Water Sports: Many visitors to Fiji participate in water sports, including surfing, scuba diving, snorkeling, and operating jet-skis. Surfing on Fiji's numerous reef breaks can be highly dangerous. If you scuba dive or snorkel while in Fiji, please be sure to check the references, licenses, and equipment of tour operators before agreeing to or paying for a tour. Rent equipment only from trustworthy operators and be sure to receive training before using the equipment. Some rental diving equipment may not be properly maintained or inspected. Local dive masters may not consider your skill level when they organize a trip. Deaths and serious accidents have occurred in the past because basic safety measures were not taken during diving and snorkeling trips. Remember that safety precautions and emergency responses may not meet U.S. standards. Fiji has only one decompression chamber to provide medical assistance for dive-related injuries. The chamber is located in Suva, which is far from most resorts. Please note that the chamber is not always fully functioning. Some travel insurance doesn’t cover “risky” outdoor activities. If planning on diving, it is recommended you look at the DAN website: www.diversalertnetwork.org for diver’s insurance).
Trekking: Terrain in the Fiji islands can be hazardous. You should speak with local guides and/or hotel staff before starting a trek. It is best to hike with a companion and stay on trails that are clearly marked.
Customs: There may be strict regulations and customs enforcement for importing and exporting items such as alcohol and tobacco products in Fiji. You should contact the Embassy of Fiji in Washington, DC, at (202) 466-8320 for specific information regarding customs requirements. Bringing animals into Fiji is strictly controlled. Pets may be imported only from certain designated, rabies-free areas. If you want to bring a pet into Fiji, contact the Ministry of Agriculture in Suva approximately six months in advance to find out the details. Also, please see the Customs Information sheet for additional information.
Purchase of Real Estate: Purchasing real estate in Fiji can be risky. Be cautious before you enter into commitments to invest in property. You should gather reliable information and hire experienced Fijian legal counsel regarding any real estate investment. Fijian law and practices about real estate differ substantially from those in the United States.
Notification of Arrest: You should carry a copy of your U.S. passport at all times. If questioned by local authorities, you will need to show proof of identity and U.S. citizenship. According to Fijian law, a person detained for criminal actions may be held for a maximum of 48 hours before being charged. Police authorities should contact the U.S. Embassy within 24 hours of the detention or arrest of a U.S. citizen. Nevertheless, if you are detained, you should request that a consular officer at the U.S. Embassy in Suva be notified.
Natural Disasters: Fiji is located in an area of high seismic activity. Although the probability of a major earthquake occurring during your trip is rare, please remember that earthquakes can and do occur. Undersea earthquakes in the South Pacific can generate destructive tsunamis. Fiji does not have a siren warning system in place; instead, tsunami warnings are transmitted through local radio and television stations. Most coastal resorts and hotels have tsunami evacuation plans in place, and guests should carefully follow staff instructions in the event of a tsunami warning.
Cyclones: The cyclone season is November through April. The Fiji Meteorological Service maintains a Tropical Cyclone Warning Center in Nadi serving the Southwest Pacific Region.
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