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Best pacific islands to visit.

You may have to trek a bit to reach the thousands of islands that comprise the South Pacific, but the journey is well worth the effort. In this vast area, you'll discover unspoiled beaches, impressive historical sites and a laid-back atmosphere ideal for a relaxing getaway. But with so many islands within Melanesia, Micronesia and Polynesia to choose from, deciding which remote paradise to prioritize may be a challenge – that's where we come in. To determine the best Pacific Islands, U.S. News considered user votes and expert opinions, plus factors like diversity of attractions, accessibility and affordability. Use these recommendations to plan your next vacation, and cast your vote below to have a say in next year's list.

Cook Islands

Solomon islands.

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For a dreamy vacation set amid turquoise waters, lush jungle and extensive coral reefs, book your ticket to Palau. This tiny country in the western Pacific Ocean is known for its premier scuba diving sites and incredible scenery. Get a taste of local culture in Koror, Palau's capital, where you'll find an assortment of craft shops, restaurants, bars and small museums. Other must-do activities include swimming with thousands of non-stinging jellyfish, kayaking Nikko Bay and taking a boat or flight tour of the breathtaking Rock Islands Southern Lagoon, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

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Head to one of Fiji's 330-plus islands if you appreciate cultural activities and attractions as much as you enjoy spending time outdoors. In Suva, Fiji's capital city, you can participate in a traditional kava ceremony (which involves drinking yaqona, a root-based drink with mild sedative properties), watch a firewalking festival at Mariamma Temple and explore the Fiji Museum. Meanwhile, Fiji's smaller destinations – including the Yasawa Islands and Taveuni – feature incredible coral gardens, stunning rainforests and some of the world's best beaches . When you tire of sunbathing, snorkeling and hiking, retreat to a rustic bungalow, a trendy boutique hotel or a luxe five-star resort.

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One of the smallest countries in the world, Tuvalu is comprised of nine low-lying islands featuring unspoiled white sand beaches, abundant marine life and a laid-back atmosphere. Most of your days here will be spent snorkeling, scuba diving or simply lounging on the beach. However, remember to save time for visiting the Tuvalu Post, which is home to a wide collection of rare decades-old stamps, and checking out the destination's World War II wreckage sites. Despite its beauty, Tuvalu is off many travelers' radars, meaning you won't have to fight hordes of tourists for a spot on the sand.

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Newlyweds who want to see a lesser-known side of French Polynesia should consider honeymooning on Moorea. This awe-inspiring island features the same kind of striking natural wonders and romantic accommodations couples will find on Bora Bora, but with a more relaxed atmosphere and lower price tags. What's more, Moorea only sits 10 miles away from Tahiti, making it easy to reach from French Polynesia's main international airport or by ferry. Once travelers arrive on the island, they'll discover eight towering mountains and two beautiful bays, plus several noteworthy attractions, including the Moorea Dolphin Center and Temae Beach.

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This string of more than 80 volcanic islands in the southwestern Pacific Ocean is a picture-perfect getaway that is well off the beaten path. Port Vila, the country's capital located on the island of Efate, is where you'll find many of Vanuatu's tourism facilities, including a selection of restaurants, shops and accommodations. Top activities in Vanuatu include hiking to the summit of Mount Yasur (an active volcano), swimming in the Blue Lagoon and snorkeling Mystery Island's crystal-clear waters.

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Despite its small size, this group of 15 islands midway between New Zealand and Hawaii offers something for everyone. Popular activities range from snorkeling excursions and hikes to waterfalls to village tours. The striking white sand beaches on Rarotonga and Aitutaki also can't be missed. After exploring, savor local staples like ika mata (marinated raw fish) and poke (a pudding-like dish made with tropical fruit) at a market. Meanwhile, make sure to attend an island night celebration, which combines traditional dancing with an umukai (a feast prepared in an underground oven). Because the Cook Islands are associated with New Zealand, visitors can easily fly here from Auckland.

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This French Polynesian island is the perfect place to go if you're looking to reconnect with nature, dial up the romance and pamper yourself while on vacation. In Bora Bora, you'll find overwater bungalows and luxurious spas made for honeymooners , plus a beautiful turquoise lagoon and lush Mount Otemanu to explore. For an overview of the island and an adrenaline rush, sign up for a four-wheel-drive excursion or a boat tour that includes a shark and stingray feeding. Then, head to Matira Beach or your resort's private stretch of sand to relax as you watch the sun set.

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Tahiti's international airport and variety of big-city amenities (think: diverse restaurants, exciting cultural events and abundant five-star resorts) make it a natural choice for a South Pacific vacation. But don't let the French Polynesian island's hustle and bustle fool you: Tahiti also boasts plenty of rushing waterfalls, towering mountains and pristine beaches to set the scene for your relaxing island getaway. Start your visit by checking out the markets, boutiques and nightlife venues in Papeete (Tahiti's capital city) before escaping to one of the island's jaw-dropping natural wonders. Can't-miss spots include Fautaua Waterfall, the Water Gardens of Vaipahi and Papenoo Beach.

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Home to about 170 islands, Tonga is known as the last Polynesian monarchy. Tonga vacationers can spend time relaxing on crowd-free beaches, touring the Mapu'a 'a Vaca blowholes and enjoying a traditional Tongan feast. For a truly once-in-a-lifetime experience, don't miss an opportunity to swim with Tonga's graceful humpback whales, an activity that is possible between July and October. Other adventurous travelers will want to go for a dip in the 'Anahulu Cave, an underground freshwater pool surrounded by ancient stalactites and stalagmites.

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Water lovers, eco-tourists and culture hounds will all love visiting tranquil Samoa. Here, you'll find breathtaking natural wonders like the To Sua ocean trench (a giant swimming hole), the Alofaaga Blowholes and the Sopoaga and Papapapaitai waterfalls. Additionally, Samoa offers an array of cultural attractions, including the Samoa Cultural Village (with traditional tattooing and tapa cloth-making demonstrations) and the Robert Louis Stevenson Museum. Once you've gotten your fill of sightseeing, head to a local market for fresh produce or seafood before retiring to a fale (a rustic beachfront accommodation) for the night.

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Thanks to its abundance of untouched natural wonders and lack of traditional accommodations, the Solomon Islands are an ideal destination for eco-tourists. Visitors can explore dense jungles, surf uncrowded waves and even climb a dormant volcano. The country was also a battle site during World War II, so history buffs can find historic relics like abandoned tanks and amphibious vehicles scattered throughout the islands. But perhaps the most unique sights are those found in the islands' surrounding waters. Divers from around the world flock here to see the Solomon Islands' sunken WWII seaplanes, submarines and oil tankers.

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American Samoa

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South Pacific Tours & Vacations

Tourist walking on jetty, Tikehau atoll, Tuamotu Archipelago, French Polynesia, Oceania

There is so much more to the South Pacific than cruise ships and resorts.

These remote islands – and there’s a lot of them – are bursting with ancient cultures, fascinating festivals and wallpaper-worthy scenery. But our South Pacific tours aren’t your typical beach holiday. While there’ll be plenty of time to kick back on the sand and swim in bright blue lagoons, we’ll also get you trekking up volcanoes in  Vanuatu , splashing around in Fiji ’s dreamiest waterfalls, experiencing traditional village life in New Caledonia  or hiking the historic Kokoda Track in Papua New Guinea . These are Intrepid adventures, so you’ll discover the real South Pacific while supporting local communities along the way. Isn’t that what traveling’s all about?

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South pacific travel faqs, do i need a covid-19 vaccine to join an intrepid trip.

Trips from 1 January 2023 onwards

From 1 January 2023, Intrepid will no longer require travelers to provide proof of vaccination against COVID-19 (excluding all Polar trips and select adventure cruises).

However, we continue to strongly recommend that all Intrepid travelers and leaders get vaccinated to protect themselves and others.

Specific proof of testing or vaccination may still be required by your destination or airline. Please ensure you check travel and entry requirements carefully.

What’s the weather like in the South Pacific?

The South Pacific islands have a tropical climate with only two seasons: a wet season from November to April and a dry season from May to October.

The weather is hot all year round, though it's hotter and stickier in the wet season and tropical cyclones and typhoons can occur.

The dry season sees clearer skies and cooler temperatures, though daytime highs rarely dip below the low 60s (F).

The water temperatures don't fluctuate much, with average temperatures lingering between a pleasant 81°F and 84°F.

When is the best time to visit the South Pacific?

The most popular time to visit the South Pacific is in the dry season from May to October when skies are clear and humidity is low.

However, these months also see the biggest influx of tourists so expect busier beaches and higher prices for things like accommodation.

The wet season is the quietest time in the South Pacific and if you don't mind hotter, stickier and wetter weather, it can be a great time to enjoy the islands in their most idyllic state.

What do I pack for the South Pacific?

The South Pacific region experiences tropical weather, so packing sandals, sunscreen and plenty of swimwear is a must. Because of the high temperatures and often humid conditions (depending on the time of year), packing lightweight, breathable clothing (think linen or cotton) is also a good idea. You might also want to consider packing comfortable walking shoes for exploring the islands and insect repellant for those pesky tropical bugs. 

What is the internet access like in the South Pacific?

While the South Pacific is largely remote as a region (the only way to get there from neighboring countries is to fly), it's fairly connected with great internet access across Samoa, the Cook Islands, New Caledonia, Vanuatu, Papua New Guinea and Fiji. However, there are some exceptions as each island boasts lush tropical rainforests that can interfere with your mobile coverage. Having said that, if you stick to the populated areas, most hotels and restaurants should have wifi for you to connect to. 

Do I need to purchase travel insurance before traveling?

Absolutely. All passengers traveling with Intrepid are required to purchase travel insurance before the start of their trip. Your travel insurance details will be recorded by your leader on the first day of the trip. Due to the varying nature, availability and cost of health care around the world, travel insurance is very much an essential and necessary part of every journey.

For more information on insurance, please go to: Travel Insurance

Are Intrepid trips accessible for travelers with disabilities?

