Fiji is so synonymous with an aquatic lifestyle that its name graces the label of bottled water. Made up of more than 300 islands, the South Pacific republic is a snorkeling and scuba diving sanctuary thanks to its surplus of kaleidoscopic reefs.
But, there are still plenty of memorable onshore activities for those feeling waterlogged.
Take adventure way above sea level on Tomanivi, “the roof of Fiji,” located on the main island of Viti Levu.
Often surrounded by cloud cover that gives hikers a reprieve from the sun’s strong rays, the more than 4,000-feet-high peak offers a rainforest landscape with citrus trees, purple wildflowers, and a playlist of parrot calls.
But, this is no casual nature walk.
Half of the three-hour ascent slopes so steeply that summit-seekers occasionally have to pull themselves up using tree trunks and moss-covered rocks.
Few tourists venture into Viti Levu’s interior, so it’s likely that you’ll share the route with locals from base village, Navai, who scramble up the narrow path to catch wild pigs.
The very bold can attempt to trek Fiji’s highest mountain alone, but tour operator Talanoa Treks works with guides who’ve spent their life on Tomanivi, and who can help visitors avoid repeatedly falling in the mud on the way down.
Article first published in National Geographic Traveler Magazine: