Fiji is an archipelago of over 300 islands (about 100 are inhabited) scattered across 200,000 square miles of ocean. The islands are primarily volcanic in origin with high rugged terrain. Other smaller islands are of coral or limestone origin. The largest island and population center is Viti Levu, and Fiji's international airport is located at Nadi in the north-west. Fiji is blue lagoons, stunning white beaches, colorful fish-filled reefs, lush forests, and is home to around 780,000 friendly people. The population consists of approximately 50% Fijians, 46% Indians with the remainder being European, Rotuman, Chinese, and other Pacific Islanders.
Fiji enjoys a warm and pleasant temperature throughout the year - average 72°F in the mild, dry season of May through October, and 78.5°F in the warm, wetter season of November through April. Dress for Fiji is cool and casual, though swimsuits and brief attire should be confined to beaches and hotel swimming pools. Fiji Weather
A current passport valid for at least six months from the date of
entry is required to enter Fiji. Visas are not normally required
if you are a US citizen. You must, however, possess an onward ticket
out of the country. Permits are granted at the airport on arrival
for a stay of up to four months and may be extended for up to six
months. Fiji is a healthy country, free from most tropical diseases.
Inoculations are not required unless a traveler is entering from
a designated infected area. Passengers 16 years and over leaving
Fiji must pay a departure tax of F$30.00 (Fijian currency).
Fiji is serviced by major commercial banks: ANZ Bank, Bank of Baroda,
National Bank of Fiji and Westpac Banking Corporation. Note: National
Bank of Fiji is the only bank in Taveuni and credit card cash advances
are not available on the island. Normal banking hours are from 9:30
a.m. to 3:00 p.m., Monday through Thursday, with late closing on
Friday at 4:00 p.m. ANZ Bank operates a 24-hour service at Nadi
International Airport. Legal tender is the Fijian dollar. Other
main world currencies are accepted in Fiji. Most major credit cards
are accepted in Fiji. Tipping is not encouraged in Fiji but you
can leave a gratuity for excellent service if you wish. Convert
Your Currency to Fijian Dollars at the Currency Converter
Time Zones / Business Hours
Fiji time is 12 hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time. Customary office hours are 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday with an hour lunch usually between 1:00 and 2:00 p.m.
Most stores, food markets and handicraft shops are open from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday, and until 1:00 p.m. on Saturday. There is no trading on Sunday. Bargaining is quite acceptable among shopkeepers and stallholders, but not in major department stores, grocery stores, hotels or resorts where prices are set.
Fiji's multi-cultural population is mirrored in its cuisine. Restaurants, clubs and hotels throughout Fiji offer a wide range of food including traditional Fijian, Indian and Chinese. Fiji's larger towns and cities have cinemas and nightclubs. Special dances are usually held on weekends.
There are eight public holidays in Fiji each year: New Year's Day; Easter Monday; the Queen's Birthday in June; a Bank Holiday and the Prophet Mohammed's Birthday in August; Fiji Independence Day in October; Christmas and Boxing Day in December. There are several festivals held each year in Fiji: The Bula Festival takes place in Nadi in July; The Sugar Festival is held in Lautoka in September; The Hibiscus Festival is Fiji's biggest carnival. The week long event is usually held during the month of November in Suva; The Diwali Festival or Hindu Festival of Lights takes place in November and is enjoyed by everyone in Fiji.
From Nadi, a variety of Fijian domestic air carriers provide service to smaller islands. A current driver's license from your country of residence or an international driving permit is all that is needed to drive in Fiji. Fiji drives on the left side of the road. Hertz, Avis, Budget, Thrifty and locally-owned rental car companies are represented at hotels, Nadi International Airport, Suva, Lautoka and other centers. Taxis are plentiful. Travel is cheap and enjoyable aboard open-air buses on Viti Levu, Vanua Levu, Taveuni and Ovalau. Ferries operate from Viti Levu to many of the outer islands.
Throughout Fiji the electrical current is 240 volts/50 cycles. Most hotels have a 110 volt converter for razors and hair dryers. Drinking water in Fiji is treated, however we would advise boiling the water first or preferably drinking bottled water.
Hospitals are located in Fiji's main centers. There is a minimal hospital charge for patients who are not citizens of Fiji. Private medical practitioners, dentists and opticians are listed in the telephone directory. Most pharmacies are open from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday.
Dial 911 in all main towns and cities for emergency fire, police or ambulance calls.
Aqua-Trek Dive Travel Services in Fiji:
Phone (679) 670-2413,
Fax (679) 670-2412
The American Embassy in Suva:
Fax (679) 330-0081.