We are committed to making travel widely  accessible , regardless of ability or disability. We do our best to help you see the world, regardless of physical or mental limitations. 

We are always happy to talk to travelers with disabilities and see if we can help guide them toward the most suitable itinerary for their needs and, where possible, make reasonable adjustments to our itineraries.

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  • Spend a relaxing day on Motu Mahana
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Society Islands, Cook Islands, Tonga & Fiji

  • Discover Motu Mahana beach
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New Zealand Uncut: North & South Islands

  • See the Waitomo glow worm caves
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  • See coastal limestone canyons
  • Hike Aoraki /Mt. Cook
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Southern Slice: Nelson to Queenstown

  • Explore limestone canyons
  • Hike the Aoraki/Mount Cook
  • Float in a terminal glacier lake
  • See stunning views of Fiordland NP

Northern Portion: Auckland to Wellington

  • Hike the Tongariro National Park
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  • Visit Lautoka, the Sugar City
  • Explore fascinating Suva
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Crossing Melanesia: Australia To Fiji

  • Explore coral reefs of Milne Bay
  • See WWII historical sites in Alotau
  • Swim in the waters of Espiritu Sant
  • Discover Vanuatu's beaches

Tahiti, Society and Tuamotu Islands

  • Explore Bora Bora
  • Visit the enchanted Huahine
  • Observe unique wildlife
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Tahiti & Pearls of French Polynesia

Cape york & arnhem land.

  • Experience the unique Arnhem Land
  • Explore the Cobourg Peninsula
  • Witness the Tiwi people's culture
  • Snorkel across Lizard Island

Tahiti, the Society & Tuamotu Islands

  • Visit ancient temples on Huahine
  • Observe incredible marine wildlife
  • Snorkel around colorful reefs

Outerknown Adventures on the Great Barrier Reef

  • Snorkel the Great Barrier Reef
  • Swim and snorkel Lizard Island
  • Discover the pristine Ribbon Reefs
  • Learn about Cook’s landing

Coastal New Zealand: Dunedin to Auckland

  • Explore New Zealand’s diverse coast
  • See botanical gardens
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  • Admire Napier's architecture

Rites and Relics: Fiji Firewalking, Vanuatu Volcanoes, and Beyond

  • Explore wonders of Solomon Island
  • Discover wonders of Vanuatu
  • Visit mysterious Ambrym
  • Explore wonders of Fiji

Australia's Iconic Kimberley

  • See the Warton stones
  • Learn prehistoric art
  • Explore Kimberley
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Pearls of the Pacific: Exploring the Society and Tuamotu Islands

  • Swim on Makatea
  • Learn Polynesian history
  • Visit Anaa's small island
  • See Mount Otemanu landscape

Ancient Polynesia: Tuamotus and Marquesas Islands

  • Dive and snorkel in clear waters
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  • Lookout for animals

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Pacificislands.com, your south pacific vacation specialist. australia, new zealand, tahiti, fiji and more.

A romantic vacation in Tahiti, an adrenaline pumping trip to New Zealand, an all-inclusive Fiji vacation, a honeymoon in Bora Bora or an ultimate tour of Australia...

Whatever tickles your fancy – you’ve come to the right place. With many popular travel destinations, PacificIslands.com is your one-stop solution for a vacation in the South Pacific.

Combining extensive knowledge of the destinations and close relationships with our airline partners, resorts and inbound tour-operators we are able to provide our clients with the widest possible selection of travel products, highly competitive prices and personalized service every step of the way.

On our website you can find extensive travel information and useful travel tips for each of the destinations we feature – Tahiti , Fiji , Australia , New Zealand , Hawaii ,--> Cook Islands .

Contact us for a customized quote or browse our selection of the popular itineraries and vacation packages.

Don’t want to settle on one destination? No problem. Multi-destination itineraries is our specialty and passion. How about adding Fiji stopover to your Australia vacation or visiting Tahiti on your way to New Zealand? Would you like to combine Australia, New Zealand and Bora Bora in one trip? Or perhaps you would be more interested in a Fiji – New Zealand – Tahiti combo. Almost anything is possible and we are here to help you create the most exciting and unique itinerary - just for you.

Have a question? Chat with our destination experts, pick up a few ideas and get all your questions answered. Whether you’re planning a honeymoon in Tahiti, a family vacation in Fiji or an exotic adventure combining four different destinations, our team of experienced reservation specialists is at your disposal to help you design your dream vacation -- exciting, memorable, and uniquely yours!

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South Pacific's most idyllic islands for a tropical getaway

Celeste Brash

Sep 22, 2021 • 6 min read

Samoan beach fales

Small thatched beach huts known as Samoan fales on one of the South Pacific island's most pristine beaches © zstockphotos/Getty Images

The South Pacific confounds even the savviest map buffs with its splatter of dots spread across the world's biggest ocean. What you can't tell from a map, or even most tourist brochures is that these palm-laden pinpricks are as diverse as the region is vast. While the postcards might look similar, Fiji and Tahiti are not interchangeable or even much alike when it comes to landscapes and culture.

As you move east across the Pacific from the Solomon Islands to Easter Island , the flora and fauna becomes less diverse. Islands to the east like New Caledonia and Fiji have land snakes and fruit bats, French Polynesia and Easter Island don't. Underwater you'll find more soft corals in the plankton-rich waters to the west but better visibility in the greater reaches of open water to the east.

South Pacific islands are culturally and geographically divided into Polynesia (from the Greek meaning 'many islands') and Melanesia (meaning 'black islands'). Polynesian islands include Samoa , Tonga , Cook Islands , French Polynesia and Easter Island while Fiji, New Caledonia, Vanuatu and the Solomon Islands are Melanesian. The colonial history of the islands has resulted in a modern-day patchwork of English- and French-speaking island groups (plus Spanish in the far eastern Easter Island).

Still confused? Here's the low-down on the main regions and their highlights.

Man paddling canoe on Raratonga coast.

Rarotonga & the Cook Islands

Best for beaches and hospitality Languages: English (official), Cook Islands Maori (Rarotongan)

The Cook Islands mix Polynesian blue water and hospitality with New Zealand (who administer the islands) savoir faire . On the lush, main isle of Rarotonga beach bum all day then experience an 'Island Night' Polynesian feast (pork cooked in an earthen oven, taro root and more) and a local dance performance.

Hop a plane to Aitutuaki atoll, with its low-lying coral islets curling around one of the world's most fantastic lagoons. When not diving, snorkelling or swimming in blue water, check out the atoll's ancient stone temples called marae .

Young woman walking on suspension bridge over Wainibau stream, Lavena Coastal Walk, Taveuni Island, Fiji. Taveuni is the third largest island in Fiji.

Best for: friendly vibes and backpacker adventures Languages: English, iTaukei, Fiji Hindi

Fiji receives nearly the same amount of visitors (about 630,000 annually) as the rest of the South Pacific combined but it still feels wild and exotic. Scents of Indian curries waft from city roti shops while in villages Melanesian families invite you in for a bit of 'grog' ( kava , a slightly narcotic locally made beverage). Diving is another popular activity here and underwater you'll find seascapes of soft corals so dense they look like purple and white forests.

Viti Levu , the Mamanuca and Yasawa Islands have the best beaches and most resorts. It's also easy to get off-the-beaten-path on islands like the lush, dive havens of Taveuni and Vanua Levu or the near-roadless traditional escape of Kadavu.

Hammock at beach on Moorea island in French Polynesia

Tahiti & French Polynesia

Best for: luxury resorts and surfing Languages: French, Polynesian

With over 115 islands spanning five archipelagos, French Polynesia has it all from the legendary, luxe Bora Bora and its over-the-water-bungalows to uncountable forgotten islands perfect for Crusoe-wannabes looking for a basic beach bungalow. Wherever you go, you'll be kissed with a touch of French style.

Dive with plentiful reef sharks and manta rays in the Tuamotu Atolls ; ogle the world's fastest hip shaking at a Tahitian dance performance during the July Heiva Festival; hike to waterfalls and mountain ridges on Tahiti, Moorea , the Marquesas Islands and more; or watch professional surfers brave cavernous tubes at Teahupoo , Tahiti.

Tourists watching Mt Yasur volcano. Tanna, Vanuatu

Best for: volcanoes and hiking Languages: (more than 100) Bislama (creole), English, French, others

If you want rumbling volcanoes, kava bars, shipwrecks to dive on and wild jungles to trek but still want your roads paved and your cheese French, Vanuatu is the place for you.

The main Island of Efate is home to the endearingly dusty capitol of Port Vila but the real action lies on the outer islands. Tanna is dominated by fiery and climbable Mt Yasur. Espiritu Santo has upscale resorts and a tough trek to the massive Millennium Cave filled with waterfalls and bats. Dive and snorkel WWII wrecks to coral gardens.

Aerial of To-Sua Ocean Trench in the rainforest.

Samoa & American Samoa

Best for surfing and hiking Languages: English, Samoan (Polynesian), Samoan/English

The Samoan Islands are divided into two countries – Samoa, which is independent, and American Samoa , which - you guessed it – is an American territory. Both however remain very traditionally Polynesian. Although 'Upolu in Samoa has a few relatively upscale resorts, all the islands feel untouristy and much other accommodation is in the form of basic open beach huts called fale .

You'll find some of the South Pacific's best and most pristine beaches, lots of smiles, flower-filled villages and a pace of life that stands out as slow even in this region. There are few organized excursions but for independent types the opportunity for hiking, cultural connections, surfing and snorkelling are endless.

Lagoon on Mare Island, New Caledonia. There are several people paddling in the clear water. Either side of the lagoon are hulking grey rocks topped with vibrant green plants and moss.

New Caledonia

Best for: food and water sports Language: French, 33 Melanesian-Polynesian dialects

New Caledonia's massive Grande Terre is the third largest island in the Pacific (after Papua New Guinea and New Zealand) and is home to the second largest double barrier coral reef in the world (after Australia's Great Barrier Reef).

