Last Updated on
Vanuatu will always hold a special place in my heart. After my little sister, Hannah finished high school and I completed my first year of university, we decided to book a sister getaway before I left to study abroad for a year. It didn’t take much Pinterest deep-diving for us to become quickly sold on Vanuatu as our destination of choice.
We ended up having the most incredible time there, and as our first trip just the two of us without our parents, I truly believe it made us closer as sisters. It’s only been recently as I’ve been Pinterest binging again that I’ve noticed that Vanuatu doesn’t seem to get as much love or hype as its neighbours like Fiji, Bali or Thailand. Which is why I decided to compile this list of 20 reasons you should travel to Vanuatu.
1. It’s Not Overcrowded
Vanuatu is an 83 island archipelago with gorgeous beaches, stunning weather and awe-inspiring cultural sights. In spite of all this, Vanuatu is not overrun by tourists. Cruise ships usually only stop by briefly on the way to other places like Fiji or New Caledonia, but as it’s not considered a tourist “hotspot” yet, you’ll have this island paradise almost to yourself. With Fiji coming in at approximately 10x busier than Vanuatu, Vanuatu should be a no-brainer for your next island getaway.
2. The People
Vanuatu has a population of approximately 200,000 people, and they are the absolute sweetest. As soon as we got off the plane in the airport there were locals standing around singing and waving to all the arriving passengers. This genuine hospitality continued the whole trip whether it was the resort staff, the locals or business owners. The people of Vanuatu will always be down for a good chat and ready with a smile.
3. The Price
Visiting Vanuatu definitely won’t break the bank! Obviously exactly how much you’ll spend comes down to your personal spending habits, but we personally had an amazing holiday on approximately $50USD a day. By choosing a resort that had a kitchenette available in our room we were able to save on food costs, but even a cocktail by the pool at resort prices didn’t cost us more than about $8USD. We splurged on a few activities like scuba-diving, however overall the day to day cost of being in Vanuatu is extremely low.
4. The Food
Fresh produce is abundant in Vanuatu, with the food market open round the clock from Monday-Saturday. Consider trying traditional dishes such as lap lap, which is grated yams and coconut, cooked in an underground oven, or even the traditional and ceremonial drink, Kava. There are also fantastic seafood options and prime beef at many of the local restaurants
5. The Culture
Vanuatu is home to 110 distinct cultures and languages, so it shouldn’t be surprising that it has been recognised as one of the most culturally diverse countries in the world. The oscar-nominated movie “Tanna” was filmed in Yakel, which is one of the friendliest communities you could hope to find.
6. The Markets
I’m a girl who loves markets, so I absolutely loved being able to walk around the fresh fruit and vegetable market in Port Vila, Vanuatu. There are also plenty of duty-free stores and craft stalls, so you should have no trouble finding the perfect souvenirs and mementoes of your trip.
7. Mount Yasur – The World’s Most Accessible Active Volcano
This was probably one of my favourite parts of the whole trip. Mount Yasur Volcano is located on Tanna Island in Vanuatu. We booked an overnight tour to the island and we are able to enjoy the trek up the Volcano, the spectacular view from the top and the sheer adrenaline of being so close to an active volcano.
8. Go Bungee Jumping Where Bungee Jumping First Began
Believe it or not, it was Vanuatu where bungee jumping originates from. Nahgol, or land-diving, has been around for thousands of years. While you can go the more modern route and go bungee jumping with AJ Hackett, between April-June every year, the men of Vanuatu’s southern islands jump from 20-30m tall towers with just vines attached to their feet! If you’re in Vanuatu during this period, it’s definitely a sight worth seeing.
9. Mele Cascades Waterfall
On Efate Island in Vanuatu, you will find the Mele Cascades waterfall. The view is absolutely stunning and the water is incredibly refreshing. The Mele Cascades is very easy to get to, making it a popular spot for a scenic picnic. Located in the jungle, another great option is to go for a hike before cooling off in the pristine water.
10. Do a Village Tour
If you’re interested in learning about the culture and history of Vanuatu, you can book in for a tribal village tour. With half-day and full-day tours available, you can learn all about important Vanuatu traditions whilst enjoying some amazing cultural dishes. Depending on what tour you choose you may even be greeted by the chief of the tribe, which is a great honour.
