Meet Fiji’s Stunning Yasawa Islands

0

The Yasawa Islands is an archipelago of about 20 volcanic islands in the Western Division of Fiji which covers approximately 135 square kilometers. The Yasawa group of islands break down into six main islands and numerous smaller islets and because they are volcanic in origin, their mountainous peaks range from 250 to 600 meters tall.

There are 15 words in the Fijian language meaning Heaven and ‘Yasawa‘ is the first. And, it’s easy to see why. The Yasawa Islands are heavenly in countless ways. Of all of the Fiji islands, the Yasawa Islands (or as many refer to as the Yasawas) are the most archetypical of the “South Pacific.” Some refer to them as a “string of blue beads dotted amongst pristine reefs and turquoise seas.”

Yasawa Islands

Lover’s Point Beach in the Yasawa Islands

Mostly undeveloped and pristine, the beaches boast beautiful white sand and the azure water will have you at hello — perfect for swimming, snorkeling and diving.

Apparently they were first discovered by Captain Bligh in 1789 but little was known about the Yasawa Islands until around 1840. During World War II, the Yasawa Islands were used by the U.S. military as a communications outpost.

We spent our time on the main island: Yasawa Island, which covers roughly 32 square kilometers. It’s a limestone island which is famous for its underwater caves. It is home eto six villages, and a population of only around 1,200 people, so it’s very small.

Aerial Views

The flight is incredibly scenic and takes you along the coast of Viti Levu, and over the turquoise reefs and spectacular islands of the Yasawa Islands group.

Yasawa Island Resort & Spa

Spectacular views on the way over to the Yasawa Island Resort & Spa

Yasawa Island Resort & Spa

Yasawa Island Resort & Spa

The Yasawa Island Resort & Spa

Arriving to the Yasawa Islands is just as magical as staying on them. The views are spectacular in all directions from above and the moment you land on the grassy airstrip in a small puddle jumper you catch from Nadi.  Whether you’re looking out to a nearly untouched beach, lounging at the pristine blue pool at the resort or snorkeling under the sea, you’ll be in heaven during your entire stay.

There are only 18 luxury bungalows, all of which are hidden among the palms. Each bungalow has its own beach with a hammock swinging between two trees and a porch facing the ocean, which are perfect for morning coffee or a glass of champagne at the end of the day. Be sure to read our review on the property.

The water is so crystal clear here that swimming off any of their private beaches is a must do. They also have paddle boarding available for guests, which is a fun activity early in the day or near dusk when the water is calm and it’s easy to see coral from several feet away.

Yasawa Island Resort & Spa

Paddle boarding at the Yasawa Island Resort & Spa

Yasawa Island Resort & Spa

The beach area in front of the Dive Shop at the Yasawa Island Resort & Spa

Yasawa Island Resort & Spa

The beaches

Yasawa Island Resort & Spa is inclusive of all gourmet meals & snacks, all non-alcoholic beverages, and complimentary wifi in their public spaces. Note that wifi really only works in the reception area — the idea is to get away from technology so it softly forces you to minimize cell phone use, which will help to restore and balance you.

Guests have use of all standard activities (kayaks, stand up paddle boards, tennis, guided walks, catamaran, etc) plus all scheduled activities like Village Visits, trips to the Blue Lagoon Caves, guided snorkeling trips and private beach picnics.

Yasawa Islands

The pool at Yasawa Island Resort & Spa

Stunning Beaches

There are 11 private beaches around the main island. Any one of them is the perfect place to relax, meditate or catch up on that novel you’ve been meaning to read.

Yasawa Island Resort & Spa

Yasawa Island Resort & Spa

One view of the ocean and mountains beyond.

Yasawa Island Resort & Spa

A hammock facing the beach

Yasawa Islands Resort & Spa

Another pristine beach

Yasawa Island Resort & Spa

A beach walk to the right of our bungalow — mountains and palms in the distance.