Beyond the diving, wind sports and sailing in the lagoon, the land supports a mix of Melanesian and French cultures that bring an elegant balance to hospitality, cuisine and accommodation ranging from beach bungalows to very posh resorts.

Outlying islands such as Île des Pins and Ouvéa offer more remote escapes with some of the Pacific's best beaches and heaps of delicious seafood.

A adult and baby humpack baby whale swim close to the surface of the Pacific Ocean. The image is taken from underwater, side on to the whales.

Best for: swimming with humpback whales Language: English, Tongan

The Kingdom of Tonga is a country of traditional values and strong Christianity backed by endless blue bays, sparkling beaches and ancient stone temples.

The main island of Tongatapu is the seat of the monarchy but most visitors head quickly to the Vava'u Group . Here you'll find one of the best places on Earth to swim with or watch humpback whales. Sailboats flock around the Vava'u's many sheltered blue bays while plenty of scarcely discovered surfing waves are tucked along the coasts.

Horses at Rano Raraku volcanic crater lake at Rano Raruku quarry.

Easter Island (Rapa Nui)

Best for archaeology and wildlife Language: Spanish

Few places on the planet are as intriguing Easter Island 164 square kilometer island so far east, it's technically a part of Chile. Giant, sober-faced stone statues called moai dominate the landscape here whether they are full-standing or still only partially carved from rock; their mystery is an even larger presence.

Tour the island on foot, bike or horseback, find small white beaches and enjoy the lively Polynesian culture mixed with South American spice. Tourism is on the rise but the island remains personable and dedicated to eco-travel.

Two Blacktip Reef Sharks, Carcharhinus melantopterus, swimming over shallow corals on the reef edge with the surface above.

Solomon Islands

Best for: diving and eco-tourism Language: English, Melanesian pidgin, English, 120 indigenous languages

Arguably one of the wildest destinations in the South Pacific, the Solomon Islands host a traditional Melanesian culture and an ever-lingering WWII history. Guadalcanal , the capital island, is home to numerous historical war sites.

For relaxation head to the New Georgia Islands , particularly Marovo Lagoon for its fish-filled lagoon dotted with small islands. Beaches are few but the kayaking, diving and traditional culture make it a true adventure.

An aerial shot of the islands of Palau. The small lumpy islands are covered in dense greenery and surrounded by jewel-blue waters.

Remote South Pacific islands

Where to begin? Some places like Niue , Tuvalu , Kiribati and Wallis & Futuna have flight connections while others like Tokelau and Pitcairn Island can still only be reached by sea . If you're not booking that South Pacific adventure-of-a-lifetime this year, then what are you waiting for? 

You might also like: How to choose the best island for your Fiji vacation Natural spoils: why Kiribati is a nature lover's paradise Why Tanna Island in Vanuatu should be your next big adventure

This article was first published August 2019 and updated September 2021

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Galápagos Adventure: Snorkelling & Sea Lions Tour

  • In-depth Cultural
  • Christmas & New Year

Galápagos Adventure: Snorkelling & Sea Lions

This was a great experience if you are looking for a little adventure! It is not a luxury, relaxing vacation, but has a good mix of exciting experiences, eating good food, waking up early to travel to new stops, and some time to chill and interact with other travelers.

8 Days Galapagos Island Hopping Tour (San Cristobal - Santa Cruz - Isabela) Tour

8 Days Galapagos Island Hopping Tour (San Cristobal - Santa Cruz - Isabela)

  • Book With Flexibility This operator allows you to rebook your dates or tours with them for free, waiving change fees.

Galápagos Express Adventure: Wilderness & Wildlife Tour

Galápagos Express Adventure: Wilderness & Wildlife

My tour guide was amazing! He is so passionate about The Galapagos. He took great care of us.

Galapagos Experience: Volunteer & Travel  2 weeks Tour

  • Volunteering

Galapagos Experience: Volunteer & Travel 2 weeks

  • €134 deposit on some dates Some departure dates offer you the chance to book this tour with a lower deposit.

Affordable Galapagos 8 Days Tour Tour

  • Hiking & Trekking

Affordable Galapagos 8 Days Tour

Just wanted to share that our trip to the Galapagos Islands was fantastic. Everything worked out seamlessly! The hotels and the tours recommended by Guidecuador were excellent! Hotel locations in particular were ideal. We did all as promised, especially the awesome snorkeling with sharks and pinguins, that experience was very special for us. Also, the communication with the staff was very easy for us too. It was nice that we could all check out the daily plan at any time, and be able to pull up all the vouchers and tickets Thank you again Sofia and Alejandro from Guidecuador for making our bucket list place tour an unforgettable lifetime experience. We will definitely go back to you guys in our next trip to Latin America.
  • 10% deposit on some dates Some departure dates offer you the chance to book this tour with a lower deposit.

Galápagos Experience: Volunteer & Travel 10 days Tour

Galápagos Experience: Volunteer & Travel 10 days

10 Days Galapagos Highlights Small Group Tour Tour

10 Days Galapagos Highlights Small Group Tour

Really enjoyed it. Our guide was Pedro, and he really knew his stuff. The canoe rides and sightseeing were unforgettable. The food and restaurant service was great. The only suggestion I have is to give warning when the power and water are to go off, so we could plan around it.

4 Days Galapagos Essential Budget Tour Tour

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4 Days Galapagos Essential Budget Tour

Galapagos Experience Volunteering & Travel  3 Weeks Tour

Galapagos Experience Volunteering & Travel 3 Weeks

Galapagos Island Hopping Adventure Tour

Galapagos Island Hopping Adventure

These have been some fantastic days filled with experiences I’ll never forget. Every day was different; different species, different snorkling. We always got enough time to enjoy everything. The guides on the boats were great. I liked staying on the islands to get a feeling for the towns and the people. Hope to come back!

Ultimate Galapagos 6 Days Tour Tour

Ultimate Galapagos 6 Days Tour

Alejandro was fantastic, always prompt to help and suggest for the best. He is available 24/7 via email or whatsapp!

7 Days Galapagos Express Adventure Tour

7 Days Galapagos Express Adventure

Die gesamte Reise war traumhaft und unvergesslich. Von Anfang bis Ende sehr gut organisiert. Ich kann nichts negatives berichten.

7 Day Galapagos Island Hopping Budget Tour

7 Day Galapagos Island Hopping Budget

We loved this tour! Having everything booked for us in advance and guides at each stop was a wonderful way to experience this trip. Everyday we had a new daily guide who knew their stuff and made the trip go that extra step. We loved the balance between the hiking and snorkeling and that we got to do those adventures on multiple islands, not just one spot. For travelers who want to experience a nice variety of what a location, this was perfect! Thank you Rebecca Adventure Travels for helping this beginner travel couple have a wonderful Honeymoon in their #1 bucket list travel location! We will definitely look you up again for our next big adventure!

Nature and Adventure: 5 Days in Santa Cruz and Isabela. Tour

  • Ocean Cruise

Nature and Adventure: 5 Days in Santa Cruz and Isabela.

Very good tour. The attention was very personalized and allowed me to know more things. I only wish I could have gone to the tunnels tour instead of the dry cleaners, otherwise, everything was excellent.

4-day Galapagos Surprising Tour (Private Tour) Tour

4-day Galapagos Surprising Tour (Private Tour)

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PACIFIC – Ultimate 14 days Pacific island hopping itinerary: Palau, Yap, Guam & Northern Marianas

Table of Contents

Planning tips for a Pacific island hopping trip

Pacific island hopping itinerary day 1: arriving on saipan, pacific island hopping itinerary day 2: saipan island wwii tour, pacific island hopping itinerary day 3: tinian day trip, pacific island hopping itinerary day 4: mañagaha island visit and off to rota, pacific island hopping itinerary day 5: road trip on rota island, pacific island hopping itinerary day 6: next hop to guam, pacific island hopping itinerary day 7: guam day tour, pacific island hopping itinerary day 8: latte valley half day trip, pacific island hopping itinerary day 9: next island hop to yap, pacific island hopping itinerary day 10: snorkeling on yap, pacific island hopping itinerary day 11: full day land tour on yap, pacific island hopping itinerary day 12: kayaking on yap and next hop to palau, pacific island hopping itinerary day 13: snorkel trip on palau, pacific island hopping itinerary day 14: palau helicopter and land tour, pacific island hopping itinerary day 15: palau kayak and snorkel tour and departure.

The Pacific islands Palau , Yap , Guam, and the norther Mariana Islands make up a perfect 14-16-day Pacific island hopping trip. They offer lots of WWII history, sunshine, diving, and awesome nightlife. I visited each island for a short time and hopped around. Its 3 countries: Republic of Palau, Federated States of Micronesia, and USA territories. Isn’t that awesome? The itinerary below is 14 days if you’re already in South East Asia but you should add a day or two if you are coming from a long way. Let’s hop!

The most difficult to reach island will be Yap with only one flight a week to Palau and two to Guam . At the time of my visit and writing of this article these are:

  • Tuesday evening flight Guam to Yap (arrives after midnight)
  • Saterday evening flight Guam to Yap continues Yap to Palau
  • Saterday after midnight flight Palau to Yap, continues Yap to Guam
  • Tuesday after midnight, flight Yap to Guam

You have to puzzle a bit what works best for you; in my case I flew back to Guam actually and then from Guam direct to Palau. Fix your days on Yap first with flights to/from Palau and Guam. When you have that fixed add your days on the other islands around it.

On Yap island of the Federated States of Micronesia I recommend staying at the Manta Ray Bay Resort which is the only high end resort on the small island. They also take care of all your excursions including diving. On Palau, I recommend staying at the Palau Royal Resort which is an awesome place to stay and has its own private beach. Arrange your tours and dive trips through Fish n Fins which also offers a Palau Helicopter tour . 

On Guam, I recommend staying at the Outriggers Resort and have them arrange a one-day island tour as well. They are in the central area with all nightlife within walking distance. Saipan (stay at the Hyatt using loyalty points AND paying a small fee in cash. It’s cheap) is easily reached from Guam as is Rota (stay at the Golf Resort). Tinian however can only be reached from Saipan and I recommend having Walt from Discover Saipan arrange that for you. 

