Dive Travel / Fiji
Not only are they the proverbial bread and butter for some dive operators in this 300-island country, but also in native Fijian folklore, there's a god, Dakuwaqa, who takes the form of a shark. Beqa Lagoon, on the Coral Coast of the island of Viti Levu, has long established itself as the Pacific's shark diving capital, where as many as eight different species freely swim. While diving well-known sites on the Great Astrolabe Reef near the island of Kadavu - the world's fourth-largest barrier reef - it's possible to spot schools of upward of 30 gray reef sharks on a single dive and, dive pros have discovered, there's a hammerhead site off of Kadavu's northern shores.
But with its soft corals and population of manta rays, humpback whales, turtles, titan triggerfish and even ghost pipefish, Fiji isn't only about sharks, diving one island or one barrier reef. Whether on a live-aboard plying Bligh Water between Viti Levu and its island neighbor to the north, Vanua Levu, or hopscotching by plane from those islands to others, like Taveuni, Gau, Ovalau and Kadavu, or plunging into the Great Astrolabe or the Namena Barrier Reef, there's no shortage of unforgettable diving.
Fiji is also legendary for its friendly and welcoming indigenous culture and the cultural contributions from generations of South Asians who also call these islands home. On Viti Levu, it's not uncommon to visit a rustic village for a kava-drinking ceremony and see traditional dances by day, then by night eat Indian roti bread and curry and take in a "Bollywood" film. The pace of life on the outlying islands and villages is far more leisurely than the bustle of the capital city, Suva.
Temps stay in the low 80s most of the year and dip to about 75 degrees from May to October. The best conditions occur from March to December.
Anywhere from the mid-70s in cool months (May to October) to the mid-80s in January and February.
Excellent--in the triple digits most of the year, although plankton blooms and rainfall can lower the vis during the rainy season.
Fijian dollar (F$).
Fiji is 20 hours ahead of Pacific Standard Time.
Fijian, though English is widely spoken and understood.
240 volts, 50 cycles. Larger hotels also have 110-volt razor sockets.
U.S. citizens need a passport and a return ticket.
F$75 (included in all Airline Tickets as of November 2008).