Travel to Vanuatu, South Pacific

Markets are a great place to taste the tropics Credit: J McLellan

Markets are a great place to taste the tropics Credit: J McLellan

With tropical beaches, rainforests, friendly people and volcanic islands, Vanuatu has something for everyone on their next vacation. Vanuatu is an island chain in the South Pacific. A tropical paradise with plenty of varied activities for travelers, Vanuatu makes a terrific holiday location.

The History of Vanuatu

Vanuatu was first settled by Melanesian people. In 1605 the first Europeans found the islands. Following the arrival of the Spanish, the British and French laid claim to parts of the island chain. Vanuatu became independent in 1980. There are three languages spoken in Vanuatu: Bismala, English and French. With widely spoken languages, communication in Vanuatu is easy. The island has volcanic roots. The volcanic soil has provided a nutrient rich place to grow a wide variety of plants and trees.

Places to go in Vanuatu
Head off-road to see a different view Credit: J McLellan

Head off-road to see a different view Credit: J McLellan

The island chain is varied and fascinating. Port Vila, the nations capital, is a bustling city. From Port Vila, ferries travel to the smaller outlying islands. Water taxis are cheaply available, taking you to any number of nearby locations. Take a ride to Hideaway Island and post a letter in the worlds only underwater postbox. Head inland and experience the lagoons or rainforest.

The island of Tanna is an active volcano. Take a walk up to post your correspondence from the Volcano Post. Smaller islands outlying the area are true tropical getaways, like the tiny Mystery Island. Mystery Island was used as an airport during WWII, though has never had permanent residents. Spend time relaxing on the golden sands or snorkeling in the coral reef.

Activities in Vanuatu
Enjoy the golden sand beaches Credit: J McLellan

Enjoy the golden sand beaches Credit: J McLellan

Water based activities are plentiful and popular in Vanuatu. Snorkeling is easy and can be done almost anywhere in the islands. Tropical fish are plentiful and friendly. Take an underwater walk from Port Vila and hand feed the tropical fish. Banana boat rides, sailing adventures and kayaking are only a few of the opportunities in the water.

Inland you will find beautiful lagoons, waterfalls and forests. A trip into a rainforest or coconut plantation provides peace and tranquility in a truly tropical location. Vanuatu has a laid back pace of life, so enjoy the chance to settle back, and enjoy the view.

Shopping in Vanuatu

Crafts markets are common, with locals selling their wares. Handmade necklaces are popular, especially with shells or volcanic hematite. Town markets sell items to the local people, where you will find fresh tropical fruits and ready to eat meals. In Port Vila you will find duty free outlets and many places to spend your money. Souvenir outlets are common, and range widely in prices, so shop around before parting with your money.

The currency of Vanuatu is the Vatu. However, because of the low value of the currency, many banks will not issue this to you before you leave home. You can use the ATM machines to obtain your Vatu, or bring Australian dollars as they are also accepted. Most stores will advertise their goods in both Vatu and Australian Dollars. Credit cards are also widely accepted.

Vanuatu is a land of contrasts. With volcanoes, tropical beaches and rainforests, there is something for everybody. The local people are friendly and welcoming, so consider taking a trip to Vanuatu for your next vacation.

For more information on your vacation in Vanuatu: vanuatu.travel/ , Article provided by Juanita McLellan

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