In Fiji, virtually everyone you’ll meet will be smiling—and when you view the high mountains, lush vegetation, shimmering waters, and pristine white-sand beaches of this island nation, you’ll understand why. A British colony for nearly a century before gaining its independence in 1970, Fiji remains English speaking and today boasts a multinational population, among whom the majority are of Melanesian descent and reputed to be among the friendliest people in the world.

Lautoka is known as “Sugar City” for the green-gold sugarcane that surrounds it on three sides, with the beautiful blue Pacific Ocean forming its western border. Travelers enjoy shopping along its palm-lined main thoroughfare, exploring Koroyanitu National Heritage Park, and experiencing life in traditional villages.