This unforgettable, two-week adventure will see you explore some of the world’s most obscure tropical gems. From a fuming, active volcano to hidden, teal coloured swimming holes; picture-postcard beaches to remote tribal communities; Vanuatu is the ultimate family destination brimming with the rugged beauty and intrigue of hidden, island life.
Day 01: Efate Road Trip
Hire a car in the nation’s capital Port Vila; the ultimate way to explore Efate. With a single, sealed ring road snaking around the periphery of the island, there’s scant chance of getting lost and ample opportunity to duck into the many deserted beaches to stretch the legs and take a dip. Taxis or local minibuses offer a travel alternative.
Make a beeline for Blue Lagoon, an extraordinary tidal swimming hole boasting aquamarine water that must be seen to be believed. It’s perfect for the young and the young-at-heart, complete with local kids swinging off the Tarzan ropes above the water.
Just two kilometres away is Eton Beach, with its soft white sand and protective reef — the ideal place to snorkel at high tide. Stop for lunch at an open-air cafe overlooking Havannah Harbour, a mere 30 kilometres north-west of Port Vila. After lunch, it’s again time to hit the water with your snorkel gear in tow for a magical experience swimming in the harbour with rainbow-striped fish and dazzling coral.
Day 02: Waterfall Adventures
In Vanuatu, do go chasing waterfalls. Mele Cascades is among the most famous and perhaps one of the best things to do in Vanuatu, just a 20-minute drive from Port Vila. The tiered falls are a natural water park with gushing torrents and cool rock pools. Climb to the top of the cascades to survey the spectacular drop below; then head to the slightly quieter but no less exquisite Lololima Waterfalls nearby; where bush walks are offered and limestone caves wait to be explored. After lunch, join an enthralling cultural tour to one of the many traditional villages, such as Ekasup Cultural Village. Here the Ni-Vanuatu generously share local hunting and fishing practices, and demonstrate the magic of sand storytelling and ancestral lore and dance.
Day 03: Paddle Through Paradise
Start the day checking out the iconic waterfront market in downtown Port Vila and fuel up on coffee and organic fruit before jumping on a bucket-list Vanuatu kayaking tour. Meander lazily down freshwater rivers, twisting through the silent lushness of the jungle, and paddle through paradise along the still, clear shoreline.
For those who prefer wheels to water, join a Vanuatu Ecotours mountain bike adventure, heading inland across rugged, volcanic terrain. Anglers will delight in the chance to try their hand at the island’s premium fishing. Drop the kids at the hotel kids’ club for some couple time on the sparkling waters; casting a line on the reef or aboard a world-class charter to battle it out with the prized Blue Marlin. That night, catch a local fire dance; an acrobatic feat combining circus tricks and dazzling fire displays.
Day 04: Family Snorkelling Bliss
Nose around the Port Vila Community Handicraft, known in local Bislama as ‘Haos Blong Handikraft’; where you can pick up genuine local products like wooden carvings and woven baskets. Then it’s time to hit the water again — this time taking a 30-minute drive and 10-minute boat ride north-west of Port Vila to reach Lelepa Island. This outer island boasts 160-acres of pristine rainforest, owned and operated by local islanders through Lelepa Island Tours. The waters are marine protected and are warm and calm. With no cars or electricity on the island, it’s a prime chance to bask in the simplicity of Ni-Vanuatu life.
Day 05: Make Like a Local
Make your way early to Emua Wharf on the northern tip of the island to catch a ten-minute boat to Pele Island. Here you will be welcomed with the smiling faces of the island’s children. Immerse yourself in local life, feast on sumptuous, home-cooked meals and snorkel on the prized reefs which were declared a conservation area in 2003. Stay the night in a traditional bungalow, where the locals will happily light a campfire for you. Gaze at the blanket of stars, crisp in the sultry sky, where the night’s only soundtrack is the Pacific Ocean.
Day 06: Hike a Dormant Volcano
Take a half-hour boat ride to Nguna Island, another of Efate’s outer islands. Clamber to the top of Mount Marow; a former volcano where rich soils offer the ultimate home to the locals’ veggie gardens. If you’re an early riser, you can set the alarm clock for 3am to catch the sunrise at the top. Take a half-hour guided walk through the rainforest and meander through one of the 12 villages sprinkled across the hinterland and waterfront. Enjoy a sumptuous seafood barbecue lunch and a dip in the aquamarine waters before preparing to boat back to the mainland.
Day 07: Bliss Out in Blue Holes
Catch your flight to Espiritu Santo; Vanuatu’s largest island, brimming with natural treasures, activities and blissful tropical vistas. After settling into your Luganville accommodation, get ready to start your exploring. Hire a car for easy travelling, or enquire about a taxi and driver. Exploring some of Vanuatu’s best freshwater blue holes is a must; you can access the popular Matevulu Blue Hole by booking a kayaking tour along the Riri River, or hire an inner tube and float in blue-tinged bliss in the Nanda Blue Hole.
Day 08: Snorkel WWII Relics
For the more experienced divers, you simply can’t go past the chance to dive the bucket-list Second World War wreck, SS President Coolidge, before taking the whole family to the underwater relics at Million Dollar Point for some of the best snorkelling in Vanuatu. Here you can walk straight from the beach, snorkelling above military tanks, jeeps and even old Coca Cola bottles, all now fuzzed with coral and seagrass. Enjoy lunch with a view at Port Olry, before picking up your paddles for a short kayak trip behind Bat Island, to explore the kaleidoscope coral beneath pristine waters.
