The island nation of Fiji is known for its vibrant coral reefs, emerald green peaks, and some of the most hospitable people on Earth. Though tourism is booming on the main island, the smaller, outer islands are barely touched by Western influences, and life remains simple. Settle into a village on the island of Taveuni and work alongside community members on village construction projects.
Upon arrival in Fiji, head north to Taveuni, the third largest of Fiji’s more than 330 islands. Known as the “garden island,” Taveuni’s lush inland rainforests are home to exotic birds, iguanas, and frogs. Set out to explore this island gem, discovering hidden beaches and visiting the famous waterfalls in Bouma National Heritage Park. Straddle the former international date line, and strap on your fins to explore the breathtaking Rainbow Reef with guides. Visit the Waitabu Marine Park, gaining insights into the management of this protected marine area, and learn about how these aquatic environments have shaped Fijian culture as we prepare to immerse ourselves in village life.
We then make our way to our host village, where the chief and the villagers welcome us with traditional songs and a meke, or dance. We’ll get to work with members of the community on a variety of projects. Help to build a community meeting space or health clinic. Lend a hand planting a garden or painting a mural at the local school. In the afternoons and evenings, learn new phrases in Fijian as you get to know our hosts, and meet artisans to find out how they are reviving traditional arts. Spend an afternoon learning the basics of rugby, the Fijian national sport, in a pick-up game with local youths. Try your hand at spearfishing, then prepare your catch the traditional Fijian way. Gather inside the community house for a kava ceremony with the village elders. Capture your experiences with photos, video, or writing, and share your story with your new friends.
Our adventure wraps up in the city of Nadi, on the main island of Viti Levu, where we’ll explore the unique Indo-Fijian culture. Visit a peaceful Hindu temple and taste the city’s fusion cuisine. Relax in mud baths and hot springs, surf or zip-line through the forest, browse artisan markets, and enjoy the last days of Fijian sun on a quiet beach before returning home.