Vanuatu Travel Destinations
If you’re looking for a holiday to remember, Vanuatu has it all! Whether you’re looking to relax and unwind, explore a new culture, embark on an adventure, or just escape for a long weekend – Vanuatu has something for everyone.
Start your holiday in Port Vila – the capital of the main island of Efate. You’ll be charmed by the tropical paradise and friendly locals. Spend your days exploring the bustling marketplaces and indulging in the delicious food and drinks. Take in the natural beauty of the island and relax on the golden sandy beaches.
If you’re after something more active, explore the 83 islands dotted around Vanuatu. From vibrant cultural hubs to stunning off-the-beaten-track locations, discover something new every day. Whether you’re interested in diving and snorkeling, trekking through jungle-clad islands, or simply relaxing on the beach – you’ll find an island to suit you.
Why not venture beyond the main island and explore Vanuatu’s culture, nature and adventure? Explore the volcanic landscape of the Shepherd Islands, take in the breathtaking views of the Banks and Torres Islands, or take a boat trip to the pristine beaches of Aneityum Island.
However you choose to spend your time in Vanuatu, it’s guaranteed to be an unforgettable experience. With its friendly locals, stunning natural beauty and vast array of activities, Vanuatu is the perfect destination for a holiday you’ll never forget.
Interesting Facts About Vanuatu
The main island of Vanuatu is called Espiritu Santo. It’s located in the Pacific Ocean, between Papua New Guinea and New Caledonia. The island has a population of around 200,000 people and is home to a number of beautiful beaches and stunning waterfalls.
The island nation has been a favorite destination for travelers since it first opened up to tourism in 1983. Vanuatu was named one of the top 10 islands in the world by Lonely Planet in 2005 and is now home to more than 300 resorts, making it one of the most popular islands in the world for couples and families alike.
The entire country is tropical and humid with temperatures ranging from 23 degrees Celsius (73 degrees Fahrenheit) to 27 degrees Celsius (81 degrees Fahrenheit). Because there are no natural sources of water on most of Vanuatu, it’s important to remember that drinking untreated tap water can be harmful to your health!
On land, you’ll find lush rainforests, sandy beaches and cool volcanic mountains that jut out from the ocean floor. Airports are available on most islands so if you’re planning on traveling by plane then make sure you check out vanuatu travel guide for more information on how to get there from Australia or New Zealand!
If you’re traveling by air to explore the beautiful islands of Vanuatu, Air Vanuatu is your best bet! Several ATR-72 aircraft guarantee a safe and reliable connection between Port Vila, Santo and Tanna. For destinations beyond the main three islands, smaller aircraft are available, but seating is not assigned. Please note that many of these airports have grass runways and limited facilities. Also, do keep in mind that Vanuatu weather can occasionally cause schedule changes.
For added convenience, you can book your domestic flight in conjunction with your international flight. This way, you’ll receive the same luggage allowance throughout your entire journey.
Air Vanuatu would like to welcome you aboard with a friendly, hassle-free experience. They are looking forward to flying you to your desired destination!
For domestic flights, please note that a provincial departure tax of VT200 is required. This fee is not included in the ticket price and must be paid prior to departure (after check in) at any of the following airports: Port Vila, Efate (VLI); Luganville, Espiritu Santo (SON); Whitegrass, Tanna (TAH); Siwo, Emae (EAE); Tongoa (TGH); Lamen Bay, Epi (LNB); and Valesdir, Epi (VLS).
We understand that planning a charter flight can be overwhelming, so if you have any questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us! We are always here to help you with a friendly and helpful attitude.
Banana boats are the norm for most of Vanuatu’s islands, and they’re a great way to get around. The smaller boats are usually more affordable than larger vessels, and they allow you to see more of the island.
The banana boats operate throughout the day and night, but they stop at one particular spot for about an hour for lunch. This is where you can enjoy a meal with your fellow travelers on board before continuing your journey to your destination.
A trip on one of Vanuatu’s cargo vessels is the perfect way to explore the wonders of the country if you’re taking a longer journey. With time on your side, you can see a range of different landscapes and have a unique window into the culture of Vanuatu. It’s a great way to gain a better appreciation for the country and its people in a friendly and relaxed atmosphere.
- For trips between Port Vila and Malekula or Luganville, both Vanuatu Ferry and Big Sista offer 24 hour journeys, with additional stops on Emae, Epi, Paama and Maskelynes depending on passenger and cargo demand.
- Port Vila to Ambrym? MV Brisk and MV Tina have you covered – just stop by their wharf near fisheries in Port Vila.
- Visiting Tanna in the south? You can travel from Port Vila to Erromango, Tanna, and sometimes Aneityum on the MV Tauraken.
- Traveling from Santo to Malekula? Be sure to enquire at the Luganville wharf if there are any smaller ships operating the route.
- Taking a trip to the Banks Islands or Penama Province? You’ll need to inquire locally about boats from Luganville.
- If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to get in touch – we’d love to help!
The buses are very easy to use and the locals are extremely friendly. There is no need to worry about safety or any other problems on the bus.
The bus fares are cheap (VT150 per person). The buses are usually full, so if you want to get a seat, just wait for the next one. They can take you anywhere around Port Vila and they will drop you off at your destination. The fare may rise to VT300 – 500 per person if you are traveling a longer distance. The number of buses in Luganville is relatively low, but taxis are plentiful and affordable (around VT200 per trip).
Airport Transfer Service
Airport Transfers from Port Vila & Espiritu Santo to Vila, Maewo and Santo are available from the following local car rental companies.
- Avis Cairns Airport Transfer – $95 per vehicle (per day)
- Budget Vanuatu – $98 per vehicle (per day)
- Hertz Vanuatu – $105 per vehicle (per day)
- National Car Rentals – $110 per vehicle (per day)
- RAC Rent a Car – $122 per vehicle (per day)
- Thrifty Vanuatu Car Rental – $130 per vehicle (per day)
Vanuatu Weather and Temperature
The average temperature in Vanuatu is 26°C. The weather is fairly constant throughout the year and there are no bad times to visit.
Summer months from November to March are hot, humid and wet. If you’re planning to go then bring a poncho as it rains constantly during this time.
The winter months from April to September are dry and can be sunny or cloudy depending on the day. The temperature averages 23°C but can drop as low as 15°C at night. Sea temperatures vary from 22 – 28 degrees making swimming enjoyable all year round.
The rainy season lasts from May to October with heavy monsoon rains that can cause flooding in low-lying areas of the country including Port Vila, Luganville and Santo.
If you’re looking for the perfect outfit no matter the season, light-weight casual clothing is usually sufficient during the day. During cooler months, you may need something a bit warmer in the evening and in wet months, don’t forget to bring along a water-proof jacket. To be respectful, make sure to wear modest attire outside of public bathing areas. Whatever the season or occasion, you’re sure to be prepared with these tips!
You can stay connected with both Telecom Vanuatu Limited (TVL) and Digicel. Both companies have stores in Port Vila and at Port Vila Airport, so you can easily purchase a local SIM card and stay connected. When making international calls out of Vanuatu, the code you’ll need to dial is 00 and for calls to Vanuatu, it is 678. We hope this information helps make your stay in Vanuatu as stress-free and enjoyable as possible!
- Port Vila emergency services can be reached at the following numbers:
- Police: 22222. Emergency number Free Line 111
- Promedical Ambulance: 25566. Emergency number Free Line 115
- Ambulance: 22100. Emergency number Free Line 112
- Fire services: 22333
Here are a few things to know about the plugs and power sources you’ll find around the island. In most hotels and resorts, you’ll find three-pin plugs, as used in Australia and New Zealand. However, some smaller bungalows and resorts may have French two-point plugs instead. Town power is available in the main cities of Port Vila, Luganville, Lenakel and Lakatoro. Rural guest houses may use their own generators or solar power instead.
Vanuatu is a truly remarkable and culturally diverse country. With more than 120 distinct languages and dialects, it is one of the most linguistically diverse countries in the world.
The national language of Vanuatu is Bislama, which is a pidgin English that developed out of the trading ports of the 19th century.
The many indigenous languages of Vanuatu have been retained and are still spoken to this day, including languages such as Aulua, Ifira-Mele, Kiai, Lenakel and Olrat. There are also many creole languages, such as Tok Pisin (Pidgin English), Santo Malayo Lakwatsero (Creole Malay) and All Bikol (Creole Bikol).
