5 places like Fiji where you can live the island life like a boss

Exquisite beaches, blue lagoons, exotic islands and fascinating local culture - you won’t believe that it’s not Fiji.

Fiji is a gem in the South Pacific, but this archipelago is not the only tropical destination for honeymooners or families looking for a heady mix of adventure, culture and relaxation. Dive into this list of alternative destinations that feature diverse natural beauty, from stunning diving sites to majestic volcanoes and lush rainforests. With distinct cuisine, friendly locals and cultures as unique as the geography, you’re spoilt for choice. A word of warning though: after a holiday at any of these places, you will want to come back every year.

5 places like Fiji

1. Vanuatu

This 80-island archipelago has some of the world’s best scuba diving sites, where you can explore coral reefs and shipwrecks. Hike volcanic trails, immerse yourself in the local culture or simply relax on the many deserted beaches.

  • Top 3 beaches: Champagne Beach, Erakor Beach, Eton Beach
  • Must do/see: Relax on the beaches, witness a Nekowear Ceremony, learn about the ancient lifestyle and traditions of the local villagers, kayaking and scuba diving.
  • Stay in: Grand Hotel & Casino. This upscale hotel sits on a prime waterfront location overlooking Iririki Island and the Port Vila market. Rooms start at $299 per night.

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2. Tahiti / Society Islands

Located in the heart of the South Pacific, the islands of Tahiti offer a world of mighty mountains, beautiful black-sand beaches and rich Tahitian culture. Take in the majestic natural wonders and sacred Polynesian stone structures and enjoy a change from the usual white-sand beaches.

  • Top 3 beaches: Lafayette Beach, Plage de Toaroto, Point Venus Beach
  • Must do/see: Shopping at the Public Mart, take the Circle-Island Tour, visit museums, go on a hiking tour, scuba diving
  • Stay in: Manava Suite Resort. This luxury resort boasts the largest infinity pool on the island with spectacular lagoon views. Rooms start at $399.

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3. Solomon Islands

The Solomon Islands offers the best of both worlds for the laidback and the adventurous traveller. Relive World War II in the many battle sites and relics found both on land and deep under water. Scale volcanoes or trek through the lush rainforests and waterfall walks. For a more relaxed adventure, walk along exotic beaches or through local villages nearby.

  • Top 3 beaches: Gizo, Munda, Honiara
  • Must do/see: Scuba dive wreck sites, scale a volcano, immerse yourself in WWII history, handicraft shopping, island hopping
  • Stay in: Heritage Park Hotel. Stay in the capital of Solomon Islands and easily access shopping malls, golf clubs and dive sites. Rooms start at $307.

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4. Mauritius

Mauritius_tourism Image: Mauritius Tourism
The volcanic island nation of Mauritius is the epitome of heaven on Earth. Famed for its picture perfect blue waters, powder-white beaches and technicolor reefs, the views are stunning everywhere you turn. Hire a car to explore tea plantations or sugarcane fields and be sure to enjoy some Mauritian rum before you leave.

  • Top 3 beaches: Trou aux Biches Beach, Belle Mare Beach, Gris Gris Beach
  • Must do/see: Visit the capital of Port Louis, check out the view at Black River Gorges National Park, see giant tortoises at Chamarel, kite-surfing, Mauritian rum
  • Stay in: Grand Bay Suites. Stay right on the popular Grand Bay Beach in a self-sustaining apartment equipped with a kitchenette, stove and refrigerator. Apartments start from $131

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5. Easter Island

easterislandtourismimage Image: Easter Island Tourism
The statues of Easter Island, or Rapa Nui as it’s known to locals, has drawn in tourists from all over the world. The best way to explore is by car, bike or horseback, and watching the sun set among the logic-defying Moai statues is an unforgettable experience. The clear blue waters also make the Easter Island an ideal place to surf and scuba dive.

  • Top 3 beaches: Anakena, Ovahe, Pea Beach
  • Must do/see: Easter Island statues, visit the Rano Raraku volcano and archeological sites, take part in the Tapati Rapa Nu Festival, scuba diving and surfing.
  • Stay in: Cabañas Christophe. Rent rooms or self-contained cabins on the slopes of the Rano Kau Volcano. These charming cabins are made from local materials. Rooms start at $138.

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Stephanie Yip

Stephanie is a journalist, avid traveller and all-round bargain hunter. If there's an online coupon code, deal or cheap flight available, she'll know about it. And she'll let you know about it, too.

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