From the moment you set eyes on Fiji through cabin-pressured windows, the country promises to be more than just another pretty beach. The main island's mountainous, un-ignorable green landscape seems to rise to meet you, a reflection of the extraordinary hospitality of its people. Among its 333 islands are rain forests and sparkling cobalt-and-white shores. Resorts of every size and caliber comprise the sumptuous playground of sun worshippers, spa-goers, water-sports enthusiasts, golfers, foodies, and most everyone in between. Were there a vacation fairy, you can imagine she'd sprinkle Yasawa Islands sand in place of fairy dust.
Behind the gorgeous facade, the country's history runs deep. Captain William Bligh sailed for his life through these islands shortly after the mutiny on the Bounty, narrowly avoiding capture by pursuing cannibals. The tiny town of Levuka, the nation's first capital, remains frozen in time, a living relic of 19th-century British colonial rule. In the premier South Pacific capital city of Suva, a silent Parliament house is testament to a country quietly grappling with its political demons.
Adventurous, exceptionally friendly, environmentally conscious, in-part cultured and in-part wild and, of course, extraordinarily good-looking, Fiji is as well-rounded a tropical destination as you're likely to set barefoot on.