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“Village Homestay”

Waitabu Marine Park
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours
Owner description: Arrive in the tree-adorned island of Taveuni to discover a tropical paradise you've only dreamed about. Slip on your fins and mask and slide into the warm waters of Fiji. Let all the stress of everyday life fall away as you make your way along the magical reef of Waitabu. The communities of Waitubu and Bouma came to protect their native fishing grounds in 1998. Their foresight and diligence has allowed visitors, like yourself, the opportunity to share in the beauty of the Waitabu Marine Park. These crystal-clear waters are home to the most amazing marine species you may ever see. Don't be too surprised when you pass a sea turtle or find yourself following a gentle ray. You know you're in paradise when you've landed in the Waitabu Marine Park.
Useful Information: Activities for older children
Reviewed April 14, 2014

This option is not publicized very well but it is possible to stay with a family in the village. we stayed for two nights and wish we had longer as we were just starting to feel the rhythm of the village. Several families contribute dishes to the meals which are eaten cross-legged on the floor of the host family traditional style. If this is uncomfortable you are not obliged to however, the family is very hospitable and accommodating.

We stayed with Bendito and Louisa who were fabulous hosts. We were greeted with lemon tea and pancakes on the first afternoon and sat and chatted for quite a while. We walked around the village a bit before coming back for dinner. I have to tell you that there is way more food at each meal than anyone can possibly consume and all of it very well prepared.

We had our own room to sleep in with mosquito net and I think exclusive use of the toilet - we never saw anyone else use it although another visitor used the shower. For us, it was perfect any very comfortable.

The next morning after breakfast we went on the rainforest hike which I highly recommend and then back for more lemon tea before dinner.

So what did we eat? I can remember fried fish, freshly caught octopus in coconut milk (the softest and by far the best I have ever had), fried eggplant, ota (a seaweed, coconut, onion and chilli dish - you have to try it to appreciate it), polsami (dalo leaves in coconut milk), breadfruit, dalo, free-range eggs, roti fried bananas and always fresh papaya and bananas. Loved the food!

You can reach the village by taxi but we came on the bus. It is about a half mile walk down the track to the village but there is always someone up by the road to help.

In the village you follow village customs - no hats or sunglasses, women wear a sulu and no drinking. But it is not a problem. Everyone in the village quickly gets to know who you are and goes out of their way to be welcoming and friendly. I would go back and stay for a whole week to participate in more of the village activities.

6  Thank wendy n
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviews (31)
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20 - 24 of 31 reviews

Reviewed July 29, 2013

just do it - it is wild and uninhabited and very beautiful along the coast of Taveuni after the road ends

2  Thank JanResnick
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 7, 2012

An excellent example of a community project done well - the raft is fun and the people warm and proud of the coral they have protected.

2  Thank Paul D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 18, 2012

We took a taxi (about FJ$75 return from Matei including waiting time) and paid for a 'cultural' tour. If you want to do this make sure you give them at least 24 hours notice as some of the men take time off farming to look after you. The tour included paddling a traditional style raft to the reef, a guided snorkeling session of the rehabilitated reef (equipment provided), and sharing a meal with the locals where some of their musicians play music in the background. I kayak a lot and the traditional raft was surprisingly hard work which my back didn't like. The guide for the snorkeling was great and pointed out lots of marine life we wouldn't have seen. We loved the locals and the meal they prepared for us - they can make the Fijian people proud about what we now think of their culture.

5  Thank andrew_oz_collins
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 20, 2012

Thanks to an American woman/scientist from California I think and several locals the reefs have been brought back from practical extinction in this area. What a great setting and the villagers were so informative and sang some lovely songs over tea.

2  Thank Leo S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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