The Guide to Budget Travel in Fiji
You’d think with its beautiful white sand beaches, private islands surrounded by crystal clear waters, and hundreds of resorts, Fiji was an island destination reserved for the wealthy. Honestly, that’s just not true, as Fiji also has an awesome array of budget resorts that happen to be in five-star locations. Yes, you can get your island resort fix in Fiji on a budget, but you can also enjoy a real backpacking experience travelling through the Fijian villages and Indo-Fijian towns of the main island and island-hopping the coral atolls and volcanic islands of the outer islands. So get your trip to Fiji started with the help of this complete guide to Fiji on a budget!
Free and Cheap Things to Do in Fiji
- Snorkel! Snorkel until your heart’s content!
- Experience a kava ceremony
- Hit the hiking trails of Fiji’s national parks
- Get out on the water in a kayak or stand-up paddleboard
- Wander through The Garden of the Sleeping Giant
- Experience a local church service
- Take part in a Fijian cooking class
- Visit a Fijian village
- Explore Fiji’s historical sites
- Visit Fiji’s amazing waterfalls.
For more suggestions and information on each activity, check out the 20 Free & Cheap Things to Do in Fiji.
Budget Travel in Viti Levu
All adventures in Fiji start in Viti Levu, Fiji’s largest island and home to Nadi International Airport. For travellers on a budget, it’s also an amazing island to explore presenting many surprises that outsiders don’t realise Fiji has, between inland white water rafting to spectacular waterfall hikes.
Staying on the mainland also allows travellers to keep transport costs low, especially with bus transport being so cheap in Fiji. There are many spectacular regions to explore across Viti Levu, which can be enjoyed through road tripping or simply staying put in a relaxing resort.
Nadi, Denarau and the Coral Coast
Nadi, Denarau and the Coral Coast are the closest regions to Nadi International Airport, making them a great option to visit if you’re on limited time in Fiji. Nadi presents many exciting attractions to visit between orchid gardens, hot springs, Hindu temples and the bustling markets. Check out The Guide to Nadi on a Budget to learn more about visiting.
Denarau is a little expensive, being home to only five-star resorts and luxury apartments, but it’s worth a day trip to check out the resorts, the small town there and/or hop on one of the many island cruises. See The Guide to Denarau Island on a Budget to learn more.
The Coral Coast, on the other hand, has several affordable resorts and accommodations lining the beaches and reefs of Viti Levu’s southern coast. Learn more in The Guide to the Coral Coast on a Budget.
Pacific Harbour, Suva and the Suncoast
These regions make up the northern and eastern sides of Viti Levu, which are less-visited by tourists but no less awesome. The Pacific Harbour is dubbed the “adventure capital of Fiji” thanks to its river jet boat rides, white water rafting, scuba diving with sharks, jet ski safaris and more. While they are more of your big-ticket items, check out The Guide to Beqa & Pacific Harbour on a Budget for some of the cheaper experiences there.
Suva is the capital of Fiji, where sightseeing in the colonial-style town is free to enjoy. The Colo-i-Suva Forest Park just inland from the town is also worth discovering with its amazing waterfalls and swimming holes. See The Guide to Suva on a Budget for more ideas.
Finally, the Suncoast is the northern region of Fiji, which is where you can get well of the tourist trail, stay at a budget lodge on Nananu-i-Ra Island and visit picturesque Fijian villages. Learn more in The Guide to the Suncoast on a Budget.
Budget Travel in the Mamanuca and Yasawa Islands
If you’re coming to Fiji with the idea of staying on a small tropical island with swaying palm trees and sandy beaches, then set your sights on the Mamanuca and the Yasawa Islands. Being the closest island groups to Nadi International Airport, overwater travel is less expensive than flying to some of the other outer islands.
The Mamanuca Islands has a great selection of budget resorts just a 30 minute to 1-hour ferry journey from the mainland. The resorts here keep your budget holiday simple, providing free access to all their watersports equipment, as well as other complimentary activities like cultural shows, kava ceremonies, crafting lessons, swimming pools, cocktail mixing lessons and more. Check out The Guide to the Mamanuca Islands on a Budget for more information.
The Yasawa Islands are a popular island-hopping backpacker destination thanks to the array of budget resorts with dorm rooms combined with a hop-on hop-off ferry in the region. Alternatively, the Yasawa Islands makes a good destination for remote village homestays. See The Guide to the Yasawa Islands on a Budget to help plan your trip.
Budget Travel in Vanua Levu and Taveuni
If you have the budget to fly (or ferry) to Fiji’s lesser-visited islands, then it’s absolutely worth doing. Vanua Levu and Taveuni are the northern islands of Fiji, famous for their pristine jungle landscapes and amazing coral reefs. What’s more, the two islands are connected by a cheap ferry so there’s no excuse not to visit both!
Fiji’s second-largest island promises a more off-the-beaten-track experience than its sister island, Viti Levu. With sensational snorkelling locations, easy ways to immerse in the Fijian culture and bustling towns with plenty of free or cheap attractions, you’ll find plenty to do on the island of Vanua Levu. See The Guide to Vanua Levu on a Budget for more information.
Discover some of the best eco experiences Fiji has to offer in Taveuni. What’s more, it is an extremely affordable island to explore, as the main attractions will only gently chip away at your budget. The attractions include hikes in the Bouma National Heritage Park, visiting stunning waterfalls, snorkelling in marine reserves, visiting pearl farms, seeing awesome blowholes and more. Check out The Guide to Taveuni on a Budget to learn more.
Budget Travel in Kadavu, the Lomaiviti and Lau Islands
And for the real adventurous backpackers, see a side of Fiji that hasn’t changed for hundreds of years in Kadavu, the Lomaiviti Islands and the Lau Islands.
This remote island about 100km (62 miles) from Viti Levu is certainly an off-the-beaten-track destination in Fiji. While Kadavu provides few budget accommodations due to its remoteness, you might just think of the exceptional Great Astrolabe Reef with amazing underwater wildlife (including manta rays), the myriad of hiking trails in forests where there are birds you’ll only see on this island, and the 75 coastal villages with some unique traditions are worth paying the extra dough. Learn more about this southern island group in The Guide to Kadavu on a Budget.
In the Lomaiviti Islands, it’s almost impossible NOT to travel on a budget! Most accommodations are very affordable and whatever is not free is extremely cheap thanks to the real local guides who are more passionate about sharing their island than milking tourists. There’s oh-so-much to explore in between the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Levuka, the dramatic volcanic crater village of Lovoni, the colourful underwater seascape, and the exciting islands to explore by kayak… Check out The Guide to the Lomaiviti Islands on a Budget to learn more.
The final frontier in Fiji is the Lau Islands, a sparse scattering of around 60 islands on the eastern side of the Fiji archipelago. The way to explore these islands on a budget would be to hop on one of the cargo ships making the rounds from Suva. A couple of the islands have guesthouse accommodations. Learn more in The Complete Guide to the Lau Islands.