80° BY THE SEA
Looking for a beach vacation? Let us help you find the right spot.More
The heart of Fiji's 333 islands (106 are inhabited) is a 4,020-square-mi island of verdant mountainsides encasing volcanic peaks and lush river valleys running out to barrier reefs. The English-speaking former British colony is home to 75% of the country's population and Fiji's only two cities. The inhabitants are a unique mix of Melanesian Fijians (about 51%), Indo-Fijians, whose ancestors
came from India as indentured laborers (about 44%), and a small number of Europeans, Chinese, and other Melanesians. Although not heavily industrialized, Fiji is a nation of "shop-keepers," with an eager, white-collar economy epitomized by storefronts, table service, and taxi cabs. The country as a whole is seeing a trend toward urbanization; cities and larger towns tend to have large Indo-Fijian populations while most Melanesians remain in the same close-knit villages and even the same houses inhabited by their families since long before European contact. Fiji's Melanesians have a strong tradition of hospitality in complement to their communal lifestyle and are considered to be among the friendliest people in the world.