In the midst of the Pacific Ocean lies the archipelago so pristine and untouched, it feels like only the purest souls have walked on this part of the world. Vanuatu is a land of dreams, remote yet full of life. In my opinion, a highly underrated tourist destination.
We spent a week in Port Vila to escape Australia’s winter, and boy, do I wish we could have stayed longer.
Best time to Visit
Vanuatu is one of the few places where the weather is beautiful all year round.
April – October is the dry season. We went in June, and there were hardly any tourists.
November – March is the wet season with brief showers.
Add to your Vocabulary
Pidgnise your English, no jokes. In Vanuatu, they speak Bislama which sounds like…
- Halo – Hello
- Tangkyu – Thank You
- Hamas – How Much
Top Things To Do in Port Vila
- Mele Cascades
- Blue Lagoon Swimming Hole
- Hideaway Island & Underwater Post Office
- Tanna Coffee
- Laplap – taro/yam, coconut cream & meat wrapped in banana leaf, yum!
- Traditional Dance & Kava
- Iririki Island
- Lava Lounge
- Beach Bar & Fire Show
Read more on Things To Do in Port Vila here.
Other Islands in Vanuatu
- Tanna Island to see Mount Yasur, as seen in the movie Tanna (2015).
- Espiritu Santo
If you’re not planning to use credit cards over there, bring cash to exchange in Port Vila rather than your own country. You’ll get a much better rate at Goodies in town, so change just enough cash at the airport to get you there.
Our First Impression
When we first landed in the town centre of Port Vila on a Saturday night, it was very quiet with only a handful of tourists in sight. We doubted our choice of destination right away but decided to be positive and give Vanuatu a chance. After a chat with the local shop owner, we learned that the people there were expecting a cruise ship coming the next day, so everyone took the day off to prepare for a busy Sunday. We were eager to find out what the ‘busy’ Vanuatu would be like. And so our real Vanuatu travel adventure started a day later, and each day turned out to be better than the last.
Getting Around Port Vila
Driving around the entire island of Port Vila only takes about half a day. I recommend hiring a car or a quad bike to see everything Efate has to offer. Rent a scooter to explore the places that are off the main road!
We were lucky enough to find a local to be our chauffeur. His English was very limited but his personality was super. During our car rides, he blasted his favourite jams from the blown out car speakers and oddly, we all loved it.
Find out where we stayed in Port Vila!
Where To Eat in Port Vila
There were plenty of foreigner-owned restaurants on the island. Below are some of the restaurants and bars we had been to. Apart from these, you can always order from your resorts and enjoy a meal by the pool.
For a nice meal on a budget, this is our favourite, enjoy their Daily Theme Special meal deal overlooking the harbour!
This is the place to chill in the evenings! Upbeat atmosphere inside the bar, romantic ambience out on the deck that sits right on the water, great selection of drinks and excellent service!
Le Cafe Du Village
Most friendly staff, make this your first stop and have a chat with the locals for advice on what to do, where to go, what to see! This reminds me of a little secret garden, quiet and cosy by the water!
The Waterfront Bar & Grill
This is more of a bar if you want to grab a few drinks and relax by the water, it’s beautiful at night with the lights across from Iririki Island.
The Beach Bar
The famous fire dance show on the beach, runs every Friday night, must visit in Vanuatu! I personally really enjoyed the drinks, but quality of food was average, might have been a busy night for them.
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