Everything You Need to Know About the Sawa-i-Lau Caves
Tread the still waters patterned with sunlight breaking through the fissures of a cavern’s ceiling. If you’re feeling brave enough, at low tide, you can dive under the water into a second cave and the heart of the Yasawa Islands of Fiji. The Sawa-i-Lau Caves is an iconic natural attraction, rich in local legend as well as natural beauty. The limestone caves were made famous in the Hollywood blockbuster Blue Lagoon and are now a popular attraction, best visited from a nearby island resort but also available on seaplane excursions to small-ship cruises. Discover more on how to visit the Sawa-i-Lau Caves in this guide.
Where are the Sawa-i-Lau Caves?
The Sawa-i-Lau Caves are weathered into the cliffs of Sawa-i-Lau Island, located in the northern Yasawa Islands. The Yasawa Islands are a string of about 20 volcanic islands stretching some 100km (60 miles) north of Viti Levu, Fiji’s mainland. In contrast to the Yasawas volcanic terrain, Sawa-i-Lau Island is a limestone island which is what makes the caves here such a unique sight in this island group.
Learn more about the Yasawa Islands and how to organise a trip there in The Complete Travel Guide to the Yasawa Islands.
Seaplane Tours to the Sawa-i-Lau Caves from the Mainland (Viti Levu)
Being some 100km north of Viti Levu’s main port for trips to the Yasawa Islands, the only plausible way to see the Sawa-i-Lau Caves in a day from the mainland is on a seaplane excursion.
One such option is with Turtle Airways, offering Nadi/Denarau resort pick-up before embarking on a seaplane journey to the Sawa-i-Lau Caves. The six-hour day trip includes swimming and snorkelling in the caves, as well as a visit to a Fijian village, cultural entertainment, lunch and a visit to a shell market. Find out more about the tour on Viator or Tripadvisor.
South Pacific Air also offers a seaplane tour with a visit to the Sawa-i-Lau Caves included. Take a scenic flight from Nadi to Nanuya Island Resort where you’ll take a boat out to the caves. After the experience, you’ll be treated to a two-course lunch at the resort before the trip back to the mainland. Discover more about the experience on Viator or Tripadvisor.
Yasawa Islands Resorts with Trips to the Sawa-i-Lau Caves
A cluster of resorts can be found within a short boat ride from the Sawa-i-Lau Caves. That’s what makes the journey to the caves such as staple of the Yasawa Islands. Check out the list below for all of the resorts that offer trips to the caves.
- Blue Lagoon Beach Resort
- Oarman’s Bay Lodge
- Boathouse Nanuya
- Nanuya Island Resort
- Yasawa Island Resort & Spa
- Long Beach Escape
- Coralview Island Resort
- Waitui Basecamp
- Safe Landing Eco-Lodge
- Navutu Stars Resort
Trips to the Sawa-i-Lau Caves from these Yasawa Islands’ resorts tend to have a charge to visit and include boat transportation.
Small-Ship Cruises Including the Sawa-i-Lau Caves
One final way to visit the Sawa-i-Lau Caves in Fiji is on a small-ship cruise of the Yasawa Islands. There are two companies offering multi-day cruises of this island group with the Sawa-i-Lau Caves included on the itinerary.
Captain Cook Cruises provides several all-inclusive cruises across the Mamanuca and Yasawa Islands. The Sawa-i-Lau Caves is included in the itinerary of their 4-Night Northern Yasawa Islands Cruise and 7-Night Mamanuca & Yasawa Islands Cruise. Find out more about the cruises on Viator and Tripadvisor.
Another small-ship cruise option is with Blue Lagoon Cruises. Their adults-only cruises take you to the northern reaches of the Yasawa Islands where the Sawa-i-Lau Caves is a highlight. Look out for the 4-Night Wanderer Cruise and 7-Night Escape to Paradise Cruise. Learn more about these trips on Viator and Tripadvisor.
Compare these two companies further in The Guide to Cruises Around Fiji.