Known for is relaxing resorts and spas, Vanuatu is a South Pacific Ocean nation that is made up of 80 islands. Offering honeymooners and holidaymakers privacy and intimacy, these islands were made for romance.
Located in the South Pacific Ocean, this country is filled with remote islands, deserted beaches, an amazing culture and world-class diving. It also has some of the most incredible hikes to the top of a active, magma-fill volcano. So whether you’re looking for days filled with just relaxing on the beach or ones exploring these beautiful islands, there is something for every couple to do.
Both high and dry seasons runs from May to October. With warm day and cool night, this is the best time to visit Vanuatu and the best time to go scuba diving. From November to March is wet season also known as cyclone season. Even though accommodation is plentiful and cheaper than in high season, honeymooners may experience delays in transport from island to island.
One of the biggest draws to Vanuatu is its amazing underwater seascapes. Divers from all over the world come and see the amazing coral reefs, underwater caverns and wrecks. Another popular attraction is hiking to the summit of active volcanoes such as Mount Yasur and ash boarding back down. There are also amazing rainforest ecotours, kayaking and deep-sea fishing available.
Male Cascades waterfall is near Port Vila, and you can book a tour with Evergreen Tours.
Ekasup Cultural Village is 10 minutes from Port Vila where you’ll experience a time-honored village life and learn about their food, medicines, dancing and hunting.
Dolphin Tour – The Coongoola is a beautiful wooden vessel and departs Havannah Harbour. The cruise includes visiting a turtle sanctuary, beach barbecue, snorkeling, and hopefully seeing dolphins.
Hideaway Island in Mele Bay – There is only one resort and restaurant on the island, and cruisers are welcome for the day. There’re some excellent snorkeling and a great menu for lunch.
Vanuatu cuisine is simple, but delicious with freshly caught fish and root vegetables like taro and yams being the main ingredients. Most locals on the island grow their own food in their gardens so food is often made freshly. Papayas, pineapples, mangoes, plantains, and sweet potatoes are also grown on the island.
There are also a few world-class restaurants that serve Melanesian, French, Polynesian, Indian, Chinese, Thai-Vietnamese, English and Japanese specialties. Most resorts and hotels import various ingredients, produce and alcohol from neighbouring island nations.
A local food named Lap Lap is served in the markets and is made with banana and shredded yams, It’s covered with coconut cream and cooked in a clay oven. Sometimes meat and spinach is added.
Yams, manioc ( tuber) and taro root are a staple and are widely grown in Vanuatu. Seafood is also important in their diet.
The local beer is Tusker, which tastes good and is priced right. The national drink is“Kava” and most locals start drinking it, daily, at sundown. Drinking of the kava is considered a ceremony, and it is entrenched into their daily lives.
There are plenty of local buses on the island, and they all have a B on their license plate. You might have to take the scenic course as they stop everywhere! There are Minibuses in Port Vila carrying up to 14 passengers and cost less than a taxi.
Taxis are readily available and are metered although you can negotiate a fixed price. There are car hire companies in Port Vila renting 4-wheel drive and jeeps. You can also rent scooters from a company in the market.
There are always scheduled daily flights to Tanna and Espiritu Santo with Air Vanuatu.
Located on the harbour front in Port Vila are two markets. Mama’s Markets sells fruit, veggies, flowers and delicious homemade local food. Then there is the handicraft market selling carvings, souvenirs, sarongs, and other interesting items.
The Main Street in Port Vila is fantastic because most things are duty-free! You will need to have your passport and airline ticket to make a purchase.
Pandanus Vanuatu is a chic little shop with oodles of great things to buy. This shop is recommended for those tourists who are tired of seeing the same things in the shops. It’s not cheap but unique!
Just remember, shopping is limited in the tourist areas of this island nation, but you can pick up a few souvenirs at the shops that are available.
Whether you’re visiting Vanuatu on your honeymoon – or just enjoying a holiday – you want it to be as hassle-free as possible, so be sure to purchase travel insurance before leaving home. It will make your special time away even more enjoyable as you’ll have peace of mind knowing that you and your belongings are covered (within your policy’s limits, of course) should anything go wrong.
As they say in the travel industry, if you can’t afford travel insurance, you can’t afford to travel!
Purchase your travel insurance when you book your trip and, depending on the policy you choose, you should be covered for theft, injury or illness. Some travel insurance policies do not cover certain activities such as diving, hiking, parasailing, or renting a motorcycle, so ensure you read it before signing up so that you’re aware of what it does and doesn’t cover. Take a copy of your travel insurance documents with you when travelling.
Vanuatu’s currency is the Vanuatu Vatu.
There are many places where you can exchange your native currency for vatu including money exchanges, the airport, banks and ATM machines. Very few places accept US and Australian Dollars. There are ATMs throughout Vanuatu dispense Vatu. Some ATMs are made specifically for Australian users and disperse Australian Dollars.
Take several T-shirts and shorts along with some sandals, sunglasses, hats, and sunscreen. You might bring a pair of old shoes for visiting the Mele Cascades as it is really muddy and wet.
Bring a backpack for excursions and shopping along with a wallet to wear inside your clothes or on your belt. Be sure to pack extra batteries and memory cards for your camera. You might also want a disposable underwater camera.
Mosquito repellent is a must! It will help is your spray your clothes and mosquito net with Permethrin. Charge batteries when possible in case there’s a blackout.
“No tipping and no bargaining” is the official line in Vanuatu. It goes against their local customs. If you tell someone to keep the change,make sure it’s in their own currency.
Tour guides and taxi drivers will probably not turn down a tip. If you want to tip at your hotel, ask their advice at the front desk. They may have a box in the lobby for any tips for employees.
If someone does something special for you and you want to give them a tip, do so quietly by giving it directly to them. After all, it’s not against the law!
That said, a simple ‘thank you’ and a smile is always appreciated, too!