Vanuatu

Life-jacketed tourists on colourful catamarans sweep and dart across sparkling Port Vila harbour as a local fisherman paddles his outrigger canoe to drop his nets behind Iririki Island. Women in Mother Hubbard dresses laugh across their array of fresh produce in the markets. Cappuccino chitchat murmurs from the harbour front towards the souvenir stalls where a young blonde girl sits, patiently, having her hair braided.

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Welkam long Vanuatu – Bienvenue a Vanuatu – Welcome to Vanuatu!

Vanuatu is one of our favourite Pacific destinations.  While there are some great resorts (family or adults only) Vanuatu offers so much more than sitting by a swimming pool with a colourful cocktail (not that there’s anything wrong with that!).

Port Vila is the prettiest harbour in the Pacific and it is where most visitors start their Vanuatu holiday. Most resorts are in and around Vila and it’s easy to get about for shopping, sightseeing and sampling some of the wonderful restaurants. Mainly thanks to the French influence the cuisine on offer is superb and varied but that’s just part of the Vanuatu experience.

There’s excellent diving, snorkelling and game fishing as well as waterfalls, caves, horse riding, golf, parasailing, abseiling, cruises and cultural activities. There is a rich Melanesian culture with some villages on the outer islands still adhering to traditional customs and lifestyle. Two of the most popular of these islands for visitors are Tanna (for the accessible active volcano, Mt Yasur and village life) and Santo (for beaches, caves and diving, including the famous wreck dive, the SS President Coolidge).

There are over 100 tribal languages spoken throughout the 83 islands but everyone speaks English, which is one of the three official languages along with French and Bislama (pidgin English). The ni-Vanuatu people are reserved but warm, genuine and welcoming. From the moment you step from the plane you are greeted with tropical weather and that wonderful thing called ‘island time’ – as they say, “another time, another pace”. Relax and go with the flow that is part of this beguiling, seductive, surprising and sometimes mysterious tropical paradise. As Canadian travel writer, David Stanley, says… “Away from the packaged day tours and commercial resorts, this unpolished jewel of the South Pacific is still a land of adventure.”

Here are a few other pluses:

  • Only a few hours from Australia or New Zealand (also with flights from Fiji and New Caledonia)
  • Vanuatu is a very affordable Pacific destination
  • Local beef and seafood are excellent, inexpensive and the chefs know how to do them justice
  • There’s no tipping in Melanesian culture
  • Despite being a third world country, there’s sophisticated mobile telephony and Internet access
  • Discover why Vanuatu was officially voted the happiest nation on the planet

More Information

Some links for more on Vanuatu:

Or just email us for more information – we love e-chatting about Vanuatu!