The South Pacific Ocean is an unspoiled paradise offering a multitude of vacation options to visitors, but there are two that seem to be on the top of everyone’s priority list – Fiji and Tahiti.
Fiji and Tahiti may differ in the experience they offer including the culture and landscape. But, unsurprisingly, one will suit your taste more than the other. Although both offer gorgeous scenery and a memorable experience, the costs can rise, which means if you only have the budget to go to one of these destinations, you’ll have to make your trip count.
When planning your vacation there are many things to consider: budget, experiences, cultures, and cuisines, to make sure your trip is going to be worthwhile. In this article, we’ll explore both islands and see how they compare to help you make the right decision.
Fiji VS Tahiti: Things to See and Do
In the South Pacific Ocean, between Hawaii and Australia, is Fiji, an island nation consisting of over 300 islands. With two-thirds of the land unoccupied, Fiji is an untapped destination just waiting to be explored.
Fijians have done a good job of preserving the local community and culture and are incredibly hospitable and friendly to travelers. As soon as you step down from your flight you’ll hear greetings of ‘Bula’ which means life and good health.
Fiji has many islands and each of them offers a unique experience. It is famous for its white sand beaches, warm blue waters, and dense rainforests which you can easily find in its outer islands. The most popular islands are the Mamanuca and Yasawa which offer the best natural scenery and beaches in Fiji.
The Mamanuca Islands are open for tourists and easier to access than other islands in Fiji. It consists of 20 different remote islands with beautiful turquoise water and powdery beaches. If you’re planning on surfing then visit Mamanuca to catch some of the most famous surf breaks.
The second island Yasawa isn’t too difficult to access but island hopping in Fiji requires a bit of planning due to the terrain. You can reach Yasawa by plane, boat, or helicopter ride. Once here you’ll be immersed in the island as you’ll be stepping foot in some of the most remote and unspoiled islands on the planet.
Snorkeling & Scuba Diving
You’ll find a lot of scuba diving and snorkeling sites throughout the paradise islands of Fiji, but one of the best snorkeling spots we’ve found is at Taveuni called Rainbow Reef. Over here, the marine habitat will give you lots to explore underwater.
The thousands of species of fish make fishing a lot more enjoyable in Fiji. Whether you’re in for a relaxing fishing session or plan on catching big-game fish, the marine life is diverse with some of the most popular game fish species like mahimahi, yellowfin, tuna, blue and black marlin, wahoo, sailfish, and much more.
The lush forests and exotic wildlife can keep you exploring the main islands for hours. A trip to Fiji isn’t complete without going for a hike in the Fijian forests. If you’re island hopping you can take a boat ride to Taveuni and head on to the Bouma National Park, which offers a fantastic hiking trail and an opportunity to see some of the most fascinating species of colorful parrots. Over here you’ll also see the Tavoro Falls which is a group of 3 waterfall pools in which you can swim.
If you’re in for a challenge, march on to Mount Tomanivi, Fiji’s highest peak located in Viti Levu. Although it will be an exhausting journey, the gorgeous view from the top is going to make it all worth it.
For a bit more adventure, you can find spots that allow you to zipline through the rainforest canopies or skydive into the Fijian land that will give you a clear view of all the majestic beauty this pacific island has to offer.
Located in the heart of the south pacific ocean in French Polynesia is the Tahiti island. Tahiti compared to Fiji, is a single volcanic island whereas the latter consists of multiple volcanic islands.
For those looking for a once-in-a-lifetime journey to some of the most breathtaking places on the planet, visit Tahiti. With beautiful natural scenery, amazing marine life, botanical gardens, and exotic flora, it’s no secret that Tahiti is an island paradise.
One of the main aspects of Tahiti is that it is a gateway to the society islands of Bora Bora and Moorea. These two islands alone can be your ticket to a romantic getaway with your significant other or a memorable adventure.
Tahiti may not have the same gorgeous beaches as Fiji but it still has a few that are worth exploring.
One such beach is Plage de Toaroto, which is a fantastic white sand beach that stretches along the dazzling shoreline. It’s a great place for relaxing, sunbathing, and taking in the beautiful view of the Pacific.
