Best Scuba Diving Vacation in Fiji: Rainbow Reef, Corals & More

A 14 day trip to Fiji 
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You feel weightless as the ocean carries through underwater mazes, which hide walls lined with coral and florescent fish in the waving tendrils of anemones. Hammerhead sharks linger around the murky depths, away from the reef, and majestic tiger sharks inch closer giving you an adrenaline rush. Your custom-tailored best scuba diving vacation in Fiji shows you the Rainbow Reef, coral, and much more. Wind through swaying trees on land and sea, witnessing waterfalls and lionfish, Tagimaucia flowers and soft coral. The endless majesty of the islands is yours to discover come mountains and high water.

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Most tours are customized for private travel.

General Information

Photos
Detailed Itinerary

Places Visited 

Pacific Harbour, Beqa Lagoon, Kadavu Island, Astrolabe Reef, Frigate Passage, Taveuni, Rainbow Reef, Great White Wall, Bouma Heritage National Park, Lake Tagimaucia, Waitabu Marine Park, Somosomo Strait Viti Levu

Departure Dates 

Dates are flexible and customizable for private departure.

Detailed Itinerary 

Day 1: Above the Water

As the flight descends into Viti Levu you look out the window and see the shimmering turquoise water encircling Fiji’s largest island. Vibrant reefs extend from a limestone framework barely visible beneath the water. The Pacific disappears behind rolling verdant hills that climb into rainforest clad mountains. Your private transfer awaits your arrival at the airport ready to escort you to Pacific Harbour. Tropical lushness encompasses the island. The scents of fresh grass and fertile soil shift into the sweet aroma of a sea breeze when you reach the Coral Coast. Mami Guns, a World War II bunker built by a New Zealand company continues to watch over Nadi Bay. The six-inch guns maintain their power overlooking the sensational panorama across the southwest coast, where the water reaches small stretches of gold sand beaches. You reach your resort accommodation in Pacific Harbour, dip your toes into the warm tropical South Pacific, and let the luxuries of your arrival overtake you.

What’s Included: breakfast, transfer

Day 2: Breathtaking View

The morning has yet to have washed over the water and the rainforest. Breakfast is filled with exotic fruits that remind you of the colors of a coral reef, vibrant with delicious reds and yellows. You bite into a freshly picked pineapple and revel in its juicy flavor. After the meal, your guide meets you at the hotel and escorts you to the harbor. Soon you have boarded the 35-foot boat and weighed anchor, venturing along the Pacific. The cool breeze blends with the refreshing sea mist splashing up from the boat’s speed.

You arrive at your dive site. The sun peeks over the horizon layering the sky with light. The salty aroma of the ocean is familiar and comforting. The wetsuit is snug until you jump into the water. You follow your guide down below the water’s surface to the Shark Reef Marine Reserve. Whitetip Reef Sharks and Sicklefin Lemon Sharks weave around the water. The sunlight pierces the water down to 120 feet deep.  Your guide gives you a signal indicating a tiger shark swimming above your head.

The shark can grow up to 16 feet long and is noticeable due to the dark striped pattern down the side of its body, similar to a tiger’s. Your heart is racing but your keep your breath steady and stable. The shark is close enough to touch, swimming past you with elegant movement. The water is lively with exotic fish in the open sea. But the tiger shark dominates your view.

What’s Included: breakfast, tour, accommodation

Day 3: Pacific Subaquatic Capital

Wake up to the soft sounds of the water lapping at the shore. The current is gentle at dawn. After breakfast, you once again make your way to the harbor, donning your wetsuit onboard the boat, and traveling to Beqa Lagoon. The area was once called the “Mecca of Pacific Diving,” filled submerged rock shelves, fringing coral reefs, and shipwrecks overtaken by sea life. The wet suit is a second home, making you feel more comfortable with it on, knowing that natural wonder awaits.

Once in the water you let the natural buoyancy diminish until you are fully submerged. Bequa lagoon is over 100 square miles and protected by protruding reefs stretching to out 18 miles from the shore. At Carpet Cove, you find an old Japanese fishing boat sunk in the mid-1990s, around 66 feet deep. Sponges and soft corals wrap around the outer reaches of the boat. Lionfish lurk in hidden crevices between coral and the ship. They can grow to almost 17 inches long with spines and stripes lining the body, swaying in the water with magnificent flamboyance.

What’s Included: breakfast, tour, accommodation

Day 4: Beautiful Backdrop

Today you can watch the sunlight rising over the Pacific. Fiji has a relaxed and tranquil pace, where the most important thing is enjoying the day. After breakfast, you are escorted to Suva airport for your flight to the Kadavu Islands. The islands are 62 miles south of Viti Levu, filled with untamed, mountainous rainforest against a background of pristine ocean. Villages across the islands subsist on local agriculture, raising crops suited for tropical conditions. The interior island contains as much allure spread throughout the rainforest as the waters do, stretching across the famous Astrolabe Reef. The crimson shining parrot soars through the jungle canopy, known locally as the Kadavu mask parrot. The parrot grows to a length of around 17 inches with a long tail and exuberant plumage. Their wings range from lush green to royal blue, with a vivacious crimson breast. Take your time to enjoy the island at a Fijian pace, relishing every moment.

