Vanuatu Destination Guide
Idyllic beaches, balmy breezes, spectacular reefs and friendly Ni-Vanuatu locals make Vanuatu "the happiest place on earth". Book your flights to Vanuatu to find both peace and adventure in equal measures in this chain of some 80 islands in the South Pacific.
Vanuatu is especially famous for being home to the world's most accessible volcano on Tanna Island, but its picturesque scenery and perfect diving conditions in calm, crystal-clear water have also put it on the vacation map.
Best way to take a dip is...
- Snorkeling off Hideaway Island
- On a underwater scooter ride
- A trip to Cascade Falls
Vanuatu vacations offer some of the best swimming, snorkeling and sport diving anywhere in the world. Serious divers will want to explore the depths beyond the protected marine sanctuary in Port Vila to see impressive shipwreck diving sites, such as the Star of Russia, the Konanda and the ex-Qantas Sandringham flying boat, the Tasman.
Even more impressive, in Espiritu Santo, is the luxury liner the S.S. President Coolidge, which sank during World War II. These wrecks lie in mountainous terrain below the surface, reflecting the land above, meaning divers can enjoy the cliffs, overhangs and massive caves, connected by intricate lava-formed underwater tunnels.
While you're on Vanuatu’s largest island, Espiritu Santo, those with a keen sense of adventure can take an action-packed trek through tropical forests to uncover the impressive Millennium Cave.
Seek out adventure with...
- Off road buggy tours (self-drive)
- Volcano sand-boarding
- Rides on the Vanuatu Jungle Zipline
World-class dive sites boasting underwater caves and stunning grottos attract aquatic lovers, but there’s plenty more to explore above sea level in Vanuatu too. A selection of Vanuatu tours can take you through dense jungle to traditional villages, beneath cascading waterfalls and, on the southern island of Tanna, to the summit of Tanna Yasur Volcano. Captain Cook himself likened Tanna Yasur to Stromboli in Italy, due to its vivid nightly glow.
The capital of Vanuatu and its largest, busiest city Port Vila is located on the island of Efate. Port Vila offers is a popular port on many South Pacific cruise itineraries and, as such, offers plenty of duty-free shopping, as well as a more 'authentic' shopping experience at the Port Vila Markets. Sip a fresh coconut as you browse the brightly colored clothing, hand-woven baskets and fresh flowers on offer. Best of all, there's no bartering required here! It's not customary in Vanuatu to haggle.
Get a taste for the South Pacific with...
- A sip of Kava (natural sedative)
- Juice sipped straight from a coconut
- Home-cooked meal from the market
While you're in Vanuatu, do try the national dish lap lap (a root vegetable cake cooked in an underground oven), and also get into the Vanuatu way of life by embracing "siesta". Relax beneath swaying palm trees, on the beach, or by the pool at your resort – it doesn't matter where, as long as you're soaking up the chill vibes.
Vanuatu resorts offer the best of both worlds – authentic Melanesian style and all the modern conveniences, including fantastic, fully supervised kids clubs. Back in the water, snorkellers will enjoy Hideaway Marine Park's calm conditions, as well as the chance to send a postcard from the world's only underwater post office.
Take a day-trip to...
- Blue Lagoon swimming hole
- Ekasup Culture Village
- Tanna Island’s volcano (Mt Yasur)