Another great white sand beach is Vai’ava beach which is a pleasant spot for families and offers some great swimming and snorkeling spots. Apart from these two beaches, we suggest you also explore Lafayette beach which is a soft sand beach surrounded by volcanic rocks.
Snorkeling & Scuba Diving
Tahiti is a treasure trove for scuba divers and snorkelers.It has a variety of fish and reefs which makes snorkeling much more enjoyable. The amazing marine life offers a view of many black-tipped reef sharks, whales, tiger sharks, stingrays, and tropical fish.
There are also many PADI diving areas located throughout the French Polynesian islands which will help you learn snorkeling and deep blue diving. So, even if you don’t know how to swim, the friendly instructors at Tahiti will be more than happy to assist you. We’d suggest you try to learn how to swim if you don’t know how to make your trip much more enjoyable.
Both Fiji and Tahiti offer great surfing opportunities but the Teahupoo in Tahiti takes the crown. It is listed as one of the 10 deadliest waves to surf with even expert surfers only being able to surf for less than 15 minutes. The Teahupoo surf pumps some serious waves giving you massive air-time and some of the most memorable surfs.
If dangerous surfing isn’t your cup of tea, then you’ll probably want to avoid the heavy waves of Teahupoo. Fortunately, you’ll find many surf breaks for intermediates and beginners thanks to its sublime blue water waves.
When comparing Fiji with Tahiti for the fishing experience they offer, there isn’t much to separate them. In Tahiti, marine life consists mostly of blue and black marlins, sailfish, dorado, wahoo, bonefish, giant trevallies or GTs, and many more. If you enjoy fishing, you’ll find multiple opportunities at popular fishing spots in Moorea and Anaa for fly fishing and big game catches.
We’ll argue that there are a lot more activities to enjoy off-shore in Tahiti compared to Fiji and one such example to start with is the Moorea Tropical Garden that has beautiful Flora and fauna in botanical gardens.
Over here guided tours will help you discover the fruits and vegetables grown in Tahiti. Nearby you’ll also find the Tiki Village Cultural Center where you can browse many traditional handicrafts and get a chance to see the traditional dances of the Polynesian people.
The main island also offers a browse through the capital’s famous market: Papeete market, the city’s oldest attraction. Here you’ll get to experience the traditional trade of goods and find yourself buying a bouquet of the most beautiful tropical flowers.
Finally, if you want to plan a hiking trip, there are many tropical forests you can visit in Tahiti to get a bird’s eye view of the magnificent landscape. Popular hiking destinations like Papeete and Mahine are sure to leave you awe-struck at the surrounding volcanic peaks, mountains, and vegetation.
If you’re up for a more challenging hike we suggest climbing Aorai mountain, the second-highest peak on the main island. It is known as “the best climb in French Polynesia” as it offers a well-maintained, wild and scenic trail.
Fiji VS Tahiti: Places to Stay
Maui Palms – Overall Best Option
If you’re looking for the most bang for your buck, the Maui Palms at Fiji is a 5-star resort with the best private villa set on the beautiful beachfront. It is 50 feet from the sea with each villa featuring a private balcony with a sea view.
The hotel offers an outdoor infinity pool, massage services, and free equipment for kayaking and snorkeling. You’ll also be able to feast on international and local Fijian cuisines with Traditional Fijian Kava ceremonies. You can even arrange cooking lessons upon request to learn the art of the Fijian people.
Toberua Island Resort – Best Budget Option
The Toberua Island Resort offers the perfect beach vacation for people traveling on a budget. It is set on a private island from where a 30-minute complimentary boat ride will transfer you to Bau Waters, a tropical paradise. The bungalow itself features a traditional wood-beamed ceiling and the terrace will give you breathtaking views of the ocean.
The Toberua Island Resort offers indoor and outdoor dining with a specialization in seafood and New Zealand beef and lamb. The staff is also friendly and very helpful. This peaceful sanctuary also offers PIDA scuba diving lessons so you can learn scuba diving during your stay!
