Get Inspired / Pacific Islands / Vanuatu Spring into Action in Vibrant Vanuatu Share on email Print this article Share on Facebook Get Inspired / Pacific Islands / Vanuatu Spring into Action in Vibrant Vanuatu story by: Inspire Magazine Bursting with colour, taste, adventure and ‘joie de vivre’, Vanuatu provides an enchanting mix of French and Melanesian culture. Each one of its three blissful islands offer something different, whether it’s a glimpse into the colonial past, a chance to get to know the locals or a juicy steak good enough to rival any famous chef’s creation. EXPLORE THE EFFERVESCENT EFATE Efate is home to Vanuatu’s delectable capital, Port Vila. Most visitors fly straight into this seaside town, the perfect starting point for your holiday. Port Vila is renowned for its array of heavenly cuisine. Dozens of caf´es and restaurants await you, serving up everything from juicy fruits and sumptuous seafood to the world famous Santo beef. You can also enjoy a taste of Vanuatu’s colonial past - there is a myriad of French delicacies around every corner. Don’t forget to try the national dish, laplap, a root vegetable cake. It’s best enjoyed with a Tusker beer. For a souvenir or two, saunter to the markets to strike a bargain with the charming local sellers. Open around the clock from Monday 7am until Saturday midday, the shopping never ends! Only a short drive out of town, the Blue Lagoon is a must-see. Swim in its vivid blue waters or even jump in off a swing rope. Guided buggy tours can also help you explore untouched areas - the revving engines offer plenty of speed and excitement! Get your fill of fascinating culture with a visit to Eskasup Village. Here you’ll be treated to ‘kastom’ dancing with eye-catching costumes where locals will tell stories and show you aspects of their traditional lifestyle. THE EXPLOSIVE AND TANTALISING TANNA The island of Tanna is a mecca for coffee lovers - it grows some of the world’s best bitter beans. What’s really extraordinary about Tanna is Mt Yasur. This is an active volcano, so here you’ll see red and orange bursts of molten lava spouting from its summit. You can even get thrillingly close to the action with a 4WD journey up the mountain. For a little more adventure, dive under the surface and explore the Blue Hole. This is a snorkelling and diving spot famous for its gorgeous, multi-coloured coral and abundance of curious fish - they’ll have no qualms about swimming right up to you and give you a little peck! Culture and tradition also flourishes in Tanna. Many of its villages shy away from modern life and instead live as true to their ancestors as they can. Drop in on a village and see the ancient culture in action, with colourful ceremonies and community-focused values. THE CHARMING AND SUMPTUOUS ISLAND OF SANTO Santo, with its perfect palms, twinkling sands and gorgeous cerulean waters, has been the inspiration for novels, sweeping musical odysseys and romance, such as James Michener’s “Tales of the South Pacific”. It will enchant your senses and captivate your spirit. Champagne Beach is one of the island’s highlights. Promenade along its silver sands or dip in its glistening sapphire waters, then take a walk through the vibrant rainforest where tropical birds provide the soundtrack to your adventure. Want to dive into some history? Sink into the depths and explore the wreck of the US President Coolidge luxury liner, which sank in 1942 after hitting a mine. Nearby, float around the Million Dollar Point, where American forces dumped their surplus equipment after World War II ended. Vanuatu is simply a natural and cultural splendour. Indulge all your senses in a trip to this picturesque retreat. As soon as you get a taste of its balmy breeze and warm, welcoming waters you definitely won’t want to leave. WHEN TO GO The climate varies from tropical in the north to subtropical in the south, with dry rain-shadow areas in between. The best time to travel is Apr-Dec when temperatures range from 18- 28°C, this is Vanuatu at its glorious best - sparkling days and pleasantly cool evenings. Light weight casual clothing and a sweater is usually sufficient. GETTING THERE Just under a 3 hour flight from Auckland. All international flights from Auckland arrive at Bauerfield International Airport, located just 6km north of Port Vila. Air Vanuatu flies to the nation’s capital Port Vila twice a week and Air New Zealand operate one service a week and an additional seasonal service between Jul-Sep from Auckland. Once in Port Vila there are several daily scheduled air services to Santo and Tanna operated by Air Vanuatu with a flight time of 55 minutes. 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