5-Day Budget Itinerary for Fiji
Let’s just start by saying that five days is not enough time in Fiji! But, hey, if that’s all the time you have and the glistening waters and sandy tropical islands are calling you, then check out this Fiji budget itinerary for 5 days.
Sure, you could spend five days in Fiji in one resort. But for adventurous travellers or those who want to see as much as possible, this 5-day Fiji itinerary will get you seeing the outer islands of the Mamanucas and the Yasawas, as well as the bustling city of Nadi. All of the activities and accommodation are recommended with budget in mind. So discover the paradise islands, the coral reefs, the rich island culture and more with this 5-day budget itinerary for Fiji!
How to Get Around Fiji in 5 Days
The Fiji itinerary below incorporates mostly water travel and a little bit of road travel. Here are the transport options you need to know about for travelling around Fiji on a budget.
Budget Transport in Nadi
For getting around Nadi on your first day, taxis are a quick and convenient option, costing around FJ$10 to get between the airport and the city centre, for example. Local buses are particularly cheap, with one-way trips costing less than FJ$2 within Nadi. Make sure you purchase your bus ticket at the airport, as buses don’t accept cash. Check out 6 Ways to Get to Nadi (& Get Around Nadi) for more information.
Budget Transport Between Nadi and Denarau
Denarau Island is the main port for water transport to the Mamanuca Islands and the Yasawa Islands. Denarau is connected to the mainland by road, so cheap road transport options include the Westbus (the yellow bus) from Nadi, costing less than FJ$5 per person. Alternatively, some ferry services offers transfers between Denarau and Nadi hotels included in their ferry pass. Check out our 5 Ways to Get to Denarau Island for more options.
Budget Transport to the Mamanuca and the Yasawa Islands
A popular island-hopping option for budget travellers on the move is the fast-catamaran ferry service. Hop-on-hop-off passes allow passengers to get the ferry as much as they like for a set number of days or individual trips can be purchased. See our 5 Ways to Get to the Mamanuca Islands and 5 Ways to Get to the Yasawa Islands for more information.
Day 1 – Nadi
Welcome to Fiji! Your main arrival airport is Nadi International Airport. Before you head out to the islands, take some time to explore the city or take a taxi to one of the affordable but must-do attractions! Get more information in our The Guide to Nadi on a Budget, otherwise, here’s a quick list of things to do.
Things to Do in Nadi on a Budget
- Check out the local markets, such as the Nadi Handicraft Market, The New Nadi Farmers’ Market and the Namaka Market
- Relax and get muddy at the Sabeto Mud Pools
- Walk through the lush and tropical Garden of the Sleeping Giant
- Grab a bite to eat at one of our suggested Cheap Eats in Nadi
- Admire the vibrant Sri Siva Subramaniya Temple.
Check out 10 Free & Cheap Things to Do in Nadi for more suggestions.
Budget Accommodation in Nadi
- Bamboo Backpackers
- Bluewater Lodge
- Tropic of Capricorn
- Smugglers Cove Beach Resort & Hotel
- JFK Hotel
- Victoria Hotel Fiji
- Nadi Downtown Hotel
- Wailoaloa Beach Resort
- Aquarius on the Beach
Take a look at our top picks in 10 Best Budget Accommodations in Nadi.
Day 2 – Nadi to the Mamanuca Islands
Travel Time: 15-20 minutes by road, 35-45 minutes boat ride
This is where your island-hopping adventure begins! Catch the ferry from Denarau Island early morning and make your way on a short cruise to the Mamanuca Islands. Some of the best resorts in Fiji are scattered across this archipelago of 20-something islands, many of which are budget resorts offering a range of fun complimentary activities.
Things to Do on a Budget in the Mamanuca Islands
- Snorkel and check out the tropical fish just off the beach
- Explore the island with your resort’s complimentary kayaks
- Do some stand-up paddleboarding
- Hike to the island’s viewpoint
- Relax with Fijian meke dancing and kava ceremonies in the evenings.
For more inspiration, check out our 12 Free & Cheap Things to Do in the Mamanuca Islands.
Budget Accommodation in the Mamanuca Islands
- Funky Fish Beach Resort
- Ratu Kini Dive Resort
- Beachcomber Island Resort
- Serenity Island Resort
- Mana Lagoon Backpackers
- South Sea Island
Find out more about each of these accommodations in our 5 Best Budget Accommodation on the Mamanuca Islands.
Day 3 – Mamanuca Islands to the Yasawa Islands
Travel Time: 1h15min-3h45min by boat
You’ve had a great taste of Fiji in the Mamanucas, but now it’s time to catch the ferry to the Yasawa Islands. After a scenic cruise through the islands, you’ll arrive at your chosen budget resort. The Yasawas is one of the biggest backpacker hubs in Fiji, where resorts offer a huge range of complimentary activities, many of which allow you to experience more of the Fijian culture. An alternative to resorts, homestays allow you to stay in a real Fiji village with a local family. Check out our 10 Best Budget Homestays in the Yasawa Islands and don’t forget your village etiquette!
Things to Do on the Yasawa Islands on a Budget
- Craft your own Fijian bracelet or hat
- Catch fish the local way in handline fishing
- Do a Fijian craft or cooking lesson
- Take part in some beach sports or an island yoga session
- Do some more snorkelling!
For more inspiration, check out our 10 Free & Cheap Things to Do in the Yasawa Islands.
Budget Accommodation on the Yasawa Islands
- Barefoot Kuata Resort
- Naqalia Lodge
- Mantaray Island Resort
- Barefoot Manta Island Resort
- Boathouse Nanuya
- Nabua Lodge
- Octopus Resort
- Blue Lagoon Beach Resort
- Safe Landing Eco-Lodge
- Sunrise Lagoon Homestay
Find out more about each accommodation in our 10 Budget Accommodation in the Yasawa Islands.
Day 4 – Yasawa Islands
Take some time to rest from your travels in a hammock on the beach or by the pool. That’s what “Fiji time” is all about. You can continue doing some of the complimentary activities you might have missed yesterday, or treat yourself to one of the must-do experiences in the Yasawa Islands and Fiji! You’re not in the South Pacific islands every day, right?
Must-Dos on the Yasawa Islands
- Take a boat trip to the Sawa-i-Lau Caves
- Swim with giant manta rays (May to October)
- Snorkel or scuba dive with sharks
- Do a Fijian village visit
- Indulge in a Fijian massage
For more inspiration, head to our 10 Must-Dos in the Yasawa Islands.
Day 5 – Yasawa Islands to Nadi
Travel Time: 2 hours to 4h30min by boat, 20-30 minutes by road
This is the moment when you realise you should have stayed in Fiji longer! It’s time to head back to the mainland and Nadi International Airport. The good news is that the ferry doesn’t start travelling south from the Yasawa Islands until around 1.15pm, so you have the morning to relax, snorkel, see a coconut husking demonstration, do a sunrise hike or whatever you choose.
Resorts will transport you by longboat to the ferry when it arrives, then you’ll be whisked back to Port Denarau. From Denarau, take one of the complimentary coaches or other Denarau transport methods back to Nadi or Nadi International Airport.