11. Go Zip Lining
This was definitely another highlight of our trip! If you’re an adrenaline junkie like me, then speeding through the Vanuatu jungle at over 100 miles per hour should give you that much-needed fix. There are six different lines to choose from and cross-suspension bridges located over and 80-metre canyon.
Hannah and I decided to enrol in PADI’s introductory scuba-diving course, which meant that after we had trained in the pool we were able to go and explore the amazing Vanuatu ocean. With its crystal blue water, an abundance of sea life and underwater grottos to explore, Vanuatu is an amazing place to go scuba-diving. If divving round shipwrecks is your thing then you’re in luck; the SS “President Coolidge” sank during WW2 and is the largest wreck dive in the entire world!
If you’re not up for scuba-diving fret not, because there are plenty of great snorkelling spots. Most resorts have snorkel equipment that you can hire out to go exploring around the reef near where you’re staying, and the cost isn’t typically more than a few dollars. Alternatively, you can also book onto a day tour like the Hideaway Island tour and enjoy one of the most beautiful snorkelling and diving spots in Vanuatu, along with great beaches and the underwater post office.
14. The Underwater Post Office
Yes, you did read that right – an underwater post office! Located on Hideaway Island in Vanuatu, it is the only underwater post office in the entire world. Located three metres underwater you can swim out to the post office, dive down and post your waterproof postcard. If your family is always getting on you about staying in touch whilst you’re travelling, what better way to do this than from underwater. Definitely something that you should add to your bucket list.
15. Jet Skiing
Another great watersport option for the list. Hannah and I had an absolute blast on our jet ski tour around the island, and even better we were the only ones on the tour! It took me a little while to get the hang of how to manoeuvre a jet ski, but by the end of the tour I was zooming around like a pro!
16. The Beaches
There are many beautiful beaches to relax on in Vanuatu. Vanuatu can also claim one of the top 50 beaches in the world, with Champagne Beach coming in at 31 on FlightNetwork’s. As you might have guessed, Champagne Beach gets its name from the beautiful champagne coloured powder-fine sand. Combine this with the turquoise water, nearby palm trees, and depending on what time you go, an incredible sunset, you’ve just found paradise on earth.
17. Blue Holes
Vanuatu has more blue holes along the eastern side of Espiritu Santo island than anywhere else in the world. Depending on where you are in Vanuatu you have the Riri Blue Hole, the Matevalu Blue Hole, Nanda Blue Hole, Malo Blue Hole, Hog Harbour Blue Hole or Blue Lagoon to choose from. The vibrant blue colours have to be seen to be believed and no pictures truly do these incredible natural sights justice. Surrounded by jungle, you’re sure to feel like you’re in your own oasis.
18. Coconut Palm Trees
Enough said surely!
19. Boutique Hotels and Resorts
I don’t know about you, but I actually am not a fan of staying in the same five chain resorts which could be located anywhere in the world. Luckily, there are plenty of independent and boutique resorts to choose from in Vanuatu. My sister and I chose to stay at Nasama Resort which was perfectly located for us and had a kitchenette so that we were able to save money by cooking plenty of our own meals. Another great option is the adult-only Breakas Beach Resort if you’re looking for a more tranquil or romantic getaway.
20. The Location
This one is more for the Aussies, who are located so far away from the rest of the world. We’re in luck for once with where we are, because Vanuatu is only a 3-hour flight from Sydney and 2.5 hours from Brisbane. Given that when I go back to the UK it takes me a seven and thirteen flight, with the first flight taking about five hours just to get out of Australia, this short distance should be incredibly appealing for those of us on the Southern Hemisphere.
Are you ready to book your ticket to Vanuatu? Head over to Skyscanner to check out the cheapest flights and to Agoda for the best accommodation options. If you need any more guides or tips on things to do in Vanuatu, head over to Trip Advisor or feel free to send me through any questions you might have!
Pin it for later
Disclaimer: Please note that some of the links above may be affiliate links, and at no additional cost to you, I earn a small commission if you make a purchase. I only recommend brands, products and companies that I have used and the income goes towards keeping the site ad free. If you have any questions about this, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me at email@example.com