Welcome to Vanuatu
Nature lovers playground
Vanuatu is the south pacific’s geologically active archipelago and a natural playground of colourful reefs, boiling and bubbling volcanoes and lush rainforests. Gifted with 83 islands, Vanuatu offers visitors so much to see and do. The main islands visited include Tanna, Espiritu Santo and Efate. As an international visitor, you will most likely arrive at Efate.
Local people are warm and welcoming and here there’s a rather rich and often mysterious traditional culture to learn. Back in 2006, the country was declared the happiest nation on the planet and it’s easy to see why. They are proud of their history and traditions, passionate about sharing their islands with visitors and telling stories of times gone by.
The islands boast coconut palm tree-fringed beaches, powdery white sands and vibrant freshwater blue holes fringed by lush rainforests. Some of the islands have underground caves hiding natural wonders and of course, diving and snorkelling is a treat on these tropical paradise lands.
Adventure seekers can embrace the opportunity to bathe under waterfalls, drive up to the crater of Yasur – the most accessible volcano in the world, kayak around the islands, dive down to explore World War II relics, and bike and hike through steamy forests and coconut plantations.
For those not adventure inclined, don’t worry there is still plenty to see, do and experience. There are fascinating cultural encounters on offer, walks through secret gardens, sailing, fishing, helicopter scenic flights, and of course impressive local cuisine to try.
Getting around is relatively easy with local buses, private cars and guides, hire cars, bicycles and taxis.
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“The meaning of life is that it is meant to be lived. “
At a glance
The tourism association of Vanuatu got it right when the said “Vanuatu is quite unlike anywhere else on Earth. It’s like the greatest hits of the world’s most spectacular experiences – all in the one place.” This archipelago of islands is in a Y-shape that stretches 1,300 kilometres. The islands themselves are mostly mountains of volcanic origin with narrow strips of coastal beauty.
Vanuatu has been inhabited since 500 BC. The first settlers arrived in canoes from New Guinea over 3500 years ago. During the 19th Century, English and French Christian missionaries, traders and planters settled on some of the islands. Of course, as a result of the missionaries, Christianity is the main belief system. The rest is history as they say. What stands today is a magnificent archipelago of islands offering an epic diversity of experiences and natural wonders. Wherever you go, the locals will be happy and welcoming and the food will be sumptuous!
In Vanuatu, there are three official languages including English, French, and Bislama which is a Pidgin English.
When it comes to food, savour an international affair with French, Mediterranean, Chinese, Italian and Asian influences. Seafood will dominate menus and the local beef is impressive! While you’re here make sure you sample the local specialty called Lap Lap. It is grated yam, banana smothered in coconut cream and then cooked in an earth oven (buried under coals).
Temperatures here vary between the low to high 20s, so swimming is sensational all year round. Rainfall is moderate and cyclones are possible so it’s worth being mindful in your planning. They only hit every couple of years and between December and April.
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