What’s Included: breakfast, tour, transfer, accommodation

Day 5: Touchable Rays

Before sunrise you are out on the boat, putting on your suit that now feels like second skin, slick and firm. You arrive at Manta Reef, situated on the south side of the island. The manta ray can reach 23 feet in width, from wingtip to wingtip. The current brings in nutrients from around the water brushing against the reef, where the rays search for plankton. The ocean embraces you, letting you wade back and forth easily with the surrounding marine life. The rays glide through the ocean, looking more like flying birds in their winged movements. The tranquil water shimmers with light flashing across the rays’ striped bodies.

What’s Included: breakfast, tour, accommodation

Day 6: Position of the Sun

The Astrolabe once solved the ancient questions revolving around the stars, sky, and sun. After breakfast, you make your way to the water to experience the majesty of the Great Astrolabe Reef to view the colors, marine life, and how the refracted light casts off of the coral. The exceptional panorama opens up beyond the hard coral. The Naiqoro Passage stretches outwards to a vertical wall with a base almost 70 feet deep. The sandy slope dips another 50 feet deeper, brimming with anemones and soft coral. Purple is the dominant color, casting shades over the rich reds and sunshine oranges. Soft coral trees create a forest along the seafloor sprouting all around you rustling in the current. Sweetlips meander around the soft coral forest, popping out of the swaying tendrils with large spots, growing to 28 inches in length. Their undulated swimming pattern helps avoid predation by imitating a known hunter's movement. 

What’s Included: breakfast, tour, accommodation

Day 7: Best of the Unusual

The splendor of Kadavu has taken you under the trees and beneath the ocean surface. You have become more accustomed to the serene push and pull of the current than the natural weight of gravity. The waters call to you once more, taking you around the island for one last exceptional visit to the underwater sites around the reefs. Seafan Alley takes you along the western coast where you find a 264-foot islet off the coast, known as Nagigia Island. The shores are average a 10 feet above sea level brimming with small swells. The water glows indigo where the water drops quickly to depths.

Green sponges dominate, pulsing over stony porites coral. White-tailed damsels approach you curiously before shimmering away. In the deep water at around 66 feet, you can see the punctuated darkness through gaps in the reef. Your guide gives you a sign and points into the deep water. Hammerhead sharks circle the depths, their frame unmistakable in the water’s clarity. Upwards back near the shore hawksbill turtles scatter at your approach, flapping their fins and speeding across the coral, carrying their weight of an average of 180 pounds, but practically weightless in the water.

What’s Included: breakfast, tour, accommodation

Day 8: Shores of the Garden

The ride from Kadavu to Taveuni is fast and easy. Taveuni is known as the Garden Island, which you quickly come to understand. Rainforest encircles the shores and drapes over the hills, reaching high into the mountains. The second tallest summit in all of Fiji towers over the island coastline at 3,943 feet above sea level at the pinnacle of Des Voeux Peak. Clouds pass through the trees where the underbrush takes some of the moisture out of the sky. The scents of hibiscus and heliconias are fragrant.

Your private transfer meets you at the airport escorting you to a stunning resort situated between the forested palms and the water. The subtle lapping of the Pacific reminds you of your trip thus far, filled with sharks and sunken ships, feeling more like an underwater adventure than a beachside getaway. The sunshine is warm on your skin. You let the refreshing coolness of the Pacific wrap around your skin, sinking your feet deeper into the sand.

What’s Included: breakfast, transfer, accommodation

Day 9: Over the Rainbow

Along the Somosomo Strait, near Fiji’s third-largest island is the celebrated dive site of the Rainbow Reef. After breakfast, you board the boat the boat and venture off into the water for another exploration of the deep sea. The stunning wildlife of the ocean only gets more exciting, more colorful, and livelier with every journey. When you reach the site, the sunlight has spread across the azure sea surface. The clarity is uncanny. You dip into the water comfortably in your wetsuit, happy to be back in the water.

You splash into the sea, put your goggles on and mouthpiece in before descending. The Rainbow Reef is considered the soft coral capital. The current helps nudge you closer to the reef where large bushes of pink and orange span over a limestone support. The Coral Gardens is known for its closeness to the shores and the scenic boat ride along the way. Three streams once carried lava flow to the area but now are shelters for soft coral.

Triggerfish and surgeonfish feed around the first finger, one of the three streams, in abundance. Sandy areas divide the canals shaped by old lava flow. Schools of fish gather around the second stream, encircling the outreaching coils of hard coral. Yellowfin tuna can grow up to 94 inches long, swimming in abundance around you, their sickle-like fins protruding from their sleek bodies. There is endless life along the three historic lava streams ending at an 18-foot marker with a labyrinth of swim-troughs to wander through.

