Two jewels of the South Pacific, Fiji and Vanuatu offer tropical beaches, sensational snorkeling and diving and plenty of adventurous activities to get your heart racing. Plus both island nations are blessed with a temperate climate which means year-round sunshine and warm water.
But choosing a Fiji or Vanuatu vacation depends on what you’re looking for. Each destination has its character and allure. Here’s our pick of the attractions of Fiji and Vanuatu.
FIJI VS VANUATU: BEACHES
Let’s start with the beaches. For white-sand beaches and crystal-clear water, Fiji ticks a lot of boxes. With more than 300 islands to choose from, Fiji’s tropical waters are dotted with resorts and beach-style accommodation made for island hopping, allowing you to experience as many stunning beaches as you like.
In Fiji’s Yasawa Islands, a collection of 20 islands just 30 minutes from Fiji’s main island of Viti Levu, you’ll be greeted by an impossibly gorgeous selection of beaches, dramatic peaks and private island resorts.
At Turtle Island Fiji there are 12 private beaches to choose from, which means during a week-long stay you can choose a different private Fijian beach every other day. Choose from white sands nestled in a volcanic cove, a vibrant reef at your feet, or a picture-perfect beach for a romantic proposal – the choices in Fiji are endless.
Under the water, Fiji’s reefs are teeming with marine life with plenty of snorkeling and diving opportunities to see turtles, colorful coral, dolphins and whales.
Vanuatu’s most well-known beaches are Lonnoc Beach and Champagne Beach on Espiritu Santo, the largest island in Vanuatu. With white sand, turquoise water and flanked with tropical, green vegetation, Champagne Beach gets its name from the volcanic gases that come up through the sand at the shoreline to make it feel and look like champagne under your feet. They boast coral reefs and clear, sheltered waters.
Vanuatu is also known for its spectacular lagoons and dramatic waterfalls. The Blue Lagoon on Efate Island is fringed by trees and bushes and makes for a great escape from the hustle and bustle of Port Vila.
FIJI OR VANUATU: SNORKELING AND DIVING
Both island destinations offer incredible underwater experiences, so it’s hard to choose between Vanuatu vs Fiji.
Fiji is known as the ‘soft coral capital of the world’ for good reason with spectacular reefs, drop offs, walls and channels to impress the most experienced diver. There are also plenty of reefs close to the shore for snorkelers to explore as well as off-shore reefs that you can reach on an organised snorkeling excursion.
Keen divers will love the shark dives at the Beqa Lagoon, an incredible Shark Reef Marine Reserve which was created to study and conserve the resident shark population. There are eight different types of sharks that call the reserve home including Grey Reefs, Whitetips, Silvertips, Bulls, Tigers, Sicklefin Lemons, Tawney Nurses and Blacktip Reefs.
Some of the world’s best wreck dive sites are located in Vanuatu vs Fiji.
The SS President Coolidge sank during World War II off the island of Espiritu Santo and is considered to be the largest and most accessible wreck dive in the world.
Other wrecks include theUSS Tucker– an American Destroyer which hit a “friendly” sea mine, theKonanda– an old Island Trader damaged in a cyclone and deliberately sunk, the Star of Russia– a sailboat which is in Port Vila harbor and the SemleFederson – previously a cargo carrying, trader vessel which was sunk in Mele Bay.
One of the most fascinating wrecks – especially for Australian divers – is that of the Tasman– a Qantas S26 Sandringham Flying Boat with a wingspan of over 30 metres. Divers can start at the tail of the plane and swim right over the body through the cockpit.
There are also relics of the American base in Vanuatu during World War II including the dump at Million Dollar Point – so called because it includes millions of dollars of army equipment – vehicles, machines and boats.
FIJI VS VANUATU: ACTIVITIES
Your idea of adventure might literally be sliding from the sun lounger into the pool. However, if you fancy exploring Fiji or Vanuatu both of these tropical island destinations offer some incredible adventure activities that allowyou to really experience these stunningcountries.
In Vanuatu, on the island of Tanna, you can hike to the world’s most accessible active volcano and visit a giant Banyan tree the size of a soccer pitch. Mount Yasur is Tanna’s active volcano where you can stand at the crater’s edge and watch as the lava dances like fireworks across the sky. Access to the 400-metre-wide rim of the crater is by foot, but local guides run volcano tours and can drive you close enough to feel the heat.
In Vanuatu vs Fiji you can also see cascading waterfalls, explore blue water holes where fresh water passes through layers of limestone and coral to create intense blue crystal springs. You can also take a cruise on a tall ship and see cultural ceremonies and dances.
In Fiji, there are plenty of activities on and off the water, from hiking and biking trails, to waterfalls and swimming holes.
TheGarden of the Sleeping Giant, just 30 minutes from Nadi, is home to around 2,000 orchids, while the Eco Park is home to a jungle walk, natural waterfalls and pools and a zip-line tour that glides over treetops and valleys.
On Taveuni Island, you’ll love the hike through the rainforest at Bouma National Park to see the towering Tavoro Falls. This is a group of three waterfalls with pools that are perfect for swimming – float on your back and you’ll be rewarded with snapshots of colour as Fiji is home to many colorful species of parrot.
For some of the best views of Fiji’s rural landscape, then a drive up the Nausori Highlands is well worth the trip. From the road you can hike around the hills and enjoy a clear view of Nadi and Denarau and out to sea.
If the allure of the water is too much, then you might want to check out the surfing spots. Fiji’s surf breaks are now open to anyone brave enough to tackle the legendary waves of Cloudbreak, Swimming Pools and Frigates.
EXPLORE TURTLE ISLAND FIJI
If you’re considering a Fiji or Vanuatu vacation, have you looked at Turtle Island Resort? This privately-owned luxury island inFiji’s Yasawa Group offers vacationers an idyllic escape that you only have to share with 13 other couples and the friendly Turtle “Family” team.
Picture yourself here? Then get in touch with us today.