Likuliku Lagoon Resort – Most Luxurious Option
If you’re traveling as a couple, nothing can be more special than staying at Fiji’s overwater bungalows. The Likuliku Lagoon Resort at Malolo is the ideal location to stay for your Fijian honeymoon. It is an adults-only resort and one of the best luxury resorts Fiji resorts have to offer.
The hotel features spacious rooms and a large year-long outdoor pool with activities such as snorkeling and windsurfing. Likuliku also has state-of-the-art facilities including spa and massage services, facial treatments, foot baths, and a fitness center.
Manomano Lodge – Overall Best Option
Although Tahitian resorts are generally more expensive than Fiji, the Manomano lodge gives you a nice balance between price and comfort. It is located near the beach making it an ideal location to enjoy activities and go snorkeling with your family. You can also get the chance of eating the local tropical fruit grown in the rich volcanic soil.
Te Moana Tahiti Resort – Best Budget Option
If you’re looking to spend your honeymoon with that special someone, Le Moana Tahiti offers you the comfort and luxury of most private resorts without the hefty price tag. It is located right beside the blue lagoon and includes an outdoor infinity pool, exceptional facilities, friendly staff, and breathtaking ocean views.
Intercontinental Tahiti Resort & Spa – Most Luxurious Option
Resting at the Tahitian lagoons are the luxurious overwater bungalows of the Intercontinental Tahiti Resort & Spa. The hotel offers you fantastic views of the distant Moorea volcano peak and gets you so close you can almost touch it. Apart from the beautiful surroundings, you’ll also be provided with valuable facilities, spacious rooms, great staff, and an amazing breakfast.
Fiji VS Tahiti: Costs and Budget
Both Fiji and Tahiti are expensive vacation destinations so you should expect to set aside a big budget even if you go for the cheaper options in the islands. The cost would largely vary from traveler to traveler as your budget would depend on what you plan on doing during your trip.
Fiji is cheaper than Tahiti with Fijian resorts offering more budget-friendly options for travelers. This means if you want that dream Fiji honeymoon while striking that perfect balance between luxury and money, Fiji will be a better option for the majority out there.
In Fiji, you can expect to spend at least about $2000 per week which includes costs of accommodation, transportation, and meals. How much you spend on activities will vary vastly as there are many excursions both destinations offer.
If you want a first-class experience of Fiji, by opting for the best hotels and experiencing the culture fully, you can expect to spend around $2500-3000 every week. A major cost besides the hotel would be the transport as some areas might have to be traveled by sea or air like the Yasawa islands. So, if you don’t plan to island-hop the cost might significantly go down.
Tahiti is the gateway to the nearby major islands like Bora Bora and Moorea which are geared especially towards tourists. We won’t suggest you skip exploring these areas if you wish to make the most of your trip but these do cost quite a lot.
They are filled with 5-star hotels with private resort beaches with a warm welcoming staff that caters to your every need. However, the price you’ll be paying reflects that as these hotels would be some of the most expensive on the island.
In Tahiti, you can expect to spend at least $2200 per week which includes costs of accommodation, transportation, and meals. This cost goes significantly up if you move away from the main island of French Polynesia to the more high-end places which can cost you around $3000-3500 per week.
You can save some money by looking for cheaper alternatives to transportation and finding other cost-saving activities. Some hotels offer free activities like kayaking, surfing, and snorkeling which can help you save costs while enjoying the water activities of its beaches.
When it comes to traveling on either island some airlines offer direct flights to Nadi international airport so traveling costs to just one island won’t be affected by other varying factors unless you take a business class flight compared to economy class.
Fiji VS Tahiti: Where Should You Plan Your Next Vacation?
Both Fiji and Tahiti are beautiful and unique locations to plan your next adventure or romantic getaway.
If you’re looking to spend time on some of the most untouched white sand beaches on the earth, visit Fiji. However, if you wish for a luxurious stay in an overwater bungalow, sip a tropical cocktail, and enjoy awe-inspiring views of volcanic peaks, then visit Tahiti. It will cater to all your needs and give you the best Tahitian honeymoon money can buy.
Both destinations are expensive to travel to so it’s wise to have a generous budget in place for the full authentic experience of the culture and scenery they have to offer.