Day 09: Float Down a River
Join a tour with Oyster Island Resort and take a voyage to Mount Hope Waterfall, for the ultimate immersion in the wondrous world of cascades. Ni-Vanuatu tour guides pick you up from your accommodation in a four-wheel drive before heading to Mount Hope Farm, around 50 minutes from Luganville. After donning life jackets, jump in the river so clear you can see the leaves strewn along the bottom, to float along gentle currents. Bob beneath coiled vines and emerald-coloured ferns bursting from the banks, before reaching the limestone slopes of Mount Hope Waterfall. Here you can dare to climb up the waterfall, the water gushing around you in crystal sheets, before trekking back through the jungle to reach your vehicle for a fresh fruit break.
Day 10: Turn up the Relaxation
After such an adventurous day, it’s time to relax. Take a morning dip at the renowned Champagne Beach, where the jungle provides the perfect backdrop in shifting hues of jade. The horseshoe-shaped beach is powdery white, fringing calm water that shines glass clear. One caveat; check the cruise ship timetable as it can get busy when the boats stop in — otherwise you can have it to yourself. After a lazy lunch, meander to the nearby Lonnoc Beach for equally idyllic views, enjoying sunset aperitifs on the water while the kids play on the sand.
Day 11: Swim to a Hidden Cave
It’s time to catch two flights, this time heading to Tanna Island, which harbours a culture that’s intriguingly traditional. It’s also the base for Vanuatu’s first Oscar-nominated feature film, named after the island. Settle into your accommodation around Lenakel, Tanna’s largest town, and have lunch at the bustling produce market. Grab your sunscreen before heading to the Blue Cave on the north-west coast of the island. Arrive by boat and take a short swim under a passage to be transported to another world. Enter an astounding, enormous hidden cave, lit by a portal of sunshine beaming through a hole in the roof. For nervous swimmers, access at low tide.
Day 12: Soak up the Culture
Tanna’s cultural tours are an essential activity on your family holiday in Vanuatu, where kastom is a way of life. Take a voyage back in time with a visit to a cultural village such as Yakel Village, a 30-minute drive from Lenakel, or Imaio Cultural Village on the east coast of the island. The tribes are warm and welcoming, performing traditional dances and explaining their way of life. That afternoon, take the time for some swimming hole heaven with the aptly named ‘Blue Hole One’ and ‘Blue Hole Two’; the latter situated just offshore from a reef. At low tide, the water recedes, leaving the hole filled with tropical fish like a giant aquarium.
Day 13: The World’s Most Accessible Volcano
Move camp to enjoy a couple of nights on the east side of Tanna island near Port Resolution. Enjoy a lazy morning in the seclusion of Little Beach; a five-minute wander from Port Resolution Yacht Club. In the afternoon, explore the Iwea Hot Springs (best at low tide). Here you can marvel at the rock pools, try clay face painting, visit the steam vent and taste local fare prepared in the spring’s boiling water. In the evening, join an excursion to Tanna’s best-known attraction – the Mount Yasur volcano, considered one of the world’s most accessible volcanoes. Go at dusk for the best Vanuatu volcano tour experience. Accessible only by four-wheel drive , take the ten-minute walk to the rim of the fiery volcano, where you can gaze into the rumbling belly of this lava-filled beast. The volcano has been continuously erupting for centuries; spitting magma into the air on a daily basis like luminous orange fireworks, creating a truly captivating display.
Day 14: Exploring Tanna
After a morning dip, take the 30-minute drive to Leitouapam Village to visit the cathedral-like Giant Banyan Tree; considered one of the largest in the world. Covering an area the size of a football pitch and growing 80-metres high, the tree is still growing today. Then head west towards the hinterland to access Lenuanatuaiu Waterfall; a plume of white water cascading into a deep and narrow valley, smothered in moss and ferns. Swim in the cool pool below, before making your way back up the steep path for a final farewell meal at Tanna Adventures restaurant, perched atop the escarpment with sweeping panoramic vistas of an island teeming with culture, history and exquisite surrounds.
|Vanuatu||13||Breakas Beach Resort|
– Meeting and assistance by our representative.
– 13 nights accommodation as per program
– English speaking guide
– Meals: Breakfasts, Lunch & Dinners
– All sightseeing & excursion by private vehicle
– All transport and listed activities
– All present government taxes
• International Flights.
• Personal Expenses.
• Camera / Video Camera Fees.
• Medical Aid.
• Travel Insurance.
• Accommodation in good hotels.
• Check-in / out time is 12 noon at most of the hotels.
• Extension to other places is also possible with a minimal extra cost. – Additional nights are available at each place with minimal supplement.
• A visa is required and must be obtained prior to your departure from your Country.
• If quoted hotel is not available, we will provide one of a similar category and standard.
• Small deviations in the tour program are sometimes necessary, depending on weather, road conditions, flight schedules and room availability.
• In case the government changes presently applicable taxes, increase in airlines prices, fuel surcharge our rates will need to be adjusted accordingly.
• In Asia, there is no relevance between the distance and time of travelling, as it depends upon the condition of the roads and congestion of the traffic.
• While every effort will be made to maintain the itinerary, in view of local strikes etc that are beyond our control all schedule and itineraries are subject to last moment changes.
• Clients must be fully insured, as the company cannot accept liability for loss or damage to client’s property, medical emergencies or any other loss suffered by them whilst on tour.
• In Case of issuing Domestic or International air tickets, SGV is not responsible for any refund if the flight is delayed or cancelled, as it is the responsibility of airline.