Begin your trek at the water source for the city of Nadi.
Your adventure begins with a four day trek along mountain trails used for generations to travel from village to village. Stop in welcoming communities, swim beneath waterfalls, and take in sublime mountain vistas along the way. Swim with Manta Rays, add-on a scuba dive, and snorkel remote coral reefs that are essential to life in the islands. You’ll return home having experienced the diverse landscape and welcoming nature of Fiji and seen places few visitors even know exist.
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!
Upon clearing customs and immigration, you will be greeted by Rustic Pathways’ Fiji leaders and transported to your new home at our beautiful Eco Lodge Base. After a round of icebreakers and introductions with the local staff, the group will receive an orientation about the week ahead. After unpacking your belongings in your bures, it’s off to the beach for a few hours of sun and fun for your first day in Fiji.
In the evening, the group will participate in a formal sevusevu ceremony (a traditional welcoming ceremony) and begin learning the intricacies of cultural practices in Fiji. Dressed in your new sulu (traditional Fijian sarong or skirt), get to know our local staff while sharing a bowl of kava. This evening, the group will have their first of our evening discussions and reflections, this one revolving around the expedition and what to expect.
After breakfast this morning, you will travel by truck into the Nausori Highlands and the jumping off point for your three days of hiking through the interior of Fiji. Your time over the next three days will be spent hiking tracks that the local Fijians have used for generations to travel between villages. Expect to meet plenty of friendly locals, swim beneath towering waterfalls, take in spectacular mountain vistas, learn about the local vegetation including what can be eaten and what may be used for medicine. Spend time in local villages and camp each night beneath a blanket of stars.
In the morning, finish up your trek as you finally reach one of our community partner villages in the Nausori Highlands. The first part of any stay in a Fijian village is the sevusevu ceremony, where visitors present the traditional root of the yaqona plant to the village chief. In exchange for this act of respect and gratitude, the chief then officially accepts the visitors into his village and assumes all responsibility for their comfort and wellbeing.
After a village tour and introduction to the village, you will meet some other members of the village and get familiar with your new home for the next few nights. This village is like a second home for us in Fiji. Our deep ties and friendships are a product of nearly 20 years of partnership, and this relationship is never more evident than in our friendships with the locals. In pairs or small groups, students will be partnered with local families for activities offering the chance to get to know the villagers on a more personal level. Meals and nightly discussions will be held all together each night, but the students’ relationships with the local families will quickly become the emotional focal point of the experience.
After breakfast and a morning language lesson, you will sit down with a member of the Village School Committee to learn about the educational landscape of the area and village’s efforts to maintain the elementary school in their village.
Afterwards, it’s time to roll up your sleeves and help the villagers with some construction. Because the villagers are working on this construction site throughout the year, the project itself will depend upon the timing of your trip. With the dedicated help of each clan in the village, construction has been humming along and the locals will be glad to have your help. In between construction work, catch a break from the sun on the porch of the school or a village house, listening to local music and joking with the villagers. When work has finished for the day, cool off with a swim in the river and join your group for dinner. After dinner and your evenings’ discussion, spend time laughing and talking with your host families while taking part in a traditional kava ceremony.
The next three days will be full days of service work on our Village Project and relationship building with the local community. You will be supporting the ongoing project and may assist in a variety of ways each day. Some students may be involved with infrastructural initiatives such as simple building, paving, cementing or painting. Those who are less inclined to the physical work will have the opportunity to develop educational resources, or design activities and games for the children of the village. Structured play, English conversation, arts, and crafts – these enrichment activities offer a great boost to these children and are also lots of fun!
There’ll be time between service sessions to explore the highlands area, visit a nearby waterfall hidden in the mountains, swim in the river, and share time with the local families.
During you visit you will certainly begin to gain an understanding and appreciation for life in this special village. One evening in the village take the opportunity to share life stories with the villagers, enjoy a traditional meke performance, and debrief the experiences of the days’ service.
On your final evening in the village you will share time with your group and local friends at the Village Bure during a final farewell ceremony marking your last night here. There will be lots of laughter and tears, and you will be amazed how quickly you have grown attached to your new friends.
After breakfast this morning, the trucks will pick you up and will drive for a few hours before spending the afternoon in the town of Nadi — a main tourist center in Fiji – checking email, shopping for snacks or souvenirs and exploring the various handicraft markets. You’ll return to your base in Momi Bay in time for dinner this evening.
After an early breakfast, board your commercial catamaran for a three-hour journey through the breathtaking Yasawa Islands. Your destination today is an island called Naviti, situated amongst a spectacular cluster of islands where you will spend the next three nights. Tonight you will stay right along the beach at Rustic Pathways private camp. Sleeping in large safari tents, meeting our island neighbours and adjusting to the island environment around you will all be elements of your adventure today. Our base camp will serve as your jumping off point as you begin your kayaking journey, exploring the beauty of the islands and learning about Fijian culture and life as you go.
After lunch this afternoon, your group will set up their kayaks for the following morning’s departure. To get used to your kayaks, head out for a snorkeling excursion across the bay. Kayak out to a local reef for some spectacular snorkeling and a chance to learn more about the importance of the marine environment for local livelihoods. You will talk with the locals to learn how they earn a living from the sea and the steps they are taking to preserve the marine environment for future generations. This will be a fun and educational afternoon as you learn more about the realities of life in Fiji and have a chance to explore the tropical waters that make Fiji famous around the world.
Take off early after breakfast and begin your full day of paddling. Your group will begin their circumnavigation of Naviti Island exploring reefs and other islands along the way. Your time will include village visits, snorkeling adventures, swimming with manta rays (seasonal) and beach camping. There may also be the opportunity to scuba dive (add-on) if you wish.
After enjoying your final morning at camp in the islands, set forth in your kayak to finish your journey. Head back to the Rustic base for lunch, say goodbye to new friends, and head back to Nadi via the daily catamaran transfer. After a hearty dinner, you’ll return to our Momi Bay Base for a final evening in Fiji.
As your final evening in Fiji comes to an end, join us for a farewell ceremony and reflect on your adventures tonight!
Today is your final day in Fiji so make the most of it!! Head out after breakfast to the hot pools. Cover yourself in mud and enjoy a soak in the warm pools. This is a great time for some silly pictures among the pristine hills of Fiji.
In the afternoon, there will be some time for exploring the main township of Nadi so you can shop for some cool souvenirs to take home. After a final meal with your group, you’ll travel to the airport for some high-fives and photographs before bidding Fiji an emotional goodbye. Moce and Vinaka Vaka Levu!
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.
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Begin your trek at the water source for the city of Nadi.
Spend transition nights here at our Fiji programming hub.
Kayak around the island and explore Fiji’s ocean resources.