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FIJI ISLANDS
The more than three hundred islands that make up Fiji, "The Soft Coral Capital of the World," are located in the South Pacific (between 12 and 21 degrees S latitude, and 176E - 178W longitude), and are scattered over 250,000 square miles. Out of the 300+ islands, only a third are in permanently inhabited, which is why Fiji has some of the most untouched reefs in the world. Fiji's underwater playground is vast with breathtaking hard and soft corals, wall dives, and shipwrecks. The two main islands that draw most vacationers are: Viti Levu and Vanua Levu.

On arrival do not be startled when someone shouts a warm greeting of "Bula," which is the local way of saying hello; Fijians are known for their friendliness and hospitable nature. When visiting a village it is customary to offer a gift (sevusevu). This is usually kava (yaqona), which costs about $10, and is presented to the Turaga ni Koro (head of the village). The gift is usually presented to the Turaga ni Koro in his house, and is often attended by some of the elders in the area. The yaqona will be pounded into powder, mixed with water and served, while a conversation is shared; be prepared to shake hands and to answer many questions.

Casual, presentable attire is required/appreciated in and around the villages. To wear swimsuits, hats and other beach attire in the villages is considered an insult to the village chief. To respect the villager's customs, women should cover their shoulders and knees. Sulus (Fiji traditional dress) are acceptable for both women and men. When entering anyone's house, it is customary to remove your shoes. Fiji is approx 12 hours ahead of the Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) zone. The official language in the Fiji Islands is English, however, you may hear the locals speaking Fijian or Hindi.

Click here for a map of the Fiji Islands

Click here to see descriptions of available accommodations/liveaboards in Fiji

TRAVEL TIPS/INFORMATION

Seasons/ Weather/Climate/Water Conditions Fiji's only has two seasons:
Summer (wet): November - March
Winter (dry): April - October (best time to dive)

Fiji has a tropical climate with average air temperatures ranging from 78F to 87F. Average water temperatures range from 79F to 85F, and water visibility varies around 60 to 100 feet (better in the winter).

Transportation
When traveling to Fiji, you will fly into one of the two international airports on Viti Levu: Nadi (western side), and Nausori (east coast near Suva). Air Pacific, Air New Zealand, Quantas, and their affiliated airlines fly to Fiji from major airports across the world's major cities.

Taxis and rental cars are available at the airports and most of the larger resorts. When traveling by car in Fiji, you will drive on the left hand side of the road. To rent a car, a valid national or international (English Language) driver's license is needed. If the driver's license is not in the English language, the visitor must carry a translation with the license. Some rental companies also have a minimum driver age of 21.

If you are staying land based, and are interested in island hopping, there are regular ferry services scheduled between the major islands.

Entry and Exit Requirements
When entering/exiting Fiji, proof of citizenship is required (i.e. valid Passport with at least six months beyond the intended period of stay) along with a return ticket. Entry visas are granted on arrival for a stay of up to 4 months or less.

Beginning December 31, 2005, the United States will require a valid passport or other secure/accepted documents (Border Crossing Card, SENTRI, NEXUS or FAST cards) for re-entry of either U.S. Citizens, or legitimate foreign visitors/nationals. For more information and any updates on these new regulations visit http://travel.state.gov/travel/cbpmc/cbpmc_2223.html.

Currency/Banks/Taxes
Fiji's local currency is the Fijian Dollar (FJD), and is available in denominations of $2, $5, $10, $20, $50. Coins: 1c, 2c, 5c, 10c, 20c, 50c and $1.

The most commonly accepted credit cards are American Express, Diners Club, MasterCard, and Visa. You should cash travelers checks at banks or larger hotels as it may be difficult elsewhere. Some banks may charge a small fee for cashing travelers checks. Banks in Fiji are open Mon -Thurs 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., and 9:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on Fridays.

Visitors to Fiji are required to pay $30.00 departure tax in Fijian currency following check-in. Children under 12 are exempt.

Telephone/Cell Phone
Fiji has a modern telephone system that enables you to make local, long distance, and International Direct Dialing (IDD) calls. The international country IDD code for Fiji is 679.

Mobile phones are available for rent through Vodafone (located in the Nadi International Airport), or with prior set-up you could bring your own mobile GSM phone with you. Please contact your telecommunications carrier for activating international roaming while youĞre visiting Fiji. For more information, visit Vodafone at www.vodafone.com.fj/roaming/index/html

Electricity
The electrical current in Fiji is 240 volts. You will need an adapter when traveling to Fiji, as the three-pin power outlet is different from that in North America. Converters are available at some resorts and liveaboards.

Medical Information
There are no suggested inoculations needed to enter Fiji, however when traveling from an area know to be infected (designated by the World Health Organization) with Yellow Fever or Cholera, a vaccination certificate is required for travelers over I year of age. For more information on traveling abroad, and possible health risks, contact the Center for Disease Control in the US.

There is a hyperbaric chamber located in Suva, and is available 24 hours a day. The facility is staffed with trained medical personnel and technicians, and serves much of the South Pacific.

Shopping in Fiji
Most shops on Fiji's larger islands are open:
Mon-Sat 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.