THE TURTLE-SAVING HOLIDAY IN FIJI
YOU NEVER KNEW YOU NEEDED
Turtle Island greets visitors with the rare opportunity of experiencing a holiday of luxury and sustainability. From saving endangered sea turtles to benefiting the local communities, Fijians inspire travelers to live in harmony beyond their island visit.
Words: Aleksandra Georgieva
09 August 2019
Fiji is often associated with luxurious vacations and isolated beaches but there is so much more to this unspoiled destination. Fijians inspire visitors to nurture the human spirit and to leave an eco-footprint on the planet. Turtle Island teaches guests to slow down and live in balance. Travellers not only benefit from a highly sustainable vacation, but they also experience a holiday they will likely never forget.
Turtle Island braces itself as “the heartbeat of humanity”. Located in the central Yasawa Group in Fiji, it has seven neighbouring villages. No trace of development spoils the land, which some may know from the setting of the 1980 film Blue Lagoon. Unique with its lack of shopping malls, tennis courts and modern-day concrete resorts, Turtle Island bathes in natural beauty.
Home of the Fijians, Turtle Island offers visitors an insight of an incredibly warm and loving community. The belief that friends and family are the most important aspect of life sits at the core of Fijian culture. Visitors are generously greeted with the opportunity to experience the hospitality and traditions of locals first-hand.
Endangered sea turtles often swim by Turtle Island and the locals have found a rather unconventional way to help save their lives. The Turtle Release program on the island works to tag these ancient animals in partnership with World Wildlife Fund. Green and hawksbill turtles are bought from local fishermen and auctioned off to resort guests, who paint their names on their shells. The paint is specifically chosen to be permanent, yet non-toxic. That way it doesn’t hurt the animals and it doesn’t harm the environment, once the turtles are released back into the ocean. Tagging sea turtles has become a vital approach towards saving them from extinction. This conservation method takes away the appeal of turtle shells, if they fall into the hands of trophy hunters.
A holiday at the all-inclusive island promise relaxation and indulgence into pure delights. The luxurious villas offer views to the turquoise Blue Lagoon waters and the neighbouring Fiji and Yasawa islands. The locals are very cautious of the environment at this paradise destination. They grow vegetables and tropical fruits on the island, which are used to accompany the fresh seafood dishes. Turtle Island resort is family and romance friendly. Tropical flower scents will tickle your senses, while the 12 private beaches will tempt you to pure relaxation and a swim in the crystal azure waters surrounding the island.
Richard Evanson, owner of the 500-acre Turtle Island, doesn’t just run a high-end resort. He also embraces sustainability to a significant extend. Evanson established the Yasawas Community Foundation to support the local communities through tourists’ donations. The Turtle Release program is only one of the eco-friendly approaches that make the destination beyond worth visiting. Turtle Island employs over 120 Fijians and encouraged locals to plant over 300,000 trees. The resort additionally benefits from an investment in a four-acre hydroponic and organic vegetable garden.
Considering what this South Pacific destination offers to visitors, by now you probably figured out that Turtle Island hosts some of the most luxurious accommodations in Fiji. Numbers are important so we won’t sugar-coat the prices of this paradise resort. Turtle Island could easily cost as much as $1,632 per couple/night, which includes three meals per day. If this seems a bit shocking, here are some alternatives. Nearby is Nacula where tourists can book a stay at Oarsman’s Bay Lodge from $14 per night/dorm. Another option is Nanuya Lailai, offering guests dorms at the Sunrise Beach Resort from $38 per night.
Turtle Island combines the wild and unspoiled beauty of nature with the generosity and the humble nature of the local communities of Fijian people. The rare combination of the two is a promise for an unforgettable experience, indulged with both relaxation and environmental sustainability.
Turtle Island is not just another luxurious destination. The Fiji resort aims to inspire guests to live in harmony not only on the island but beyond the lifespan of their vacation. Turtle Island is one of the few holiday destinations that inspire travellers to care for the planet and one another above all else.
NOMADSofORIGIN is an independent annual publication with a focus on sustainable travelling and global cultural values. Each issue features interviews, engaging articles and photo guides, which take our nomadic readers through different destinations and introduce them to local people's perspectives.
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