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With its pristine beaches, over 300 islands, and world-class diving, Fiji is a popular travel destination for travelers from all over the world. It’s no surprise then that it’s one of our favorite places to explore! But it isn’t just the beaches and scenery that make Fiji such an incredible place to visit – it’s the people and culture that make any trip here unforgettable.
On my recent trip to Fiji, I wanted to learn about the Fijian culture as much as possible. So I took the recommendation of a friend and decided to visit the Fiji Culture Village just outside of Nadi.
If you want to experience culture while in Fiji then a trip to the Fiji Culture Village might just be the perfect excursion for you! It is an experience that’s a little different from most of the tours in Fiji and one I personally really enjoyed.
But to be honest, I didn’t really know what to expect before I visited the Fiji Culture Village. So, when writing this blog, I wanted to answer all the questions I had before I went – these are questions you likely also have on your mind.
So without further ado, here’s my ultimate “know before you go guide” to the Fiji Culture Village!
1. What exactly is the Fiji Culture Village?
The Fiji Culture Village has to be one of the most fun and interesting places for tourists who want to get a taste of Fiji’s culture, especially when it comes to village life, ceremonies, and food!
While it isn’t a real village where people live today, it’s instead an experience that’s designed to showcase traditional Fijian culture and village life as authentically as possible. There are demonstrations, artifacts, and buildings that are exactly how they would’ve been in villages many years ago, or in some cases, how they still are today.
A visit to the Fiji Culture Village promises a rare chance to be immersed in Fijian culture and history. I had a great time trying out delicious food, watching some lively entertainment, and enjoying traditional Fijian hospitality!
From start to finish, the whole experience of visiting the village really was so unique and memorable. Plus, it’s also suitable for the whole family – when we last visited we saw our hosts singing happy birthday to a lucky 4-year-old!
To me, a visit to the village is one of the most unique things to do in Fiji. I definitely felt like I left with a whole new perspective on this tropical paradise.
2. Where is the Fiji Culture Village?
If you are staying in Nadi, the organizers also offer a free hotel pick-up and drop-off, otherwise, transfers can be organized from pretty much anywhere for a small fee.
Alternatively, you can also organize your own transport and meet at the village for one of the scheduled tour times.
3. When is the best time to visit the Fiji Culture Village?
The best time to visit the Culture Village (and Fiji in general) is during the dry season, which lasts from May to October. The chances of rain during this time are very low, and the lower humidity will help make the sweating and frizzy hair a lot easier to manage!
On the other hand, Fiji’s rainy season brings a lot of rain with it (well, duh), but when we say a lot of rain – we mean a LOT. This can make other fun activities you might want to do, like snorkeling, a bit less enjoyable with the water being a lot murkier. Ideally, it’s best to avoid visiting in the rainy season if you can, which is from November through to April.
However, the Fiji Culture Village itself is open from 9 am to 9 pm and runs their tours throughout the year from Monday to Saturday. So, no matter when you are visiting Fiji, you can still visit!
4. Is it free to visit the Fiji Culture Village?
To enter the Fiji Culture Village, you’ll need to book onto one of their tours (more on these later!) – either their daytime or evening tour. The prices for these tours do depend on the type of tour you do, but in short, here’s a breakdown of the cost of the tours:
The daytime tour costs around $64 USD and includes an arts and crafts demonstration, wood carving, taking part in the Kava ceremony, a light lunch, and so much more!
For around $79 USD you can join the evening tour including dinner and the show (with fire dancers!) To me, this is the best all-around experience. It’s the one that I did and really loved.
5. What can you expect when visiting the Fiji Culture Village?
The Fiji Culture Village is so much more than just another tour – it’s an experience that’s filled with so many amazing activities, stories, and fun. Here’s a little guide to what you can expect when visiting:
Guided village tour
Upon arriving at the Fiji Culture Village (either by transfer or self-organized transport), you will be greeted by a friendly guide, who will take you around the village with a small group. This guided village tour lasts for about an hour and showcases the different bures (traditional Fijian huts) each demonstrating a different part of village life.
