Say Yes to the Yasawa Islands: Visiting These Volcanic Islands
Ever dreamed of traveling to an island paradise? It’s not like your life is all that bad to begin with, but you also don’t travel a lot either? Maybe what you need is a relaxing 4 or 5 day getaway trip to the exotic Yasawa Islands.
The Yasawa Islands
The Yasawa Islands are part of Fiji – as if Fiji wasn’t already cool enough. They are located in the northwest and are very popular for those looking for a budget vacation that’s also very exotic and relaxing.
Access to the island is pretty limited. You can take a chartered sea plane, helicopter charter, or the Yasawa Flyer. You can also go by boat. Some cruise liners will go by here, but they don’t stop at the islands. Typically, they will take you near or around larger islands. Websites, like cruisesalefinder.com.au are where you can find some pretty decent deals if you’re interested in the cruise route. Just keep in mind you’ll have to dock at Fiji and then fly out to the Yasawa Islands.
The landscape here ranges from jungle/forest, to sandy beaches, to mountain ranges fit for hiking. It’s a volcanic island chain in the middle of the South Pacific so you’re going to run into a lot of tropical flora, sea creatures, and the typical natives you’d expect to find.
The British navigator, William Bligh, was the first person from Europe to discover the islands in 1789, but he did so at a cost – it was during a mutiny on the HMS Bounty. The islands weren’t always open to tourism though. For the longest time, the government here restricted access, allowing cruise ships to pass by but did not allow anyone to dock or travel around the islands. But, in the 1950s, things changed and ships were allowed to dock. It wasn’t until 1987, however, that extensive land-based tourism was allowed.
You’re not going to find fancy accommodations on the Yasawa Islands for the most part. There are upscale places that charge you $125 per night, but, mostly you’ll be staying in hostels for anywhere between $22 and $50 per night. That price includes food too, excluding alcohol (of course).
If you do plan on drinking, bring it in from the mainland. Once you’re here, the price for such things tends to be inflated by about 40 per cent.
What To Do Here
There’s plenty to do on the islands, but eating isn’t one of them. There are no private dining options on the islands, but if you’re staying where there’s more than one resort, you can usually eat at either one – even if it’s not the one you’re booked with.
You can visit the villages and talk to the natives here, go kayaking, learn weaving from the traditional people, and attend a Kava Ceremony where you drink the traditional kava kava root, or explore the Sawailau Caves.
If you have the opportunity to do so, try the Kava Ceremony. It’s a tradition here where everyone sits in a circle and passes around a tea-like drink. It’s considered rude if you don’t drink it and thee drink itself has an extreme calming effect on the body. You can also learn more if you take a look at these Kava Resources.
Also a must see, is the cave diving in The Sawailau Caves. You can go spelunking without having too much previous experience.
Finally, a popular reason for going to the Yasawa Islands is to relax, and this is probably the best thing you can do during your stay. Shut off your phone, and just relax.
Ryan Posa has cruised to such fantastic places as Alaska, the South Pacific, and New Zealand. His deep love for the high seas led him to leave his job as the District Sales Manager for Carnival Australia and establish Cruise Republic in 2008. He often blogs about the fascinating discoveries he has made at destinations around the world. Keep up with Ryan by following him on Twitter.