The people of Vanuatu are incredibly friendly and welcoming, and will often welcome visitors with a smile and a few words in their native tongue. It’s also common for people to mix Bislama with English, creating a unique language all its own.
Vanuatu is an amazing place to visit, with a rich and varied cultural heritage. It’s easy to get lost in the beauty of the country, the sounds of the many languages and dialects, and the unique and friendly atmosphere.
The majority of Vanuatu’s population speak English or French, however there are some communities where only Bislama is spoken – including schools and government offices. More than half of the country’s inhabitants can also speak Tok Pisin, which is used primarily for trade between ethnic groups in rural areas.
Visitors are welcome to attend church services. Sundays are generally a day of rest, and visitors will find many activities, services and shops unavailable on this day.The main denominations in Vanuatu are Presbyterian, Anglican and Catholic (Sunday) and Seventh Day Adventists (Saturday).You may wish to attend church services if you are in Vanuatu on a Sunday.
Permits for Immigration and Entry in Vanuatu
As you prepare for your trip, please be aware that entry and residence in Vanuatu is governed by the National Immigration Act (Cap 66) as amended and by Immigration Orders issued by the Minister.
To ensure a smooth arrival and kickstart your time in Vanuatu, it’s important that you take the time to carefully complete the immigration and quarantine form provided to you on your flights to Vanuatu. This form is a legal document, so please make sure that you fill it out correctly.
We understand that the requirements for entry to Vanuatu can seem strict, but they have been put in place to ensure that visitors can make a positive contribution to the economic development of the country.
Vanuatu Visitors Permits
If you would like to visit friends and family, conduct business, or conduct meetings in Vanuatu, you do not need a visa. Over 120 jurisdictions, including Australia, New Zealand, and the majority of South Pacific nations, do not require a visa for any of these purposes – a confirmed onward or return ticket, sufficient funds, and a valid passport are required.
Depending on your passport, this could grant you a stay of up to 30 or 90 days. For visitors from some countries, you will need to get a visa beforehand in order to ensure your entry is authorized. We can help you with that – just apply to the appropriate consulate or embassy for the country of residence.
Vanuatu Health and Safety
Before you set off, we highly recommend that you visit your doctor and make sure you are up-to-date on your vaccinations and medications. Although Vanuatu is a relatively safe country with low crime rates, there are still some preventable risks you should be aware of before you travel.
Malaria is present in some parts of Vanuatu, so it’s important that you take anti-malaria medication before, during, and after your trip. Similarly, hepatitis A is also a risk, so make sure your vaccinations are up to date.
When traveling in Vanuatu, it’s best to carry at least 800 to 2,500 Vatu (VT) with you, as some cafes and tours don’t have EFTPOS or credit card facilities. Typically, the Vatu is the preferred currency in markets, but occasionally Australian dollars are accepted in Port Vila. You can find many places in Port Vila and Luganville that accept credit cards, particularly MasterCard and Visa (and to a lesser extent American Express). A three to five percent credit card fee is often charged on top of the purchase price. ATM facilities are available only in Port Vila and Luganville and there are no ATMs beyond these two locations.
If you’re traveling outside of Port Vila or Luganville, then it’s important to plan ahead and take plenty of Vatu with you. For remote areas, it’s best to take coins and smaller-denomination notes. With a friendly reminder, make sure you’ve got cash handy to take care of any unexpected expenses.
When you’re in Vanuatu, you’ll have access to a range of banking options! ANZ, National Bank of Vanuatu, and Bred Bank are all available, with convenient banking hours:
- ANZ: 9:00 AM to 3:30 PM, Monday to Friday. Plus, they have ATMs in Port Vila, Luganville, and at Bauerfield International Airport.
- National Bank of Vanuatu (NBV): 8:30 AM to 3:30 PM, Monday to Thursday; Fridays to 4:00 PM.
- Bank South Pacific (BSP): 8:30 AM to 4:00 PM, Monday to Friday.
- Bred Bank Ltd: Open Monday till Friday from 8:30 AM to 3:30 PM (foreign exchange till 4.30PM).
With a friendly and helpful team ready to serve you, banking in Vanuatu is easy and convenient. Make sure to check out your options before you arrive!