Top 10 Tourist Must Do's in Vanuatu
Every traveler to Vanuatu is looking for a different experience, some are looking for a typical holiday which means relaxing by the poolside with a cocktail soaking up the sun and for others it means seeing as much of the destination as possible and enjoying new experiences. We like a cold pina-colada as much as the next person, however you can find one anywhere while the same can not be said about these glorious Vanuatu attractions.
This is a fairly typical traveler sample itinerary but we chose it to share as it still ticks off all of the big points of interest over the islands combined while still considering the MUST DO's in Efate.
The following list can be credited to an article by X Days In Y (source link here).
10. ROAD TRIPPING AROUND EFATE ISLAND - Absolute must do!
With an excellent sealed road circling the island, venturing on a road trip in Efate is the ultimate way to begin your Vanuatu vacation. En route, you’ll ascend to panoramic lookout spots, pass endless coconut plantations and meet the always smiling locals. Highlight stops include swinging off a rope into the fresh waters. That was the perfect start of the trip. The scenes around me was mesmerizing and I can feel happiness in the air. Be sure to stop into Le Life Resort for lunch and take a traditional canoe ride in Epule river!
9. SENDING A POSTCARD… UNDERWATER
Have you ever gone snorkeling and suddenly remembered you forgot to send that letter back home? Not really, ah! In any case, the world’s only underwater post office happens to be right here in Vanuatu, off the tropical reef of Hideaway Island. Even if you’re not staying at the resort, come here as a day tripper, say hello to the clown fish and don’t forget to send mom and dad a postcard from paradise. The post office lies below the water where you can post the card. It was super fun.
8. KAVA BAR HOPPING
The French have their champagne, the Italians have their limoncello and the Ni-Vans have their… kava! This sedative and muddy looking drink is made from the roots of a locally grown bush. After a few shells, you’ll start to feel a very calming sensation and just want to head to bed. The best kava bar I found was the Shefa bar in Port Vila, where perfect sunsets go hand in hand with a bowl full of fresh kava. The best part is that all the drinks are served in coconut sells and they get you the perfect hangover. You should try it once at least.
7. SNORKELING WITH JEEPS AND TANKS IN MILLION DOLLAR POINT
What do you do with a huge amount of military surplus and no buyers around? That’s exactly what the US Army chiefs were wondering at the end of WWII. With a large base on Espiritu Santo Island and no more fighting to do, the army simply dumped a lot of equipment off the beach. So you probably now understand how Million Dollar Point got its name. Head underwater on a scuba dive or just put your mask and snorkel and swim 30 meters off the beach. Below the surface awaits you all the military equipment that money could back in the 1940’s. You will get to see lots of beautiful and ancient equipment which are buried under water. All the equipments are still lying there and it was he real fun in watching different types of guns, ships and other equipments.
6. SWIMMING IN CLEAR BLUE HOLES
Vanuatu’s islands hide thousands of natural swimming pools that are just waiting for you to discover. The prettiest one just might be the Matevulu Blue Hole on the island of Espiritu Santo. Shaded by massive banyan trees, a crystal clear natural swimming pool springs out of somewhere. The crystal clear water gives you the feeling of perfect peace. Swimming in this blue hole feels like floating in space. Of course, after you’ve watched the local ‘pros’ in action, grab the rope and swing off the giant banyan tree. The perfect adventure for the holidays. You don't have to travel too far, just 30mins out of Port Vila at Eton, there is a fabulous blue lagoon!
5. WATCHING THE BRAVE LAND DIVERS OF PENTECOST
Every year, the people of Pentecost Island erect monumental towers for the upcoming festival without any help from engineering firms. After all, they’ve been doing this for centuries, if not longer. Between April and June, the towers are ready for the brave land divers who jump with nothing but thin ropes made from vines separating them from the afterlife. The closer you get to the ground, the better the harvest will be. Easier said than done! This is horrifying too. I also feel little bit nervous for the people living on the island. But they know all the tricky things like how things to be done.
4. DIVING INSIDE THE WRECK OF THE COOLIDGE
The SS President Coolidge was a luxury liner that was converted to a troop carrier during WWII. In 1942, it was carrying 5,000 troops to the military base in Espiritu Santo Island when it struck a friendly mine and sunk just meters off the beach. Nearly everybody made it safely to the shore but the wreck has been a mecca for scuba divers ever since. Negotiate your way through the dark hull of the giant wreck and step back in time. You’ll pay a visit to the infirmary, engine room and storage compartments where tanks, jeeps, and ammunition are rusting away. The ship’s close proximity to the beach, its well-preserved cargo and decorated history – make the Coolidge one of the best wreck dives in the world.
3. BEACH BUMMING!
Let’s face it, the first thing that comes to mind when thinking about a vacation on a South Pacific Island is that perfect white sand beach. Well, the good news is that Vanuatu has plenty of those. The best beach in Vanuatu is considered to be Champagne Beach, where the sand is ridiculously white and where all your troubles seem to magically disappear. But next door, little known Lonnoc Beach is just as pretty, and you might have it all to yourself. And the best part is that, beaches are not covered with a bunch of peoples. You will have the perfect romance time with your partner.
2. GOING BACK IN TIME IN A CUSTOM VILLAGE
As you drive to the middle of nowhere on the island of Tanna, your host who wears nothing but a short grass skirt welcomes you to what looks like the filming location of one of those BBC nature documentaries. In fact, this description is not that far from reality, just watch the highly recommended film Tanna. The Yakel tribe have hardly changed over the centuries, growing their own crops, raising their own livestock and keeping themselves entertained in the absence of TV and wifi. A visit to their village is an experience you’ll never forget, and before you return to the 21st century. That visit will give you a different feeling which will be remembered by me for many years. Moreover the people of that village are very sweet.
1. CLIMBING THE WORLD’S MOST ACCESSIBLE ACTIVE VOLCANO
The radiating glow of Mount Yasur is said to have attracted the great Captain Cook to the shores of Tanna Island by complete coincidence. A visit to its rim is something which you do not want to miss. The long trip to the ‘the world’s most accessible active volcano’ takes you on a tour of this beautiful island. As you touch down on the volcano’s ash covered plain, you’ll think you’ve just landed on Mars. Steam then begins to come out of the ground as you near the beast, and then there’s no choice but to ditch the 4X4 and climb the rest of the way to watch the show. But this is one of the great experience one should have once in their entire life.