Yasawa Island Resort & Spa

Pristine beaches

Yasawa Island Resort & Spa

The corals, rocks, shells and sea life is amazing here!

Yasawa Island Resort & Spa

Easy to find along the beach — such raw beauty!

Yasawa Island Resort & Spa

Rocky areas along the beach.

Yasawa Island Resort & Spa

Such beauty in all directions

Yasawa Island Resort & Spa

Beautiful coral, rocks and shells

Yasawa Island Resort & Spa

Beach walks at the Yasawa Island Resort & Spa

Yasawa Island Resort & Spa

Beach walks

Yasawa Island Resort & Spa

Magic along the way

Yasawa Islands Resort & Spa

Going on a beach walk from our bungalow

Yasawa Islands Resort & Spa

One of the boats they use to escort guests out to day outings like the Blue Lagoon Caves and snorkeling

The Blue Lagoons Cave

You can catch a banana boat out to the Blue Lagoons Cave. It takes roughly 45 minutes by boat from the resort, and you can visit the same caves from the 1980’s movie with Brooke Shields: The Blue Lagoon. The Blue Lagoon Caves are located on the southern point of Yasawa Island.

Yasawa Island Resort & Spa

View from the Blue Lagoon where the cave is.

Heading out to one of the islands!

Snorkeling over at the Blue Lagoon Caves and below, the caves!

The views are breathtaking!

View from the Blue Lagoon Caves (island)

Yasawa Islands

Yasawa Islands — Inside the Caves

Lover’s Point

You can go to a private island where it’s only you and the beach and views. In other words, a pristine remote beach you don’t need to share with anyone. The main Yasawa Island is famous for its beaches, particularly Paradise (which also offers some snorkeling), Lover’s Point (where we went and is more suitable for swimming), and Vulawalu Beach near the village of Yasawa-i-Rara.

One of the boats we took to go to the nearby reef for snorkeling. Some opted to go fishing and swimming.

Yasawa Islands Resort & Spa

Heading out to Lover’s Point by boat

Yasawa Islands Resort & Spa

View of Lovers Point from the water!

Lovers Point at the Yasawa Islands Resort & Spa

They dropped us off on this remote island called Lover’s Point and we shared the beach and the views with no one while we had a picnic lunch shaded by a beach umbrella.

Yasawa Islands Resort & Spa

Above and below: Lover’s Point — as part of staying at the Yasawa Island Resort & Spa, you can choose to go to a remote beach and island for an afternoon picnic in a basket, prepared by their on-site chefs. We chose a delicious smoked chicken pasta salad and Shrimp Caesar Salad.

Lovers Point Yasawa Islands

Picnic lunches on one of the many pristine beaches

Yasawa Islands Resort & Spa

Lover’s Point Beach after our picnic

Nature Walks

You can also take a nature walk to Lagona, where you’ll learn about the plants of the island and their different purposes.   .

Serenity Yasawa Islands Resort & Spa

Beautiful flowers on the island

Sunsets in the Yasawa Islands

Sunsets are spectacular every night as well regardless of where you are in the Yasawa Islands.

Bukama Village

There’s a charming village on the main island in the Yasawas, making it an easy side trip from the resort. Here, you can learn about the village, buy colorful materials and artisan work from the locals and hear the children sing. There’s also a church on-site you can visit as well.

Yasawa Islands Resort & Spa

Children from Bukama Village

Yasawa

Children and families in Bukama Village

Yasawa Islands

Above and below: children talk to us and sing for us in the Bukama Village.

Bukama Village on the Yasawa Islands

Bukama Village on the Yasawa Islands

Bukama Village on the Yasawa Islands

The children from the Bukama Village sang for us when we were on the Yasawa Islands

The local church in the Bukama Village has services on most Sundays and they last around two hours. They suggest wearing a sarong (sulu) or a skirt below the knees with your shoulders covered if you do attend. For gents, they suggest long shorts or trousers. And, if you are wearing a hat, they ask that you remove it before entering the village.

