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With adventure around every corner, coupled with a backdrop of tropical beaches, you’ll fall in love all over again on the islands of Efate and Santo in Vanuatu.


What to Expect

  • Spend plenty of time in the water, from kayaking to cascades and everything in between.

  • Romantic sunsets — the perfect backdrop to unwind after a long day.

  • Challenging, yet rewarding day trips to explore natural wonders — best tackled hand-in-hand.

Fast Facts

  • Time: 6 days

  • Transport: car, plane, boat

  • Nearest major city: Port Vila

  • Price: $ $ $

Home to the capital, Port Vila, the island of Efate features some of Vanuatu’s best beaches and blue holes all within an hour of each other. You can discover world-class dive spots at Moso Island, cool off in Mele Cascades and Blue Lagoon, or set your own pace with a self-guided road trip.

Santo will stoke your fire and fuel your sense of adventure as you encounter the spectacular Millennium Cave, float down the river rapids at Mount Hope or kayak through crystal clear waters. 


Day One: Explore Hidden Waterfalls with Vanuatu EcoTours

Starting bright and early from your base in Port Vila, a day trip with Vanuatu Ecotours will have you diving head-first — often quite literally — into your tropical getaway. There’s a great range of tours to choose from — each operated in small groups by friendly and knowledgeable locals — so you’ll feel right at home, whatever adventure piques your interest. And don’t worry if you can’t decide, because there’s also a combo tour that lets you experience a bit of everything. Spend the morning bushwalking to rock pools, limestone caves and a river canyon, with your guide sharing local knowledge of flora and fauna along the way.

After chowing down on a tropical lunch, enjoy an afternoon’s sea kayaking. Don’t be afraid to stay back from the group a little bit and do your own exploring; just the two of you. Once the tour has ended and you’ve made your way back to Port Vila, relish a well-earned rest at the romantic, adults-only Breakas Beach Resort, dining with your feet in the sand at La Table Sur La Plage.


Day Two: Spend the Day on the Water in Port Havannah and Moso Island

From your resort, head to Port Havannah, about 30 minutes north-west of Port Vila. Check into a waterfront bungalow at Havannah Eco Lodge before making your way to the untouched paradise that is Moso Island, located just out from the harbour. Slow things down a notch with a long lunch at The Bistro — where you can dine right on the beach from a menu that specialises in local Ni-Vanuatu cuisine made from fresh seasonal produce grown on the island itself. 

If scuba diving in Vanuatu is on your list, Tranquillity Island Dive on Moso Island will set you up with everything you need to discover the jaw-dropping diversity of this marine site. And if you want more time to relax and explore the island, The Moso Vanuatu offers premium villas to really put the icing on the cake of your romantic getaway. 

If you’re not a diver, spend time exploring the north-eastern side of Efate. This can be done through a tour or hire a car and find your own way. Take a trip to Top Rock Point Lookout, which serves up the best views in North Efate — the mountainous horizon against the reefs in the foreground makes for a rugged contrast. 

Once you’ve worked up an appetite, Orovy Beach Restaurant is an alternative long lunch option if you find yourself up this end of the island. The local-run cafe can be found just south of Emua and offers great food and equally great views. The scenic drive back to Havannah Harbour will take no more than 45 minutes. 

Day Three: Cruise on the Coongoola

Spend the day on the romantic sailboat, Coongoola. This day trip leaves from Havannah Harbour before cruising to the private coves and coral-sand beaches of Sun and Moon Bay. Visit a turtle rookery at Tranquility Island Resort before pulling into a secluded shore, where you can picnic on the beach and go snorkelling in the crystal-clear waters, spotting everything from clownfish to sea turtles and maybe an elusive lionfish. 

After snorkelling, take a walk along the beach and find a spot to yourself, soaking up the paradise under a palm tree before heading back around 3pm. Watch out for dolphins frolicking in the waves at the bow of the boat as it makes its return trip back through the bay. This Coongoola Day Cruise includes all the fuel you need to keep you going — morning tea, afternoon tea and barbecue lunch — as well as snorkelling gear. Once you’ve got your land legs back, soak up the romance of the sunset with a few cocktails and enjoy a second night at Havannah Eco Lodge.


Day Four: Road Trip Around Efate

Organise a hire car in advance and get started early. Leave Havannah Harbour with a rough plan of the Efate sights you want to see, but make sure to give yourself a little wiggle room for spontaneous detours. On your way back to Port Vila from Havannah Harbour, a swim at Mele Cascades is a must. 

Once you’re back in Port Vila, grab a bite to eat at Nambawan Cafe, take a look around the Port Vila Market House and lunch like a local. Be sure to sample some authentic Vanuatu cuisine like tuluk or laplap while you’re there. If you have a sweet tooth, you should pay a visit to Vanuatu’s very own Aelan Chocolate Factory and stock up on road trip snacks before continuing west to the Blue Lagoon swimming hole. If you’re bold enough, do as the locals do and jump from the trees and rope swings as you bomb dive into the deep blue water below.

Catch the last flight (around 5pm or 6pm) from Port Vila to Santo before settling into Barrier Beach House for a well-earned night’s rest.

Day Five: Get Adventurous at Mount Hope or Millennium Cave

Lace up your hiking boots with a day trip to either Mount Hope or Millennium Cave — both around an hour’s drive from Luganville, with transfers and tours easily arranged from your hotel. You’ll have to make a choice, though, as both are full-day tours. It’s important to be accompanied by a local guide because not only are these spots tough to get to, you’ll also require specialist gear to traverse safely. Besides, adventuring alongside a Ni-Vanuatu guide is a sign of respect to both locals and the land — their in-depth knowledge will only enhance the experience.

If you love the great outdoors, Mount Hope gives you a rainforest tour from a whole new perspective. This day trip starts off with a walk through traditional Vanuatu villages to the Mount Hope site before you gear up and head into the river gorge for a float down to Cascade Falls. 

If you’re up for a physical challenge, start the day trip at Nambel Village and trek for around two hours, making your way down into Millennium Cave. The difficulty level of this cave adventure may put some people off, but this experience is undoubtedly one you’ll remember. A trip through Millennium Cave feels like taking a hike back in time in the best way possible.

Don’t be surprised if the Jurassic Park theme song plays in your head all day long as you scramble across log bridges and clamber over boulders, swim down the river and climb up a waterfall. 

Day Six: Santo Water Sports

It’s no surprise that Espiritu Santo is known as the adventure capital of Vanuatu. With nearly 4000 square kilometres to explore, the best way to see Santo is on the water. Pull out your swimsuit for one last day and hire a kayak or stand up paddleboard (SUP) from Island Time Kayaking for a self-guided adventure through crystal-clear waters - just the two of you.

If you’re keen to see a little more, they can also help with a range of guided tour options that showcase the more adventurous side of kayaking — like the full-day expeditions to Bor Bor River or the jungle kayak down Vanuatu’s longest river, Sarakata. These trips will see you paddling downriver through tunnels of ancient forest, exploring underground caves and traversing shallow-water rapids.

The entire east-side of Espiritu Santo, known as the Champagne Coast, is a treasure trove of lagoons, hidden blue holes, private beaches and reefs brimming with marine life. While there’s so much to explore, take this time to slow the pace and revel in the island life for one last day on your romantic Vanuatu holiday.