Diving in Fiji

May 5, 2004
Outside Magazine
Week of February 28-March 6, 1996
Diving in Fiji
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Diving in Fiji
Q: We're planning our honeymoon in Fiji. What do you recommend as the best island resort for accommodations and diving in Fiji?
Mary Ann Perez
Sunnyvale, CA
Fiji: The ultimate South Pacific idyll
A: Within the 330-island Fijian archipelago, Vanua Levu (3,000 square miles), Taveuni (166 square miles), and smaller islands in the north have the least-traveled beaches and the best snorkeling and diving. Be forewarned: The ultimate South Pacific idyll won't come cheap, but the good news is that Fijian hotels tend to treat all travelers like royalty.

If diving's your main passion, book yourself into Cousteau Fiji Islands Resort on Vanua Levu's Savusavu Bay where it meets the Koro Sea. Jean-Michel and partners' new playground runs a top-notch PADI dive and water-sports operation with a full-on photo lab, along with sailboats and kayaks. On occasion, the reefmeister himself leads dives or rainforest hikes to misting waterfalls. A night in one of the resort's 20 plush bures, each with floor-to-ceiling windows and well-stocked minibars, will run you $275-$375, including breakfast and all activities except diving. Call 800-268-7832 for more details.

If you're tempted to try your luck at saltwater fly-fishing in between dives, check out Matagi Island, a horseshoe-shaped sliver six miles from Taveuni's northeast coast. Its eponymous 240-acre resort houses guests in ten bures or in a tree house 30 feet off the ground (doubles, $160-$240 per night). Two dive boats make morning runs each day to coral-covered drop-offs like Purple Wall and Golden Dream (two-tank dive, $75 per person). In the afternoons, you can fool around with Hobie Cats and sailboards or test the resort's handmade flies on king mackerel and dogtooth tuna. For more information, call 800-362-8244.

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