The third island on my adventure island hopping in Fiji was Mantaray Island, my second favourite of the islands I visited. This place has a very young and fun vibe and all the staff are so friendly and will get to know all the guests, (shout out to Joe and Bruce).
The dorm rooms on mantaray are very large and frankly not the best that I’ve stayed in but they’re clean and to be honest you won’t be spending much time in there except to sleep and the beds are comfy. As for mealtimes this island works a little differently to the previous two islands, with drop in mealtimes and a menu for you to chose from with 13 options at lunch and usually a fish, meat, chicken or vegetarian option in the evening, and its all very tasty.
Activities wise theres so much going on you’ll be spoilt for choice, on this island we were never bored and theres plenty of free and paid activities going on everyday – just check out the board at the activities bure every morning. Whilst I was here I did a summit walk across to the other side of the island where there was excellent views, some parts of this hike are quite steep and tricky so make sure you wear suitable footwear (oh and bring bug spray). If your lucky Joe your guide for the day might climb the trees and pick you all a fresh coconut as a mid walk refreshment, they’re soooooo good!
Another fantastic activity to get involved with on the island is the sunset tube cruise, included if you’re on a full monty package but if not its still a lot of fun and much cheaper here than on some of the other islands. Basically this trip takes you out on a boat just before sunset where you jump in the water on a rubber ring and float around with a few drinks as you watch the sun go down over the water. Make sure to bring your iPod to connect to the bluetooth speakers for an even better experience.
Snorkoling on manta ray island is the best in Fiji and possibly even some of the best in the world, I personally found it to be better than the great barrier reef is now. You can hire a snorkel from the dive shop for $20 (this is for your whole time on the island not per day) or bring your own and swim out to the reef just off the beach. Now you do have to be aware of the tides and currents do get strong at certain times of day so I suggest you walk up one way of the beach and let the current pull you back in the water. You can also pay for guided snorkelling trips on the outer reef accessed by boat which I didn’t do simply because the reef off the beach was so good and packed with tropical fish I didn’t feel the need to go anywhere else. Make sure to look out for blue star fish, very common in fiji and wonderful for the world of instagram. Unfortunately despite arranging my trip to fall in manta ray season there were no manta rays whilst I was there, something had happened the week before to scare them off. However if you’re lucky enough to be there when they are around you have such a high chance of seeing them and you can go swimming and snorkelling alongside these beautiful creatures, something that will remain on my bucket list.
Other free activities we took part in included bracelet and anklet making which was a lot of fun and there was also cooking classes going on but unfortunately we missed out on that one. In the evenings entertainment was put on every night and was a lot of fun. We had fire dancing, traditional fijian singing and dance, crab racing and party games for everyone to get involved in.
Despite the fact there were no manta rays whilst I was there (something I was really looking forward to) I still had an excellent time and besides this just gives me a reason to go back again.
Vinaka Mantaray island resort