Vanuatu is a country where the sun shines bright but the people’s smiles shine brighter. Absolutely nothing hinders the population’s enviable zeal for life. In Santo there are more cows than people. If it wasn’t for the cattle, you’d find yourself alone on the beach.
Variety, vibrancy, volcanoes − these words aptly describe Vanuatu. This necklace of lush islands in the South Pacific is a potpourri of cultures offering travellers a captivating and divergent choice of experiences, from fine dining to adventure tourism.
The people of Vanuatu are always smiling. Said to be the happiest souls in the world. Making easy and immediate connections with the nation’s people is an everyday occurrence and travellers are welcomed with open-arms.
Vanuatu is sure to be one of leaders of any island nation when it comes to cuisine – it’s steaks of the Santo beef variety are renowned. Vanuatu’s rich volcanic soil and year-round rain have helped give the country’s beef a worldwide reputation for quality. Likewise, the coffee grown on the island of Tanna has gained distinction around the globe. Where better to sample these culinary delights than in a French restaurant in the cosmopolitan capital, Port Vila. Or join in one of the Melanesian feasts organised by the major resorts.
While relaxation and fine dining are a prerequisite of most island holidays, there are a myriad of reasons for leaving your sun lounger and working up a fresh appetite. Vanuatu boasts some of the best diving sites in the world, with opportunities to explore both pristine coral reefs and wartime wrecks, making this destination a magnet for both scuba divers and snorkelers alike. And if you want to keep your feet dry but still hanker for excitement, Vanuatu has some of the world’s most active and exciting volcanoes, many of them easily accessible to visitors.
OUR FAVOURITE WAYS TO EXPERIENCE VANUATU
Mt Yasur Volcano Safari
A visit to Mt Yasur has to be on the top of your to do list when visiting Vanuatu. It is the most iconic landmark on the island of Tanna, after all there aren’t many places in the world where you can stand on the rim of a live volcano and witness up close and personal the fiery display of shooting lava bombs and volcanic ash clouds. The Tanna Volcano Safari will take you through the Middle Bush area, past wild horses on the White Grass plains, coffee plantations and highland villages before reaching the foot of Mt Yasur. A further 15 minute walk will place you at the craters edge. You’ll arrive at the volcano while it is still light so you can experience the sun setting, then after sunset enjoy the show at night as the molten lava lights up the sky. Feel the earth rumble beneath your feet and be impressed by the power of nature, this is one experience you won’t soon forget.
Diving in Espiritu Santo
Vanuatu and the outer islands in particular offer incredible diving and the Santo region is a favourite for divers the world over. Widely varied and catering to all levels of skill and interest, the dive sites around Santo have it all.
Experience the thrill of a shore dive of the SS President Coolidge which now rests between 20 and 60 metres and offers the world’s largest accessible wreck dive to anyone from novice to experts. Allan Power have been guiding divers in and around this majestic wreck for over 35 years and they are well known as being the caretakers of the Coolidge. There are over 20 different dives, ranging from 18 metres to 60 metres. You’ll see all sorts of WWII artefacts including tanks, jeeps and old guns. Another must dive is Million Dollar Point, which is also a shore dive.
Setting the standard of luxury in Vanuatu – simply stunning! A romantic getaway awaits you at this small and intimate adults-only resort. Experience the sun on your back as you lie upon white sands, indulge in gourmet local produce, sip cocktails in the lounge and watch the sun set across the Pacific. The Havannah offers gourmet cuisine using the freshest of local ingredients with fine wines from Australia, New Zealand and France. You can choose to dine on the beach or at the Point Restaurant, with its commanding 270-degree views over Havannah Harbour. The chefs create menus which tantalise your taste buds and entice you in the restaurant, but also on the beach or on the resort’s private jetty. Vanuatu’s perfect climate gives you the opportunity to experience a range of water sports, adventure and other sporting activities and sightseeing tours. Enjoy a sunset cruise or ride the waters on a catamaran or kayak. Snorkel or scuba dive in Vanuatu’s crystal-clear waters as you discover some of the most exciting and varied underwater sights in the world.