Vanuatu is not on the typical traveller’s bucket list. Except for those who like scuba diving, since divers have long found the underwater riches of this South Pacific island. Even if you don’t intend to swim in the country’s clear blue seas, it’s a vibrant blend of traditional Melanesian culture, friendly people, gorgeous tropical beaches, active volcanoes, and all the contemporary conveniences you’ll need to have a good time.
The numerous islands ringed by beautiful sandy beaches provide stunning views of the Pacific. The Bank Islands include beautiful beaches as well as rough terrain. The Siri Waterfall, located on the largest of the Banks Islands, Gaua, is fed by the country’s largest crater lake, Lake Letas. Visit Mount Yasur, the world’s most accessible active volcano, on the island of Tanna. Tanna, a popular tourist destination, is also home to waterfalls and men dressed in penis sheaths and grass skirts. If you have the opportunity, stay for one of their old festivals or ceremonies.
Efate is the starting point for most visitors to Vanuatu, as well as the location of the country’s pleasant small capital, Port-Vila. It aims to bring together the finest of the archipelago and is the go-to spot for excellent wine and cuisine.
Aoba Island (renowned for the crater lakes on top of the huge volcano that defines the islands) and Pentecost Island are two more locations worth seeing (the spiritual birthplace of bungee jumping). Last but not least, the active volcanoes, lava lakes, and artwork created by local people are compelling reasons to stay in one of Ambrym’s traditional style bungalows.