On Tanna you can visit Mt Yasur, one of the world’s most accessible active volcanoes. This is a truly an awesome “once in a lifetime” experience and should not be missed. Tanna also boasts a giant banyan tree, waterfalls, black sand beaches, horse riding and visits to fascinating cultural villages.
Espiritu Santo, the largest island in the country and only an hour by plane from Port Vila, is unspoilt and popular for snorkelling, diving and its deserted beaches. There are also many World War II sites such as Million Dollar Point, where the Americans dumped all their hardware into the ocean after the war, crashed B17 bombers, the destroyer USS "Tucker" and Santo’s most famous attraction – the 22 000 ton liner turned troopship SS "President Coolidge" that sank and is now a magnet for divers from all over the world. The Coolidge offers the world’s largest accessible wreck diving and there are many other wreck and reef dives to excite even the most experienced divers.
On Pentecost, witness the astounding Nagol ritual where the islanders on the south of the island build a huge tower for land diving. This ritual has been practiced for centuries and celebrates the Yam harvest – it is assured to have your heart in your mouth. This ritual is said to be the forerunner of today’s bungee jumping.
Lunganville on the South coast of Vanuatu holds numerous magic places for visitors. Adventurers will find the Millenium Cave especially interesting. You can explore the world hidden between rocks with a guided tour and meet curious creatures and plants on your way. Note that it can get a little rough so wear good shoes and be aware that physical fitness is required.
Get a new perspective and climb the summit of Vanuatu. You not only get a great view but also several activities await you in the area. Visit the beautiful tropical gardens, drop by at the essential oil distillery and take home a souvenir at the gift shop. This is a place to remember.
Malekula is the second largest island on Vanuatu and is known as the island of custom. The island is also the most diverse, culturally and linguistically, with over thirty distinct languages spoken. Main cultural groups here are Small Nambas and Big Nambas and the villagers are very friendly and are more than happy to share their proud cultural heritage with visitors.
On Efate, start with a visit to the excellent National Museum of Vanuatu and then head for the markets in Port Vila. Take time to visit some of the smaller offshore islands. At Hideaway, take to the water and view the brilliant corals while depositing a postcard at the world’s only underwater post office. Other offshore islands provide opportunities for snorkeling, diving, turtle feeding, fishing and village visits. Head a short distance out of Port Vila to experience the Mele Cascades waterfalls, the Secret Gardens, horse riding, abseiling and cultural village visits.
L´Houstalet is Port Vila’s most famous French restaurant on the island, blending local flavours with a French touch. Note that they have not changed their menu in 30 years, so if it is that good it must be worth a visit. The fact is the restaurant has been operating with the same owner for the past 40 years.
Near the markets, with great view over the harbour side, Chill Restaurant & Bar is the perfect spot for lunch. Here you can enjoy good seafood and good value with a terrific lunch special that includes a soft drink, beer or glass of wine. On the menu you will also find pasta, pizza and meat dishes.
Tamanu on the Beach is said to be one of Port Vila’s prettiest locations. This place is ideally located and overlooks the beach and ocean of the South Pacific. At the open-air restaurant you can enjoy gourmet dining cuisine where the menu offers local organic meat and the freshest of seafood. Tamanu's signature dish, Lobster Mornay is recommended.
Do not expect any wild nightlife in Port Vila, but if you would like to have a few drinks and a bit of a boogie you can head to the Waterfront Bar and Grill Restaurant. The Waterfront Bar and Grill is the focus of cruising yacht activities in Port Vila, and one of Port Vila’s most popular places to dine, dance and enjoy live entertainment.
Port Vila is the focal point when it comes to shopping in Vanuatu. It is also the only duty-free port in the country. You will find shop after shop in this busy hub presenting a vibrant blend of arts, crafts and international articles from French perfume and carvings to alcohol and brightly coloured island-style clothing and the whole range in between. Make sure you pick up a free city map from the Information Centre on the main street at Pilioko House before you set out. Supermarkets in Port Vila stock a wide range of local and imported foodstuffs and you will find most larger villages will have general supplies though choices will be limited.
Luganville has some general stores that dot the main road in town including the women´s market, selling handicraft and a cheerful market. There are quite many good local crafts stores offering carvings made by local wood workers. If you want groceries. then head over to LCM in the centre of town, where you can get western goods. .
Bauerfield International Airport is Vanuatu’s international airport and you can find it 6 kilometres north of Port Vila. Port Vila can be accessed by pre booked bus transfer or by taxi. There is also the Pekoa International Airport on Santo and the White Grass International Airport on Tanna. You can reach the other islands by boat.
Mini buses in Vanuatu do not run according to specific routes or timetables, instead, they simply take you where you wish to go. Buses are a cheap way of getting around and you can simply flag down one heading in the general direction you wish to go and they will, in a roundabout way, deliver you to that location.