The major island of Vanuatu and home to the capital city, Port Vila, is Efate. It is here that all of the international flights will arrive into the country and all of the other islands can be accessed from. The country is made up of 82 islands, but only 3 of these islands have hostels on them, Efate, Tanna and Espiritu Santo. These three islands all have their different reasons for being popular with travellers.
Espiritu Santo is the island renowned for its diving. They have spectacular reef to dive around and explore and also the famous Million Dollar Point, where the Americans drove all of their military tanks into the ocean after World War 2 to stop the French from getting their hands on their tanks. It is a larger island too and has many different things to do out of the water as well. Ask your hostel for more information on what there is to do around the area and what the best way to get around and see things is.
The main island of Efate has all of its hostels in the major town of Port Vila. Port Vila is basically one road heading down a main strip that forks off at the end, so you shouldn't get too lost finding your hostel along here. There are a huge number of different things to do here from abseiling down waterfalls, exploring the jungle on a buggy tour, taking a cruise out on a yacht and snorkelling, jetskiing ... endless possibilities. Your hostel should be able to point you in the direction of where you can organize these things and some might be able to organize them for you. Also, the markets around the town are really interesting to explore and you will find some really cheap fruits for snacks to eat during the day to stick to that budget. The cruise ships tend to dock here, so make sure you book your activities in advance, especially if you know that there is a ship due to arrive to avoid missing out as they get priority.
Flying south to the island of Tanna can be quite expensive. But if you are any kind of volcano buff, it is a must. The volcano, Mount Yasur, also known to the locals as the devil, is one of the most accessible active volcanoes in the world. You can take a day trip from Port Vila, or you can stay at one of the hostels near Mount Yasur if you want to spend more time there. The locals will drive you half way up to the rim of the crater and you will walk the rest of the way past the famous volcano post box where you can mail your postcards to your family. As you stand on top of the crater rim, you can see the smallest spot of lava spitting out of the crater as the whole thing rumbles below you. One of the most incredible experiences of the power of our world.
Whatever you decide to do here in Vanuatu, it is an incredible place and you should make sure you get among some cultural dancing and activities. Have a go at some of the kava (but not too much), and do as much as you can. There is no place on earth quite like it!
Hi, I'm Globetrotter,
the Hostelz.com local expert for Vanuatu hostels. Welcome.