Everything happens here! Hub for the entire program.
Spring to Fiji is a chance to experience the magic of Fiji in one action-packed week. Get a taste of what Fiji has to offer through a combination of service projects and daily adventures. Zip-line, kayak, and island hop with our happy-go-lucky staff then spend some time helping the community with education and infrastructure-based projects. You’ll enjoy the laid back, relaxed pace of island life with plenty of time to lounge in the sun and share laughs with your fellow Rustic travelers. You’ll wish you had more than a week to enjoy incredible Fiji!
Students must arrange their own international airfare for this program. Departures from the West Coast (LAX) on Fiji Airways leave at 10:30PM PST and arrive into Nadi, Fiji (NAN) at 6:00am local time on Sunday in Fiji. This program will end in Fiji on Saturdays. Return airfare departs Fiji on Saturday evening and arrives back in the United States on Saturday. There is a 19 hour time difference between Fiji and Los Angeles.
Established in 2004, the Rustic Pathways Eco-Lodge continues to positively integrate itself into the local environment and community. The main lodge was constructed using locally grown timber. The ground level contains a kitchen, office, large dining area, and game room with billiards. The house also features a large deck leading to an infinity-edge swimming pool. The grounds have extensive gardens, sports fields, and meditation decks tucked among fruit trees and swaying palms. The base is a favorite location for students traveling in Fiji. Rooms are divided between dormitory-style bedrooms and several authentic bures, or cabins, spread throughout the property. Bathrooms are modern, with flushing toilets and solarpowered hot-water showers. Our base is located between two Fijian villages and surrounded by a number of local farms that are generally owned by families of Indian descent, which make up close to 40 percent of Fiji’s population. The mixture of Fijian and Indian neighbors creates an interesting and vibrant atmosphere from which to explore and learn about Fiji and its unique mix of cultures.
Schools are taught in English in Fiji but most young students arrive at school only having spoken their native Fijian or Hindi at home. Help boost English skills in young students by leading lessons at public schools. You will also design and run art projects that inspire creativity and imagination and support school curricula. Join in weekend enrichment programs with disadvantaged youth, sharing in sports clinics and other activities that build teamwork and leadership skills.
Spend time teaching Fijian youth computer basics to help them build important skills for their future. The young students we work with rarely have access to a computer and you will have a blast playing educational games, leading typing lessons, and teaching them general computer basics. You will also share your computer knowledge and lessons with local teachers so they can continue to assist their own students. Feel a great sense of accomplishment as you watch your students’ skills grow!
The daily life of most Fijians is still closely tied to the natural world, but increasing urban development, pollution, and other environmental challenges are a growing concern. Learn more about these issues as you help protect Fiji’s magnificent natural environment through beach cleanups and reforestation projects with park rangers who are working to reduce pollution and prevent erosion along the coast. Explore Fiji’s amazing island eco-system as you support local environmental conservation efforts.
Rural villages in Fiji often have limited access to the basic infrastructure that is essential for healthy, productive, and sustainable communities. Join our ongoing work to build toilets and footpaths in a Fijian village to improve health and sanitation. You will be amazed at the warm welcome you receive as you work with villagers to mix cement, lay pipes, and make a positive impact. Lead health awareness activities for village children and get a real taste of what life is like in a traditional Fijian village.
Make much-needed improvements to school and kindergarten facilities and paint colorful murals alongside village students. We work with a group of rural schools around our Eco-Lodge Base that operate on very limited budgets yet continuously strive to improve their facilities to provide a better education for their students. Join forces with local children, parents, and teachers, and share in lots of laughs and fun as you work on building projects to improve school facilities and make new friends in Fiji.
For Fijians living near the poverty line, the high cost of food in the country can be a major concern. You may spend a morning or afternoon in the home of a village family preparing healthy meals and then head out to deliver them in partnership with social service agencies. Or, you may work on our chicken coop project, which works with local families to develop both a source of food and income so they can better meet basic needs. Learn best practices of sustainability through this popular initiative.
Depart on your flight to Nadi. During your flight you can 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.
Today will be your first full day of service work. Rustic Pathways has developed a wonderful relationship with the local people of Momi Bay and the larger Nadi area. Project work during the course of your program is focused around the six service initiatives we have undertaken at the Eco-Lodge.
You will typically spend half a day at a service site and the other half enjoying some of the beautiful natural wonders Fiji has to offer. You can expect to spend time working in the local schools, tutoring students in English, getting involved with afternoon sporting events, and facilitating much-needed art and music classes. In addition, you might teach computer literacy classes to older youth and young adults or help a neighbor repair their roof or build a kitchen. You will also get involved in some environmental projects to help preserve the beautiful and fragile ecosystems here. Your service will be varied, interesting, challenging, and extremely rewarding and worthwhile.
From surfing down sand dunes to soaking in natural hot springs or jumping into a pool of mud, no afternoon is dull. The Base hosts meke performances (indigenous Fijian dances) and Indo-Fijian cultural nights where you can learn about the large Indian culture that exists in Fiji. Your afternoons will be full of the exotic beauty that makes Fiji a top tourist destination, and opportunities to learn about the culture that created it.
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.
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.
Then spend the afternoon working on one last service initiative to round off your community efforts here in Fiji. We appreciate all the work you have done this week!
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.
Tonight you will bid Fiji farewell (until next year perhaps). Fiji’s doors will always be open for you to return again!
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
Everything happens here! Hub for the entire program.
Hiking through one of Fiji’s only National Parks.
Island hopping day moves around between several islands in this chain.