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Live the Lost Island Life
The surfing and diving are world renowned on the two main islands of Fiji, but it’s the rare outfitter that goes deeper to engage with islanders and connect clients with local culture. And only Tui Tai pushes to the remote northern Fijian island nations of Rabi and Kioa, where Micronesians and Polynesians live in traditional villages, practice centuries-old dances, and hand-carve their canoes. "You’re actually walking into different countries within the islands, which is completely unique," says Morika Young, co-founder of Tui Tai. Since launching in 2002 as a cruising company focused heavily on adventure sports, Tui Tai has forged relationships with the island communities, and its priorities have shifted to philanthropy—building schools and health clinics, and starting a scholarship fund for kids. It’s also fostered a cultural renaissance among the islanders. "They were losing their identity," says Young. "They’d forgotten their dances, and they’d stopped doing handicrafts; their sole focus was on survival." Trips are based on a 140-foot schooner with creature comforts like air-conditioning, cabins with floor-to-ceiling windows, private on-deck daybeds, and a spa. Clients wake each day with a morning yoga stretch before embarking on multisport adventures—mountain biking across an entire island or hiking to a volcanic crater filled with seawater, then exploring the crater by kayak. Travelers also spend time with villagers, watching their dances, helping to teach children English, and eating a meal cooked in an underground oven on the beach.

Outfitter: Tui Tai;
Price: $3,600
Length: 7 days
Departs: Year-round

Next: New Zealand: Spend a Month in Kiwi Country

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