Top things to do in the yasawa islands
Visit the Sawa-i-Lau CavesNo trip to the Yasawa islands is complete without a stopover at the outstanding Sawa-i-Lau caves in the northern part of the chain. Both limestone caverns are dominated by luminous saltwater swimming pools; the first lit by a natural overhead vent and the second, more secretive cave, only accessed by an underwater tunnel. Steeped in mystery and local legend, they are an extremely popular daytrip destination. Staying in the area gets you there early with a much better chance of avoiding the crowds.
Northern Yasawa Resorts
Pacific Island Air (Day Trip)
Swim with Manta RaysBetween the months of May and October, majestic manta rays gather in a small, shallow channel off Drawaqa island to feed. Watchers send out rhythmic drumbeats to signal their arrival on the high tide and get people in the water. Notoriously mysterious, there are only a few places in the world where you can swim with these gentle giants so make sure you add it to your holiday hitlist. As a globally vulnerable species, mantas are protected under Fijian law and their activity in the channel is regulated and studied by the Manta Trust.
Manta Island Resort
Awesome Adventures (Day Trip)
Pacific Island Air (Day Trip)
Conservation DivesIn addition to their incredible shark and manta ray encounters, the Barefoot Collection resorts at Kuata and Manta offer their guests dives with a difference. On one of their conservation dives you’ll get hands-on experience planting corals, cleaning clams in a nursery or hunting Crown of Thorns starfish pests on the reef. If you’ve never done it before, it’s incredibly rewarding and a whole new way to see the ocean.
Sky-High Scenic ToursNo doubt, some of the best views of this stunning island group are from the air. Book a scenic seaplane or helicopter tour with your partner to get jaw-dropping birds-eye views of the island and reef mosaics from every single angle.
Your pilot will fly over some of the outer islands remote beaches while pointing out all the iconic sites. Even better, combine the sweet aerial views with a surprise picnic on a secluded beach such as the Mana sand cay for that fine touch of romance.
Pacific Island Air
Sky-High Scenic Tours
Go HikingGetting beyond your beach bungalow is a one of the best ways to spend your days in the Yasawa islands. There are deserted beaches to discover, scenic lookouts to swoon over and romantic sunset summits to conquer.
The rocky peak at Waya Lailai in the southern Yasawas is particularly picturesque but anywhere along the island chain will give you spectacular view of the region’s natural beauty.
Just ask your resort to point out all the best hiking trails. It can get really hot out there, so don’t forget to double up on sunscreen, grab lots of water and let your resort know before you head out.
Cruising the Islands
Cruising is the best way to really explore the entire Yasawa Island.
Small cruise ships running 4-7day itineraries ply their way through this spectacular chain, dropping anchor off a new island every day. You’ll spend magical mornings snorkelling colourful coral reefs, sunbathing on deserted beaches or dining under the stars.
Short on time? Just hop aboard a day cruise to islands where you can snorkel and you may be in luck to snorkel with mantas. Or do it in style and plot your own course with a yacht charter out of Port Denarau.
Day trip Cruises
Yacht / Boat Charters
Volunteer with Vinaka FijiAs far as scenic work locations go, it doesn’t get much better than the Yasawa islands. Sweet island views go with the job when you sign up as a volunteer with Vinaka Fiji. Work stints run from 1 week to 6 months on programs relating to education, livelihoods and conservation. Besides the memories, you’ll make lots of local friends teaching kids to read, installing village water tanks or ridding the reef of marine pests. And you can use your downtime to fit in a dive course (or two), explore the exotic Sawa-i-Lau caves or simply top up your tan with a well-deserved beach day. Apply now!
South Sea Cruises