Craving a far-flung island getaway? If you’re dreaming of turquoise seas and endless white-sand beaches, you’ve got a tough choice ahead of you.
Are you going to jet off to the South Pacific or explore the wonders of Indonesia?
To help you pick your paradise, let’s look at the charms of Bali vs Fiji.
What Is Fiji Like?
With over 300 islands dotting the South Pacific Ocean, the nation of Fiji spans nearly 75,000 miles.
Two-thirds of these are desert islands. The hundred or so islands with inhabitants are sparsely populated.
The mountainous landscape is dotted with lush tropical rainforests and lined with picture-perfect beaches.
On the south side of the island, you’ll find white sand beaches. In the west and north, you will find dramatic volcanic black sands.
With a rich history and interconnected locations, the culture of Fiji is an intriguing blend of Chinese, Indian, and European influences.
From basket weaving to traditional Fijian dancing, the culture of Fiji is unlike anywhere else.
And the food!
Thanks to the fantastic fresh seafood and diverse Asian influences, this place is full of foodie delights.
Fiji is famous for its family-friendly resorts and romantic retreats. Not far from the eastern coast of Australia, it is a popular destination for Aussie travelers.
What Is Bali Like?
One of the great gems of Indonesia, the island of Bali is the western point of the Sunda Islands.
Nestled between the islands of Java and Lombok, Bali is famous for its tropical jungles and volcanoes.
Less than 100 miles wide, Bali has towering volcanoes (including the still active Mount Agung) and white sand beaches.
Multicultural Indonesia is home to over 300 ethnicities who speak 700 distinct languages.
The 4.5 million people who live on the island of Bali have their own one-of-a-kind traditions.
With more than 20,000 temples scattered across the small island and nightly dance ceremonies, there are countless cultural treasures to unpack.
Travel Tip – Want to explore the cultural gems of Bali? See it through the eyes of locals with a five-star route like Bali Sunset: Uluwatu Temple, Kecak Dance, and Jimbaran Bay.
Like Fiji, Bali is a popular location with Australian travelers.
And they are not alone in their love of the island! Yoga retreats, family resorts, and surfing hotspots have brought in tourists from around the globe.
Which Has Easier Travel: Bali or Fiji?
One major factor in choosing the right destination is the actual travel itself. Sure, a distant exotic island sounds romantic… until you’re on your fourth layover.
Look at routes and pricing to see which options will work for you.
Likewise, before you pack up to leave, it’s essential to know that getting between the must-see attractions is reasonably simple.
Being familiar with taxis, rideshare apps, buses, and trains will save you a lot of headaches on arrival.
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Getting to Bali
As the most popular destination in Indonesia, each year Bali welcomes millions of visitors to the Denpasar Airport, or Ngurah Rai International Airport as it is officially known.
The airport is located just between the resort towns of Seminyak and Kuta.
You’ll find direct flights to the airport from all over Asia and Australia, as well as single layover flights from Europe and North America.
On arrival, you’ll find taxis and motorbikes for rent on every corner of Bali.
To find lower prices on taxis, travelers have increasingly been turning to rideshare apps like:
These are well worth downloading before you go.
Heads Up! Get a SIM card on arrival. It will make navigating the city and planning what you want to do much easier. They are inexpensive and available at just about any local shop.
And, when you buy it, activate it in the shop and let them help you get it set up.
This will allow you to make sure the credit was properly loaded and most clerks are happy to help.
Getting to Fiji
Depending on where you are starting from, getting to Fiji can be a bit trickier than traveling o Bali.
There are direct flights from Australia and New Zealand, but from the rest of the world, you’ll need to make a connection.
One exception, however, is on the West Coast of the United States where you’ll find flights from Fiji Airways to:
- Los Angeles
- and San Francisco
In Fiji, most international flights arrive at the Nadi International Airport.
This will leave you on Viti Levu Island, the biggest island of Fiji both geographically and in terms of population.
This island is well-connected and it is easy to get around by car or bus. You can rent a car or opt for a taxi.
Which Has Better Weather: Fiji or Bali?
Both islands have mild climates that give them beach weather virtually all year round.
Fiji has a wet season running from November to April but otherwise, you’ll find temperatures hovering around 25 degrees Celsius (77 degrees Fahrenheit) pretty much every month of the year.
In Bali, the wet season runs from October to April. Most months of the year, you’ll find the weather around 31 degrees Celsius (87 degrees Fahrenheit).
If you prefer the hotter weather, Fiji is better but Bali gets steamy as well, especially with the humidity level.
Bali vs Fiji: Which Has More to Do?
