FIJI OR TAHITI: WHERE TO GO FOR YOUR NEXT ISLAND GETAWAY
Fiji and Tahiti are both breathtaking destinations in the South Pacific with much to offer visitors. Both have many wonderful accommodation options, powdery sand beaches, crystal-clear waters to explore, and a plethora of activities to suit each type of vacation from honeymoons to family fun getaways. Deciding on which destination to visit usually comes down to your personal preference, budget and accessibility.
Both destinations and striking natural scenery have received a lot of attention over the years with major Hollywood movies choosing them as filming locations. Most notably Mutiny on the Bounty (1962) starring Marlon Brando was filmed in Tahiti and the Blue Lagoon (1980) film starring Brooke Shields and Castaway (2000) starring Tom Hanks were shot in the Yasawa and Mamanuca islands of Fiji respectively.
Below we break down for you the main differences between Fiji and Tahiti so you can choose which destination is best for your next tropical escape.
FIJI VS TAHITI – ADVENTURES AND ACTIVTIES
Fiji has beautiful powdery beaches, crystal clear warm waters, and an abundance of land, water and cultural experiences for every type of visitor.
Fiji has over 300 islands with easy access between each making it perfect for island hopping adventures. The most breathtaking group of islands to visit are the Mamanuca and Yasawa Islands. These smaller outer islands lay to the West of Fiji and is where you will find crystal clear turquoise waters, pristine natural surrounds and rich friendly Fijian culture.
The Mamanuca Islands are the most accessible from Nadi making it popular for tourists to stay or do daytrips from the main island. It is also popular surf location being home to some of the best surf breaks in the world such as Cloudbreak off Tavarua Island.
The Yasawa Islands require a longer travel time however, they are still easily accessible by boat, seaplane or helicopter. Due to the remote location, these islands are fairly untouched making them the perfect place for travelers seeking to escape the crowds and off the beaten track experiences.
The Yasawa Islands enjoy the best weather year-round due to their north-westerly location and are renowned for having the beaches in Fiji – there is no shortage of powdery white sand beaches with serene blue waters.
For nature lovers, you can expect to see a wide range of marine life and plant species, including sea turtles, manta rays, dolphins, parrots, iguanas and the iconic Coconut Palm as well as bamboo trees. If you’re an avid diver and love exploring the ocean than Fiji is your destination. Scuba diving and snorkeling are very popular activities as Fiji is known as the ‘Soft Coral Capital of the World’ with around 1,000 species of fish and several hundred types of coral and sponges.
A trip to Fiji isn’t complete without experiencing the warm culture of the locals. Many of the resorts provide several ways to experience and learn about Fijian culture from watching meke performances where stories are told through song and dance, enjoying delicious local cuisine cooked in a lovo (underground oven), and getting to know the locals by visiting their villages.
If you choose to visit Tahiti, some of the most popular things to do, other than basking in the sun and sipping on tropical cocktails, include enjoying a stay in an overwater bungalow, exploring the Huahine Natural Aquarium, visiting Papeete Market to see local arts and crafts, and marvelling at the unique flora and fauna at the Botanical Gardens.
For those looking for a little more adventure, you can take the challenging hike to Aorai Mountain which is Tahiti’s second tallest peak or visit the Three Waterfalls on the north-eastern part of Tahiti Nui. For advanced surfers seeking a challenge, you can take on Teahupo’o – one of the most dangerous surf breaks in the world!
For beach lovers, Tahiti boast a volcanic black sand on its beaches, which are beautiful but can be a shock to those expecting golden sand beaches synonymous with the South Pacific islands. For this reason, many tourists go to La Plage de Maui located on Tahiti’s southern shore. This stretch of dazzling shoreline is also great for beginner swimmers and stand-up paddle boarding as there is a nearby shallow lagoon.
During a Tahitian trip, immersing yourself in the culture is also a part of the experience from traditional Tahitian dance lessons to witnessing firewalkers.
TAHITI VS FIJI: ROMANTIC DESTINATION
When comparing Fiji to Tahiti for a romantic getaway it really comes down to what you as a couple want out of the experience. Are you looking for adventure and need a lot of activities or do you prefer complete relaxation with every need catered to?
In Fiji, honeymooners or simply couples looking for a romantic escape usually venture out to the smaller outer island resorts rather than stay on the main island – and for good reason! The beaches are nicer, marine life is spectacular and you will get to experience authentic Fiji.
Expect the villas to have a Fijian influence with a thatched-roof and sitting along a pristine beach overlooking a lagoon. For a luxurious romantic getaway, Fiji has a number of private island resorts and a small number provide the opportunity to rent your own island making it the perfect location to host a destination wedding. Some resorts also cater specifically to couples and provide an all-inclusive offering such as Turtle Island Resort which only allows 14 couples at a time to ensure complete privacy.
