Have you heard of a tiny island country called Vanuatu? It lies in the South Pacific Ocean and is one of the most beautiful countries I have visited. During one of my Easter holidays, I decided to head to Vanuatu and I had 4 days to spend on this amazing island. In this post, you will find the itinerary and information for 4 days in Vanuatu.
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Officially known as Republic of Vanuatu, Vanuatu is an island country in South Pacific Ocean. The island was first inhabited by Melanesian people till the first Europeans arrived in 1606. Vanuatu’s name is derived from the word vanua meaning land or home and tu meaning to stand. Together, the two words convey the status of independence.
Vanuatu is famous for its breath taking landscapes, clear waters, rich history and culture, WWII shipwrecks, active volcano and the world’s only underwater working post office. One needs at least 4 to 5 days to explore Vanuatu. Vanuatu has great weather throughout the year but the best time to visit is between April and October.
Best Time to Visit Vanuatu
Vanuatu is perfect for all year around and can be visited any time throughout the year. But the ideal time is between April and October for pleasant weather.
How many days do you need for Vanuatu?
You need at least a week to explore Vanuatu. There are so many things to do on the islands. But I was there in the country only for 4 days.
Vanuatu Tourist Visa Requirements
Travelers from exempted countries like India and Australia are not required to have prior visitor visa for entering Vanuatu when your stay is up to 4 months. However, you will need to show your return tickets, hotel stay and sufficient funds at the immigration.
Note: Ensure to do your research on the visa requirements as they change very often. Check on the Embassy website for up-to-date information on visas.
Things to see in Vanuatu
Port Vila Market
Located in the capital city of Vanuatu Port Vila, the market is a perfect place to see and experience the local culture and cuisine. The market is along the waterfront and has many shops and restaurants.
Active Volcano on Tanna island
This is a must visit when you are in Vanuatu as it is unique to the country. You can visit an active volcano named Mount Yasur Volcano located on Tanna Island. The volcano still has eruptions that you can see up-close.
By the way, did you know that you can hike a dormant volcano Mount Batur in Bali and you can also go inside a volcano chamber in Iceland?
Underwater Working Post Office
Visiting underwater working post office was the main reason why I visited Vanuatu. Located on Hideaway Island and Marine Sanctuary, you can snorkel or scuba dive to post a postcard (bought from the souvenir shop) to yourself or friends / families from this post office. This post office is world’s only underwater working post office.
Known for its crystal clear azure blue waters, the Blue Lagoon in located in Efate Island and is a natural attraction. The blue colour is a result of lagoon’s limestone bottom. It is an amazing place to spend an afternoon swimming and snorkeling. There are rope swings hanging from the trees where you can take a leap from into the lagoon.
Vanuatu Jungle Zipline
Located in Mele Cascades area near the village of Mele, the Vanuatu Jungle Zipline is an exciting adventurous activity. It is a series of ziplines of different heights and lengths passing through the rainforest canopy.
Better to book the zipline in advance, especially during the peak season.
Known for beautiful sandy beaches, Aore Island is in the northern part of Vanuatu. It is a perfect place to unwind and relax. You will need to take a boat ride from the town of Luganville on Espiritu Santo. The island offers plenty of activities like kayaking, snorkeling, scuba diving and paddle-boarding.
Where to stay in Vanuatu?
During my visit to Vanuatu, I stayed at Hideaway Island Resort which is a private island and the double room for 3 nights cost me around AUD 300. It is better to arrange a pick up from the airport with the resort itself. Unfortunately, I paid extra bucks as I had not booked my pick-up from the airport.
There is a small boat that shuffles between the mainland at Port Vila and Hideaway island resort. I spent most of the day at the resort, sipping cocktails and chilling by the beach.
Review of Hideaway Island Resort in Mele Island
First of all, I would like to start by saying that Vanuatu is a very beautiful place. And Mele Island is a small island, a short boat ride from the mainland. The Hideaway island Resort is owned by the local villagers and is leased to the owners of the resort.
Booking and cost
There is only one resort on the island and that is Hideaway Island Resort and Marine Sanctuary. The cost of 1 room accommodation was around AUD 300 for 3 nights. I booked the stay using Booking.com website.
I enjoyed my stay at this lovely resort. The staff is very friendly and the sunsets with the views from the resort are so pretty. And this island is home to the only underwater working post office in the world. So, its pretty cool to go scuba diving and post a postcard to all of your friends.
4 Days in Vanuatu
Day 1 – Sydney to Port Vila
One day 1, I took a flight from Sydney to Port Vila. The flight journey is around 3 hours 30 minutes. I traveled with Qantas airlines and it cost me about AUD 800 for a return journey. The views of Port Vila from the flight are stunning and beautiful. Ensure to take a window seat on your flight.
Day 2 – Scuba Diving at Hideaway Island, Blue Lagoon
On my day 2, I had planned to do a day tour for the volcano located on Tanna island. Also known as the Island of Fire, the volcano is active and is the only active volcano that is accessible. The Tanna volcano twilight tour, operated by Unity Airlines cost around VUV 40,000 (approximately AUD 500) per person.
Unfortunately, the tour was canceled due to the bad weather and so I decided to scuba dive to see the underwater working post office. Located inside the resort, the dive centre had various diving options. Since I was not certified scuba diver back then, I decided to do the Discover Scuba Dive (DSD) with them. The dive cost me around AUD 60 and it was surely one of the best dives I have done so far. It was refreshing and amazing and I managed to send postcards to myself and my friends from the post office.
After the dive, I hired a mini bus from the mainland at Port Vila and headed to Turtle beach. The Turtle beach has many activities to do and one of them is to swim with turtles costing VUV 500 per person. It was snorkeling with the turtles that are kept in a natural swimming pool by the ocean. Honestly speaking, I did not like swimming with turtles as the turtles are kept in very dirty waters and it is not in the wild.
From the Turtle beach, I headed straight to the Blue lagoon. The blue lagoon is about half an hour drive from the centre of Port Vila. It is a must see and one of the most beautiful lagoons I have ever seen. The colour of water was turquoise blue and was very clear. There is an entrance fee of VUV 350 per person.
Day 3 – Vanuatu Jungle Zipline
I started the day with a lazy breakfast and some Easter eggs at the Hideaway island resort. The breakfast and the food served at the resort is authentic Vanuatu cuisine.
In the afternoon, I had booked a zip lining tour with Vanuatu Jungle Zipline. The zip lining tour consisted of 6 zip lines and the longest one was between a canyon. Among the 6 zip lines, the highest zip line was about 90 metres. It cost me around VUV 9500 per person and the cost only included the zip lining and safety harness. The transportation was extra which was arranged by the resort.
The last evening at the island, after the zip lining, was pretty relaxed and I decided to spend the evening by the beach with a book.
Day 4 – Port Vila to Sydney
On the last day, I decided to take an early morning flight from Port Vila to Sydney. The flight journey was again 3 hours 30 minutes.
Vanuatu will always be close to my heart. The hospitality, the beautiful locations and the friendly people made the trip memorable and enjoyable. Have you been to Vanuatu? What did you like about it? Let me know in the comments below.
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