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Whether this is your first visit to Vanuatu or your seventh, there are some things you simply have to do and see to tick off your holiday bucket list.

Unexpected experiences await you on the islands of Vanuatu. From remote caves and waterfalls deep in the jungle to interactive WWII history and fascinating Melanesian rituals — your adventure has only just begun. 


Swim at Champagne Beach, Espiritu Santo

There’s nothing like spending time on a perfect beach at the edge of a crystal clear, warm ocean. Welcome to Champagne Beach, one of the world’s most beautiful beaches, ideal for kids and adults alike.


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Kayak the Islands from Port Olry, Espiritu Santo

From kayaking and snorkelling around the nearby islands and reefs, to enjoying a long leisurely lunch in a local beachside hut, Port Olry makes for a memorable day out. 


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Swing on Rope Swings at Mesmerising Blue Holes

Under the shady canopy of ancient rainforest trees, these naturally occurring freshwater swimming holes are like nothing you’ve ever seen. Maintained by the local villagers Vanuatu's blue holes often have waterside shacks serving cold drinks, changing/toilet facilities, and rope swings that would make even Tarzan jealous. 


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Take a Local Bus

Ok, so bus might be a bit of a stretch, but the minibuses that drive the islands picking up locals and tourists are part of Vanuatu’s Pacific charm. Ask your hotel about how to catch one and the amazing places they can take you to (limited to sealed roads and available on EfateEspiritu Santo and Tanna).


Stare into an active volcano, Tanna

Mount Yasur is an active volcano on the island of Tanna where you can stand at the crater’s edge and watch as the lava dances like fireworks across the sky. Access to the 400-metre wide rim of the crater is by foot but local guides run volcano tours and can drive you close enough to feel the heat. 


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Scuba Dive at a WWII Wreck, Espiritu Santo

Some of Vanuatu’s best dive sites are the underwater remnants of WWII, including the wreck of the SS President Coolidge and the bizarre site nearby, where machinery was dumped into the ocean by the American military at the end of the war. Now known as Million Dollar Point, you can see cars, tanks, and guns so close to the surface of the water that you can actually snorkel them too. 


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Epic Adventures at Mount Hope Waterfall or Millennium Cave, Espiritu Santo

Activities for adventurers and thrill-seekers abound in Vanuatu. From the challenging hiking, climbing and caving of the Millennium Cave tour (not suitable for young children, you must have a good level of fitness) to the more relaxing Mount Hope Waterfall tour, no trip to Vanuatu is complete without an epic outdoor adventure.


Espiritu Santo - Millenium Cave


The Fanla Festival, Ambrym

A chance to see Vanuatu’s culture and traditions up close. This off-the-beaten-track festival runs for two days and features stunning costumes and traditional dances. Tours to Ambrym island can be arranged with accommodation at Ranon Beach Bungalows and you can also combine this festival with a volcano tour.


Land Diving (Nangol), Pentecost Island 

Land diving or Nangol is the predecessor to modern bungee jumping, and every Saturday from April to June you can witness the men of Pentecost Island leaping from a wooden tower with just a vine around their ankles. This incredible Vanuatu ritual is a big part of the Pentecost culture and an unmissable sight to see. 


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Rah Snake Dance, Banks Islands

Witness the kastom Snake Dance of Rah Island, performed on the beach in front of the Rah Rocks by the island’s men who paint themselves black and white like a sea snake. Join the dancers and be part of Vanuatu’s culture as the local string band plays traditional music. 


Volcano Hike, Ambrym Island

For avid hikers, there is no better place than Vanuatu’s Ambrym Island. Depending on how much time you have, you can take a one, two, three or four-day hike around the ash fields of two of Vanuatu’s most active volcanoes,  Mount Marum and Mount Benbow.


Ambrym island - Hiking to Mount Marum - Credit pics. Vanuatu Ecotours 1


Swim at the Blue Cave, Tanna

One of the most magical Vanuatu tours is a trip to Tanna’s Blue Cave, a large cavern that you reach by boat and swim into via a short underwater tunnel (for nervous swimmers it’s best to access at low tide).


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Swim at Eton Beach, Efate

Perfect for anyone new to snorkelling, Eton Beach has a protective reef which keeps the water calm and flat. Just a 40-minute drive from Port Vila, Eton Beach is located just down the road from the Blue Lagoon, one of Vanuatu’s most popular blue holes.




Cruise Havannah Harbour, Efate

See Havannah Harbour in style sailing on the Coongoola Day Cruise. Snorkel, swim and keep watch for dolphins before the barbecue lunch and fish feeding commence. The water is usually calm, making this a great activity for all ages. Day trips to Lelepa Island and Pele Island are also available from Havannah Harbour.


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Meet the Nambas Tribes, Malekula

Malekula is off the beaten track (quite literally, as there are no sealed roads here), but well worth the visit if you want to learn about Vanuatu’s culture and traditions. The Small Nambas and the Big Nambas are just some of the fascinating tribes that inhabit the island. A namba is the penis sheath the tribesmen wear and the two tribes are named after the size of their nambas. Guided tours are the best way to find out about the Nambas’ way of life and the history of cannibalism on Malekula. 


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Watch the Water Ladies, Santo and Gaua

Originating on the Banks Islands of Vanuatu, the Water Music — performed only by Ni-Vanuatu ladies — is an entertaining and fascinating ritual to witness. The ladies stand waist deep in the water and use their hands to create the music. Tours to see this exceptional cultural tradition are available on the island of Gaua and at Lewton Custom and Cultural Village on Santo.


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Step into Another World in Yakel Village, Tanna

Experience the singing, dancing and traditional way of life at the Yakel Custom Village on the island of Tanna. Understanding other cultures by seeing them at first hand is a great way to learn more about their world. Interacting with the Ni-Vanuatu villagers and seeing how they live with no electricity, no running water and no internet can be an eye-opening experience. 


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Relax on the Beach at Port Resolution, Tanna

Thought to be some of Vanuatu’s best beaches, the snorkelling at Yewao Point and the surf breaks near Yankaren Para are both accessible from Port Resolution. The Iwea Hot Springs are another popular attraction in this area of Tanna, book a family-friendly tour for some island-style face painting, visiting the steam vent, and eating local food cooked in the hot springs. 


Stay in a Treehouse, Espiritu Santo and Tanna

For a rustic Vanuatu holiday, get to know the locals who run these wooden bungalows set amongst the trees. Port Olry Treehouse Bungalows and Little Paradise Bungalows, both in Port Olry, provide unique accommodation just steps from the sand. If you are planning a visit to Tanna, check out the Tanna Volcano View Treehouse, with views of Vanuatu’s Mount Yasur volcano. 


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Browse Handicrafts at Mamas Market, Efate

House Blong Handikraft market is the place to go for genuine handmade island goods. Take in the vibes at the busy market as the ladies laugh and chat to each other as they work. All the money you spend here goes straight back to Vanuatu’s villages and helps keep the island economy going. Haggling at markets is not a part of the culture in Vanuatu so carry local currency if you want to buy a few things. There are strict laws about what you can take home to Australia and New Zealand, so make sure you check before you buy.  


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