Chacos)
  • Sneakers
  • Sunglasses
  • Hat
  • Work gloves

Toiletries

(Travel size bottles in Ziploc bags)

  • Shampoo
  • Conditioner
  • Body wash
  • Face wash
  • Toothbrush
  • Toothpaste
  • Sunscreen
  • Bug spray
  • Feminine hygiene products
  • Contacts
  • Contact solution
  • Foam ear plugs
  • Personal med kit
  • Deodorant
  • Wet Wipes
  • Razor/shaving cream

Other (Required)

  • Sleeping bag (35 degrees and up)
  • Headlamp/flashlight

Important Reminders

  • Visas for students traveling on U.S. passports will be issued upon arrival. Make sure you check that you are in Fiji on “Holiday” when you fill out the customs and immigration form on the plane.
  • Leggings DO NOT count as long shorts. Long shorts must be loose fitting, like basketball shorts, or cargo shorts.
  • You will be receiving a “sulu,” a traditional Fijian sarong, when you arrive!