The local religion is Methodist (predominantly). From the Chief, the islanders are not permitted to drink alcohol however locals can partake in Kava or “Yaqona” or simply “Grog.”

Entry to the village is by invitation only. In addition to honoring the above customs, they ask that you do not touch any Fijian on the head as it is considered highly offensive.

Yasawa Islands

Above and below, learning about local customs and history inside the church in the Bukama Village (Yasawa Islands)

Snorkeling & Diving

There’s a dive shop at the Yasawa Island Resort & Spa. If you want to dive, they offer various dive packages including getting certified as well as dives for one, two, three or more days. And, you can even do a night dive.

Here, you can view a variety of coral and fish, from lion fish, reef sharks, parrot fish, surgeon fish, stingrays, and soft corals to trigger fish, angle fish, giant sweetlips, rock cod, turtles, and miniature sea life. There are a number of dive sites available so if you love the water, the Yasawa Islands is a great choice. While we didn’t dive, we did snorkel in several spots and had a blast!

The main island of Yasawa is surrounded by unchartered turquoise and jade green reefs with less than 5% of the reefs on the west or leeward side of the island (the preferred diving area). In the west, there are also unspoiled reefs and a number of different diving opportunities for all levels.

Some of the dive sites in the Yasawa Islands include Paradise, Lover’s Leap, Front Porch, Wonderland, Cascade, Bird Rock, Magic Wall (soft tree corals can be found here), Fantastic (barracuda sightings), Shallow Bay (hard corals, lobsters and whitetip sharks) and Race Track (angle fish and trigger fish).

Coral under the sea — snorkeling is great!

Snorkeling is amazing off any of the islands.

Yasawa Islands

Our snorkeling guide.

Snorkeling above and below!

There were blue starfish everywhere!

Yasawa Island Resort & Spa

Yasawa Island Resort & Spa

Fijian Culture & Music

Fijians love to sing and dance, so wherever you go, you’ll find performances including from the staff at the Yasawa Island Resort & Spa, who entertain for you on certain evenings right on the beach.

Yasawa Island Resort & Spa

Food in the Yasawa Islands

Food is fresh in Fiji in general and on the Yasawa Islands, you’ll mostly eat fresh fruit, veggies, fish and lobster.

Yasawa Islands

Fresh lobster and seafood platter

Fresh seafood in various forms

Yasawa Islands

Champagne, flowers and fruit platters

Yasawa Islands

Dining outside at the Yasawa Island Resort & Spa  

Yasawa Islands Resort & Spa

Scrumptious mango smoothies with grapefruit garnish

Yasawa Islands Resort & Spa

Fresh smoothie drinks at the Yasawa Island Resort & Spa

Yasawa Islands Resort & Spa

One of the cocktails we sampled while in the Yasawa Islands.

Many of the dishes we sampled were truly unique and the chefs bring in natural ingredients from the island too, Fiji style.

Yasawa Islands Resort & Spa

Here, they are smoking fish right on the beach in front of the resort — later, they used the same smoked fish for our Degustation Menu under the stars.

Yasawa Islands Resort & Spa

This delicious creation is called Ika Tavu “Danive” or Smoked Fish, which they serve with Lumi (seaweed) and tomato chutney. 

Yasawa Islands Resort & Spa

They use coconut in nearly every dish!!

Yasawa Islands Resort & Spa

Basket of fruit in the main area where they have a breakfast buffet each morning.

Yasawa Islands Resort & Spa

A fresh coconut we received upon arrival at the Yasawa Island Resort & Spa

Yasawa Islands Resort & Spa

Champagne and a fresh fruit platter in our bungalow. Note how the Fijians use flowers in everything.

