[par-uh-dahys] a place of extreme beauty, delight, or happiness.
From the heart of the South Pacific to the Eastern Caribbean, where the Atlantic Ocean meets the Caribbean Sea, lie three island paradises we feel an immense amount of love for: Fiji, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, and St. Lucia; heaven on Earth.
As a tourist, Fiji completely blew away all expectations we had. 10 days packed full of adventure, relaxation, beach bars, delicious food, and out of this world scenery. Truly an amazing island with friendly, welcoming locals combined with incredible white-sand beaches and postcardesque views. Picture perfect Fiji.
Described as the ‘Home of Happiness,’ Fiji’s largest island Viti Levu is a dream tropical destination. To put it bluntly, this island has it all. Something for everyone, and then some!
As self-proclaimed island lovers with a major crush on sunsets, Fiji was high on the travel wish list. 10 days was spent indulging on the local cuisine, partaking in as many adventure activities possible (scuba diving and white-water rafting included), while still managing to dedicate time each day to simply relax in a hammock seaside and enjoy the laidback atmosphere, with a fresh Fijian cocktail in hand.
We stayed in a beachfront bure on the Coral Coast for the full 10 days and opted to take day trips elsewhere. This area is the perfect mix of tourist meets local. One of our favourite trips was a sailing excursion through the Mamanuca Islands. Drinking champagne while sailing through the bluest of water and having the opportunity to explore uninhabited islands with the whitest of sand, what could possibly be better?
Fiji is well known for the outstanding diving, and we did not leave disappointed. Sharks, turtles, colourful coral – the ‘Coral Coast’ definitely lived up to its name and reputation. The snorkelling and sea kayaking was another great way to experience the marine life if 20 feet below isn’t your idea of fun.
As always with travelling, learning and respecting the culture is essential. A MUST if you do visit Fiji, attend a local Kava ceremony, not one ran through a tour. Experiencing this traditional ceremony as it should be was an extremely fulfilling experience, one that is unique to Fiji alone.
As always when travelling, knowing a couple of the local phrases will get you far:
♥ Bula: Hello
♥ Vinaka: Thank you
“An island waiting to be explored by the traveller who enjoys adventures off the beaten path.”
Arguably the most underrated Caribbean islands. St. Vincent and the Grenadines, are a chain of 32 islands and cays that make up a complete tropical paradise. St. Vincent is the largest and main island, the hub for the rest of the Grenadines. The natural beauty of the rugged coastlines, cascading waterfalls, and volcanic terrain make this island unique; perfect for the adventurer looking to experience local culture and untouched nature. St Vincent and the Grenadines are still fairly undeveloped and you can get a feel for the real Caribbean.
Each island has its own perks, we highly recommend exploring the Grenadines. The beaches and pristine water in the region are breathtaking, words and pictures do not do it justice. A simple sailing trip for a week opens the true beauty of these islands, an experience that promises relaxation and time to connect back to the natural world. Some of our personal favourites of this region lie within the Grenadines. From the sunsets seen from “Happy Island,” near Union island, to the “Bequia Easter regatta” that invites seasoned sailors from all over the Caribbean to race around it’s shores, and the absolute clearest of waters in the Tobago Cays that nestle a vast amount of marine animals to view while snorkelling; we suggest you dive right in.
Not only does St. Vincent have all of the above but it is also the island we met on and created our blog ‘Midst of It!’ making it that much more special to us. We have shared many adventures from climbing the volcano to exploring waterfalls, and sipping cocktails while watching the breathtaking sunsets over the coconut trees.
St. Lucia, is one of those islands that’s hard not to like. It has it all. Friendly locals, excellent restaurants, family friendly activities OR adrenaline pumping ventures for the most adventurous. Not to mention it’s the perfect place for those who just dream of sipping a cocktail in the Caribbean enjoying its tranquility and relaxed vibes.
St. Lucia is one of those islands that you have to explore in its totality to get a sense of all it offers. It’s not a place to come once and never go back, there’s just so much to see and explore. It’s a Caribbean island that you’ll want to come back to time and time again. Trust us!
This island has become one of our favourites in the Caribbean for so many reasons. It’s one of the most developed islands in this area of the world, with lots of explore. A week in St. Lucia can include anything from hiking the Pitons which were declared a World Heritage Site, exploring the original capital of St. Lucia -Soufriere, which is home of the island’s volcanoes, sulphur springs, waterfalls, and botanical gardens. This is also the area where you can visit Hotel Chocolat! Be sure not to miss exploring Marigot Bay and enjoy the breathtaking sunsets while dining in some of the best restaurants on the island.
There is something about this island that makes it special, it makes you feel as if you belong there. One of the most local, fun experiences on a Friday is to go to the Street Party in Gros Islet! Here you’ll encounter people from all over the world dancing, laughing, socializing and having the time of their lives.