Now, let’s look at the Pacific island hopping itinerary day by day but the details I’ll share in the day trip articles I’ll write over time. 

I had a conference in Singapore before this trip and was already adjusted to the time zone. Before this Pacific island hopping journey, I stayed overnight in Manilla. On day one I flew from Manilla to Guam and onwards to Saipan arriving late afternoon. I just enjoyed local craft beer that night. Yes, Saipan has its own brewery! Saipans icon is the submerged WWII tank as you can see in the photo below. Isn’t that awesome?

The second day on Saipan I did a WWII tour with Walt from Saipan Discovery. He drove me around the island on a private tour. He literally showed me everything related to WWII including places most tours won’t take you! It was a long day but a very interesting and educational one. Walt also knows all about the history and explains at every sight very well what happened there. The photo below is taken at the top of suicide cliff. Thousands of Japanese jumped of this cliff to avoid being captured. In the evening, I just dipped in the ocean and watched the sunset from my hotel.

A Tinian day trip is something you must do if you are on Saipan or on a Pacific island hopping journey. It’s the island the bombers carrying the atomic bombs which destroyed Nagasaki and Hiroshima took off. You learn about WWII history and see the pits the bombs were stored. You also drive over runway Able, the runway from which the bombers took off. Walt of Discover Saipan showed me Tinian, he was so good on Saipan that I hired him again for the day. He knows so much and knows places regular tours don’t go to. You’ll also see Shinto shrines; old Chamorro culture remains including parts of the concentration camps they were put in. Tinian is small, but the story is huge!

Read about this Pacific island hopping day in detail : MARIANA ISLANDS – Tinian day trip: tracing WWII’s end & the start of the Atomic Era

Time to make the first hop of this Pacific island hopping itinerary (not counting arrival) but first a morning relaxing on Mañagaha Island. I first went for an hour snorkeling before arriving to the island. As I was on a private boat I could decide myself when to go back. I stayed for 2 or 3 hours on the island. After lunch, I headed back to the hotel to get my luggage as my flight to Rota was in the afternoon. I recommend booking with Star Marianas airline which also does the flights to Tinian. On Rota hire a car with Islander Car Rental as they are affordable and professional. If you arrive before sunset try to catch sunset at one of the empty beaches Rota has. A great way to end the day.

Rota Island is a very small island and driving almost all the roads doesn’t take more than 5-6 hours which includes seeing most if not all places of interest. I stayed two nights on Rota so that I would have one full day including private time on one of the empty beaches. The island is so quiet compared to Guam or Saipan , it was great to get away from all the people. Make sure to see sunset or sunrise too!

Read all about Rota island including the must-see places in this day trip report: MARIANA ISLANDS – Must see places on a Rota island overnight trip; the unspoiled marianas

Although it’s just a short 35 minute flight from Rota to Guam it still eats up about 4-5 hours of a day. There are several flights a day and I decided to take one around 3PM so that I could enjoy Rota’s quiet beaches in the morning and still have time in the evening on Guam. Plan this day as you wish, it’s the most flexible day of this Pacific island hopping itinerary! More time on quiet Rota ? Or more time on hectic Guam . It’s up to you.

Guam is the largest island of this Pacific island hopping itinerary yet seeing all war relics doesn’t take a full day. I drove around the island with a private guide who knew exactly where to go. WWII relics , old Spanish remains and a few natural views were included on the tour. A day well spend with some afternoon time left at the beach. 

Another great half day trip on Guam is to the Latte Valley where I learned about the old Chamorro culture. The trip starts with a boat ride up the river and then continues with a visit to a Chamorro village. It ends with a great local lunch and I was back at the hotel around 2PM leaving enough time to get pampered at a spa. In the evening I explored Guam’s nightlife!

The flight from Guam to Yap leaves late evening so I still had a full day to recharge on Guam . Sleep long, dip in the ocean, snorkel a bit in front of the Outriggers Resort and go to the spa again. A relaxing day. I arrived past midnight at the Manta Bay Resort on Yap. It was also my first visit to the Federated States of Micronesia, a new country to tick of my list.

Yap is one of the states of the Federated States of Micronesia and a true paradise. With just two arriving flights a week only 12000 tourists visit the island yearly. It’s a divers paradise but I couldn’t dive yet unfortunately. After this Pacific island hopping trip I started a dive course back in the Netherlands. I went on a snorkel tour which was awesome! I swam with sharks but didn’t see any manta rays. In the afternoon, I had a massage at the spa of the Manta Ray Bay Resort Yap . Oh, you’ll get addicted there to tuna poke for sure; it’s so good. 

Read about this Pacific island hopping day in detail : MICRONESIA FSM – Diving & snorkeling on Yap and swimming with sharks

Most people on Yap go on a half day land tour to the south of the island. I however wanted to see all relics from WWII so I did a full day tour. I saw crashed planes, old canons and more. The tour also includes a visit to the old local houses and stone money. Stone money is unique in the world and was carried to Yap all the way from Palau. I also love Yaps nature; it’s a true paradise. If you’re a diver than make sure to plan the land tour the last day as otherwise you’ll get problems flying out.

Read about this Pacific island hopping day in detail: MICRONESIA FSM – Things to do on Yap – island tour & how to get there

Flights to Palau leave late evening so I had time for a morning Kayak tour through Yaps mangroves. The rest of the day I relaxed at the pool of the Manta Ray Bay Resort and enjoyed their delicious tuna. If you are a diver you probably want to do the land tour this day as you would not be able to fly otherwise. I wish I could have stayed longer on Yap, I do need to return and to check also some other islands of the Federated States of Micronesia. It’s a true paradise but now my Pacific island hopping continued to Palau.

Read about this Pacific island hopping day in detail : MICRONESIA FSM – Must do activity on Yap: Kayaking through the mangroves

I still couldn’t dive, I should have learned before I started this Pacific island hopping trip, so I went again on a snorkel day trip. Fish m Fins on Palau knows where to go and they went to the best spots! I went in the water at three different spots of which one which had very shallow reef was the best. The current was strong and we just floated over the reef and the boat picked us up on the other side. It was so amazing and I could test my new underwater camera for the first time. In the afternoon, I relaxed at the private beach of the Palau Royal Resort . For dinner, I recommend Drop Off Bar & Restaurant which is the best on Palau. 

There are several interesting places to discover on Palau. I only toured the main island and do want to return one day to see more of the outer islands too. There are more WWII relics there as on the main island and I still want to see the quarry of the stone money on Palau . That’s for another Pacific island hopping trip. I did a half day land tour to waterfalls, pre historic Chamorro stones, parliament, and a few other stops. Seeing Palau on the ground or sea is great but the best is from the air! A Palau Helicopter tour is a must-do and best arranged through Fish n Fins. It was amazing to see paradise from the air. 

Read about this Pacific island hopping day in detail : PALAU – Must do: Palau helicopter tour; a bird’s eye view of paradise island

My flight was in the evening to Taipei, Taiwan . There are also flights to Manilla, Seoul, Tokyo, and some other destinations. As I still had a morning left I went on a kayak rock island tour which also included an hour snorkeling . The reef near one of the rock islands was amazing with beautiful marine life. A must do if you have a partial day left. 

Read about this Pacific island hopping day in detail: PALAU – Exploring Palau’s Rock Islands by kayak & snorkeling in a hidden lake

Unfortunately, everything comes to an end and so did my Pacific island hopping adventure. I hope to hop around more soon! I have plans to visit next year several other islands in the Pacific which might include Tuvalu, Tokelau, Fiji and hopefully Cook Islands. I hope this ultimate 14 day Pacific island hopping itinerary helps you plan your trip. Check also my 7-days Vanuatu itinerary and 7-days Solomon Islands itinerary if you want to extend your Pacific trip. I enjoyed every single day and wished I had more time but I had to continue elsewhere in the world.  

Stay tuned for more stories and subscribe to the newsletter or follow CTB on social media ( Facebook , Twitter , Instagram including Instagram stories; on all social media you can find CTB @christravelblog) to get updated information.

Did you visit Guam, Yap, Palau or the Marianas too or do you have questions? Please leave a comment at the bottom of the page. Love to hear from you!

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What Travelers Say About Their Pacific Northwest Tours

We never knew that the San Juan Islands could be so beautiful and hold so much adventure for this older couple. Everyone on the Wilderness Discoverer worked hard (but never showed it) to make sure we had an exciting and fulfilling time. Their patience and enthusiasm for their jobs made our trip so memorable.

From reception to disembarking attention to detail was evident in all events. I saw lots of teamwork and enthusiasm at all levels. Their wealth of knowledge was amazing. I think they had as much fun as we did. These are obviously top notch people who loved their work and did a wonderful job.

The cabins and ship, the staff, the Heritage speakers, the dining experience - all of this and more - was terrific! The chef was fantastic in her choices and flavors. Our cabin was well appointed and maintained perfectly. Lastly, our Adventure Specialist, Nick, was responsive, informative and very helpful every step of the way. The trip ran like clockwork from beginning to end.

The small ship went into quiet coves, ability to get off to kayak and hike. We most enjoyed kayaking along glaciers and fjords, and beach walks. Great guides.

Exceeded expectations. We would recommend AdventureSmith to friends and family without hesitation.

As we experienced in our previous Uncruise trip to Alaska, the trip was well planned and well executed. We enjoyed the people we met while on the boat. I felt that every staff member we encountered was gracious and courteous making us all feel welcome and comfortable.

This traveler reviews her experience of a  San Juan Islands cruise that is no longer in operation. See all  UnCruise Cruises  for other options to travel aboard the Wilderness Discoverer.

