Purchase a Bula Pass
A Bula Pass is your ticket to exploring the idyllic Mamanuca and Yasawa Islands. These are the best islands to hop around between, as they are reasonably accessible from the mainland, unlike some of the other luxury, more remote islands found in the archipelago.
The Bula Pass can range from 5 to 21 days and is a prepaid transfer which allows you to explore 20 different islands in the Mamanucas and Yasawas. You can also purchase a Bula Combo Pass, which includes transfers and accommodation at some of the resorts. Remember, reservations still need to be made for all transfers at least 24 hours in advance. Accommodation at any of the islands must also be booked and confirmed before disembarking on the vessel, or they won’t let you onto the island.
Start at Denarau
Denarau is where the marina in Nadi is located, where most of the tourist boats and passenger ships are moored. Denarau is actually a private island, its entrance controlled by security gates, although all tourists are allowed to enter. The area has a number of resorts, as well as the waterfront area by the marina, with shops, bars and restaurants next to the passenger terminal.
From the terminal, you will catch the first boat of your journey. While waiting to depart, grab a coffee at Lulu Bar & Restaurant – some of the best coffee in Fiji.
Head to Bounty Island
Ease into your island-hopping adventure with a small and intimate island not too far from the mainland. Bounty Island is roughly 35 minutes by boat from Denarau, but feels far more remote and isolated. Surrounded by white sand and turquoise waters, you’ll feel far away from civilization. Stay one night at Bounty Island Resort, choosing an accommodation option to suit, from budget dormitories to private beachfront bures.
You can go for an island trek or beach walk, feed the baby turtles in the island’s hatchery, kayak or, if you’re brave enough, challenge the Fijian workers to a game of volleyball. You’ll leave feeling like family.
You might not want to leave Bounty Island first thing in the morning however, trust us, the best is still yet to come. Be ready for a 9AM departure and jump back onto the Yasawa Flyer to head north to Vomo Island Resort for two nights. This luxury beach resort is like out of a fairy tale, with its pristine coastline and spacious beaches, and you’ll never feel like you are in a crowd.
If you are there on a Thursday night, enjoy Vomo Island Resort’s Meke and Lovo night. Lovo is a traditional Fijian meal cooked underground. The Meke is a show with singing and dancing performed by the staff at the resort. Of course, in true Fijian style, a kava ceremony follows.
But don’t stay up late both nights at Vomo – if you are up for an early-morning hike, one day you’ll want to rise early to catch the sunrise from the top of Mount Vomo.
Next stop on your island adventure, you’ll cruise past the beautiful Kuata and Waya Lailai Islands before arriving at Octopus Resort on Waya Island, where you’ll spend the next two nights. Enjoy the relaxed pace of this island and a chance to snorkel and dive in the colorful reefs surrounding the island.
Enjoy daily yoga classes at the resort to replenish the soul, and bring your mind and body to a state of calm and empowerment. Relax in the hammocks dotted around the island, or indulge in a spa treatment. If you want to explore more of the island, you can join a boat tour of Waya Island, or choose to head north to Naukacuvu Island for a day trip. Guests are also invited on trips to one of the nearby villages, to see where the resort staff live. Friday nights at the resort are full of entertainment, with a Meke, a traditional Fijian cultural show full of singing and dancing.
It’s time to venture onward to explore more of the beautiful Fiji Islands. Arriving at Drawaqa Island, you’ll forget any stress you might still be harboring.
Stay at Mantaray Island Resort for two nights. As its name suggests, Mantaray Island is known for its regular visits by these giant filter feeders during the manta ray season, May to October. There is a feeding channel with nutrient-rich waters nearby, attracting these magnificent creatures each year. If you’d prefer to learn how to freedive, Mantaray Island Resort is the only place in Fiji which offers SSI Freediving certification.
On dry land, take some time to explore the island, try some Fijian crafts, such as making coconut jewellery or palm weaving, learn island cuisine with the Mantaray cooking class, or visit a nearby village on a Sunday for a church service that will send tingles down your spine with the beautiful harmonies of island voices in praise.
Tavewa Island is one of the most northern islands in the Yasawa group – and the perfect way to spend the final two nights of your island-hopping tour. Make the most of being on Fiji time and enjoy swimming and snorkeling at the Coralview Island Resort Blue Lagoon beach, one of the Yasawas’ best snorkeling spots. Spot the giant clams just 100 meters off the beach!
For one last land adventure, join one of the resort’s tours of the Sawa-I-Lau Caves. These ancient limestone caves are sacred and significant to Fijians: local lore says a young chief hid in the caves with his betrothed after the girl’s family threatened to marry her off to a chief from a rival village. The caves are also said to be the resting place of Ulutini – the ten-headed ancient Fijian god.
You won’t feel like leaving the idyllic islands of Fiji, but all good things must come to an end at some point. You can opt for a boat transfer back to Denarau, or choose to see the islands from up high with a seaplane, with Pacific Island Air or Turtle Airways.