What’s Included: breakfast, tour, accommodation

Day 10: The Great Wall

The submarine world around Taveuni is as vibrant as the rainforest brimming across its hills and mountains. The palm trees cast shade over the beaches like the soft coral rises from the seafloor moving with the gentle wading water. You return to the Rainbow Reef today for a view of the bleached blossoming world of the Great White Wall. You have heard so much about the site since arriving in Taveuni, noting the different ways people have described their experience along the wall, from great to amazing! However, none of their words come close to the feeling coursing through you when you see the wall in front of you.

The sunlight turns the water iridescent. You find a cave entrance around 50 feet deep. Hard and soft coral entwine, casting the tubular entryway in calcite. Lionfish poke their heads out of the crevices, their fins waving in the current. At 82 feet, you exit the tunnel and come up close and personal with a snow-white wall dipping down into the dark depths. The deeper you travel, the more the wall changes, from blinding white to a dramatic lavender. There are few greater rewards than the natural treasures of the Rainbow Reef. 

What’s Included: breakfast, tour, accommodation

Day 11: Protected Waters

Waitabu Marine Park is connected to the overall protected landscape of Bouma Heritage National Park, encompassing 66 acres. The park contains over 298 species of hard coral and almost 1,200 different types of fish. The park was established in 1998 helping maintain the natural heritage of the aquatic landscape dear to the local culture and history. Marine life thrives around the vivacious hard and soft coral. Montiporas form in large circles resembling sand dollars. Today you scour the reef from the sea surface, allowing the current move you.

Snorkeling around the protected park provides you with a different view of the coastal areas around the island and the wondrous life along the reefs. Leather corals sprout like bushes from the seafloor. You spot giant clams wedged snugly between the hard coral, weighing as much as 440 pounds, often showing only its mantle. Bubbles occasionally escape from the clam and rise to the surface. In the absence of the wetsuit, you can feel how refreshing the water is beneath the sun’s heat showering over the ocean. 

What’s Included: breakfast, tour, accommodation

Day 12: Flowers from Above

The early morning wake up call comes once more, finding the sun barely peeling away the night. After a sweet and energizing breakfast, you make your way to the foothills of Des Voeux, following the trails up the mountain for a view of Lake Tagimoucia. This body of water is found 2,715 feet above sea level. The aroma of heliconia returns filtering a sweet floral scent around the pathway. The air is thick and warm, but the shade is comfortable beneath palm fronds and fern leaves.

The thick rainforest surrounds you in every direction, and the path winds continuously upwards. It is a different forest - different from the soft coral branches you saw earlier in the trip. These leaves sway in the breeze instead of in the current and gravity is a force you are familiar, but not necessarily happy, with. Then the tree line opens to an expanse of translucent water. Red and white flowers bloom along the shore; it is the Tagimoucia flower, for which the lake is named. You return to the tranquil scenery and find that whether above or below the water, Fiji is always filled with sensational surprises.   

What’s Included: breakfast, tour, accommodation

Day 13: Watching Waterfalls

The sun is cast higher into the sky than you are used to this morning, allowing yourself time to relax before venturing to Bouma Heritage National Park. The park protects around 80 percent of the island rainforest, along with including Waitabu Marine Park. You find the trail and notice its ease compared to the dense forest trail from the previous day. The park is known for its traditional villages, ancient ruins, and three majestic waterfalls thundering through the trees. The verdant trees blend with the aroma of fertile soil. The scent of freshly fallen rain is never far away.

You venture passed the first two waterfalls and onto the third, where some paths look far less worn from use. In parts the foliage overtakes the trail making the walk feel more adventurous than leisurely. A protruding boulder splits Upper Tavoro Falls into two streaming curtains cupped by surrounding rocks. The mist sprays into the air with refreshing ease. The natural pool ripples from the falls’ force. You dip your feet into the water to feel the cold mountain spring on your skin amidst the serene landscape of the protected forest.

What’s Included: breakfast, tour, accommodation

Day 14: Submerging to Emerging

At breakfast, you watch the sun glint off of the tropical fruit with renewed vigor reminding you once again of the spectacular coral you have spent the past two weeks searching out. You savor the final sweet flavors of mango and papaya before your private transfer meets you in the lobby of the resort. Your brief flight to Nadi has you at the airport with ample time to meet your connecting flight home. You have traversed the celebrated reefs around Fiji and discovered the emerald rainforests sweeping across the Garden Island, witnessing the true nature of land and sea.

What’s Included: breakfast, transfer

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Price

Price 

Zicasso recommends the following guidelines for customized Fiji tour packages, excluding international flights:

  • 5-star: USD $300 - $1,000+ per person per day
  • 4-star: Minimum USD $250 per person per day
  • 3-star: Minimum USD $200 per person per day

The customized package will include accommodations, airport transfers and other transportation within Fiji, guided tours or activities, unique experiences, trip planning, and 24X7 support during your trip.

Please inquire for a custom quote. The price is customized based on final accommodation choices, travel dates, and other custom preferences.