Wow, we thought our UnCruise adventure last year to S.E. Alaska couldn't be topped, but this adventure came a very close 2nd! We never knew that the San Juan Islands could be so beautiful and hold so much adventure for this older couple. Everyone on the Wilderness Discoverer worked hard (but never showed it) to make sure we had an exciting and fulfilling time. Their patience and enthusiasm for their jobs made our trip so memorable. Our needs were met every single day and the crew made us feel so special, like offering and providing a private skiff tour around Cypress and "Mermaid" Island for just Jim and me when we missed the last skiff because of open kayaking. We continue to sing the praises of both UnCruise and Advenuturesmith Explorations! [We chose this trip and destination because] we have enjoyed our two previous Un-Cruises and we have family in the Seattle area, so we naturally look for adventures in the region that are within a short distance in the NW or Alaska. Every meal and adventure was made more fun because of our enthusiastic fellow travelers!

Accommodations Review

Could have used a few more hooks in the rooms for hand towels, clothes, etc. Our bathroom was usually foul smelling and could have used an air freshener...

Meals Review

BACON was da bomb! I loved the salmon, scallops and ribs; my husband liked the lamb and the raw oysters. Daily different special bar drinks were exciting and fun to look forward to! The only thing we could even possibly give less than 5 stars was that some of the fish dishes at dinner were less than exciting. The desserts were fantastic, though!

Crew & Guides Review

We loved our morning on Spencer off of Lopez Island... with the remnants of the morning fog it was a photographer's dream!

Itinerary Review

Without a doubt, I loved the moonlight kayaking around Lopez Island, a truly spiritual experience when we turned most of the lights out and became very quiet, just hearing the sound of our paddles churning up the bio-luminescent plankton in the water. I loved hiking in the rain and fog through The Staircase area of Olympic National Park. We also enjoyed the morning guided kayak trip in total fog around the Finger Islands around Sucia Island. We also liked the bus trip up Mt. Constitution, the picnic beside the lake as well as the short walk through the surrounding woods on Orcas Island- and so many other activities on this trip...as well as the comradery on the boat...we made so many new friends!

AdventureSmith Explorations Review

AdventureSmith is always terrific and thorough. We have and will continue to [recommend AdventureSmith Explorations], in fact I just did so earlier today!

Traveler Advice

Pack for casual and exciting adventures. Don't expect luxurious quarters-just fun, fantastic food and lots of fun!

Featured in this Traveler Review

  • Wilderness Discoverer
  • UnCruise Adventures

This traveler reviews his experience of a Columbia and Snake River cruise that is no longer in operation. See all  UnCruise Cruises  for other options to travel aboard the Wilderness Legacy.

From reception to disembarking attention to detail was evident in all events. Understanding that you make many of these trips each year keeping this level so high is a true complement. We wanted a small ship that covered all possible segments of the area. You LOS filled that requirement. Made some good friends.

This was our fourth river trip and the first where we were able to visit the bridge at will. For me, the mechanics of running a boat this size requires a certain management level which obviously existed. I saw lots of teamwork and enthusiasm at all levels.

So maybe a hamburger can be offered at times but you are obviously are on a par with other trips that we have experienced. I would guess that the general client group had no idea how healthy your meals were. You failed miserably to add 10 pounds as requested. 5 was all I could muster. Portion sizes were excellent. No improvement necessary in this category.

Can't add anything other than great job at all levels. Their wealth of knowledge was amazing. I think they had as much fun as we did.

Hard to rate but [I enjoyed most] the Snake River Fast Boat excursion was tops and the Winery Tour was second. Why - Both took lots of people management skills and coordination. Included in all the excursions were the Heritage Guides and your Hotel Manager. These are obviously top notch people who loved their work and did a wonderful job.

Pre-trip information was adequate. We have already recommended AdventureSmith Explorations.

The Lewis and Clark theme was a great way to understand how our country grew. When we left the boat we traveled East cross country more or less on their route back to the Missouri. We uncovered new information that added to our base knowledge about Lewis and Clark. Made for an even more interesting experience. Read the book also.

  • Wilderness Legacy

This traveler reviews her experience of a Columbia and Snake River cruise that is no longer in operation. See all  UnCruise Cruises  for other options to travel aboard the Wilderness Legacy (renamed from the S.S. Legacy in 2020.)

We enjoyed every aspect of this trip. The cabins and ship, the staff, the Heritage speakers, the dining experience - all of this and more - was terrific! The trip through Hells Canyon was amazing. The jet boat was the perfect method to tour this spectacular vista. The "skipper" and his assistant were very helpful and informative. The two stops (lunch and the park ranger compound) were amazing to see and learn more about this area of the US. We chose to stay in the states for our vacation this year and we are so glad we did. Our daughters also visited the bridge as well as the engine room. Everybody kept busy yet relaxed at the same time. We were a smaller group of 44 travelers. At first we thought the average age might be older than we expected especially since our daughters joined us (ages 25 and 27). However, we were wrong. We felt the variety added to the experience! They felt welcomed and comfortable.

We ate everything placed in front of us! The chef was fantastic in her choices and flavors. It is amazing that all that food was prepared in a relatively small space. Kudos to the Chef and her team. Shannon, our server in the dining room, was spectacular also! With helpful tips at various locations as well as an extraordinary sense of the cuisine, Shannon made each meal-time a special time for us. No request went unfulfilled and nothing was ever a problem or concern. We felt all the wait staff were good but Shannon stood out and we wanted to pass this along.

Denise was our lead and had us well organized/informed on all the events ahead of us each day. Lilly and Jen were amazing in their knowledge and presentation of material. Each tour was handled so very well; we were most impressed with the whole team. Must add that it was, for us, the perfect balance of information and visits.

Our cabin was well appointed and maintained perfectly - we did not spend much time in our cabin but that was the point. However, we slept well and had everything we needed.

Transportation Review

The trip ran like clockwork from beginning to end.

Our Adventure Specialist, Nick, was responsive, informative and very helpful every step of the way. Thank you, Nick!

Prepare to have fun!

We most enjoyed kayaking along glaciers and fjords, and beach walks. Great guides. Wonderful group to travel with, made some good friends. We wanted to see Alaska’s coast, would hate to travel by large ship. The small ship went into quiet coves, ability to get off to kayak and hike. Ketchikan...after peace and solitude, was too congested.

Given tight quarters well done. Slow shower drain, leaving toilet area wet, not my favorite.

Variety, flavors, presentation wonderful.

The enthusiasm and knowledge of all guides added greatly to the trip.

Baggage and transfer handled smoothly. Over emphasis on the boots. Needed once and ankle high was plenty.

  • Inside Passage with Olympic National Park & 2 Days in Glacier Bay

Exceeded expectations. Expedition lead, Rab, led a great team. All were knowledgeable and great teachers. Plus all were accessible throughout the trip. Betty Lou and Linda were particularly outstanding but all were great. James added his diving and photography expertise as did Drew and Brian. Eryn was an outstanding naturalist and patient teacher. Captain and crew were friendly and helpful. Fabulous in all regards. Rab really set the tone and having the experience of Linda, Betty Lou, Eryn, and the others enhanced the experience. The handling of bear confrontation on shore showed exceptional knowledge, training and leadership. Very impressive.

The Sea Bird is old and cabins are what they are, but still really good.  Get fitted sheets. Easier on stewards and passengers. But vessel was great. We knew what to expect so no surprises. The common areas were more than adequate for the expedition.

Amazing work given the limitations of the galley. Breakfast and lunch were perfect to fuel us up and keep us energized. Appetizers were a highlight. I very much liked the portion size at dinner. Soup needs work. Too much of same dark base. Think miso or chowder, but minor. Great baked goods.  Service was A+++ from Val on down.

No one better than Rab, Betty Lou and Linda. Gold standard. Rab shared personal experiences and emotions and displayed encyclopedic knowledge of every subject. Clone him. Betty Lou's talk on her career was fabulous. The whole team was knowledgeable, personable, helpful, available, great in crisis and enthusiastic. How can one be with Rab and not get excited about the events or with Linda, Betty Lou, Eryn and not learn? 

Photography staff was first rate. Brian and Drew knew everything and explained it clearly. Divers, Jim and Lynn, added a whole different dimension to our experience. Local guides were essential to understanding Haida and Kwakwaka wakaw cultures. And the Watchmen gave such authenticity to our experience. Loved Ranger Molly. Wow!!!! No weak individual on this team.

Haida Gwaii, Gwai Hannas, Old Massett, and Alert Bay were strong cultural experiences which made the whole trip worthwhile. The nature walks were well chosen and instructive. Sometimes after dinner talks were repetitious, but small issue.

Zodiak tours were uniformly outstanding and exciting. The excursion into the sea near the Hobbit Hole was a memory for all time as was Rabs talk about Vitas Bering and George Stellars. Whew, all good!!! Glacier visits were well done, awesome, and sobering to see the impacts of climate change. Potlach dances were highlight also as was the ability to meet Jim Hart and Christian White. Legendary and inspiring. Gwaii Hannas was magical.

Andrew was, as always, excellent. Made our trip prep easy. We would recommend AdventureSmith to friends and family without hesitation.

Embrace the experience. Pack lighter/take less. Read some history like Muir's Travels in Alaska, history of decimation of tribes by European exposure and books on Northwest art.

  • A Remarkable Journey to Alaska, British Columbia & Haida Gwaii
  • National Geographic Sea Bird
  • Andrew Browning

This traveler reviews her experience of a Columbia and Snake River cruise that is no longer in operation. See all UnCruise Cruises for other options to travel aboard the Wilderness Legacy.

Our cabin on the Legacy was very comfortable and well maintained. I loved having the window view. The only comment I can think of to add would be that being able to adjust the temperature in the dining room and the lounge so that it was not so cold would have been welcome.

Skiba did a superb job organizing and communicating the activities of the day.  Julie was an informative and enthusiastic leader!  I learned so much from Ryan about the geology of the area.  it added much to our actual visits.  Keka (Ericka) is certainly a special guide.  She did an excellent job presenting the salmon information as well as her knowledge of other naturalist elements of the trip.  Alll of the leaders and guides that I experienced were skilled and attentive making us all feel comfortable regardless of the activity . Although the wine was not my major interest I thought Asher, as sommelier, did an excellent job of creating activities and sharing information for everyone.

