2 weeks in Tonga, Fiji and Samoa

Nature
The wow factor for nature - does it show nature at its best? Doesn't need to be the wilder-beast migration or diving with hundreds of hammerheads. Rather make you pause as you realise just how awesome the natural world can be
10
Culture
How much does this experience showcase some of the better and finer things that us humans can offer? Sure, it can be ancient ruins and renaissance churches, but it can also be festivals or soaking up some of the great modern cities of the world
4
Fun factor/activity
Very simple - was it fun? This is usually linked in with doing some kind of activity - i mean, walking along some cliffs is nice, but paragliding from them, now that is fun. Its a vastly underrated factor in a truly great experience
9
Avoid the crowds
Big tour groups and being surrounded by loud fellow tourists can sap the life out of even the greatest of travel experiences. This score is to reflect just how much you can avoid this. But. . . The score also takes into account if the crowds actually add to the experience, such as with a party town or a bustling food market
7
World famous
How world famous is the experience?
5
unique
How hard is it to have a similar experience in other places round the world?
7
Overall Score
The highest score of nature or culture, + fun factor, + avoid the crowds, + the highest score of world famous or unique. Then turned into a score out of 100. More details at the bottom of the page
82 *What the scores mean and where do they come from
continent
Oceania
country
Fiji / Samoa / Tonga
Length of time
2-4 weeks
Rough cost
Obviously people have different tastes, so this will depend on those tastes, but this is a rough idea of price of the whole experience based on 2 people able to split the accommodation costs and excluding travel there and back
$ 3,000
Time of year visited
July
Primary Tags
Click on any of the tags to see all travel experiences with the same tag
RANKING
How this travel experience ranks compared to all the other experiences on this site
22nd/334 This travel experience's ranking compared to all the other experiences on this site
Top 10% SUMMARY RATING: Unmissable

Summary

Moving from one spot of paradise to the next; super friendly people; picture perfect spots that scream “I want to go!”; and having some truly unforgettable adrenaline-throbbing moments by swimming with Humpback Whales and diving with the Tiger Sharks.  For sure Fiji, Tonga and Samoa are in the middle of nowhere, but this is a world class 2 weeks

Below I’ve given the itinerary we took and the links to the individual entries on each of the travel experiences

highlights

#1 Staying in a true bit of paradise in the middle of the Pacific. Various options, but Vava'u in Tonga stood out

#2 Swimming with Humpback Whales in Tonga!

#3 Jumping into the picture-perfect Sua Ocean Trench in Samoa

#4 Diving up close with Tiger Sharks just off Beqa Island in Fiji

#5 Seeing the beautiful and luscious interior of Fiji on a white-water rafting trip down the Navua River

#6 Kayaking to the nearby islands in the Vava'u island chain and seeing one picture perfect spot after another

#7 Diving with 20+ Bull Sharks near Beqa Island in Fiji . . . terrifying

#8 Some more chilled out diving in the beautiful reefs that surround these islands

#9 The peaceful waters that surround Beqa Island and being followed home by pods of dolphins

#10 Enjoying lunches in some gorgeous spots

Rough itinerary

Day 1-6 Tonga.  Unforgettable Swimming with Humpback Whales and relaxing in paradise in Vava’u for 6 days / 5 nights.  You most likely will fly to Vava’u in Tonga via Nadi in Fiji, so there is the option to spend a couple of nights there, especially after the long flight and to account for flight times down to Tonga

Day 6 – fly from Vava’u back to Fiji, make your way to Pacific Harbour on the south coast via taxi and get a boat over to Beqa Island (the resort on the island will have someone to bring you)

Day 7-9 -Fiji.  Diving with bull and tiger sharks off Beqa Island. Don’t watch Jaws beforehand.  Leave on the afternoon of the 9th day back to Pacific Harbour

Day 10 – Fiji.  White rafting on the Navua River, near Pacific Harbour

Day 11 – fly from Fiji to Samoa and stay somewhere on the south coast

Day 12-15 – Samoa.  Chill out driving around the island, enjoying the great food, and visiting the picture perfect The Sua Ocean Trench at the end of the world

Travel Tips

  • Be prepared for Island Time – its a real thing.  Stuff very rarely starts on time, but, if you give it a chance, you may start to enjoy the super laid back attitude of the Pacific Islanders
  • Also be prepared for quite undeveloped spots – in particular some of the local airports
  • Go to fly quite a bit unfortunately.  Definitely there (did anyone mention these  places are in the middle of the Pacific?), but also between islands where you have 4 in total based on this itinerary, and having to go back through Fiji each time
  • Costs – rough breakdown per person is (hotels split between 2):
    • Tonga – staying in the Treasure Island Eco-Resort on ‘Eua’iki Island US$1400
    • Fiji – diving and staying in Beqa Island US$500; Rafting and local hotel US$300; transport US$100
    • Samoa – accommodation and driving around enjoying the sights US$250
    • Flights within the islands US$400

Experiences nearby

The below map shows experiences nearby with a colour that reflect the Overall Score of those experiences

Score Detail

Background - how many times have you asked someone what a travel experience was like and the response was "amazing" or "awesome"?  That response is nice to know, but it makes it hard to differentiate that experience compared to others.  That is exactly what these scores are trying to do - differentiate the experience by giving a score out of 10 based on 6 categories and then giving an overall experience score

This overall experience score is calculated by:  take the highest of the "Culture" or "Nature" score (1-10) + "Fun factor" (1-10) + "Avoiding the crowds" (1-10) + highest of the "Unique" or "World Famous score" (1-10).  Then convert into a score out of 100

Extra detail - the logic being that I find all of the 6 individual scores important, but I don't want to mark an experience down just because it doesn't cover both "Culture" and "Nature", or because it isn't both "World Famous" and "Unique".  Take the examples of Safari in The Serengeti and walking through Rome - they both appeal at opposite ends of the nature / culture spectrum, and you can have a fantastic time without needing to appeal to both sides.  So, their overall scores aren't penalized for their lack of one or the other, and I've done the same for "World Famous" vs "Unique".  But . . . I do think that the "Fun factor" of an experience is important, irrelevant of other factors, and so is "Avoiding the Crowds" (or where there are crowds that add to the experience).  So, both of these scores are standalone