Fiji – Yasawa (Tavewa & Nacula Islands)

Fiji is a special place on earth. Ever since we visited in 2002, we have longed to return. 15 years later, the greetings of “bula” still ring as sweet as ever. Our first week in Fiji was spent on the Yasawa Islands of Tavewa and Nacula. We island hopped to two different resorts, starting off at the Coral View Resort in Tavewa for 4 nights, followed by zipping over to the Blue Lagoon Beach Resort on Nacula for 3 nights. We enjoyed both resorts for different reasons. Coral View is more rustic and basic, appealing to the budget backpacker since it is one of the only resorts in the region not enforcing a mandatory meal plan. Guests can save a lot of money self catering or ordering a la carte, which makes Coral View ideal for anyone on a strict budget. Blue Lagoon on the other hand is a paradise with a lovely white sandy beach, central swimming pool and gourmet fine dining. The resort itself appeals to a wide range of guests ranging from honeymooners to backpackers. We were glad to experience both and would whole heartedly recommend either resort. Activities we enjoyed in the Yasawas included snorkeling, hiking, crab racing, basket weaving, swimming, kayaking, drinking kava, playing with Fijian kids, early morning yoga, and visiting the Sawa-i-Lau Cave. It was a fun week and went by quickly! Next up will be cruising from the Yasawas to the Mamanuca island chain.

