The Pacific Islands usually conjure images of lazing on perfect stretches of white sand, drinking fresh coconuts and partaking in Polynesian feasts and, while Vanuatu offers all of this, it is a whole lot more. It’s about trekking to lava-spewing volcanoes, diving World War II wrecks and bumping along in the back of pickup trucks through mesmerising landscapes.
What to do:
-Eat at the local market in downtown Port Vila – boisterous women dish up fish, chicken or beef and rice alongside fresh produce in a lively, vibrant waterfront setting
-Hike to the top of Mt Yasur to gaze into the volcano’s caldera while red-hot lava explodes around you. Be warned: there is little security up here and you need to be careful of sulphurous fumes – it all adds to the adventure!
– Scramble through the Millenium Cave on the island of Espiritu Santo, and adventure that includes jungle trekking, canyoning, river swimming and getting very, very muddy!
– Dive the SS ‘President Coolidge’ – the largest wreck dive in the world off the coast of Espiritu Santo
– Visit the double active volcanic cones of Benbow and Marum on the volatile island of Ambrym
– Explore the Ekasup Cultural Village for a look at traditional Ni-Vanuatu life – learn traditional customs and the preparation of natural products into food and crafts
– Paddle into the Blue Lagoon on Efate, a water-hole of intense azure colour accessed through a series of waterways draped in jungle
– Read: ‘Getting Stoned with Savages’ by J. Maarten Troost