I would suggest the twin bed arrangement for a couple for ease of movement in the cabin.

I had some dietary restrictions (GF) that were well handled at the meals. The chef , Marcus, frequently provided me with chicken soup when I needed it. And Julie, the pastry chef, made wonderful gluten free bread that I enjoyed at almost every meal. This was facilitated by our server, Quinn. They made the extra efforts to meet my individual needs, not an easy task when you are serving a large group. Kudos to the food staff.

[I most enjoyed] The visit to Palouse State Park, the hike at the Dalles, the Maryhill Museum of Art, viewing the dams and locks from the boat, and Fort Clatsop. [I least enjoyed] The Stonehenge replica - not as interesting as a replica. Would have spent more time at the Maryhill Museum.

I felt I had the information I needed to plan for the trip. They arranged for us to be taken to the airport to pick up a rental car following our disembarking. I felt that Leslie was easy available for any questions we might have. I think the materials provided really give an accurate picture of the trip.

  • Leslie Camacho

Deals on Pacific Northwest Tours

For the best deals on Pacific Northwest tours, contact the AdventureSmith Experts. Our team can help you take advantage of the best early-booking discounts, alert you to dates as soon as they are released and provide details on the seasonal nature of Pacific Northwest trips. We stay on top of the latest airfare, kids, solo and group deals for all the Pacific Northwest vacation packages that we offer. Our team of Pacific Northwest tour specialists will help you plan right from the start so that you get the best discount to fit your ideal trip itinerary.

Early bird gets the worm! Choose from a selection of Alaska adventure cruises and receive 10% off and 2024 pricing when you book your select 2025 departure now!

Book your select 2025 departure in Alaska, Hawaii, Mexico (Baja, California), or the Galapagos Islands and receive 2024 pricing + 10% off.

Save 5% when traveling as a group of 8 or more on a variety of 2024 or 2025 National Geographic expeditions worldwide.

Save $500 per kid under 18 when you book your 2024 or 2025 departure from a variety of National Geographic expeditions worldwide.

Early birds! Book your select 2025 departure from the below-linked Alaska cruises to receive 10% off and 2024 rates.

Offer valid on new bookings only, subject to availability and cannot be combined with any other offers except UnCruise’s Loyalty, Referral and Kid savings. Applicable on select departures and cabins. See all  Alaska small ship cruise deals  for a comprehensive list of current savings on these and other adventures.

  • Alaska Fjords & Glaciers
  • Alaska’s Glacier Wilderness with Glacier Bay
  • Inside Passage with Olympic National Park & 2 Days in Glacier Bay
  • Glacier Bay Adventure Cruise with 2 Days in Glacier Bay
  • Wild & Woolly Alaska Cruise
  • Northern Passages with Glacier Bay & Sitka

Book your select 2025 departure of the below-linked small ship cruises in Alaska, Hawaii, Mexico (Baja, California) and the Galapagos Islands to lock in 2024 pricing and receive 10% off.

Offer valid on new bookings only, subject to availability and can be combined with other select offers. See all  small ship cruise deals  for a comprehensive list of current savings on this and other adventures.

  • Prince William Sound Explorer
  • Hawaiian Seascapes Cruise
  • Baja California’s Whales & Sealife
  • Northern Gulf of California: Whales, Birds & Sealife
  • Darwin’s Galapagos Discoveries

Save 5% when traveling as a group of 8 or more on select 2024 and 2025 departures of the below-linked National Geographic expeditions.

Offer valid on new bookings only, for a limited time upon availability and may be combined with other select offers. Applicable on voyage fares only, not valid on extensions or airfare. Deposit, final payments, and cancellation policies for group travel vary from the standard policy. See all  cruise deals  for a comprehensive list of current savings on these and other adventures.

  • Exploring Alaska’s Coastal Wilderness
  • Treasures of the Inside Passage: Alaska & British Columbia
  • Prince William Sound Cruise & Rail Adventure
  • Great Bear Rainforest Cruise: The Land of the Spirit Bear
  • A Remarkable Journey to Alaska, British Columbia & Haida Gwaii
  • Wild Alaska Escape: Juneau & Ketchikan
  • Wild Alaska Escape: Sitka & Juneau
  • Northwest Passage: Greenland to Alaska
  • High Arctic Archipelago: Canada & Greenland
  • Coastal Wonders of Norway, the Faroe Islands & Iceland
  • Norway’s Fjords & Arctic Svalbard
  • Norwegian Discovery: Svalbard & The Northern Fjords Cruise
  • National Geographic Land of the Ice Bears
  • Svalbard, Iceland & Greenland’s East Coast Cruise
  • A Circumnavigation of Iceland
  • Iceland & Greenland: Edge of the Arctic Cruise
  • Iceland’s Wild West Coast to East Greenland Cruise
  • Baja California: Among The Great Whales
  • Baja California: A Remarkable Journey
  • A Southern Migration: From The Channel Islands to Baja California
  • Wild California Escape: Channel Islands National Park
  • Baja California Holiday Voyage: A Living Sea & Desert Isles
  • The Canadian Maritimes & Newfoundland
  • Fabled Lands of the North: Greenland to Newfoundland
  • Panama & Colombia: Exploring The Caribbean Coast
  • Sailing the Caribbean Aboard Sea Cloud
  • National Geographic Endeavour II Galapagos Cruises
  • National Geographic Wild Galapagos Escape Cruise
  • Best of Chilean Patagonia: From Torres del Paine to Cape Horn
  • Patagonia: Chilean Fjords & Argentina’s Staten Island
  • Southern Patagonia: Glaciers, Fjords & Wildlife Cruise
  • Costa Rica & The Panama Canal
  • Mediterranean Gems: Southern Italy & Sicily Aboard Sea Cloud
  • Sailing the Greek Isles Aboard Sea Cloud
  • Isles of Antiquity: Malta, Sardinia & the Balearic Sea Aboard Sea Cloud
  • Corsica & Sardinia Aboard Sea Cloud
  • Sailing The Ancient Shores of Sicily & Malta
  • Under Sail: Greece & The Dalmatian Coast Aboard Sea Cloud
  • Scotland’s Highlands & Islands
  • Pearls of the Pacific: Exploring The Society & Tuamotu Islands
  • Rites & Relics: Fiji Firewalking, Vanuatu Volcanoes & Beyond
  • Fiji & Tahiti Adventure: Vibrant Reefs & Cultural History
  • Columbia & Snake Rivers Journey
  • Exploring British Columbia & The San Juan Islands
  • National Geographic Upper Amazon Cruise
  • Vietnam & Cambodia: Along the Mekong River, Including Angkor & Saigon
  • Wild Costa Rica Escape: Guanacaste Cruise
  • National Geographic Antarctica, South Georgia & The Falklands
  • National Geographic The White Continent
  • National Geographic South Georgia & The Falklands
  • Antarctica & Patagonia: Legendary Ice & Epic Fjords
  • Coastal New Zealand: Scenic Fjords, Māori History & Abundant Wildlife
  • Southern Odyssey: New Zealand & The Sub-Antarctic Islands
  • Roots of the Pacific: Exploring New Zealand & Melanesia
  • Kimberley Expedition: Northwest Australia & Indonesia
  • Exploring Indonesia: Bali, Raja Ampat & Papua New Guinea
  • Jewels of The Java Sea: An Exploration Between Bali & Singapore

Save $500 per kid under the age of 18 on select 2024 and 2025 departures of the below-linked National Geographic expeditions.

Offer valid on new bookings only, subject to availability, and may not be combined with other offers. See all  cruise deals  for a comprehensive list of current savings on these and other adventures.

  • Wild Iceland Escape
  • Antarctic Express: Fly the Drake

Let Our Experts do The Pacific Northwest Trip Planning For You

With so many places to see and things to do, planning a Pacific Northwest trip can be daunting. Should you go inland or explore the coastline? What vineyards and breweries are the best? Where to go hiking and see the most wildlife? How best to get out on the water? What accommodations to book? How to get from place to place? Our Pacific Northwest vacation packages remove all these questions and simplify your experience. Our experts have already done the homework, have experience in the region, and can help you book a Pacific Northwest tour that features the best of what you’re seeking. Still want to browse? Filter through all our Pacific Northwest tours .

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South Pacific Island Hopping – A Guide to Travelling In & Between French Polynesia, Samoa & The Cook Islands

For as long as I can remember I’ve been obsessed with the South Pacific . It’s not just the white sand beaches and turquoise water, but the culture and traditions that always intrigued me. I visited Fiji 10 years ago and loved it, so when Enrico and I were discussing which places we wanted to visit this year, the South Pacific was high on the list. I did some research into South Pacific island hopping and soon discovered it’s not quite as easy as I expected to travel from island to island, even when you’re travelling within the same country. There aren’t that many ferries, and often the only option is to take lots of flights. It’s totally worth it though (although I feel a little guilty about my carbon footprint this year). After two months of island hopping in the South Pacific, here are our top tips!

A Lovely Planet - South Pacific Island Hopping - Hayley Lewis

Disclosure: This article contains affiliate links. This means that if you click a link and purchase something I’ve recommended I may earn a small commission. This does not affect the price you pay but helps me to run this site. You can read my full affiliate disclosure here.

How to Island Hop in The South Pacific!

Before you start looking at which Pacific islands to visit, it’s worthwhile looking at the logistics of travel between them.

I had imagined that we would take ferries between lots of the South Pacific islands, but in reality, there are very few. There are cargo ships, which do sometimes take passengers, but the timetables change and they give priority to locals, plus you can’t book in advance. We really wanted to do this as it sounded like such an adventure (and it’s cheap). But in actuality, we only had two months, and you really need a lot of time to spare in case you can’t get on the boat when it arrives and need to wait for the next one, which could be in a few weeks’ time.

