As part of my first solo traveling experience I went to Fiji. But why Fiji? Hmm.. Let me see.. Why not? Seeing pictures from Fiji was enough of an answer for me. This destination just had to be added to my initiary and I was kind of in the area anyway.
So after spending a month in New Zealand (more about NZ) I got on a plane in Christchurch and headed to Nadi. A flight from New Zealand or Australia (depending on where to are flying from) is around 3- 4,5 hours.
Staying on Barefoot Island
There is just something about the word barefoot that immediately makes me associate it with warm sand and loose dresses, almost all you really need when going here. Barefoot Manta Island is a small island located in the Yasawas, a 3 hour boat trip from Nadi on the main island. You live in the cutest bungalows with outdoor bathrooms, real Robinson Crusoe like and hang out with locals. The cute thing about staying here is that you get really close with the people staying in the resort as the same with the staff, because there is only you on the island and no one else. But the best part is you get greeted with a welcome song once you arrive and with a farewell song when you leave, making you feel like part of the fijian family on the island.
You have meals three times a day at set times where everyone is dining together and hanging out. Perfect when you are traveling solo. But don’t worry, there is also plenty of time to relax, read a book, have a swim, hang in the hammocks to get a nap or take a walk on one of the 3 beaches where I guarantee you, you can have it all to yourself if you ever need some alone time.
I mainly went here to take my diving certificate and to swim with manta rays. Barefoot is located just by the Mantas feeding channel and I was lucky enough to go snorkeling with 3 of them. The ABSOLUTE wildest experience I have ever had! I stayed here for 5 days, but other travelers I met along the way was here for 2-3 days on island hopping.
Just before dinner time you sit in the sunset bar having drinks while watching the sunset literally just by the sea and somehow they are so different everyday and equally stunning. Remember your camera and an extra SD card, because you will probably go snap crazy.
One thing you simply must do before leaving the island, is to get up before sunrise and hike to the island hill (it is not far) and watch the sunrise. I promise you, you will not regret doing it.
- Bring snacks from the main island
- Take your divers certificate in Fiji. It is cheaper than doing it in Australia.
- Bring a head light or just a regular flash light. There is no light at night and it will get pitch black.
- Try cava, even though it looks like mud, just for the fun of it.
Learn more about Barefoot Manta Island, the accommodation and activities here.
Other things to do in Fiji
Bull Shark Dive in Pacific Habour (here)
Vulcano trekking in Taveuni, Koro or Kadavu (here)
Party till you drop in Beachcomber Island (here)
Island hopping the Yasawas, the Mamanucas or both (here)
Bula for now and stay tuned for next destination on Solo Panda Part 1 – where do you think I was off to?