Yasawa Islands Activities You Can’t Miss
If you’ve realised that visiting the Yasawa Islands of Fiji is a “must do” in itself, then you are off to a great start! The Yasawa Islands are a remote set of islands spanning some 90km along the northwest of Fiji. Between its rugged volcanic islands of lush forests and sandy beaches are crystal clear waters teeming with vibrant coral and diverse marine life. On land and in the water, there’s much to discover in the Yasawas. Find out what you can’t miss in this list of must-dos in the Yasawa Islands!
1. Visit the Sawa-i-Lau Caves
Delve into an ancient limestone cave on the edge of the azure Blue Lagoon. Carved by constant wave action, the Sawa-i-Lau Caves have spectacular formations, as well as an underwater tunnel to a hidden chamber. This natural attraction is well worth adding to the bucket list. Plus, it’s not that hard to get to thanks to most Yasawa resorts offering trips to the caves.
2. Swim with Giant Manta Rays
An unmissable underwater experience makes itself available between May and October every year when giant manta ray glide through the narrow channels of the Yasawa Islands. Watching these graceful creatures, which are around 4m (12ft) long, gliding through the crystal clear waters is a stunning experience. Resorts do snorkelling boat trips during the manta ray season, such as Mantaray Island Resort, Barefoot Manta, Navutu Stars and more.
3. Snorkel or Dive with Sharks
There a very few places in the world where you can jump in the water with Tiger Sharks, Bull Sharks, Tawny Nurse Sharks and Lemon Tip Sharks without a cage! Get uninterrupted views of these majestic creatures on a shark scuba diving trip available with the Barefoot Kuata Resort. The team at Barefoot feed the sharks as part of local conservation efforts, while you watch the mesmerising show right in front of your eyes. If scuba diving with big sharks is out of your comfort zone (or budget), then snorkelling with reef sharks is another amazing experience available at Barefoot Kuata, Naqalia Lodge and homestays on Wayalailai Island.
4. Do a Fijian Craft or Cooking Lesson
The island culture is well and truly alive in the Yasawa Islands, which can be experienced through the arts, crafts and food of the islands. Most resorts, lodges and homestays offer ways to engage with the Fijian culture for free or a minimal fee. Try weaving your own bag, hat or dinner plate. Make your own coconut bracelet as your very own island souvenir. Or how about learning a new recipe in a Fijian cooking lesson?! Crafting is a great activity for kids, as are the items on our 10 Things to Do in the Yasawa Islands with Kids.
5. Catch Your Own Dinner in Handline Fishing or Spearfishing
Fishing in Fiji is a hugely popular activity, especially with adventurous game fish to catch like yellowfin tuna, mahimahi and giant trevally! While game fishing is highly popular in the Yasawas, we recommend trying something different… Catch dinner using real islander fishing methods! Join the crew of the Mantaray Island Resort for a short stroll to a nearby reef to try your luck at handline fishing. The resort also offers spearfishing trips, as does Naqalia Lodge which mixes stunning underwater landscapes with catching dinner! We also include this activity in our 10 Things to Do in the Yasawa Islands for Foodies!
6. Treat Your Loved One to a Beach Picnic
Mix romance, spectacular scenery and yummy cuisine in a Yasawa Islands beach picnic. Resort chefs will prepare you a gourmet picnic before you and your lucky partner are taken to a secluded beach. It’s the perfect way to celebrate a special occasion or even ask the “big” question! This romantic dining experience is available at resorts like the Yasawa Island Resort, Barefoot Manta, Navutu Stars and Turtle Island Fiji. Take a look at more 10 Romantic Activities in the Yasawa Islands for Couples.
7. Visit a Fijian Village
Many of the resorts in the Yasawa Islands share islands with Fijian villages, as well as employ local villagers. With that in mind, the local culture is extremely accessible. One of the staple cultural experiences is visiting a Fijian village. Join a guided tour with your resort and see how islanders live. Watching ancient traditions being played out in everyday life is always an eye-opening experience. Experience uplifting moments by visiting a local school or listening to the beautiful harmonies of a Sunday church service. Or immerse yourself into village life by doing a village homestay. Take a look at our 10 Budget Homestays in the Yasawa Islands for recommendations.
8. Discover the Island Scenery on the Walking Trails
The underwater landscapes of the Yasawa Islands might take all the glory, but there is some amazing land scenery to discover too! Most resorts have access to walking trails with hilltop and mountain top hikes always being a popular option to watch the sunrise or sunset. Walks in the Yasawa Islands are also a fantastic way to see tropical forest and spectacular sandy beaches.
9. Indulge in a Luxurious Beachfront Massage
A trip to Fiji is about spoiling yourself and that’s pretty easy to do thanks to the help of the Yasawa Islands’ spas. Try a traditional Fijian spa treatment combined with natural Fijian spa products or stick with a familiar treatment to unwind in comfort – you really have a lot of choice at the Yasawa spas! Not only that, but you have some of the most stunning spa settings in the world. The Yasawa Island Resort, for instance, has open-air treatment rooms overhanging the beach, giving you the most spectacular views and soothing island breeze to go with your indulgent treatment. See our 6 Best Spas in the Yasawa Islands for more spas worth trying.
10. Embrace Fiji Time
So we’ve mentioned a lot of active activities on this list of must-dos in the Yasawa Islands, but remember, a trip to Fiji should always involve some R&R time. In fact, Fijians have their own ideology that they proudly call “Fiji time” which is definitely felt on the Yasawa Islands. It means that nothing happens too quickly so just relax! You’ll definitely have plenty of opportunities to do just that, whether it’s lounging by the pool, lazying in a hammock on the beach or sipping cocktails at your resort’s bar. Learn more in our What Does Fiji Time Mean? (& What You Need to Know About It).