If you have a yacht and plenty of time, then you can sail between the islands, but we sadly do not have a yacht, (and we don’t know how to sail so couldn’t hire one.) Once I have more sailing experience this would definitely be something I’d like to try though! If you plan on sticking to one country, you could try a diving boat, such as a Fiji liveaboard , or there are also big cruise ships, but we wanted to have lots of time on the islands to explore so that wasn’t for us either.

A Lovely Planet - South Pacific Island Hopping - Hayley Lewis

You might be surprised to know that there aren’t direct flights between most of the countries in the South Pacific, meaning you have to fly into Auckland and then back out. This will have an impact on cost, route and time. After hours spent looking at flights I worked out which of the Pacific islands connect and this dictated our route.

For example –

Fiji is quite a good hub – you can fly from Fiji to Vanuatu and to Tonga, so it can make a good trio with those two destinations.

From the Cook Islands, there is a direct flight to Tahiti (French Polynesia), once a week and you can fly onto Easter Island or Hawaii from Tahiti.

Number 1 on our list was French Polynesia . I’ve always wanted to go there, so that was definitely going to be in our South Pacific itinerary, and with the link to the Cook Islands , we also added that to the route.

For the final island, we considered Tonga – we were going to be travelling during the whale migration, which has big appeal – but eventually decided on Samoa. Although this meant flying into Auckland and back out to get to Tahiti, we were both really keen to visit Samoa because from everything I’d read it still has the most traditional culture of the Pacific Islands. (Something we found to be true of the islands we visited).

For our next South Pacific Island adventure, we are hoping to visit Vanuatu, New Caledonia and the Solomon Islands, as there are direct flights between the three.

I have also travelled to Fiji twice, which you can read about here .

Getting Around in The South Pacific

Within your chosen countries, (ours being Samoa, French Polynesia and the Cook Islands), you then have to think about island hopping again, as they are all made up of a number of islands. This is also true of Fiji, Tonga, the Solomon Islands, New Caledonia and so on.

Getting Around Samoa

Samoa is the easiest (and therefore cheapest) to travel to. There are two main islands which are connected by a car ferry. There are other small islands, but most don’t really have any tourist infrastructure and there is a lot to see on both Upolu and Savai’i, meaning you most likely won’t feel the need to see the others. The best way to get around the islands is by car, so I advise hiring one from the airport in Apia . There are buses, but they aren’t that frequent, and often stop far from the beaches and resorts.

Check out the ultimate Samoa itinerary

A Lovely Planet - South Pacific Island Hopping - Hayley Lewis

Getting Around French Polynesia

There are 118 islands in French Polynesia, also known as the Islands of Tahiti. We had two months to travel the South Pacific and that’s not enough to visit all of the islands in French Polynesia. Plus some of them you can’t even fly to. A big slice of your French Polynesian budget will go on flights. I totally recommend buying a flight pass from Air Tahiti . It’s a fixed price and each package includes a certain group/number of islands. We did the Bora Bora-Tuamotu Pass, even though we didn’t visit all of the French Polynesian islands available in our pass, it still worked out cheaper. If you don’t like flying in small planes you may wish to reconsider visiting French Polynesia – or look into cruise/sailing options. Otherwise, you can stick to Tahiti and Mo’orea which are connected by a ferry.

Read our two week French Polynesia itinerary here

Depending on which islands you’re visiting, it’s a good idea to hire a car , even if only for a day or two. Some of the islands are small enough to get around by bicycle (Rangiroa), and some you don’t really need one (Bora Bora).

Book a rental car in French Polynesia

A Lovely Planet - South Pacific Island Hopping - Hayley Lewis

Getting Around The Cook Islands

There are flights (and cargo ships) between the Cook Islands, which are fairly expensive considering how short some of the flights are. We decided to visit just two islands, Aitutaki and the main island of Rarotonga, in order to reduce the money spent on travel. In hindsight, I would have liked to have visited Aitu as well, but there is always next time!

It’s worth hiring a car on both Aitutaki and Rarotonga, however, the latter does have a bus service that loops the island. But the car gives you much more freedom to explore.

Book a rental car in the Cook Islands

A Lovely Planet - South Pacific Island Hopping - Hayley Lewis

Which Islands to Visit in the South Pacific?

Now you’ve decided which countries you’re going to, you’ll be wondering which islands to visit! I’ll be writing more detailed guides to each of the islands we visited, but here is a brief overview of the South Pacific islands we visited (in order).

Upolu, Samoa

The most populated island of Samoa, home to the international airport and the country’s capital city – Apia. There are lots of beautiful beaches, particularly along the south coast, where you will also find the famous To Sua Ocean Trench. You’ll find our top things to do in Upolu, Samoa here .

A Lovely Planet - South Pacific Island Hopping - Hayley Lewis

Savai’i, Samoa

Savai’i is much quieter and less populated than Upolu, but larger in size. It has stunning beaches and impressive lava fields along with blowholes and jungle. The ferry from Upolu takes 1 hour 15 minutes and it’s totally worth making the trip. Our favourite beach in the whole of Samoa was on this island at Falealupo.

A Lovely Planet - South Pacific Island Hopping - Hayley Lewis

Check out the perfect 10 day Samoa itinerary.

Tahiti, French Polynesia

Tahiti is the transport hub of French Polynesia, with the only international airport. Many flights to other French Polynesian islands also transit through here. It is a volcanic island so the beaches have black sand but have a different kind of beauty to the white sand beaches of the other tropical islands . There is excellent surfing on Tahiti and it’s also great for fishing. The capital city Pape’ete has a good market.

A Lovely Planet - South Pacific Island Hopping - Hayley Lewis

Bora Bora, French Polynesia

We considered not going to Bora Bora as I thought it would just be expensive hotels for honeymooners. How wrong I was. It is such a beautiful island (as you can imagine) and there are plenty of things to do. Great diving, hikes, boat trips… it ended up being one of my favourite islands. It only has one beach – Matira – but it’s a gorgeous one.

A Lovely Planet - South Pacific Island Hopping - Hayley Lewis

Read our two week French Polynesia itinerary

Huahine, French Polynesia

Huahine is actually two islands, joined by a small bridge. We stayed on the southern island at a lovely beach called Avea which is a short walk from a Marae (Polynesian ancient temple). Huahine has one of the highest concentrations of Marae in the whole of French Polynesia. The snorkelling is excellent here, best experienced on lagoon cruise which takes you to different locations around the islands, as well as to a pearl farm, ending with lunch on a motu – (a small sand/reef islet).

A Lovely Planet - South Pacific Island Hopping - Hayley Lewis

Taha’a, French Polynesia

Taha’a doesn’t have an airport, so you have to fly into neighbouring Raiatea, and take a boat to Taha’a. The island is famous for two things: vanilla and black pearls. We visited farms producing both during our stay, and there are quite a few options across the island. There is excellent snorkelling on Taha’a too, in particular at Motu Tautau off the west coast. This can only be reached by boat, or by foot for guests staying at Le Taha’a Island Resort and Spa , which we were lucky enough to stay at, as I was reviewing the hotel for The Telegraph .

A Lovely Planet - South Pacific Island Hopping - Hayley Lewis

Rangiroa, French Polynesia

If I had to pick a favourite island from our trip to the South Pacific, then it would most likely be Rangiroa. It’s an atoll with an enormous lagoon and it is stunning. It has some of the best dive sites in the world including the Tiputa Pass, where you can see a huge variety of sharks, fish, dolphins and rays. It’s an amazing dive . If you cross the atoll from the main town of Avatoru, you will reach the blue lagoon, which is possibly the most beautiful place I’ve ever been to. It’s just incredible. You can also see lots of little blacktip reef sharks here too. (Don’t worry they aren’t scary!). Rangiroa is also another big pearl producer and even has a school dedicated to all aspects of black pearls – the only one of its kind. Read our guide to Rangiroa .

A Lovely Planet - South Pacific Island Hopping - Hayley Lewis

Tikehau, French Polynesia

Another atoll in the Tuamotu Archipelago along with Rangiroa, Tikeahau is a quieter island famous for pink coral beaches. There is a great chance of spotting Manta Rays in Tikehau’s lagoon, which visit the same spot each morning to be cleaned by wrasses. This is really the place to come to get away from it all.

A Lovely Planet - South Pacific Island Hopping - Hayley Lewis

Rarotonga, Cook Islands

Rarotonga is the international hub for the Cook Islands, with lots of accommodation – even hostels, and good restaurants and bars. I would say it’s the cheapest island we visited in the South Pacific (unless you’re only staying in beach fales – then Upolu/Savai’i probably wins). It has some beautiful white sand beaches and a couple of good hikes through the centre.

Read our 10 day Cook Islands itinerary.

A Lovely Planet - South Pacific Island Hopping - Hayley Lewis

Aitutaki, Cook Islands

Aitutaki is home to a magnificent blue lagoon, and for this reason alone it’s worth a visit. The water visibility is excellent and you’ve got a very good chance of spotting and swimming with Giant Trevally, which live in the lagoon. There are lots of little sand motu (islands), which can be visited by boat. It’s paradise. In fact, it’s on two of these motu that Shipwrecked is filmed!

A Lovely Planet - South Pacific Island Hopping - Hayley Lewis

South Pacific Trip Budget

Once we had decided on our route, we had to work out if we could actually afford to do it. I will be completely honest here – the South Pacific is one of the most expensive destinations in the world and everything is pricey – flights, food and accommodation.

As we were writing about the destinations we had some support from the Tourist Boards which helped a lot, but even so, we had to carefully evaluate if our budget would cover the trip, and if so, would we spend all of our money and have to go straight home afterwards (as we were planning to travel for another 3 months).

After some careful calculations, we ascertained that we could manage it, but we had to stick to a strict budget, choose cheap accommodation and cook for ourselves where possible.

A Lovely Planet - South Pacific Island Hopping - Hayley Lewis

In my opinion, the reason to visit the South Pacific is to experience the marine life and culture. So we wanted to spend as much of our budget on experiences as possible, and less on accommodation and food. If it’s your honeymoon you might have a different view, but really you can stay in nice hotels anywhere, what you can’t do is dive with sharks, snorkel with turtles and watch Polynesian dancing.

