Rustic Pathways | Fiji

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For over 20 years Rustic Pathways has built lasting relationships and genuine friendships with our partner villages. In Fiji, you will have the opportunity to explore the remote beaches and coral reefs in the breathtaking Yasawa Islands, live with a family in the villages of the Highlands, or take part in a unique marine conservation program and SCUBA certification. In these fully immersive programs you will participate in fabulous service initiatives, but there are also programs that are more focused on adventure and exploration.

“The South Pacific has always held a romantic allure of adventure and ancient traditions for many people...Everyone loves the clear, warm waters and tropical islands of Fiji, but for me it’s the people that keep me coming back--their loving attachment to their land, the surrounding ocean, and to each other. Their warmth and exuberant enthusiasm for life are contagious.”
--Evan Wells, Fiji Country Director

Questions & Answers

Hey Sarah! I had the exact same question when embarking on my trip to Fiji. Being my first Rustic trip I followed the packing list completely. Which you should do because some of my friends did not have some of the stuff I had. I wish I brought more lounging, comfy clothing. Everything says on the website "no leggings", but everyone wore leggings and comfy lounging clothes when we weren't in...
I used a huge duffel bag, along with a day pack on all of the Rustic trips that I went on. I found that to work very well rather than a suitcase, as a suitcase would be harder to lug around, and duffels are made to carry easily.
I wouldn't consider the experience as a "tour group feel" whatsoever. You get really close with the other travelers, as you spend all day every day with them. There are activities put in place to break some ice and learn names, but after that initial "awkward" stage of not knowing anyone else, you'll find that you bond with the other kids really easily. Everyone in the group doesn't want to "tour"...
Yes! The entire time I never questioned anything that was going on in terms of my safety. When we stayed on SomoSomo island there was a guard who watched our camp site throughout the entire night.


based on 49 reviews
  • Impact 9.1
  • Support 9.3
  • Fun 8.9
  • Value 8.8
  • Safety 9.1
  • Growth 0
  • Support 0
  • Fun 0
  • Housing 0
  • Safety 0
Showing 46 - 49 of 49
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Eye Opening

Fiji was amazing and it was beautiful but the best part of the trip was living in a village like the Malkati village, it changed my life. The people were always so friendly and even though they didn't have much they were always smiling. Living in their houses and eating the food they eat and getting used to only having an hour of electricity a day showed me how lucky I was. Doing research on the coral reefs was amazing. The reefs were beautiful and some of the best I have seen. This program changed my life. I would highly recommend this program or any other Rustic Pathways program

Yes, I recommend
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Village of Malakati, Fiji Islands: The GREATESTS place on earth.

One of the 3 weeks I spent in Fiji was spent in the extremely remote village Malakati, on Nacula Islands. This place perfectly exemplifies what one would think of Fiji. Serene beaches, laid back lifestyle, and overall beauty. However, Malakati was that and much much more. While I was there I interacted with some of the most amazing people I have ever met. The villagers were so welcoming, someone so lost here in America. What made it special for me was that everyone who lived there wanted to be your friend, and tell you stories, and listen to your stories. I remember one night specifically where we had a bonfire on the beach, and instead of staying with the entire group, I went off with these 2 native teenagers, and for about an hour all I did was tell them stories about New York City, and they were fascinated. The villagers are definitely what made my trip. Many of them even remember my name when I came back a week later on my next trip, some of them could barely speak english but they could say my name, and it was simply heart warming. During the day we would sit out on the beach watching the palm trees sway, and listening to the rhythm of the ocean, all while learning about marine and environmental conservation efforts. Later we would snorkel the reef conducting research about the life and stability of the reef and fish in the area. I got community service hours for snorkeling!!!! It was fantastic. After a long day of work, we would see the kids come home from school on a boat, and jump into the water with us, and be so excited, its almost indescribable. What really made the entire overall trip special was the immersion. We didn't stay at a holiday inn. This village was a 5 hour boat ride from the main land. Almost as far out into the middle of nowhere as possible, and it felt like pure freedom. While there we stayed in traditional houses called burees made out of sticks, and branches and slept on bamboo mats. We didn't have french toast or waffles for breakfast, we had fresh fruits and vegetables that the amazing cook had plucked only hours before. We had pirahna! I spent a day with the chief of the village, and I my favorite kid, joevesa, is the future chief. Fiji is such an amazing place, and this trip changed my life by showing me all the differences, and absolute perfection that our vast world has to offer. Because when it comes down to it, thats what Malakati is, pure perfection.

Yes, I recommend
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This program is absolutely life changing. Rather than being down in the tourist areas experiencing and "Americanized Vacation" this program allows you to live day by day as a true Fijian does. The people that you meet and the relationships that you build are unlike any connection you have ever made before with another human being. We stayed in Buras on the farm and worked on the farm almost every morning. The work is difficult but the strength built is unimaginable. The experiences in this program allow you to see the impact that you are making and see the struggle that these villagers deal with on a day to day basis. Other days we stayed in host families in the Nasivicoso Village. The families that allow you into their homes are beyond kind and loving. They take you in as if you are their own child. During my stay I got extremely sick and my Nae Nae (Host Mom) looked after me as she would for her own child. From the amazing hikes you will take to the waterfalls and highest points in the land, to the interactions and laughter you will share in the schools, to having tea time every evening at 4pm, to Kava ceremonies with your friends and family, to showering in the river, to having a fresh coconut with a bamboo straw, to just relaxing in the peaceful scenery under "Fiji Time", there will never be a dull moment.

Yes, I recommend
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Miss it every day

I don't even know where to begin. I have loved the Rustic trips I've been on, they've all been different, but all great in their own ways (Costa Rica, Australia, Fiji, India). The people in Fiji are great--I became friends with a lot of the Fijian staff. The country itself is also breathtaking--literally. It's exquisite.
We were split up into groups and each day did volunteer (my group mostly worked in schools), and the weekend consisted of one day going to Koropita and the other day an optional trip where you get to pick between things like skydiving, going to the beach, island hopping, and much more. This was in 2008, so I know things have changed, but I'm certain only for the better.
I still keep in contact with some of the friends I met there and see them occasionally (living all over the country makes that a little difficult though).
Truly life-changing experience, truly unforgettable, and is definitely something different from the every day hustle and bustle of life in your town.

Yes, I recommend


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About Rustic Pathways

Travel and volunteer abroad with Rustic Pathways to one of many exotic locations.

We take students on unique, rewarding, and safe programs to some of the world's friendliest and fascinating countries. Immerse yourself in a new culture, work on...