With all the hype that it's hip to be green, it's easy to see that flocks of folks have begun trending towards more sustainable types of travel. And that's a fabulous fact. Unfortunately, another less alluring aspect of this growing industry is the pretty price tag inevitably attached to it. The ugly truth is that it's not always cheap to be environmentally conscious, but luckily there are still a select few destinations dedicated to leaving a minimal impact on the environment and your budget. The key, of course, is being lucky enough to find one. Which is precisely why I was so pleasantly surprised when I accidentally (of all things) stumbled across one such gem while rambling aimlessly around the South Pacific.
Maqai (pronounced Mangai) is—to put it quite simply—a pristine paradise situated in the bluest waters of northern Fiji. And that's no lie. This awesome, adventure-oriented resort offers backpackers and vacationers alike an authentic experience that, four trips and 18 islands in, I've found nowhere else in the country. You may arrive as a tourist, but from the moment you step onto the white-sand beach and stroll up the stairs to the open-air sand bar, you're family.
Depending on your timetable (and, of course, your sense of adventure), you can either hop a quick flight (1.5 hours) from Nadi International Airport or board a boat from the capital city of Suva and cruise a cool 16 hours over the open sea. Whichever route you choose will deliver you directly to the island of Taveuni, which then leaves you no more than a hop, skip, and a jump—by which I mean a quick coastal drive and one more short boat ride (20 minutes tops and both included with your stay)—away.
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