Vanuatu Things to Do
- Port Vila & Efate Island
Efate Island is home to Vanuatu's capital, Port Vila, and offers safe anchorage for yachties in it's magnificent deep water harbour.
- Espiritu Santo
Commonly known as Santo, Espiritu Santo is Vanuatu's largest island - a mountainous landscape cloaked in lush rainforest that is home to colourful butterflies, tropical birds and lovely orchids. The island is known for its war relics and superb dive sites, including the famous wreck of the SS Coolidge.
- Tanna Island
Tanna Island is famous for its active volcano, Mount Yasur, and tours will take you right up to the crater rim to see the fiery crater. Tanna is also known for its traditional custom culture and Tannese face painting.
- Land Diving
Pentecost Island is famed for its annual land-diving ceremony - an annual ritual in which men and boys jump from specially constructed towers, breaking their fall with long vines attached to their ankles. The custom is to ensure a good yam harvest the following year.
Vanuatu has some of the most accessible dive sites in the South Pacific and excellent visibility year round. The warm waters harbour coral reefs, shipwrecks (including the sunken passenger liner the President Coolidge in Espiritu Santo Harbour), drop-offs and caves. Several dive companies operate in Vanuatu offering a range of diving options.
Snorkelling conditions are ideal for viewing the coral reefs and abundant marine life in Vanuatu's coastal waters.
Wildlife ranges from beautiful rainforest butterflies and birds to friendly sea turtles which can be hand-fed. On the islands of Epi and Tanna, there is also a resident dugong (sea cow). Nature tours, birdwatching and bush adventures are available. Vanuatu's main conservation are Million Dollar Point National Park, Loru Conservation Area and Vatthe Conservation Area, which can all be found on the island of Espiritu Santo.
Mount Yasur Volcano on Tanna is a popular excursion. Although constantly active, visitors are able to walk to the crater rim and view the multiple vents. Night visits are particularly spectacular when fountains of erupting ash and rock glow bright red against the black sky. Ambrym's volcanic vents, Benbow and Marum, provide an awesome scenic attraction located amidst a surreal ash plain.
Charter boats are available for all sorts of fishing from reef fishing to deep sea game fishing.
- Island nights
Many of the major hotels feature colourful island nights with traditional food and dance.
Options for sailing excursions include sightseeing, swimming, snorkelling, picnicking and cave tours. Take a half or full-day trip or sail off for a few days. Sailing trips depart from Port Vila on Efate and also Lunganville on Espiritu Santo.
Vanuatu's beaches are ideal for swimming and snorkelling. Espiritu Santo is home to some of the finest beaches in the South Pacific - favourites here inlcude Champagne Beach and Golden Beach. There are also magnificent black sand beaches on the volcanic islands, such as Tanna.
- Crafts and Culture
The country's diverse cultures can be viewed at the Vanuatu Cultural Centre and Museum in Port Vila. Tanna Island, famous for its traditional villages, has a fascinating Custom Village Tour. Also on Tanna are the John Frum Cargo Cult of Sulphur Bay who live separately from others, adhering to strict rules. On Espiritu Santo Island, the villages of Wusi and Linduri are known for their traditional pottery, while some of the finest art and ritual objects in Vanuatu can be found on Malakula. Ambrym Island is known for its beautiful wood carvings and for the famous spirit dance of the ROM dancers.