On the main island of Fiji, Viti Levu, you’ll find plenty to do.
The city of Nadi is the transportation hub of the county and most travelers spend at least a few days there.
Here you can see the famous Sri Siva Subramaniya Temple and Fiji Culture Village, along with other fascinating cultural spots.
While in Nadi – Be sure to check out a show with the fire dancers in the evening, and get around to the local shops for the best prices on souvenirs.
The Nadi Handicraft Market is a great place to shop or just admire the impressive pieces. If you’re looking for a party, make a beeline for Beachcomber Island.
But, of course, most people don’t come to Fiji for a city break.
On the islands, it’s all about the natural wonders and incredible beauty here.
Whether it is scuba diving, island hopping, riding an ATV through the jungle, or just watching the sunset, this is a place to disconnect.
Bali, on the other hand, is packed with nightlights.
You’ll find everything from chill surfer bars to world-class DJ at international hotspots. It’s a true name-your-own adventure island where you can detox at a yoga retreat or dance until dawn.
Want to see the best of Bali? Be sure to check out the Bali: Mount Batur Sunrise Hike and Natural Hot Spring.
Get your heart racing with on the popular Viti Levu: River Tubing in Fiji tour, or go for a bucket list experience like the Nadi: Heart Island 25-Minute Scenic Flight
Which Is Better for Families: Bali or Fiji?
If you’re traveling with kids, you’ll find family-friend resorts in both places.
Older kids will love the endless array of watersports on both islands. Bali also has animal parks, kids’ shows, and water parks.
In both islands, it is easy to find clubs for kids and nannies for when you want to have a night out, so they are both manageable even with small children.
Bali and Fiji both have plenty of entertainment for kids of all ages and resorts designed for families:
- For younger kids, either destination has nannies and kids’ clubs.
- Older kids love water activities in Fiji, while Bali has water parks and animal parks.
While both Bali and Fiji are kid-friendly destinations, it’s worth noting that Fiji is preferred by some families as the cleaner and safer pick.
Though Bali has some gorgeous resorts, it caters to the party crowd in many areas and can feel a bit chaotic at times.
If you are going with kids, especially babies and toddlers who need quiet times for naps, do a bit of research to make sure you’re not booking into an all-night hotspot.
Is Fiji or Bali Cheaper?
When comparing costs, the first thing to look at is the price of the flight.
Depending on where you are coming from, the costs can vary quite a lot.
From there, it’s all about deciding what you want. If you’re looking for affordable accommodations, you’ll be spoiled for choice in Bali.
From backpacker hostels to cheap hotels, there are plenty of low-cost accommodations in Bali.
In Fiji, prices are higher across the board. The islands catered more to a luxury-loving crowd.
You won’t find nearly as many cheap hostels and discount hotels on these islands as you would in Bali. That said, in Fiji, you’ll also find cleaner and better-maintained spaces.
If you’re looking for a luxury experience, you’ll pay about the same price in either place.
Once you leave your resort, however, you’ll find more options for inexpensive meals and other options.
Is Fiji or Bali Safer?
Both of the islands rely heavily on tourism and do everything they can keep to keep travelers safe and sound.
Crime is rare in both Bali and Fiji, but there are a few things to keep in mind.
Outside of the resorts on either island, you will find pickpockets.
While violent crime and muggings are virtually unheard of, there are thieves who take advantage of the many careless tourists who leave their valuables unattended at the beach and other hotspots.
Simply being mindful of your things is enough to avoid problems during your stay.
Like much of Southeast Asia, drug use is taken very seriously, and many tourists have ended up with lengthy prison sentences for doing something that may not be a big deal at home.
Whenever you are handing over cash to anyone outside of a hotel, restaurant, or established shop, be wary.
Always keep the exchange rate in mind and know what you are going to pay before you accept any service or product.
Which Is Better for Me: Bali or Fiji?
So, which is better in the battle of Bali vs Fiji?
The best pick for you depends on the expectation that you are after!
If you are looking for a cheap place to enjoy the beach and have a good time, Bali is for you.
Keep in mind, however, the island isn’t as pristine as most of Fiji, and there are some wild party spots (you decided whether that is a good thing or a bad thing for you!).
If you are after a once-in-a-lifetime luxury escape for that special birthday or honeymoon, Fiji is for you.
While the prices can be a bit higher than in Fiji, you’ll have an unforgettable experience.
A trip to either Bali or Fiji will be an unforgettable adventure. Ultimately, they are both bucket list destinations, so the real question is which one you’ll get to first.
Each has its unique charms, so you really can’t go wrong here.
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