A Lovely Planet - South Pacific Island Hopping - Hayley Lewis

South Pacific Accommodation

Samoa accommodation.

The cheapest accommodation in Samoa is beach fales. These are huts with thatch roofs and open walls. They are basic with shared bathrooms, but they are amazing. You can hear the waves lapping on the beach while you sleep and it’s a very traditional Samoan experience. Often a night at a beach fale includes dinner and breakfast, which means you save on your food budget too. We stayed at beach fales for around 80 WST a night including breakfast and dinner (approx. £25). If you have a bit more money to spare there are some lovely places to stay, particularly on the south coast of Upolu.

A Lovely Planet - South Pacific Island Hopping - Hayley Lewis

French Polynesia Accommodation

Everyone dreams of an overwater bungalow in Bora Bora, but the reality is that they cost a lot. I mean a lot. (usually around £500 per night and up!!). So that wasn’t going to be an option for us on this trip. However, we found some great budget accommodation in French Polynesia. While still not super cheap, we stayed at B&Bs and guesthouses , many with kitchens where we could cook our own meals. This saved us a lot of money and we were still able to enjoy the incredible beaches and marine life a few steps away. We did stay at some more high-end places too, our favourites were Kia Ora in Rangiroa and family-run Relais Royal in Tikehau.

Find accommodation in Bora Bora , Tahiti and Rangiroa

A Lovely Planet - South Pacific Island Hopping - Hayley Lewis

Cook Islands Accommodation

The Cook Islands has more budget options than French Polynesia and there are a couple of hostels on Rarotonga if you’re up for staying in a dorm. We found a few good options including Rarotonga Backpackers and Club Raro Resort . These both had a kitchen which was great for cooking our own food.

Find accommodation in Rarotonga

A Lovely Planet - South Pacific Island Hopping - Hayley Lewis

On Aitutaki, there are also some nice budget options with kitchens – we loved Rino’s Motel which was right on the water. For a little luxury, Tamanu Beach is incredible. We could literally see the ocean from our bed!

A Lovely Planet - South Pacific Island Hopping - Hayley Lewis

Find accommodation in Aitutaki

Food in The South Pacific

There is delicious fruit and veg in the Pacific Islands, which you can buy from roadside stalls and the local markets. In most places, it’s best not to drink tap water, but lots of hotels filter their own water or you can travel with a filter water bottle to avoid buying too many plastic water bottles. We saved money by buying super noodles and instant soup before we travelled and eating these in our hotel (glamorous I know). This saved us a lot of money on food, and while it isn’t exactly nutritious it’s fine as long as you aren’t doing it for every meal.

A Lovely Planet - South Pacific Island Hopping - Hayley Lewis

Food in Samoa

As mentioned before, beach fales often include dinner and breakfast which helps the budget a lot. There is excellent fish, and a must-try dish is Oka – raw fish with lime juice and coconut cream. It’s delicious. There is coconut with everything – to drink, in desserts, in main courses. Another traditional dish is palusami – taro leaves filled with coconut cream. Yum. If you’re in Samoa on a Sunday, then many restaurants will be serving a tonai. A traditional Samoan Sunday lunch that includes all the regional specialities.

A Lovely Planet - South Pacific Island Hopping - Hayley Lewis

Food in French Polynesia

Being French, you can buy lots of French food in French Polynesia. It’s basically the dream – tropical beaches and French cheese and wine. We found some great options in the supermarket in Tahiti, but once you get out to the more remote French Polynesian islands you’ll find less variety for a higher price. There is really good fish here too, and there is a similar dish to Oka called Poisson Cru made from the same ingredients.

A Lovely Planet - South Pacific Island Hopping - Hayley Lewis

Food in The Cook Islands

The Cook Islands also have good fish including Mahi Mahi (our favourite). Their version of Oka/Poisson Cru is called Ika Mata. Coconut is a staple in Cook Islands’ food and the tree is known as the ‘tree of life’ as it is used for everything from food and drink, to building houses. Supermarkets are expensive, and if you want to eat out cheaply then there aren’t many options aside from burgers, of which there are a lot. A stand out on Rarotonga was The Mooring Fish Café for delicious fish sandwiches.

A Lovely Planet - South Pacific Island Hopping - Hayley Lewis

Booking in Advance

I strongly recommend you book your flights and accommodation in advance whilst South Pacific island hopping. The flights will only become more expensive, and even if you have the Air Tahiti Island pass, the flights do get sold out. With accommodation, you can be a little bit more relaxed depending on the location. If you’ve booked your flights for French Polynesia then it also makes sense to have your accommodation booked. We booked everything at least a few months ahead of time. In Samoa and the Cook Islands, you can be a little more flexible. In particular in Samoa, because you don’t need to book the ferry, though it is recommended if you’re travelling peak season, and some of the beach fales don’t take bookings, and many don’t have websites.

A Lovely Planet - South Pacific Island Hopping - Hayley Lewis

The South Pacific was easily the most beautiful place I’ve ever been to. The beaches are on another level and the marine life was incredible. We had the most amazing time exploring Samoa, French Polynesia and the Cook Islands and each has something different to offer. I would recommend all three. We are also keen to return and explore some of the other Pacific islands, so at some point, another South Pacific island hopping trip will be on the agenda!

A Lovely Planet - South Pacific Island Hopping - Hayley Lewis

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How to have the perfect holiday in fiji..., the perfect 10 day samoa itinerary, cook islands itinerary – how to spend 10..., 19 comments.

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Such a dream trip. OMG!!!

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It really was! Wish I could do it all over again!

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Great article! Came across it whilst starting to plan a South Pacific island hopping extravaganza for my husband and myself. Lots of useful information, thanks!

Thank you! I’m glad it was useful 🙂 I hope you have a great trip, it’s such a beautiful part of the world.

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H guys The best review/ blog I have ever read. It’s my ambition to go in this part of the world, is more expensive that say London to eat out

Thank you 🙂 If you eat at hotels then it can be pretty expensive – probably more than London. However, if you eat at local places then you can find some cheap options.

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In 2001 and 2002 I got a flight from England to New Zealand with stops at French Polynesia and the Cook Islands on the way there. Plus on my way home I stopped in Samoa. I missed out on seeing Tonga. I am keen to see more of the islands. I went to Hawaii and Fiji in 1993. I have been back to Hawaii once since then.

That sounds like a great trip. I’m also really keen to visit Tonga. We are hoping to travel to Vanuatu once the borders open. Hawaii is so beautiful – I went there for my 30th!

Wow just loved this. Best I have seen. Always wanted to go there for a few months. Maybe maybe

Thank you. I highly recommend it – such a beautiful part of the world.

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Thanks for sharing your voyage. It was so beautiful. I am hoping I can travel to at least a few of these paradise islands.

Thank you. I hope you can too!

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Some great ways explain how they can identify the right travel agent for tourism to avoid future problems. Along with this, there are reasons presented why it is necessary. I guess this can be helpful.

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Hi, planning a world trip with a difference!! But on my itinerary are the pacific islands. Excellent blog. Really enjoyed it. Just wondering if you can specify how you travelled from island to island? Are there any boats rather than flying in and out of NZ? These are the islands I wish to visit: Tonga, Fiji, Somoa, Cook and Tahiti flying in NZ or Aus

Thank you! I have included a section on getting around and between the islands here: https://www.alovelyplanet.com/south-pacific-island-hopping/#How_to_Island_Hop_in_The_South_Pacific . They all vary. Skyscanner is a pretty handy tool when looking at flights – I use the ‘everywhere’ destination option to see what direct flights are available from each destination. For example, from Fiji there are direct flights to Samoa and Tonga, so you could organise to do those together. You may still have to do one or two connections via NZ. Hope you have a great trip – it sounds amazing!

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Hello! Thanks for the great post. I’m curious what was your budget? You didn’t mention it.

Thanks! Kiera

Hi Kiera, our budget varied depending on the location. It was easy to eat cheaply in the Cook Islands and accommodation is more affordable than say Bora Bora. So it really depended on where we were. We aimed for accommodation around $100-200 USD per night with a few luxury stays here and there. Plus we were also hosted at a few places. Sorry that’s not the most helpful I know. The more remote the island the harder it is to find groceries etc and generally the more costly things are.

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Hi, I loved your post! Could you give an estimate of what you could spend in a two week trip? Approximate?

Thank you!! Idoua

Glad you liked it 🙂 It really depends on what level of accommodation you stay in and how many islands/places to visit. The luxury resorts are expensive, but there are reasonable guest houses and cheap places to eat/food from the supermarket. So it’s really hard to give an estimate. Sorry – I hope that helps!

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Galapagos Islands & The Amazon Rainforest

Galapagos Islands & The Amazon Rainforest

Flights & transport:, itinerary focus:.

  • Enjoy the beach at the Galapagos, searching for Blue-Footed Boobies and sea lions
  • Stay at Huasquila Amazon Lodge, the only accessible destination in the Ecuadorian Amazon
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Highlights of Australia

Luxurious Fiji

Luxurious Fiji

  • Enjoy a traditional kava ceremony.
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Iwo Jima Tour: War in the Pacific

Iwo Jima Tour: War in the Pacific

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Discover Fiji

Discover Fiji

  • Swim and snorkel in the turquoise waters of the Mamanuca Islands.
  • Take a scenic flight to the northern islands, getting a bird's eye view of the hills of Vitu Levu on the way.
  • Explore some world class diving sites around the northern islands.
  • Walk along a white sand beach or to a waterfall on Taveuni.

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Solomon Islands Snorkeling Expedition

Solomon Islands Snorkeling Expedition

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Fiji Islands- Photography & Fish / Shark I.D. Expedition tour

Fiji Islands- Photography & Fish / Shark I.D. Expedition

  • Explore Fiji Island  which is known as the Friendly Isles because of the friendly locals
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