Some of the bure demonstrations you can expect to see include fire making, creating traditional tools, pottery, weaving, and more! There is also the opportunity to enter the chief’s house and if you’re lucky, he will let you take a picture with him too!
We thought the guided tour was a great introduction to village life in Fiji, and was fun and hands-on rather than simply walking from place to place! My guide was also super friendly and knowledgeable. We were able to ask any questions we had and he also encouraged us to get involved with the demonstrations – he didn’t have to tell me twice!
Before dinner, there is also a traditional Kava ceremony. Kava is a traditional Fijian drink made from the powder of a plant root mixed with water. Historically, it was only drunk by a village chief in celebration. Nowadays, it is drunk by almost everyone, sometimes as a substitute for alcohol (which is very expensive in Fiji!)
At the Fiji Culture Village, you will have the opportunity to take part in a Kava ceremony as well as try Kava for yourself.
Now I’m going to be honest, it doesn’t taste good, but it is worth trying for yourself just to partake in this traditional ceremony.
Cooking demonstration and dinner
Here in Fiji, using a “lovo” is the traditional way of cooking in Fiji. It involves cooking food like chicken, fish, and potatoes on hot stones covered in leaves and cloth in the ground.
At the Fiji Culture Village, you’ll get the opportunity to see your meal being uncovered from the leaves and being lifted from the hot rocks.
When I was there, the guides told us exactly how the “earth oven” works and how our food was prepared. We saw them remove the food from the oven before they began to prepare it for our dinner! That’s right, dinner was included on my tour of the Fiji Culture Village…
The meal included chicken and fish cooked on the stones. They also included other dishes like potatoes, cassava, sushi, rice, salad, desserts, and more! There is a ton of food and since it is served buffet-style, you can eat as much as you want and are guaranteed to leave stuffed!
The culture show
While eating, the Fiji Culture Village performers will entertain you with traditional singing and dancing. This show makes your dining experience more like a dinner theatre than a typical sit-down meal.
You’ll watch a variety of dances and hear lots of traditional music. Near the end of the performance there are opportunities to get up on stage with the performers and a lot of interactive entertainment.
Part of the cultural show involves fire dancers – who are amazing! The three dancers are extremely talented and demonstrate the traditional way of dancing with fire. You just need to see it for yourself!
To me, the fire dancers were the highlight of my visit to the Fiji Culture Village! It is important to note that you must visit in the evening if you want to see the fire dancers, they do not perform as part of the afternoon experience.
Related Read: Visiting the Fiji Culture Village is one of the best things to do if you’re visiting Fiji on a honeymoon!
6. What tours are available in the Fiji Culture Village?
There are two different tours available at the Fiji Culture Village – a daytime and an evening experience. Both of them are a wonderful introduction to Fijian culture and really are so much fun! Here’s a little more info about them:
The Fijian Secret Tour (Daytime Tour)
This 4-hour daytime tour has to be one of the best ways to experience Fijian culture at its core, with an unbeaten view into how Fiji villagers would have lived (and some still do). While we decided to try the evening tour, we know you’ll receive the warmest greetings on either tour and soon feel like you’re part of the family – just like we did!
A big part of the tour is watching and learning how native villagers would have traditionally gone about their daily tasks, such as mat weaving and fire lighting. You’ll also have the opportunity to take part too! After that, you’ll enjoy a delicious lunch which is prepared in the traditional ‘lovo’. That’s not all though, you’ll also try the traditional Kava drink and have the opportunity to try out meke dancing!
The day trip runs from 9:30 am and goes until 1:30 pm. Honestly, it’s such an eye-opening and fun way to experience the traditional Fijian way of life. The tour also includes complimentary pick-up and drop off in Denarau and Nadi hotels.
Tickets for this tour cost $65 USD per person and can be booked online here.