Our Fiji Airways about to land in Nadi Budget bungalow at Beach Escape Resort in Nadi Catching the Tavewa Seabus from Lautoka Jetty (the cheapest way to travel to the Yasawa Islands....but ensure your luggage is limited to 20 KG or you'll pay excess weight fees) Coral View staff offloading our luggage; Tavewa Island Our "Bula" greeting at Coral View resort Lush garden bungalows at Coral View resort The comfortable 10 bed dorm at Coral View Resort Brain coral Decent snorkeling near Coral View resort Purple coral Much of the coral reef near Tavewa Island was destroyed by the Mar 2016 cyclone but we were happy to see signs of recovery Interesting coral formation Patches of soft coral abound Coral detail Clown fish protecting its nest Blue starfish everywhere Coral View resort has a giant clam sanctuary. This clam is about 3 feet in length! Like many of the other islands in the Yasawas, Tavewa is a volcanic island Tavewa island beach erosion "Beware Falling Coconuts" - a real danger on Tavewa Island where coconut trees are everywhere! Beach panorama; Tavewa Island Robby relaxing in a hammock at Coconut Beach Resort; Tavewa Island Royal dancer yoga pose; Tavewa Island A beautiful Fijian girl; Tavewa Island Local dwellings sandwiched between Coral View and Coconut Beach resorts on Tavewa Island Walking the path linking Coral View to Coconut Beach Resort; Tavewa Robby gets a praying mantis hitch-hiker! After the gloomy and overcast weather of our first day in Fiji, we were thrilled to wake up to this glorious view Shell necklaces for sale; Coral View Resort Fish swarm our boat at Blue Lagoon (made famous by the movie of the same name); Nanuya Island Robby checking out the fish at Blue Lagoon A welcoming hammock at Blue Lagoon; Nanuya Island Getting ready to hike to the top of Tavewa Island with Rashi, Patri and Nerea Laughing as we admire the view from the first cell phone tower; Tavewa Island Beautiful view as we hike up Tavewa Island Nerea, Rashi, Ladso and Robby at the top of Tavewa Island Looking out over the northernmost Yasawa Islands The friendly staff of Coral View Resort singing songs for our evening entertainment Eli showing Ladso how to crack open his coconut The girls surround Ladso as he feeds them delicious coconut morsels for dessert Rashi and Ladso performing "Hallelujah" - awesome job guys! Morning breakfast view from Coral View Resort Up early so we can be the first group to visit the extremely popular Sawa-i-Lau Cave, a limestone island that is on every Yasawa Islands itinerary Nacula island view as we zip off towards Sawa-i-Lau Cave Eli in a fantastic mood as we make our way to the cave Success as we are the first boat to arrive to Sawa-i-Lau Cave! The view from the cave entrance looking out towards the Yasawa Islands Smiling as we prepare to snorkel the Sawa-i-Lau cave system Descending into the main chamber of Sawa-i-Lau cave The "ceiling" of the main cave Getting ready to dive through a short underwater passage to another cave system; Sawa-i-Lau Cave One final glance of Sawa-i-Lau cave. We were so lucky to have this place to ourselves before the rest of the boats arrived! Panorama from the entrance of the cave Colorful sulu (skirt or wrapped cloth) for sale; Sawa-i-Lau island Limestone rock formations; Sawa-i-Lau island Robby striking a pose between the limestone formations of Sawa-i-Lau island Fossilized shells; Sawa-i-Lau island Rashi, Patri, Becky, Nerea and Marie soaking up the beauty of Sawa-i-Lau island Robby taking photos of Nacula island shortly after our boat's engine died (thankfully on the return trip from the Sawa-i-Lau cave) Friendly locals offering to give our captain a ride back to Coral View Resort so he can get a rescue boat to retrieve us The ever gorgeous Blue Lagoon on Nanuya Island One final look at Nanuya Island as we head back to Coral View resort Everyone choosing their hermit crab for a session of crab racing Eli gathers the bets ($2 per crab, winner takes all) Becky laughs as her crab emerges victorious after 3 vigorous rounds of crab racing! Moonlight at Coral View Resort; Tavewa Island Relaxing the afternoon away; Coral View Resort Low tide view at Coral View resort Traditional drum set (still used today by school children to signal the start and end of recess) Tavewa Island beach view Meeting Sam (aka "Batman"); Tavewa Island A blue church beckons us for church service - we had a kava ceremony to attend to and had to reluctantly decline Church decor; Tavewa Island Meeting the cute Fijian kids of Tavewa Island Robby and Ladso play with Charles Jr, a rambunctious kid who demanded their attention Beautiful Fijian girl; Tavewa Island The locals living on Tavewa Island were so friendly and welcoming...we really enjoyed meeting and talking to them Sam and Charles Jr hop on Robby's back for a ride The friendly pastor and Rambo (his dog) invite us for church; Tavewa Island Taro plant; Tavewa Island Eli preparing our traditional kava ceremony After drinking 3 bilo (kava cups made from coconut shell) of kava each, the tanoa (turtle shaped drinking bowl) is finally emptied Book mark weaving class, courtesy of Eli at Coral View resort Solar array powering Coral View Resort (thanks to Michael Valentine from MV Solar for the interesting tour) Robby smiling on our free interisland shuttle from Coral View to Blue Lagoon Beach Resort Our first glimpse of the wide sandy beach of Blue Lagoon beach resort; Nacula Island Relaxing in comfy bean bag chairs; Blue Lagoon beach resort Becky making herself comfortable at Blue Lagoon Beach Resort Palm nuts; Blue Lagoon Beach Resort We really wanted to do the shark dive (bull and lemon sharks) but SCUBA diving in Fiji has become prohibitively expensive at nearly $100 USD per dive! Traditional huts; Blue Lagoon Beach Resort Finding a conch shell while snorkeling off Nacula Island The hiking trail (to the rear of Blue Lagoon Beach Resort) for phenomenal views over Nacula Island Robby soaking up the vista of the Yasawa Islands from Nacula's hill top Selfie on Nacula Island A sea plane transports guests to Blue Lagoon Beach Resort - what a way to arrive! Kayaking around Nacula Island Colorful clam A curious crab peers out from its shell Lots of conch shells to be seen while snorkeling around Blue Lagoon beach resort Clown fish have yet to claim this prime patch as home; Nacula Island The food at Blue Lagoon Beach Resort is excellent! This is a dish of "kokoda" (raw fish marinated in lolo and lime juice) Panoramic of Blue Lagoon Beach Resort's beach Walking to the end of the long sandy beach of Blue Lagoon Beach Resort Nacula island panorama Becky admiring the views of Nacula island Robby befriends a Fijian dog; Nacula Island Gorgeous sunset on Blue Lagoon Beach Resort Evening entertainment; Blue Lagoon Beach Resort Yummy samplers to try served on a heart shaped leaf; Blue Lagoon Beach Resort The international crab racing competition; Blue Lagoon Beach Resort Pretty purple flowers;  Nacula Island A fearless crab checks us out; Nacula Island Robby checking out the volcanic area marking the end of the sandy beach; Nacula Island Volcanic rocks; Nacula Island Unique hermit crab shells Pristine beach; Nacula Island Robby checking out a hermit crab; Nacula Island A large section of the beach was covered in these round discs - a natural phenomenon? Pretty Nacula Island Seeking shade from the mid-day sun; Blue Lagoon Beach Resort A wide variety of food available for lunch - chicken club sandwich or seafood pizza. The food at Blue Lagoon Beach Resort gets rave reviews from us! A splash of red on this plant stand out; Blue Lagoon Beach Resort Replica Fijian weapon decor; Blue Lagoon Beach Resort Panoramic of Blue Lagoon's swimming pool; Nacula Island Comfortable lounging chairs; Blue Lagoon Beach Resort Another gorgeous sunset in the Yasawas Dessert options after the "all you can eat BBQ night"; Blue Lagoon Beach Resort Our final early morning view of the Yasawas - what a gorgeous way to start our day! Free yoga classes on offer at Blue Lagoon Beach Resort Goodbye Nacula Island! View from the Yasawa Flyer Yasawa Flyer flag as we make our way from the Yasawa Island chain to the Mamanuca Island chain foto gallery lightboxby v6.1

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