Comprising around 80 islands scattered across the South Pacific Ocean, Vanuatu is a beguiling nation of tropical rainforests and smoking volcanoes. Many of its tribal villages still live according to ancient customs, while its beach resorts offer direct access to warm, turquoise waters and coral reefs.
Things to do in Vanuatu
From the cultural attractions of Efate to the remote volcanic craters of Tanna and Ambrym, Vanuatu offers adventures like no other.
Discover Ni-Vanuatu culture on Efate Island. Home to the nation’s capital, Port-Vila, Efate is ringed by blissful beach resorts that offer easy access to the island’s cultural attractions. Get up close to ceremonial headdresses at the National Museum of Vanuatu and learn about the country’s tribes at the Secret Garden Cultural Centre where traditional feasts are held.
See the smoking volcano of Tanna. Home to traditional villages and the John Frum cargo cult, Tanna is a lushly vegetated island south of Efate. Seeing the brilliant lava show put on by Mount Yasur is its biggest allure, with pre-sunset treks up its scree slopes offering a front-row seat to the active volcano as it ignites.
Dive the waters of Espiritu Santo. Located in the far north of Vanuatu, Espiritu Santo is the nation’s largest island and home to healthy coral reefs that can be explored while snorkelling or diving. A highlight is venturing to the SS President Coolidge, an American luxury ocean liner that was sunk by mines in 1942.
Trek between the volcanoes of Ambrym. Dominated by the twin volcanic peaks of Mount Benbow and Mount Marum, Ambryn is best explored on foot, with a six-hour trail leading through its mesmerising ash fields. Ancient customs are on vivid display in its remote villages, which are guarded by tam-tams sculpted out of tree trunks.
Getting around Vanuatu
Bauerfield International Airport in Port-Vila is the main gateway to Vanuatu, with domestic flights and ferries connecting Efate to the nation’s other islands. Buses are available for getting around Port-Vila and Luganville. In other areas, privately-chartered trucks are the main means of transport.