When you’re not lounging on the pristine beaches of Fiji, you can dive the colourful reefs, enjoy Fijian inspired spa treatments, or immerse yourself in the culture with fire walking ceremonies or visiting a village. The seafood is some of the freshest you will find in the world and most of the cuisine celebrate local ingredients and flavours.
In Tahiti, a picture-perfect getaway for two most certainly includes staying in an overwater bungalow as they were practically invented here! Standing over the turquoise waters, some feature glass bottoms to give a glimpse into the marine life below for those that prefer to explore from above. Discover the Tahitian lagoons and dare to snorkel with sharks and manta rays or hike a number of lush hillsides to take in all the beauty of this pristine environment.
French is commonly spoken and the cuisine has a French influence and you can also find local flavours especially fresh fish served poisson cru style – cured in a mixture of coconut cream and lime juice. The scrumptious cuisine, endless activities and dreamy villas make for the idyllic romantic escape.
Bora Bora is another great location in French Polynesia for couples to consider. When comparing Tahiti vs Bora Bora resorts – if you’re after the luxury overwater bungalows right on the enchanting lagoon then the island of Bora Bora is for you. Here couples will find the famous InterContinental Resort & Thalasso Spa and Four Seasons Resort Bora Bora.
For couples wanting a beach destination, Bora Bora only has one beach which can be a little disappointing for beach lovers. If you’re looking for an abundance of beaches and in particular private beaches to have an intimate picnic – when it comes to Fiji vs Bora Bora or Tahiti, Fiji is the better choice.
HOW TO GET TO FIJI AND TAHITI
The remote location of both Fiji and Tahiti means that for the majority of the world, reaching them requires a lengthy journey. However, it is well worth the travel time to reach paradise. From North America the flight time is approximately 8-11 hours and if you are traveling from Australia or New Zealand, the flight time is brief ranging from 4-7 hours.
Fiji is easier to travel to compared to Tahiti with more direct flight options from major international ports. Fiji’s national carrier is Fiji Airways which operates daily direct flights from Sydney, Auckland, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Singapore to name a few.
Visitors arriving in Fiji will land at Nadi International Airport located on the main island of Fiji called Viti Levu. From here, your will either stay at one of the many resorts or hotels on the main island or venture out to the smaller islands which requires another transfer either by boat, seaplane or helicopter.
French Polynesia’s national carrier is Air Tahiti and if you are traveling from Australia or New Zealand the flight time is roughly 7-9 hours.
If you are wishing to visit both destinations, you may ask yourself how far is Tahiti from Fiji? This is a common question as they are close to each other on the world map, however, it can be a little challenging as there are no direct flights from Fiji to Tahiti. To figure out the best route for you, you can visit the Fiji Airways and Air Tahiti websites.
THE BEST TIME TO VISIT TAHITI OR FIJI
The climate in Tahiti and the islands of Fiji are very similar with both enjoying a temperate, tropical climate, with temperatures remaining similar throughout the year.
There are two main seasons in either Fiji or Tahiti, winter and summer. Winter, which is also considered the dry season, runs from May to November where temperatures range from 19°C – 29°C. Winter, also known as the wet season, is from December to April and sees temperatures ranging from a comfortable 22°C – 33°C.
The main difference is the amount of rainfall which can be minimal depending on the group of islands you choose to visit, this especially true for Fiji. Islands in the West of Fiji such as the Yasawa islands usually experience a dry and sunny climate year-round.
TAHITI VS FIJI: RESORTS AND RATES
In Fiji you can expect resort nightly rates to fluctuate depending on the season with more deals around November to March. This is not the case in Tahiti as prices remain high throughout the year. However, if your heart is set on French Polynesia, the rates are more affordable in Tahiti compared to the other islands like Bora Bora.
If you’re more budget conscious and trying to decide between Fiji, Bora Bora or Tahiti then you may want to research Fiji resorts first followed by Tahiti then Bora Bora. For families or groups looking to splurge, Fiji has many private island resorts you can rent and have exclusive use to the island and resort facilities.
EXPLORE TURTLE ISLAND FIJI
In summary, if you’re looking for an untouched tropical paradise, pristine beaches, warm crystal clear waters, world-class diving, and a place rich culture, then Fiji is for you.
For an unforgettable Fijian vacation, visit the private island sanctuary of Turtle Island Resort. With 500-acres of lush forests and 12 pristine private beaches reserved for only 14 couples at a time, Turtle Island Resort offers the perfect respite for travellers seeking the idyllic private island getaway.
If you want to experience the magic of Turtle Island, contact us today to start planning the island vacation of your dreams.