Vanuatu was one of the key countries in my world tour since I saw a great report on TV. Everything seemed so great that I absolutely had to include it in my trip!
Vanuatu is a country of 80 islands in the southern Pacific Ocean. It is part of what is called Melanesia.
We chose to visit the following places: Port Vila (Capital) on Efate Island, Espiritu Santo Island, Banks Islands with Gaua and Torres Islands, Ambrym and Tanna. We had almost a month and left in October 2019.
The main interest of this island is to see the volcano! There are other things to do but people do not dwell on it; To find the information it is quite difficult but do not hesitate to ask in the lodges and hotels, even at the Yasur volcano office.
The volcano Yasur is the tourist place. Seeing lava is not possible anywhere in the world! So the prices are exorbitant!
The transfer to the volcano will vary depending on your accommodation but it should turn around 5000 vts per person round trip.
The entrance to the volcano, is 9500 vts per person, and it is decreasing according to the number of visits.
The provocative outfits are to be avoided. Clothes too short for girls are to be avoided too and the “top less” to banish; respect the population, you are not home there.
Vanuatu is expensive. If you do not have a budget, forget about this destination right away. There is no point in coming to “zone” and do no activity. Find out about accommodation rates and activities before you take your plane tickets.
There are ATMs at the airport. But do not forget to take cash in case you can not withdraw a lot once on Tanna.
Camping and “zoning” homestay to sleep in his garden are not the custom here. Avoid doing this so that people are not embarrassed. There are however some campsites but not everywhere. There is one in front of the entrance of the volcano. Inquire well.
Internet & Tel
You can buy a local SIM card with internet and phone communication, both of which are separable from each other. For example for 1000 vts (almost 8 euros) you with about 30min of communication; and for 3000 vts you have 6GB of internet for 30 days.
Watch out for the fish!
Do not eat fish unless you’re sure it’s fish that has been caught in the open sea. The coral is infected with a parasite that will give you what they call in the Pacific, the “scratch”. You will have, at best itching, at worst, in addition to that, vomiting vomiting and diarrhea. All this will be accompanied by an intolerance for a good year to all fish and alcohol! Be careful !
Air connections are with Air Vanuatu from Port Villa every day. You can see the schedule of flights on the site of Air Vanuatu. The flights usually last less than an hour.
For travelers on domestic flights departing from Port Vila, a provincial tax of 200 vts per person will be payable after check-in.
Pay attention to the weight of domestic flights. You are allowed only 10 kilos in hold and 5 kilos in hand luggage. At last news the supplement was 159 vts per kilo (not very expensive).
There is a tax of 200 vts to pay from Tanna.
There is a lot of accommodation on Tanna as it is a highly touristy place. You will find bungalows, tree houses and Airbnb. What you need to know is that to get to the volcano from the airport there is between. 1h and 2h pick-up. So the closer you get, the better.
* Tree Top Lodge
We stayed at Fred’s at the foot of the volcano. It has several accommodations including a cabin perched in the trees. There is shower and toilet with cold water. They provide towels and bed sheets. The food is good.
Pick-up price: Return trip to the lodge: 5000 vts per person.
Room rate: 5000 vts for two with ONLY breakfast. We did not understand because once there you have nothing to eat … you have to pay extra meals: 750 at noon and 1500 at night.
Price entrance volcano: 9500 vts per person the first visit, the second is 6500 vts and the third is free.
Warning: I repeat it here, do not eat fish unless you’re sure it’s fish that was caught in the open sea. The coral is infected with a parasite that will give you what they call in the Pacific , the “scratch”. You will have, at best itching, at worst, in addition to that, vomiting and diarrhea. All this will be accompanied by an intolerance for a good year to all fish and alcohol!
What: Crater view with lava.
How: You will have to go through a tour or your host to get to the volcano. There is a good hour pick-up from the airport. This is another family that manages the entrances for the volcano and it is she who decides whether you can climb or not. So do not come by saying that you will go twice, you will know it only once on site. It takes at least 4 people for staff to work well … and if you are 4 it will pay the pickup (which lasts 10min) to 2000 vts per person.
Price: 9500 vts per person the first visit, the second is 6500 vts and the third is free.
Note: The staff is incompetent, do not hesitate to do some forcing to go to “Point 8” (this is where you will see the lava hole).
What: A space to swim but that does not seem to break three legs to a duck.
Rate: About 1000 vts entry + 2000 vts transportation all per person.
What: You can visit a traditional village. People will be dressed in their traditional attire. You will be explained how to make fire, what are the customs to cure people by magic, there will be a dance show. Some like others no, it’s up to you.
How to: Ask at your accommodation because he has to contact the village chief.
Duration: About two hours.
Price: 1500 vts entry + 2000 vts pick-up all per person.