Other tasty dishes at the resort included Sweet Corn, Bacon & Leek Soup, Confit Chicken, Crispy Salmon, Mushroom and Brie Penne, Tempura Prawns, Pulled Pork Rib Pizza, Sesame, Soy and Ginger Snapper, Beetroot, Haloumi and Pesto sliders, Cauliflower & Parmesan Soup, Honey Glazed Pork, Pan Fried Walu, Cassava Croquettes, and for desserts, white chocolate panna cotta and orange marmalade pudding to name a few.

Yasawa Islands Resort & Spa

Their Crab Salad, which they serve with Pink Grapefruit (YUM!!), Pickled Fennel, Raddish and Sour Dough!

Yasawa Islands Resort & Spa

There were also a variety of fish dishes, and oh so fresh, since you’re surrounded by water on all sides. They offered a Walu, Crispy Salmon (with pecan nuts in case you’re wondering — below), and a crispy Snapper among others.

Yasawa Islands Resort & Spa

Their Confit Chicken with Broccolini, Baby Potatoes and Almonds.

Some of the other exquisite dishes included Kokoda which is classic in Fiji (coconut, tomato & lime salsa, white fish and octopus), fresh salads and wraps (Thai Beef Wrap with Asian slaw), red curries, and our lunch on Lover’s Point was a Smoked Chicken Pasta Salad, which had us at hello. The smokiness combined with the sundried tomato pesto sauce, cucumbers, black olives, feta and basil was out of this world.

Getting to the Yasawa Islands

The easiest way to travel to get there is through their daily charter service — you can opt to travel via helicopter if you wish but it is more expensive to do so obviously. The Island Hopper airplane service and the trip is a short 25-35 minute flight from Nadi International Airport.

If you’re staying at the Yasawa Island Resort & Spa, you’ll land on the grassy airstrip on the main island, and then they’ll pick you up in a van after which it’s a short ten minute drive to the resort.

Yasawa Island Resort & Spa

Landing on the main island: Yasawa Island

Yasawa Island Resort & Spa

The airstrip coming into the Yasawa Islands, then it’s a short drive to the Yasawa Resort & Spa

Below, our arrival in Nadi upon our return!

Yasawa Islands Resort & Spa

Arriving back at the Nadi International Airport from Yasawa Islands.

 

____________________
 
Note: the Yasawa Island Resort & Spa hosted us however all opinions expressed are entirely our own.
Renee Blodgett
Founder
Renee Blodgett is the founder of We Blog the World. The site combines the magic of an online culture and travel magazine with a global blog network and has contributors from every continent in the world. Having lived in 10 countries and explored nearly 80, she is an avid traveler, and a lover, observer and participant in cultural diversity.

She is also the CEO and founder of Magic Sauce Media, a new media services consultancy focused on viral marketing, social media, branding, events and PR. For over 20 years, she has helped companies from 12 countries get traction in the market. Known for her global and organic approach to product and corporate launches, Renee practices what she pitches and as an active user of social media, she helps clients navigate digital waters from around the world. Renee has been blogging for over 16 years and regularly writes on her personal blog Down the Avenue, Huffington Post, BlogHer, We Blog the World and other sites. She was ranked #12 Social Media Influencer by Forbes Magazine and is listed as a new media influencer and game changer on various sites and books on the new media revolution. In 2013, she was listed as the 6th most influential woman in social media by Forbes Magazine on a Top 20 List.

Her passion for art, storytelling and photography led to the launch of Magic Sauce Photography, which is a visual extension of her writing, the result of which has led to producing six photo books: Galapagos Islands, London, South Africa, Rome, Urbanization and Ecuador.

Renee is also the co-founder of Traveling Geeks, an initiative that brings entrepreneurs, thought leaders, bloggers, creators, curators and influencers to other countries to share and learn from peers, governments, corporations, and the general public in order to educate, share, evaluate, and promote innovative technologies.
Renee Blodgett on FacebookRenee Blodgett on InstagramRenee Blodgett on PinterestRenee Blodgett on TwitterRenee Blodgett on Youtube
Read More Share

Recent Author Posts

Join Our Community

Connect On Social Media

Most Popular Posts

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!