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More than 300 islands in the South Pacific and many distinct cultures — native Fijian, Chinese and more — make up the alluring tropical nation of Fiji. Viti Levu and Vanua Levu are the two largest islands, and many smaller islands are also worth considering. Known for its friendly people, lush foliage (many of which is found nowhere else in the world) and rich sea life, Fiji is the ideal destination for couples seeking castaway tranquility, an exotic culture, unspoiled beaches and dreamy thatched-roof bures (“boo-rays,” a word that means both bungalow and sanctuary).

Before You Go: Need-to-know info

Language: English
Entry requirements: Passport valid for at least three months post-departure
Currency: Fijian dollar
Flight time (to Nadi, Fiji): About 20 hours from New York City; 11.5 hours from LA
Getting around: Bus, taxi and ferry

When to Go: Fiji at its best

Best weather: Dry season, called Fiji Winter, from May to October
Best prices: October, May to June

What to Do

Enjoy the surroundings: The garden island of Taveuni, southeast of Vanua Levu, includes Mount Uluiqalau — notable because it lies at the 180th Meridian, 12 hours east and west from Greenwich, England — and the Bouma National Heritage Park. Here you can stroll the Lavena Coastal Walk or take the guided Vidawa Forest Walk, ending with a natural water slide and swim in the idyllic Bouma waterfalls, which was a rain forest movie set for Return to the Blue Lagoon. There’s plenty of nature off the coastline too — Jean-Michel Cousteau named Fiji the Soft Coral Capital of the World.

Drink Kava: Once used as part of a spiritual ceremony, this tea-like beverage brewed from the ground roots of a plant in the pepper family is now a mainstay at every social gathering. It’s tradition to clap once before you drink the Kava and three times after you’re finished.

Get a workout: Fiji offers terrain to suit every degree of athlete. Trek the Sigatoka sand dunes; hike Mt. Korobaba; tee off on palm-studded golf courses by the sea; or careen down the rock mazes of the Wainikoroiluva River on Viti Levu in a white-water raft.

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