Cultural Night Tour (Evening Tour)
When I was last in Fiji, I wanted to go on a tour that would help me get to learn more about Fijian culture which had loads of activities and fun experiences to boot. Taking place from 5:00 pm to 8:30 pm, this evening tour was exactly what I was looking for – the perfect way to wrap up the end of an afternoon.
One reason I decided to choose the evening tour over the lunchtime one was that the evening experience includes a thrilling fire show by some super-talented fire jugglers and dancers. This had to be the highlight of the whole experience for me!
At around 4 hours long, this experience is so convenient and ends early enough in the night that you can still plan to do something afterward if you’d like. As the village is so close to Nadi, we decided to go for drinks!
Tickets for the evening tour cost $79 USD, which we think is pretty great value considering all the activities and shows that come as part of the experience. In fact, we’d recommend this as the perfect cultural introduction for anyone traveling to Fiji on a budget.
There are a limited number of people who can visit the Fiji Culture Village each day. Be sure to book your spot in advance to secure your place!
7. What should you bring to the Fiji Culture Village?
Whenever I’m traveling around Fiji, there are a few things I always make sure I have on me to stay comfortable. This is a tropical island after all! Here’s what I recommend you bring with you whenever you’re out on a tour or are simply exploring:
- Insect repellant – I love the warm weather in Fiji, but so do mosquitoes! Now, from my own experience I wouldn’t say the mosquitoes are as bad here as many people say, but it’s definitely worth bringing some bug spray with you in case you need to top up.
- LOTS of water – Dancing, laughing, and having fun is thirsty work! Make sure to bring a spare water bottle or two with you that you can drink as you go – it’s surprising just how quickly we can become dehydrated in the warm weather.
- A camera – An experience like this is one you won’t want to forget, so bring a camera (or your phone) to snap up some epic shots. It’s a good idea to also ask your guide when is the best time to take photos, usually it’s fine but it’s best to be respectful wherever you can.
- Spare cash – Here in Fiji, cash is king! Although the tour includes all activities, as well as your meal, if you’d like to buy some handcrafted souvenirs, then it’s best to bring cash. Using a card in Fiji usually brings with it a 3-5% charge, which can add up over time.
Where to Stay to Visit the Fiji Culture Village
If you’re going to the Fiji Culture Village then your best bet is to stay in Nadi or Port Denarau. This way, hotel pick-up and drop-off are included in the tour price. Some great places to stay that I recommend are:
Nadi – The Ramada
Located right on Wailoaloa Beach, the Ramada is the most luxurious hotel in this area. It features an exclusive pool and restaurant for guest use only. It is the tallest building in the area, offering incredible views of the coastline and sunsets!
Because of its close proximity to the airport (only a 15-minute drive), many people stay here for a night before or after their flight. It’s a good place to spend some time before catching a ferry out to an island.
A King Studio Room with a sea view goes for around $487 FJD.
Port Denarau – Radisson Blu Fiji Resort
The Radisson Blu Resort is just stunning, and for what you get, the price is very reasonable too. This resort is just huge offering tons of activities for both families as well as couples. There is an adults-only pool as well as an area specifically for kids. It is beachfront and offers spa services as well.
Rooms here range from standard hotel-style rooms with king beds or two queens, up to two-bedroom suites. Some rooms feature courtyard views while others had a view of the lagoon. All rooms also have a balcony and a minibar.
A two-person king suite will cost around $562 FJD per night.
Be sure to read our blog on where to stay in Fiji if you’re looking to learn more. It includes detailed info on each area, the best things to do nearby, prices, getting to hotels, and so much more.
Thanks for Reading!
Overall, I really enjoyed visiting the Fiji Culture Village and would recommend this trip to anyone who wants to experience the true culture of Fiji!
I hope this blog has helped you prepare for your own visit to the Fiji Culture Village by answering any questions you might have! If you found this blog helpful, you might like some of our other Fiji travel blogs including some of our favorites: