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10 Things to Know BEFORE Visiting the Fiji Mud Pools

10 Things to Know BEFORE Visiting the Fiji Mud Pools

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The Fiji Mud Pools are a trendy destination for tourists in the Nadi or Denarau area and offer a fun and refreshing way to spend your afternoon. Having never taken a mud bath myself I was excited to go and see what the big deal was when we visited on our honeymoon!

In this blog, I will tell you everything you need to know about Fiji’s famous Sabeto Hot Spring and Mud Pool before you visit so you know what to expect before going to cover yourself in mud. Trust me, it’s very different from jumping in mud puddles as a kid, but still just as fun!

Don’t have time to read the full article? One of the most unique things to do in Fiji is visit the healing Fiji Mud Pools! You’ll cover yourself in mud, let it dry, and then wash it off in a series of hot spring heated pools. We think the best way to experience the mud pools is on this half-day combo tour that visits multiple highlights in the area such as the Garden of the Sleeping Giant and a local village!

1. About the Fiji Mud Pools and Hot Springs

Two people smiling at the tifajek mud pool hot spring fiji
Our friends all covered in mud!
A woman smiles coming out of a hot spring at sabeto mud pool hot springs fiji
One of the pools to rinse off in

Only half an hour away from Nadi, you’ll find one of the best places to visit in Fiji – the Fiji Mud Pools and Hot Springs! They are completely locally owned and operated and are one of the only places in the country where you can have a natural mud bath heated by hot springs. It is said that the mud has healing powers due to its mineral properties and will leave your skin feeling soft and supple!

There are technically two locations right next to each other, the Sabeto Mud Pools and the Tifajek Mud Pools, both owned by the same family (brother and sister). Sabeto is more popular among smaller groups because its pools are smaller than Tifajek’s, which focuses more on larger tour groups. Sabeto also has more pools in total than Tifajek.

I’m going to be focusing more on the Sabeto Mud Pools in this post because they seem to be the more popular choice and they are the ones that I visited when I went. That being said I had friends go to the Tifajek Mud Pools and both are basically the exact same experience, so it doesn’t really matter which one you visit!

2. What to expect at the Sabeto Hot Spring and Mud Pool

Sabeto Hot Spring Mud Pool 2
The pools are all heated naturally by hot springs!

When I arrived at the Sabeto Hot Spring and Mud Pool I had no idea what to expect. It is far from any Westernized spa I have been to as everything is outdoors in the open air, but I was excited to embrace this unique Fijian experience!

First things first is getting into your swimwear. I would refrain from wearing a light-colored bathing suit since you’ll be getting it very muddy! There are changing rooms and an area to leave your belongings, but there are no lockers, so leave your valuables in the taxi or tour bus if you are concerned. Make sure to bring your phone or camera though because your mud pool guide will take pictures for you!

Next, it’s time to get muddy! You’ll head on over to the buckets of mud and slather it all over yourself and whoever you’re with. The trick to this part is putting the mud on in a thin layer, if you put too much on it will take forever to dry.

Once you’re sufficiently covered, you’ll follow your guide over to the “drying field” where you can get some pictures taken while you wait in the sun for your mud to dry. When your mud starts to crack it’s time to wash it off in the natural mud pool. I’m not going to lie, this pool was a bit gross and looks exactly how the words “mud pool” sound. The bottom of the pool was full of mud and you sink right up to your knees in some areas!

Pro Tip: If you are a bit of a germophobe like me, avoid putting mud on your face. It was tough to wash it off without getting any of the dirty water in my mouth or eyes. No one wants to get sick on vacation!

Once the majority of the mud is cleaned off, you’ll go to a series of three heated pools, getting cleaner and cleaner as you move through each one. These man-made pools are much cleaner than the mud pool and are a lovely warm temperature heated from the hot spring below. It was very relaxing wading around in the water. When you are finished, you can have a cleansing shower and get changed back into your clothes feeling brand new – talk about a unique spa day!

3. Where are the Fiji Mud Pools? 

A group of people smiling in front of the Sabeto hot springs and mud pool sign fiji
My family loved it!

Only 30 minutes from Nadi, the Mud Pools are located at the base of the Nausori Highlands on the western side of Fiji’s main island, Viti Levu. Tucked into farmland and surrounded by beautiful mountains the mud pools are on the same road to get to The Garden of the Sleeping Giant making it a great combo stop for a day. 

You can take a taxi there and go yourself, but remember you’ll have to pay your driver to wait for you to be done to ensure you have a ride back to your hotel. Alternatively, you can get there on an organized tour which usually visits the mud pools along with other highlights in the area (more on this below!).

Related Read: No trip to Fiji is complete without taking a tour out to the islands! One of our favorites is Tivua Island – it’s a slice of paradise!

4. How much does it cost to visit the Sabeto Hot Spring Mud Pool?

The price of using the pools is surprisingly cheap! It is around $13 USD ($30 FJD) for full use of the facilities for the day and $2 USD to rent a towel if you didn’t bring one.

If after your therapeutic mud bath you would like a massage, various locals offer them for around $13 USD. Things like water or coconuts can be purchased as well at an additional cost.

5. When are the Fiji Mud Pools open? 

The grounds of tifajek mud pool hot springs fiji
One of the pools at Tifajek

The Sabeto Mud Pools are open every day of the week from 7 am to 5 pm. I didn’t ask if they close for any specific holidays, but given how popular they are I doubt they would. Just be sure to check ahead of time if you plan on visiting during a big holiday like Fiji Day (October 10th) or New Year’s.

6. When is the best time to visit the Fiji Mud Pools? 

A woman laughing as she puts mud on her body at Sabeto mud pools fiji
So much fun!
A couple putting mud on eachother at sabeto mud pools fiji
You have to get it all over!

This is a great year-round activity. But if you want the mud to dry quickly, the best time to visit Sabeto Mud Pools is during Fiji’s dry season from May to October. I also recommend going in the afternoon so it’s hot enough for the sun to bake on your mud. If you happen to be in Fiji during the wet season (November to April) they are still worth visiting, you just might get rained on!

7. What are the best tours that visit the Fiji Mud Pools? 

Mud Pools, Garden of Sleeping Giant, and Village Half-Day Tour

Two people in the hot spring mud pools at tifajek fiji
Our friends enjoying the hot spring!
A large beautiful tree at the garden of the sleeping giant fiji
Garden of the Sleeping Giant

This half-day combo tour is a perfect way to experience the hot springs and mud pools while also seeing some other highlights around Nadi. You’ll visit the mud pool, the Garden of the Sleeping Giant, and a local village on this guided tour that takes care of all of the logistics for you!

Starting off at the Garden of the Sleeping Giant which is at the base of Nadi’s Sabeto Mountains. It’s filled with over 2,000 orchids and hundreds of other Fijian flora and fauna! It is a beautiful area to take a walk around and marvel at the lush jungle.

Next, it’s off to the mud pools to relax! You’ll get an hour and a half here which is a sufficient amount of time to enjoy the full experience. Afterward, you make a stop at Viseisei village (one of the oldest villages in Fiji!) for some cultural activities before being returned to your hotel.

With all entrance fees, round-trip transportation, and a knowledgeable guide included this tour costs $105 USD. It is a great way to not only visit the mud pools but experience some other highlights in the area as well! You can book this tour here in advance.

Fiji Local Village, Market, Temple & Garden of Sleeping Giant Tour

Sabeto Hot Spring Mud Pool 1 fiji
Ready for a mud bath!
A local family walks into Hindu temple Sri Subramaniya Fiji
Sri Subramaniya Hindu temple

This multi-experience half-day tour is one of the best tours in Fiji and it takes you to several locations over 5 hours meaning you can check off everything on your Nadi to-do list! It doesn’t include any admission fees to the attractions that it visits, but does include all transportation and a knowledgeable local guide!

The day starts at Veiseisei village ($2 USD entrance fee) for a morning of cultural activities and meeting friendly locals before you visit the colorful Hindu temple Sri Subramaniya ($2 USD) dedicated to the Hindu deity Murugan.

By late morning you will arrive at the Garden of the Sleeping Giant ($11 USD) and your guide will take you through and explain all the different plants and flowers you see along the way. Finally, you’ll end your day at the Sabeto Mud Pools and Hot Springs ($13 USD). You will get around 2 hours here as you rejuvenate from a day of fun!

With round-trip transportation to your hotel and a local guide included this tour is only $51 USD for adults. All of the entrance fees only add an additional $28 USD to the tour price, making this tour great for those visiting Fiji on a budget. Make sure to secure your spot here in advance with free cancellation up until 24 hours before!

Garden of The Sleeping Giant and Mud Pool Tour Combo 

A woman smiles at tifajek mud pool hot spring fiji
Covered in mud!
A purple flower at the garden of the sleeping giant fiji
Look at those colors

Unlike the other tours I’ve listed so far this half-day Garden of the Sleeping Giant and Mud Pool Combo Tour only goes to two locations meaning you get more time at each instead of rushing off to the next stop. While entrance fees aren’t included, the convenience of this experience lies in the provided return transportation, your local guide, and the ability to spend more time exploring each stop.

There are two start times at either 9 am or 2 pm and the experience lasts about 4 to 5 hours in total. You will visit both the Garden of the Sleeping Giant ($11 USD) and the relaxing Sabeto Mud Pools ($13 USD). Since you have a good amount of time at the mud pools, why not treat yourself to a massage?

This half-day tour only costs $41 USD and is great for those who don’t want to feel rushed and want the convenience of transportation taken care of for them. You can reserve your spot here now, and not pay anything until 48 hours before the tour!

8. How long do you need to visit the Fiji Mud Pools? 

Sabeto Hot Spring Mud Pool 4
Mud bath anyone?

To get the full experience when you visit the mud pools you will need about 2 hours. This includes checking in, getting shown around, putting on the mud, letting it dry, and rinsing it off in the series of pools.

You may want to set aside about 30 minutes for a massage if that’s something you also want to do. Some people stay for longer and relax in the hot springs for hours, and honestly, I don’t blame them!

Related Read: If you are staying in or near Nadi, you must check out one of Fiji’s famous floating bars with a visit to Seventh Heaven!

9. What to bring to the Fiji Mud Pools?

Make sure you bring a bathing suit that you don’t mind getting muddy, water, a towel (if you forget, you can rent one there), and a phone or camera to capture you in all your muddy glory! You can also bring your own shower supplies for afterward, but soap was provided in the shower. And don’t forget to bring cash to pay for your entrance fee and extras you may like such as a massage!

10. Are the Fiji Mud Pools worth it?

A hot spring at tifajek mud pools fiji
A great day for a mud bath!

In my opinion, yes! They are a very unique Fijian experience that I think you should do if you are staying nearby in Nadi, Denarau, or Wailoaloa Beach or if you are visiting as part of a tour. I wouldn’t go out of my way to do this if you are staying any further away.

Just keep in mind that this is a local Fijian activity, not an actual spa – so as long as you go in with an open mind and don’t mind getting dirty I think you’ll have a great time! We had a lot of laughs here and sitting in the pools was very relaxing. Plus my skin did feel quite soft afterwards!

Where to Stay in Fiji

the private island of Beachcomber Island Resort
This place is just wow! Photo Credit: Beachcomber Island Resort

There are so many great areas to stay around Fiji. You can choose to stay on the main island of Viti Levu or venture out to the smaller surrounding islands. With so many choices, it can be hard to narrow it down. To help, these are my top picks for each area in Fiji that fit a range of budgets.

Nadi – The Ramada

Located right on Wailoaloa Beach, the Ramada Suites by Wyndham 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 $200 USD. Check availability and book a stay at the Ramada here!

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 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 start from around $400 USD per night and range from standard hotel-style rooms with king beds or two queens, up to two-bedroom suites. Some rooms feature courtyard views while others have a view of the lagoon. All rooms have a balcony and minibar. Check availability and prices at the Radisson Blue Resort here!

Yasawa Islands – Barefoot Manta Island Resort

Barefoot Manta Island Resort is perfect for those wanting a real island getaway experience without paying huge amounts of money. Surrounded by a vibrant protected coral reef, this is the best place to go for ocean lovers. You can even swim with manta rays just off the shore from May-October!

You can easily get to Barefoot Manta Island Resort on the Yasawa Flyer ferry that departs Port Denarau regularly. The ride should take about 3 hours.

They offer dorm beds for only $29 USD a night. There are also private beachfront bungalows available starting at around $200 USD per night. Check prices and availability for Barefoot Manta Island Resort here!

Mamanuca Islands – Beachcomber Island Resort

Beachcomber Island Resort is one of the most popular island resorts to stay in Fiji. Its affordable pricing mixed with its close proximity to Viti Levu make it one of the best places to stay in Fiji. You can reach the Beachcomber Resort from Port Denarau by riding the Yasawa Flyer ferry. The ride should take about 2 hours.

There are many different rooms and bungalows to choose from – something for every budget! Remember all these prices also include ALL your meals. Dorm beds go for as little as $60 USD per night, whereas you can get a standard twin room for $225 USD. Check prices and availability at Beachcomber Island Resort here!

Coral Coast – Maui Palms

Mixing beach life and luxury, the Maui Palms is perfect for those wanting a bit of pampering on their holiday. There are lots of on-site activities and the snorkeling right in front of the resort is great. Expect an infinity pool, games room, bar, restaurant, and beautiful ocean-view villas with private balconies!

The location on the Coral Coast means you don’t need a boat to get there but can still experience some of the tranquility and beautiful beaches you might find on the smaller islands. There are also a few restaurants nearby, so you won’t be confined to the hotel. Rooms and villas here start at around $250 USD and up. Check prices and availability for the Maui Palms here!

If you’re looking for more info about where to stay in Fiji, be sure to read our blog. It includes detailed info on each area, the best things to do nearby, prices, getting to hotels, and so much more.

Thanks for reading!

Bailey and Daniel take a selfie on an island in Fiji
Thanks for reading!

There you have it, a complete guide on the Sabeto Hot Springs and Mud Pool! I hope this answers any questions you may have and gives you a good idea of what to expect when visiting!

If you found this guide helpful, then take a peek at our other Fiji blogs including some favorites below:

Fiji Culture Village Experience and Tours – Know Before You Go!

13 Things To Know BEFORE Visiting Malamala Beach Club (Our Review!)

13 BEST Things to do in Suva – A Guide to Exploring Fiji’s Capital City