Vanuatu

  • 0 hotels

  • 0 hotels

  • 7 hotels

  • 35 hotels

  • 20 hotels

  • 1 hotels

63 hotels in this place

Vanuatu is an archipelago nation consisting of 83 islands in the southwest Pacific Ocean, north of New Zealand and east of Australia.

Population: 261,565 people
Area: 12,189 km2
Highest point: 1,877 m
Coastline: 2,528 km
Life expectancy: 72.38 years
GDP per capita: $5,000
Sort by:

No rooms are available for given criteria.

Sort by:

Interactive map

interactive map

Welcome to our interactive map!

Accommodation

Room 1:
Child age:

Filter the result


Legend

Hotels

  • 5 star hotels 5 star hotel
  • 4 star hotels 4 star hotel
  • 3 star hotels 3 star hotel
  • 2 star hotels 2 star hotel
  • 1 star hotels 1 star hotel

Cities

  • Metropolis over 100 hotels
  • Big city 50-100 hotels
  • Medium city 20-50 hotels
  • Small city 5-20 hotels
  • Village below 5 hotels

Points of Interest

  • Beach Beach
  • Business object Business object
  • Casino Casino
  • Civic property Civic property
  • Education Education
  • Entertainment Entertainment
  • Golf course Golf course
  • Green space Green space
  • Harbor Harbor
  • Historic site Historic site
  • Interesting place Interesting place
  • Medical Medical
  • Monument Monument
  • Museum Museum
  • Shopping Shopping
  • Skiing Skiing
  • Sports facility Sports facility
  • Theater Theater
  • Winery Winery

About Vanuatu

History

The prehistory of Vanuatu is obscure; archaeological evidence supports the commonly held theory that peoples speaking Austronesian languages first came to the islands some 4,000 years ago. Pottery fragments have been found dating back to 1300–1100 BC.

The first island in the Vanuatu group discovered by Europeans was Espiritu Santo, when in 1606 the Portuguese explorer Pedro Fernandes de Queirós working for the Spanish crown, spied what he thought was a southern continent. Europeans did not return until 1768. In 1774, Captain Cook named the islands the New Hebrides, a name that lasted until independence.

During the 1860s, planters in Australia, Fiji, New Caledonia, and the Samoa Islands, in need of laborers, encouraged a long-term indentured labor trade called "blackbirding". At the height of the labor trade, more than one-half the adult male population of several of the Islands worked abroad. Fragmentary evidence indicates that the current population of Vanuatu is greatly reduced compared to pre-contact times.

The British and French agreed in 1906 to an Anglo-French Condominium. Challenges to this form of government began in the early 1940s. The arrival of Americans during World War II, with their informal demeanor and relative wealth, was instrumental in the rise of nationalism in the islands. The belief in a mythical messianic figure named John Frum was the basis for an indigenous cargo cult (a movement attempting to obtain industrial goods through magic) promising Melanesian deliverance. Today, John Frum is both a religion and a political party with a member in Parliament.

In 1980, amidst the brief Coconut War, the independent Republic of Vanuatu was created. During the 1990s Vanuatu experienced political instability which eventually resulted in a more decentralized government. The Vanuatu Mobile Force, a paramilitary group, attempted a coup in 1996 because of a pay dispute. New elections have been called for several times since 1997, most recently in 2004.

European settlers released several saltwater crocodiles on the island, although today's population on the island officially stands at 2 or 3 medium-sized individuals on the Banks Islands and no breeding has been observed. Despite its proximity to Papua New Guinea, crocodiles do not naturally occur on Vanuatu.

Climate

With such a large north-south area, Vanuatu has all the tropical variances possible. From hot and humid in the north, to mild and dry in the south. The Capital Port Vila on Efate can expect 27°C in July to 30°C in January. Nights can drop to 12°C. Humidity from December to February is around 82% and 70% around July.

Rainfall from January to April is around 300mm per month - for the rest of the year around 200mm per month. The Banks Islands in the top North can receive above 4,000mm of rain in a year, yet the southern islands may receive less than 2,000mm.

Cyclones are natural phenomena to understand and respect. Mainstream tourism facilities are solidly built and experienced in cyclone management. Cyclones appear (in varying degrees with plenty of warning) on an average every couple of years from December to March. By following instructions given by the local authorities, you will be in no danger. Yachties commonly avoid cyclones from Nov through April. There are no effective cyclone holes for any size of ship in Vanuatu. Yachties typically leave to north of the equator, New Caledonia, New Zealand or Australia. There is a small boatyard in Port Vila with haulout facilities for yachts.

Tourism peaks in the months of July to December. The months of January to June are the quietest. Experienced travellers take advantage of these tourism troughs to travel, as airlines, accommodation providers and other tourism related businesses discount heavily during this period.

The months of January to June are a little more humid, but cooled by the occasional tropical down pour. The added bonus is that in this period, tourism numbers are low. You have more opportunities to mingle with locals and carelessly do your own thing instead of being rushed by the crowd (except when cruise ships are in Port).

