First things first, what and where in the world is Vanuatu? What is the population of Vanuatu? Vanuatu, officially known as Republic of Vanuatu is a volcanic archipelago located around Australia, New Caledonia, New Guinea, Solomon Islands, and Fiji. It consists of 82 smaller islands stretched out over 1300 km. Its current population is about 250,000. The capital of Vanuatu which is also the largest city is Port Vila.
Vanuatu is relatively isolated compared to many other Pacific travel destinations, but it has remained an important tourist hub in this part of the world.
Now we’ve figured out that Vanuatu is a unique place located in an isolated part of the world, you might want to know what the weather is like in Vanuatu and perhaps what the official language of Vanuatu is? And if you’re interested in visiting, you would also want to know the right pronunciation for Vanuatu.
Vanuatu’s weather is usually tropical with warm days and some rainy days as well. Due to its location, it can be prone to earthquakes and cyclones though infrequent. The official languages of Vanuatu are French, English, and Bislama (similar to pidgin or creole) and the best way to learn how to pronounce Vanuatu is to have a local teach you once you arrive to the island nation.
Even though not as hard as Tuvalu to reach, Vanuatu is also hard to get to compared to the more popular Pacific destinations. There are multiple flights to Vanuatu’s international airport, Bauerfield International Airport and you can connect to Vanuatu from surrounding countries and islands. Air Vanuatu does a great job of connecting the island to the rest of the world. If you are wondering about money, Vanuatu’s currency is Vatu but you can easily spend Australian dollars when you’re in town.
If you have this island country on your list and plan to visit, here are the best things you can do when you’re in town!
1) Visit Hideaway Island, Vanuatu
Hideaway Island is located near Port Vila, and is a popular vacation spot for locals and tourists alike. Famous for its relaxed way of life, and for being home to one of the most important marine protected areas, this is one place in Vanuatu that you need to check out.
From sipping coconut water and umbrella drinks, to feeding fishes and snorkeling, this is one amazing tourist spot you can’t miss. And if you need somewhere fun and unique to stay consider the Vanuatu Hideaway Island Resort And Marine Sanctuary which has the only underwater post office in the world – Vanuatu Underwater Post Office!
2) Discover the Nature of Tanna Islands
It’s well-know that Vanuatu is home to nature. But, it is less well-known that Vanuatu is also home to one of the most active volcanoes in the region – Tanna! Consider visiting Tanna Island, now a popular tourist destination in Vanuatu. Tanna has it all – culture, history, imposing mountains, active volcanoes, hot springs, waterfalls and pristine sea shores.
You can even take a 4×4 ride all the way to the volcano if you’re interested. If you are traveling with young kids, please make sure you keep an eye on them as what makes the island so unique is also what you need to watch out for to make sure your kids are always safe. Tanna is known as the world’s largest and most accessible volcano so there is something to be said about how awesome this place can be. And if you need somewhere to stay, your options for a great stay are unlimited!
3) Relax on White Sandy Beaches
If there is one thing that tourists come to Vanuatu for, it is to enjoy and relax on their vacation. There is no better way to do this than to relax on the many wonderful sandy beaches found all over this region.
In fact, you will find it really hard to decide on what beach to end up because the options are limitless. But go ahead and pick one that is most convenient and soak up the sunrise, sunset, and the hours between.
4) Revel in the Mele Cascades
The Mele cascades is a collection of waterfalls located in an isolated area of the jungle about ten kilometers away from Port Vila. As you can imagine, they are popular amongst locals and visitors not just because of the waterfalls but also because of the beautiful view of the jungle you get from this location.
These collection of several small waterfalls ‘cascade’ down into a pool below where people often swim about to cool off. The waterfalls are gentle and people can swim under their based if desired.
5) Go Sailing Across the Pacific
You can go sailing in the Pacific with the right tour operators and if you’re lucky, you might just spot some dolphins, whales or perhaps, the elusive blue whale.
If you are choosing to work with tour operators, make sure you do your due diligence and hire someone who is knowledgeable about the Pacific as well as Vanuatu. And of course, take your binoculars with you.
6) Explore the Petroglyphs
No doubt the islands of the pacific have been inhabited for a very long time. One of the evidences that point to this is the rock art or petroglyphs. These petroglyphs are scattered all across Vanuatu in rock formations, caves and other geographical formations. The exact nature of each art varies – ranging from human figures to those of animals, abstract symbols and everything between.
If you’re interested in checking out these petroglyphs, consider hiring a local guide to avoid getting lost in the caves. And whether you decide to do it on your own with a map or hire an expert local guide, don’t forget to carry a few flashlights and wear some proper gear like rugged boots and perhaps a light coat.
A few of the most important rock arts to see include the Aname petroglyphs near Port Patrick, Velemendi cave, Potnangai cave, Tamate stone engravings of Ureparapara, Apialo cave and Yalo cave.
Vanuatu like many of the island nations in part of the world is truly magical. There is so much to see and do – this is one place worth seeing once in your lifetime!