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Africa Caribbean Destinations Opinion South Pacific World

The Best of Aruba, Fiji, the Maldives & Mauritius

If you have ever been fortunate enough to visit a tropical island paradise, then you have likely experienced the huge bill that goes along with your island vacation. While we hope you have the opportunity to visit dozens of these lovely isles in your lifetime, chances are as you are shopping for your perfect getaway, you’ve considered either Aruba, Fiji, the Maldives or Mauritius. These magnificent and distinctive islands are truly a must-see at least once. But if you are stuck in indecision, we’ve summed up the highs and lows of each luxury island.

Aruba

Aruba could be famous alone for the abundant lovely hotels, palm-fringed beaches, bustling casinos and at times chaotic cruise ports. But if you look a little deeper, you’ll come across an untouched landscape ripe for experiences. It might be a little island, but it definitely packs a punch when it comes to external activities. From the rocky beaches, amazing snorkeling, to the deep ocean scuba diving  where you’ll discover shipwrecks and submerged vessals, the water activity here cannot be topped. The Arikok National Park also provides a day of adventure, from historic cave paintings into some cacti stewed landscape with roaming goats, donkeys and off-roading experiences. Culturally, the Aruba Carnival, that runs from January to March each year will be the major draw. Since the streets come alive with vibrant and bejeweled outfits, steel drums and brass rings ring-out throughout the roads. The warm hospitality of the natives is so unique, Aruba has been coined the “One Happy Island”.

What Aruba Does Best:

  • Families Traveling with Kids
  • Those seeking happy vibes & warm hospitality from locals
  • Scuba Diving through unique shipwrecks

Cost saving hints: Aruba is a fairly costly destination, and very affordable lodging is rare. Forward planning are the secret to saving money here, however renting a flat with a kitchen will help lower costs. Furthermore, if you rent a 4WD you are going to have the ability to learn more about the national park with no tour and struck up more neighborhood, and therefore more affordable, restaurants away in the hotel beaches. Off-season traveling (April — August) is if you’ll see lower lodging prices, even though the weather is comparable throughout the year.

Fiji

Fiji felt just like being welcomed home by friends from the very first Bula! Seriously here, everyone here says hello to everyone else. You’ll get in the habit of saying hello/bula to everyone you pass on the street, because it would just be rude to not greet them. In the pure Fiji fashion, everyone is a friend, so “welcome home” is also a phrase well adopted. When you arrive at your hotel, you’ll be serenaded by possibly the entire hotel staff. Seriously it’s not unusual for a hotel to plan each guests arrival time, an make sure every member is there to welcome the traveler home.  The island vibes has a way of getting the most uptight traveler to mellow-out and welcome the slow pace of “Fiji time”.  The very first thing you will see in Fiji is that the welcome and warmth of the natives. Stress and smiles crack as frequently as coconuts here. The main island, Viti Levu, is home to Suva the primary cruise interface and Nadi the airport. This is also your gateway to the archipelago. Backpacker travel is beginning to rise , based from Nadi, thanks to cheaper options sprouting up around the airport and tons of day excursions from Nadi. A brief drive off at Denarau Island, although not actually an island, is where you will discover the luxury hotels. Island hopping is the title of the sport here and expected.  Island hopping can be expensive, but you’ll have options such as seaplanes, boats and multi-island excursions to choose from. Whether you would like to relax on a beach with a massage, then snorkel off a private island, Fiji provides up everything in a secure, family-friendly atmosphere.

Fiji is Best for:

  • West coast USA Travelers, non-stop flights available from international airports
  • Family travelers. Resorts tend to have very affordable kids’ programs
  • Backpacker island hopping
  • Cultural experiences such as Kava ceremonies are available at most resorts.

Cost saving hints: Fiji is rather expensive, but a couple of backpackers and hostels around Nadi offer affordable rates but not in the top beaches. Off-season traveling (November -April) also considerably cuts the prices, but that can be when storms are a lot more common. Do not miss: The Yasawa Islands, they offer visitors some of the greatest views of pristine islands you will ever see.

Mauritius

The island country of Mauritius, tucked away off the south-eastern African shore might conjure up notions of untouched beaches and holiday escapes, and it provides that aplenty, but there’s even more to find past the beaches. Mauritius offers visitors so much more than breathtaking beaches but a plethora of amazing experiences to discover.  From crashing waterfalls with not a soul in sight to rum distilleries, there are an infinite number of reasons to go to Mauritius. None aside from the warmth and hospitality of the natives. To discover their unique island lifestyle, leave the hotel behind and visit the central marketplace in the capital of Port Louis before heading to learn more about the monkey-ridden hikes. Plenty of AirBnB choices can also be make the trip a little less expensive. Snorkeling off the shores around Le Morne is a must, the UNESCO mountain sinking on the suggestion of Mauritius is unbelievable, with the visibility and water a few of the finest I’ve ever seen. If you’d like a beach vacation but with lots of adventure activities to keep you amused, Mauritius really will oblige. There are some amazing cultural activities during the year as well. Cavadee Festival which occurs between January/February includes firewalking and sword scaling as the devotees go to the temples with their own offerings. Holi, the colourful Hindu festival is also celebrated here in March while February brings maybe among the most famous festivals, Maha Shivaratree.Occurring from the imperial Grand Bassin, the lake surrounded by temples, it’s been likened to a little variant of the festivals that occur across the Ganges of India.

Mauritius is Best for:

  • Non-stop overnight flights to/from the UK
  • Watersports along with epic climbs
  • Rum and culinary enthusiast
  • Friends traveling together, young couples or families with teens

Cost Saving Suggestions: Accommodation really doesn’t need to cost a lot of money in Mauritius. There are guest houses and flats for rent for as little as $20. The bus network in Mauritius will also let you stop by some vital sights, even though hiring a vehicle will provide you the maximum freedom.

 

The Maldives

Known for their overwater bungalows, Maldives is an ideal destination for honeymooners are those seeking a romantic getaway. There really is something awe-inspiring about waking up about the water’s edge, or having the ability to sip unlimited cocktails at sunset, but after the excitement of this endless food and beverages faded, you’ll have to face the expenses. While beautiful, the Maldives is not a cheap destination to experience. Searching for deals on lodging as well as traveling off-season will help keep the cost down, Seaplanes are quite expensive here, so check out group boat transfers for island hopping. While the snorkeling and boundless water activities are fantastic, some travelers might feel somewhat trapped being in an island with only the hotel restaurants and bars to see. While this could be a dream destination for a few, the possibly of visiting other islands is usually a suggested break from the quiet.

The Maldives is Best for:

  • Romantic Escapes
  • Those who like being left alone and read a book seaside.
  • Expensive Island Hopping

Cost saving hints: As I have mentioned previously, non-resort traveling is booming at this time from the Maldives, and homestays and guest homes on the populated neighborhood islands are a fraction of the price of luxury hotels. In case you’ve got the luxury of time, but not cash, an island hopping adventure on nearby ships, to nearby islands, is unquestionably the most enjoyable way to explore the Maldives. Take note though; local legislation make alcohol illegal in the Maldives out of hotels and according to local traditions, you might have to cover up entirely when on beaches in particular islands.

 

Check out the group tours with G Adventures for savings on tours and our parter, Tourradar, offers free travel insurance quotes for travelers

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