An exotic tropical paradise might seem a destination better suited to honeymoons and romantic getaways, but Fiji is just as appealing for family travel. Resorts are geared to children of all ages with kids’ clubs, sports and programs introducing children to local culture.
Fijians are excellent hosts, a naturally friendly people who greet everyone with “Bula!” Kids immediately feel welcome and can easily converse with locals, who speak excellent English. Resorts, such as Jean-Michel Cousteau Resort, Fiji, immerse families in local culture with activities incorporating local crafts and traditions.
One of the most popular experiences is an afternoon spent visiting a village of traditional thatched-roof homes and meeting the people who live there. While visiting a village school, children can meet students their own age and become pen pals to continue their links with Fiji after they return home.
The tropical waters are a perfect place to learn kayaking, snorkeling or paddleboarding, and resorts give lessons to guests of all ages. Many resorts offer guests free use of water sports equipment. Or, guests can take a guided standup paddleboarding tour through the unique ecosystem of Natewa Bay or to one of the outer atolls.
The lively Suva Market is a place to mingle in local life and, at Kula Eco Park, kids can learn about local wildlife; meeting (and even holding) iguanas; and seeing the Kula, Fiji’s national bird. The free water park is popular on a hot day.
Fiji’s natural wonders provide more activities, such as hikes through the tropical forests to waterfalls. Take mud baths in Sabeto Hot Springs or walk on trails among parabolic sand dunes reaching almost 200 feet high at Sigatoka Sand Dunes National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage site.
Getting around is easy. You can rent a car (there is little traffic and drivers are polite), take a tour, hire taxis or ride local buses. Kids love these buses, with wide-open sides and friendly fellow passengers saying “Bula” as they board. A few days there and kids will begin to say “Bula” to everyone, too.
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