About Beqa Island
Just off the southern coast of Viti Levu, Fiji’s largest and main island, lies legendary, mystical Beqa (pronounced mbenga) Island. Beqa is 14 square miles, enclosed by one of the world’s largest barrier reefs, stretching almost 100 miles. This reef encircles Beqa Lagoon, one of the Pacific’s premier diving and snorkeling locations.
The island itself is sparsely populated – only 9 traditional villages make their home on Beqa – which gives visitors a glimpse into true Melanesian life untouched by the main tourist trade or modern developments. There are no roads on the island, travel is done via boat between the villages that dot the bays on the perimeter of the island.
Although isolated, the advantage of staying on Beqa Island (versus the more populated main island or the well-traveled Mamanuca Group where the majority of the larger hotels and tourist trade is located) is that you’ll experience a much greater sense of Fijian hospitality. The locals that live on the island are true villagers and because of the rural nature of the island they are naturally friendlier. They simply see fewer visitors and retain their genuine Fijian warmth and innocence.
Beqa Island is small and rugged, with jagged hills, waterfalls, and unmarred physical beauty. The lagoon is home to a staggering array of sea life – large sea creatures such as the blue marlin wahoo, swordfish and tuna – as well as the brilliant soft corals, gorgonian sea fans, octopus, electric clams, angelfish, grouper, butterfly and lion fish, parrot and anemone fish, spotted rays and blue ribbon eels, nudis and a whole lot more.
Beqa Island is also renowned for the magical Fijian firewalking ceremony, as only the residents of this island are blessed with the skill of walking across white hot rocks. Firewalking is an ancient ritual, which according to legend was given by a god only to the Sawau tribe of Beqa. Lalati Resort takes guests directly to one of only a few firewalking villages to see a true, authentic ceremony.
To prepare for the ceremony, the participants (only males) must refrain from eating coconuts or having contact with women for two weeks prior. Failure to observe these restrictions may result in severe burns to the feet.