Food

There are many restaurants and eateries in Port Vila, ranging from up-market places catering to tourists and expats, to more low-key establishments. The approximate cost of lunch would be around the 1000-1500 vatu range, depending on where and what you eat. Some examples of prices:

  • sandwiches, around 450-600 VT
  • bacon and eggs, 750 VT
  • burger with fries or salad, around 1000 VT
  • main meal, e.g. steak or seafood, 1200-2000 VT
  • large, fresh-squeezed juice, around 500VT

Lap-Lap

The traditional dish which you will most likely be offered once during your stay is a root vegetable cake called lap lap. Essentially this is either manioc (cassava), sweet potato, taro or yam shaved into the middle of a banana leaf with island cabbage and sometimes a chicken wing on top. This is all wrapped up into a flat package and then cooked in hot stones underground till it all melts together into a cake. The best place to pick up some of this is at the food market in the town centre and should cost you about 100 vatu.

Tuluk

This is a variation of lap lap with the cake rolled into a cylinder with meat in the middle. It tastes a lot like a sausage roll. You can find these again in the market (usually from mele village people) but they will be served from foam boxes to keep them warm.

Steak

Vanuatu's meat is renowned in the region. At the airports you will see signs reminding you to pack the 25kg of meat permitted to other nearby island nations. The reason the meat's so good is that it's all naturally grown, with no feedlots or other problems of westernised mass production. The result of this is that the steaks are very good indeed.

Seafood

As you may expect from an island nation, seafood is a common option and the quality is generally excellent. Reef fish are commonly found in restaurants, along with many varieties of prawns, lobster and the delectable coconut crab.

The coconut crab is only found in parts of the South Pacific and Indian Ocean, and has been declining in numbers so rapidly that it is now a protected species in most areas. There is a minimum legal size requirement in Vanuatu of four centimetres, but the creature can grow to over 8 cm in length with a leg span of up to 90 cm. The crab gets its name from the fact that it climbs palms to cut down and eat coconuts - nothing to do with the flavour.

Drinks

Kava

Kava is a local drink, made from the roots of the plant Piper methysticum, a type of pepper. Kava is intoxicating, but not like alcohol. Its effects are sedative. Some travellers have experienced a hangover from its consumption.

Kava is consumed in private homes and in local venues called Nakamal. Some of the resorts also offer kava on occasion for travellers to try.

Kava is served in a "shell" or small bowl. Drink the whole shell-ful down steadily, then spit. It's handy to have a soft drink on hand to rinse with afterwards, as the taste of kava is strong and not very pleasant.

It is worth noting that the kava available in Vanuatu is generally a much stronger variety than the kava found in other pacific islands such as Fiji, where it is comparatively mild. Four or five large shells in a typical kava bar will leave the inexperienced drinker reeling (or worse) after a couple of hours, and it can take a day to recover.

Good advice to experience kava as pleasantly as possible is to go with an experienced drinker and follow their lead, take the small shells, and stop after an hour and a half. It's quite easy to find a local kava drinking buddy, just ask around your hotel and you'll find volunteers - maybe at the cost of a shell or two.

Kava bars (or Nakamals) are normally dark places with very dim or no lighting at all. This is because bright lights and kava intoxication do not go together well - so be careful with flash photography, which may not be received very well in such venues.

Alcohol

Alcoholic beverages are also widely available. Resorts, bars, and restaurants serving tourists have a wide range of drinks available. The local beers are called "Tusker" and "Vanuatu Bitter".

Shopping

The local currency is the Vatu (VT). (It's ISO 4217 Code is VUV.) As of August 2009, 100VT is worth approximately 1USD, 1.20AUD, 1.50NZD or 0.70EUR . There are notes for 200 VT, 500 VT, 1000 VT, and 5000 VT, while coins include 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, 50 and 100 VT pieces.

Credit and debit cards on the major networks (Cirrus, Maestro, etc.) are accepted by many businesses in town.

ATMs are available in Port Vila, and include the Australian banks ANZ and Westpac. The National Bank of Vanuatu has a branch at the airport and is open for all flight arrivals. Otherwise, banking hours are from 8:30AM to 3PM.

Tipping is not expected in Vanuatu, nor is haggling or bargaining; it is not the custom and only encourages a "master-servant" relationship. However gifts are very appreciated and the exchange of gifts for services rendered fits well into the local traditions (western governments have a hard time coming to terms with this practice as it is interpreted as bribery and corruption. But in the Melanesian culture, this practice is a normal way to do business...well the White Man introduced that "Cash" stuff).

A bag of rice to a village chief may be received with gratitude and dignity, but to offer triple the value in cash may be regarded as patronising, plus it will artificially inflate the price for the next traveller; set wrong expectation, and rapidly destroy the genuine spontaneous friendship so easily given to you.

A nice gesture is to give phone cards or a T-shirt, or school pads, pens etc., for the children. Plenty of kids here! We naturally don't recommend lollies and the like as it only encourages junk food dependency plus giving cash to local men may often be spent at the Kava bar and of no benefit to his family. If you have to give cash, ensure it is given to women, preferably mothers who generally control the family budget. The introduction of Poker machines has certainly not helped the situation considering these places are for the most part frequented by local people (mostly men) who can ill afford to waste their small wages in this way.

