Mana Island in Fiji

Mana Island in Fiji – Welcome to the paradise

If someone with a Hibiscus on their head says “Welcome to the Paradise” you are either dead or in Fiji.

This archipelago in the Pacific Sea is an authentic paradise, 400 islands of different sizes surrounded by coral reefs, blue water and semi-deserts are the place that we have all imagined at least once but perhaps have never found.
Here you can do any marine activity, from diving, snorkeling to surfing. Yes, because Fiji boasts some of the most spectacular waves in the world where internationally renowned surfers juggle tubes or surf 12 meter waves.

But paradise has a cost and I must admit that defining Fiji as a place for backpackers would be a bit risky.
I noticed that it is mainly a destination for honeymoon couples and families but if you inform yourself you can find more basic islands where prices decrease significantly and where the beach is nevertheless equally splendid.

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Read also: 9 Best Fiji Islands – Australia 2023

The option for backpackers is Mana an hour and a half from Nadi inMamanuca archipelago.
Here there are only 3 hostels and a 4-star resort, ideal for teenagers and solo travellers.
Hostels offer solutions starting from $55 up to $66 per day (Fiji or 25 euros) which include a bed and food, breakfast/lunch/dinner.
There are numerous activities, boat tours, among which I invite you not to miss the Castway touryes the very island on which Tom Hanks shot the film years ago, in the evening the hostels organize recreational activities, the Fijians who live here are all sociable, they sing, they make you feel part of the family, they call you by name.
Dances, fire, Kava, games and entertainment without which a dream island would become boring in the long run, but arriving and staying here for a few weeks is possible since it is difficult to get bored, if not for the fact that every day you can go snorkeling in different places and being a few meters from the coral reef.
A small, secluded but splendid and heavenly place.

Mana Island in Fiji
The archipelago in which Mana is located is called Mamanuca, the most famous one however is Yasawa where prices double and a privileged destination for honeymoon couples.
Speaking with a New Zealand lady who has been coming to Fiji for 10 years now and who knows it very well, she told me that her favorite is Mana, closer to the main island and which has nothing to envy of the most famous islands of the archipelago Yasawa. The sea is in fact the same and so are the beaches, the only difference are the costs of transport ($300 versus $120) and accommodation.
In fact, if in Mana the accommodation is more basic and less luxurious, here there is certainly the possibility of being in contact with the population given the small village right behind the resorts.
A family dressed me up as a Fijian warrior, making me a coconut bra and a banana leaf dress.

Bungalow on the beach, a dream sea, honest and kind people. A holiday with a capital T.

Mana Island in Fiji

Another reason why I decided to stay in Mana and not on other islands, apart from the convenience and the certainty that it was still a dream place, is that I knew that the hostel managers are all local.
This means that the money you pay goes to them and not to some foreigner who opened a 5 star resort charging $AU200/400 and paying staff $3 an hour.
In fact, it seems that in Fiji foreigners take advantage of the poverty of the locals by offering work and paying a pittance.
To find out if where you are about to go is managed by locals, just ask who organizes everything, even if it seems rather obvious that the more expensive it is, the less likely it is that the owner and management is local.
In fact, organizing yourself is a little more expensive and complicated than if you did it by relying on an agency or the hostel itself, I did it with the guys from the Bamboo hostel in Nadi.
5 nights for the price of 4 and transportation cost me a total of $373 (or €158)
I also remember that it is important to bring your own drinks, water in particular which costs a fortune on the island and any snacks.

What to do in Mana

The island is small and it might seem that apart from sunbathing on the beach or sleeping in one of the many hammocks scattered on the beach under coconut trees there is nothing else.
But the truth is another.
Obviously you have to consider a small extra spending budget but in my opinion the boat excursions are not to be missed Castawaythe one to the nearby islands (Funky Fish, Plantation Island and others), snorkeling around the island and for those who go scuba diving.
On the other side of the island you can also reach the splendid Dream Beach.
A week will pass and you will never want to leave. It’s no coincidence that there are those who stay here for 2 months without ever getting bored.

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Click the button and find all search platforms and book your next trip yourself.

Plan your trip yourself

Read also: Fiji Islands – Really a paradise for a few?

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