The Republic of the Fiji Islands is an island nation in the South Pacific Ocean east of Vanuatu, west of Tonga and south of Tuvalu. The country occupies an archipelago of about 322 islands, of which 106 are permanently inhabited, and 522 islets. It covers about 1.3 million square kilometers of the South Pacific Ocean. The two major islands are Viti Levu and Vanua Levu. After nearly a century as British colony and the British brought over Indian contract labourers, Fiji became independent in 1970. Today Fiji has one of the most developed economies of the Pacific islands.
Viti Levu hosts the capital city of Suva, and is home to nearly three quarters of the population. Other important towns include Nadi (the location of the international airport), and the second city -Lautoka (the location of a large sugar mill and a seaport). The main towns on Vanua Levu are Labasa and Savusavu. Other islands and island groups include Taveuni and Kadavu (the third and fourth largest islands respectively), the Mamanuca Group (just outside Nadi) and Yasawa Group, which are popular tourist destinations, the Lomaiviti Group, outside of Suva, and the remote Lau Group. Rotuma, some 500 kilometres (310 mi) north of the archipelago, has a special administrative status in Fiji. Fiji’s nearest neighbour is Tonga. The climate in Fiji is tropical and warm most of the year round.
Fiji’s culture is a rich mosaic of indigenous, Indian, Chinese and European traditions, comprising social polity, language, food (based mainly from the sea, casava, dalo & other vegetables), costume, belief systems, architecture, arts, craft, music, dance and sports.
The indigenous culture is very much active and living, and is a part of everyday life for the majority of the population. However, it has evolved with the introduction of old cultures like the Indian and Chinese ones, as well as a large influence from Europe, and from various Pacific neighbors of Fiji, mainly the Tongan and Rotuman. The culture of Fiji has created a unique communal and national identity.
With hundreds of Fiji Islands to visit, there is plenty to see and do on your Fiji Vacation. Snorkel and Scuba dive in some of the worlds most beautiful tropical reefs, kayak along the coast line, or hike through one of the many tropical rain forests, the Fiji Islands have it all!