Vanuatu Destination Guide
Idyllic beaches, balmy breezes, spectacular reefs and friendly Ni-Vanuatu locals make Vanuatu "the happiest place on earth". Book flights to Vanuatu and find peace and adventure in equal measures, in this chain of 83 islands in the southwest Pacific, famous for its active volcano – the world's most accessible – on Tanna Island, and for its picturesque scenery and perfect diving conditions in calm, crystal clear water. Plan ahead for the perfect holiday – whether you're travelling solo, as a couple or bringing the entire family.
Vanuatu holidays offer some of the best swimming, snorkelling and sport diving in the world. Serious divers will want to explore the depths beyond the protected marine sanctuary in Port Vila to see impressive wrecks, such as the Star of Russia, the Konanda and the ex-Qantas Sandringham flying boat, the Tasman. Even more impressive, in Esperitu Santo, is the luxury liner, the S.S. President Coolidge, which sank during World War II after hitting a mine. These wrecks lie in mountainous terrain below the surface, reflecting the land above, and divers will thrill at the surrounding cliffs, overhangs and massive caves, connected by intricate lava-formed underwater tunnels. Snorkellers and less experienced divers will enjoy Hideaway Marine Park's friendly, professional instruction and calm conditions, followed by a drink at the beachfront bar and the chance to send a postcard from the world's only underwater post office.
On land, Vanuatu tours will take you through dense jungle, beneath cascading waterfalls and on the southern island of Tanna, to the summit of Tanna Yasur Volcano, which Captain Cook, in 1774, likened to Stromboli in Italy, due to its constant nightly glow.
Comb the capital
The capital of Vanuatu, and its largest, busiest city, located on the island of Efate, Port Vila Vanuatu, offers duty-free shopping and a modern yet more authentic shopping experience at the 24-hour Port Vila Market, which features brightly coloured clothing, hand-woven baskets, and fresh flowers, fruit and local produce. Don't try to bargain with the sellers, in their colourful Mother Hubbard dresses and hair adornments; it goes against local custom. Try the national dish, laplap, cooked in an underground oven and observe local tradition; "siesta" from 11:30am – 1:30pm. Relax beneath swaying palm trees on the beach or by the pool at your resort. Vanuatu resorts offer the best of both worlds – authentic Melanesian style and all the modern conveniences, including fantastic, fully supervised kids clubs.