There are two market areas along the foreshore in Port Vila. The main market sells mostly food, and you can find all kinds of local produce there. Further north, near the beach, there is a row of grass-roofed market stalls that sell clothing, bags, sarongs and other items.

The woven grass bags and mats are widely available and very attractive.

This article is based on Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike 3.0 Licensed text from the article Vanuatu on Wikivoyage.

Cities in Vanuatu

  • 0 hotels

  • 0 hotels

  • 3 hotels

  • 21 hotels

  • 14 hotels

  • 0 hotels

38 hotels in this place

Port-Vila is the capital of Vanuatu. It is on the island of Efate in the province of Shefa.

Interesting places:

  • National Museum
  • Parliament House
  • Mele Cascades
  • University of the South Pacific
  • 0 hotels

  • 0 hotels

  • 0 hotels

  • 5 hotels

  • 0 hotels

  • 0 hotels

5 hotels in this place

Luganville is the largest town on Espiritu Santo. It has many Chinese stores as well as a few restaurants.

Interesting places:

  • Vatthe Conservation Area
  • Millennium Cave Tour Office
  • 0 hotels

  • 0 hotels

  • 2 hotels

  • 2 hotels

  • 0 hotels

  • 0 hotels

4 hotels in this place

Interesting places:

  • Mt. Yasur
  • 0 hotels

  • 0 hotels

  • 0 hotels

  • 2 hotels

  • 1 hotels

  • 0 hotels

3 hotels in this place

Port-Vila is the capital of Vanuatu. It is on the island of Efate in the province of Shefa.

  • 0 hotels

  • 0 hotels

  • 0 hotels

  • 0 hotels

  • 2 hotels

  • 0 hotels

2 hotels in this place

  • 0 hotels

  • 0 hotels

  • 0 hotels

  • 1 hotels

  • 1 hotels

  • 0 hotels

2 hotels in this place

  • 0 hotels

  • 0 hotels

  • 1 hotels

  • 1 hotels

  • 0 hotels

  • 0 hotels

2 hotels in this place

  • 0 hotels

  • 0 hotels

  • 0 hotels

  • 1 hotels

  • 1 hotels

  • 0 hotels

2 hotels in this place

  • 0 hotels

  • 0 hotels

  • 0 hotels

  • 1 hotels

  • 0 hotels

  • 0 hotels

1 hotels in this place

  • 0 hotels

  • 0 hotels

  • 1 hotels

  • 0 hotels

  • 0 hotels

  • 0 hotels

1 hotels in this place

  • 0 hotels

  • 0 hotels

  • 0 hotels

  • 1 hotels

  • 0 hotels

  • 0 hotels

1 hotels in this place

Luganville is the largest town on Espiritu Santo. It has many Chinese stores as well as a few restaurants.

panoramio Photos are copyrighted by their owners

Points of Interest in Vanuatu

Vanuatu is not on the average traveller's destination wish list. Except perhaps for those with a love for scuba diving, as divers have discovered the underwater treasures of this South Pacific archipelago a long time ago. However, even if you don't plan on touching this country's bright blue waters, it's a colourful mix of traditional Melanesian culture, friendly people, beautiful tropical beaches, active volcanoes and all the modern day facilities you'll need to have a great time.

The many islands rimmed with perfect sandy beaches offer lovely Pacific views. The Bank Islands boast great beaches combined with rugged terrain. On the largest of the Banks Islands, Gaua, you'll find the Siri Waterfall, which gets its water from the country's biggest crater lake: Lake Letas. Head to the island of Tanna to see Mount Yasur, the world's most accessible active volcano. A tourist favourite, Tanna is also home to waterfalls and men in penis sheaths and grass skirts. If you get the chance, stay to witness one of their ancient festivals or rituals.

Espiritu Santo is Vanuatu's biggest island and often called a divers' Mecca. It boasts great ship wrecks for scuba diving, delightful beaches, coconut plantations, jungle and traditional villages where young men still engage in age-old rituals to celebrate their coming of age, and where women are provided with special places to stay for the time they menstruate. Champagne Beach can compete with any other beach in the South Pacific, and is therefore one of the most popular places to go.

Malekula is a good place to dive into the divers cultural traditions of indigenous peoples of Vanuatu. This is a place where stories of cannibals and spirit caves come to life and a good chance to watch the ritual kastom dances of the locals, in this case the Small Nambas and Big Nambas people. Efate is the place where most travellers will begin their encounter with Vanuatu and home to the country's friendly little capital, Port-Vila. It strives to bring the best of the archipelago together and is the go-to place for fine wining and dining.

Other places well worth visiting include Aoba Island (known for the crater lakes on top of the large volcano that defines the islands) and Pentecost (the spiritual birthplace of bungee jumping). Last but not least, the active volcanoes, lava lakes and local villagers' artwork are a good reason to stay in one of the traditional style bungalows on Ambrym.

National Museum - Port Vila

Mt. Yasur - Tanna Island

Parliament House - Port Vila

Mele Cascades - Port Vila

University of the South Pacific - Port Vila

panoramio Photos are copyrighted by their owners
loading...

Loading...