10 Days Itinerary For Vanuatu - Beach, Blue Holes, Volcanos & Tribes

10 Days Itinerary For Vanuatu – Beach, Blue Holes, Volcanos & Tribes

Spend the best 10 days of your life exploring the beaches and volcanoes in Vanuatu, the brilliant island of South Pacific.

“You’re going to where?” That was the first question I was asked when breaking the news I’ll be visiting this beautiful South Pacific island nation. With 83 small tropical islands, Vanuatu is one of the happiest nations in the world, but also one of the least known. Just a quick flight from Australia’s east coast, Vanuatu is the perfect choice for island lovers seeking to go off the beaten track.

Also read: Singaporeans Travel To Vanuatu, The Fiery Island Paradise of the South Pacific

Here’s a 10 day sample itinerary to Vanuatu that’ll bring you to three islands.

Day 1-3: Efate Island

Efate IslandImage credit: Avichai Ben Tzur

Vanuatu’s main island is your gateway to the country and home to its capital – Port Vila. The island is modern enough for a soft landing, yet wild enough to get your senses excited. Spend your first days with a mix of relaxing and sightseeing.

In Port Vila, explore the vibrant market in the center of town. Local families from around the island congregate here to sell their tropical produce. So grab a fresh coconut at the door, some lunch at the ‘food court’ and pick a nice looking sarong, because you’ll be needing it shortly.

Head a bit out of town and hike to the Mele Cascades. Before you reach the 35 meter waterfall, you’ll cross a serious of emerald pools filled with seriously fresh water. Stop wherever you fancy, go for a dip and if you’re brave enough, slide from one pool to another.

vanuatu 10 days itineraryImage credit: Avichai Ben Tzur

A quick taxi boat away from the main island, Hideaway Island is a little oasis. You can sleep here if the big island isn’t remote enough for you, but just a bit of relaxing and snorkeling is perfectly fine. Say hi to the clownfish and don’t forget to send a postcard back home from the world’s only underwater post office!

Image credit: Avichai Ben Tzur

Time to hit the road and circle the island! Roadtrippin’ on Efate Island will take you past endless coconut plantations, over rivers and down lush hills.

Stop at the Eton Blue Hole for yet another refreshing dip, and grab a nap on the beach at Havannah Harbour. This beautiful beach was home to one of the tribes of Survivor Vanuatu, but these days, the only alliances made are by the fish swimming in the lagoon.

Image credit: Avichai Ben Tzur

As for the nightlife… If you really want to go local, head to one of the dozens of kava bars in Port Vila. The local version of ‘champagne’ is a muddy looking drink made from the roots of a crop. After a few shots (called ‘shells’), the buzz you get makes you forget what you’re actually drinking.

Day 4-7: Espiritu Santo Island

Simply known as ‘Santo’, this is the largest island in Vanuatu. Spend your first few days underwater, exploring the legendary SS President Coolidge wreck and the infamous Million Dollar Point.

Espiritu Santo IslandImage credit: Avichai Ben Tzur

The Coolidge was a luxury liner turned troop carrier during WWII. On one of its voyages to the large US base in Santo, the ship hit a friendly mine and sunk close to shore. Since you can’t explore the wreck of the Titanic, the Coolidge is the next best thing. Divers can descend up to 70 meters, visiting the old engine room, military vehicles that never made it to shore and even ammunition.

Also read: 7 Alternative Exotic Beach Destinations For Your Honeymoon

Not too far from the Coolidge is another WWII relic. When the war ended, the US army found no buyers for all the equipment on the island. So it did what anyone else would have done… dumped it out at sea. Snorkelers and divers can check out jeeps, tanks, cannons and even airplanes – all lying just a few meters off shore in Million Dollar Point (you get the name, right?).

When you had enough of WWII stuff, head up Santo’s east coast and find yourself a nice beach for a couple of days. Champagne Beach is the most famous one, but nearby Lonnoc Beach and Oyster Island are also great places to recharge your batteries and watch the stars at night.

Image credit: Avichai Ben Tzur

If beach bumming isn’t your thing, head to the Matevulu Blue Hole. The water is so crystal clear and you can even practice your jumping skills from the giant banyan tree.

Day 8-10: Tanna Island

Lying way down south, Tanna Island should not be missed. Why? It’s home to ‘the world’s most accessible active volcano’ and to ancient tribes little changed by the powers of time.

Start your mornings off with a dip in the blue holes. The best one is simply known as ‘blue hole #2’. During low tide, the blue hole becomes a natural pool, with tons of colorful tropical fish trapped inside for a few hours.

Tanna IslandImage credit: Avichai Ben Tzur

The highlight of your visit will no doubt be the long trip to Mount Yasur. To get to the volcano, you’ll join a 4X4 tour and drive for about two hours each way. Why? Tanna is so little developed there are hardly any paved roads. Along the way, you’ll pass by super remote villages, before softly landing on a massive plain of black ash.

You’ll get to the volcano’s rim just in time for sunset, and before you know it, the show will begin. Grab a seat and witness as the gates of hell open up every few minutes. Fiery, lava erupts from just beneath your feet. Incredible!

10 days itinerary vanuatuImage credit: Avichai Ben Tzur

If a visit to the world’s most accessible active volcano wasn’t enough, pay a visit to the Yakel Tribe. These guys live in the middle of nowhere, little changed by the powers of time and little dressed… Walk around their simple village, see how they feed themselves (hint: they hardly go to the grocery store) and join them in a traditional dance to chase the bad spirits away!

Also read: 7 Alternative Exotic Beach Destinations For Your Honeymoon

So what did you think of Vanuatu? It’s hard to believe this island paradise is so little known. If you’re up for something different, enjoy a good mix of nature, fun in the sun and ancient cultures – you’ll love Vanuatu!

About Author


Avichai Ben Tzur is the publisher of X Days In Y. He recently returned from a six month voyage across the South Pacific Islands, and you can follow his dream journey on his blog.