Part of the northern Yasawa Islands, Sawa-i-Lau is just south of the archipelago’s largest island, Yasawa. Access to the island is via Buasali Bay with Tamasua and Nabukeru being the closest villages. Part of Nabukeru’s families are the owners of Sawa-i-Lau. Unlike the other, major islands which are of volcanic origin, Sawa-i-Lau is an impressive limestone island with steep sides rising high into the air. At its western shore a small beach permits access via some concrete steps to the main attraction: several remarkable caves. Once one has passed the door guarding the entrance to the island’s interior, shafts of light illuminate a dome-shaped cave connected underwater to the ocean. Apart from enjoying the natural pool which has a depth of some three meters, intrepid swimmers/snorkelers can head for a second cave which has to be accessed via a low tunnel which at high tide is below water level. Unlike the first cathedral-like cave, this has a low ceiling actually very close to the water. If this second cave already will be off-limit to most, the third cave can only be reached swimming through a long passage hidden in one of the second cave’s corners some six feet below the water’s surface.
Similar to Mariner’s Cave in Vava’u, Tonga, the stories go that a young chief once had to hide his girlfriend inside Sawa-i-Lau’s caves, bringing her food on a daily basis until they could eventually escape to a different island.