There are very few destinations on Earth that remain relatively untouched in a world that prides itself on turning nearly everything into the latest and greatest. So many of our favorite getaways are overrun with luxury resorts, souvenir stalls, and instagrammable sites that it’s hard to see or even imagine the true beauty of the destination.
However, the Pacific Ocean is home to some of the rawest, yet beautiful countries you will ever lay eyes on. The Pacific Islands, made up of 22 small island countries and territories including Fiji, Samoa, and Vanuatu, remain relatively untouched despite holding the top spot on many travel wish lists. From romantic honeymoons in overwater bungalows to hikes up semi-active volcanoes, the Pacific Islands have it all.
ESSENCE caught up with one traveler, Dr. Dafina Good (@dafinagood), who recently took the plunge and spent time exploring these hidden gems to find out what made her journey so far from home.
What made you want to visit the Pacific Islands?
Dafina Good: It was time to explore the Pacific islands and a deal with Fiji Airways allowed me to go to Fiji and Vanuatu all on one ticket from Los Angeles for $700 roundtrip. I had no idea what I was about to witness, it has been mind-blowing and soul-stirring. To go from French Polynesia to Fiji then Vanuatu within 4weeks was like stepping back in time and felt like a cross between São Tomé in Africa and Kingston, Jamaica. They love reggae here!
Where should people stay when they visit?
Most stays are small bungalow styles. I loved Barrier Beach Resort on the island of Espiritu Santo. On the mainland island of Efate, stay at Paradise Cove. It’s walking distance to a local village and a 10-15 minute ride into the main town area.
What are some of the things people have to do when they visit?
You have to see all the Blue Holes on Espiritu Santo island, the blue color is unreal. If you scuba dive, you have to do the World War 2 shipwrecks on Efate island, and if you want culture, visit the villages and try Kava. Lastly, get to know the people. They are genuinely kind with the biggest smiles and hearts.