The main draw of Vanuatu is the subtropical climate, crystal clear blue skies, and endless sunshine.WeatherWhen to travel
Best travel months
Winter occurs from April to September but even then temperatures are around 23 degrees. The water is also quite warm all year round varying between 22 and 28 degrees.
On the other hand…
It is much quieter during the summer which falls between November and March when the average temperature is around 28 degrees. The summer is hot and humid but this is placated by a cool sea breeze but is also part of the tropical cyclone season and the South is less prone to these extreme weather events.
The wet season is between December and April but average rain fall is only between 2-4m annually. This is when there is increased humidity.
Vanuatu lies within the Pacific ‘ring of fire’ and regularly experiences volcanic activityVolcanic Activity
Vanuatu lies within the Pacific ‘ring of fire’ and regularly experiences volcanic activity and Ambrym and Tanna are often under level 2 alert. Because of this some flights are occasionally cancelled.EmbassiesCurrency
The local currency is Vanuatu Vatu.Economy
The economy is based on agriculture, fishing, tourism, and off shore banking. Most of the agriculture is subsistence farming, and most exports are exposed to global price fluctuations – coconut oil, beef, timber, cocoa, and coffee. There are heavy transport costs in exports too. The islands were set up as an offshore tax haven in 1971 but has come under increasing pressure from the OECD. There were strikes in the 1990s and the government continues to be pressured by international bodies to improve income inequality. The economy has been growing since 2009. Time zone wise Vanuatu is UTC+11 hours.Looking after your Health
83 islands with an array of activitiesAmbrym
Our ‘Remote Volcano Hiking’ Experience takes you to the island of Ambrym in the Malampa Province to visit Marum Volcano which rises 1,334 m above sea level. Ambrym has an area of 677.7 km² and population of 7,275 (2009).
Ambrym is first and foremost the “
black” island due to its volcanic ash and because of its ‘black magic’.Other well known attractions across Vanuatu
Mount Yasur on Tanna Island is claimed as the must do attraction and therefore attracted more visitors than Ambrym.
There is also the millennium Cave of Luganville, Mele Cascades at Port Vila, Champagne Beach, Hideaway Island, Blue Lagoon Swimming Hole, Ekasup Village, Summit Gardens, and also the various markets. There is even an underwater post office!
CultureA Brief History
The history of Vanuatu dates back to around 500BC. For centuries the people of Vanuatu passed their histories down to the next generations orally meaning there is a rich mythical history. European explorers visited the island in the 17th and 18th centuries and the 19th century saw the indigenous population awash with atrocities at the hands of traders and missionaries who brought many diseases ashore. The British and the French were the main ones casing the chaos, and at the turn of the 20th century local people were providing cheap labour in conditions not much better than slavery. People were recruited to work there from China, Vietnam, Fiji, and Tonga which is where the diversity of Vanuatu’s people today comes from. The islands finally became independent in 1980.Language
There are three official languages; English, French, and Bislama which is a Melanesian mix of French and English.Cultural Values and KastomsLand Ownership
There is quite strict land ownership laws and so be careful not to stray off the trodden hiking paths. There is a lot of private property and it is also a tax haven.Religion
The majority of the people of Vanuatu are Christians. They dress casually, and they live life to ‘island time’. Whilst some modern influences can be seen in some of the more built up areas, over most of the islands old traditions continue and so it is worth exploring.
The cuisine, like the people of Vanuatu is multicultural. Fused into their delicious dishes, you can find French, Mediterranean, Chinese, Italian, and Thai. You can find tapas, and seafood aplenty.
The fruit is also not to be missed. Lap Lap is one of the island’s specialities which is comprised of yam, banana, covered in coconut cream and then baked in an earth oven. Coconut crab is another local favourite, but it is not eaten as frequently due to many species becoming endangered.FrenchFamed for the Beef
The real delicacy of Vanuatu is the beef, which is hailed as the best in the world by many.
As you travel around the islands you can see for yourself the extensive cattle ranches which are perfectly looked after with wonderful, healthy cattle roaming the lush, verdant tree-filled fields.
The local and greener optionsMinibusesTaxis and personal drivers
You can hire a personal driver and bus for not too bad a price. There are taxis and be sure to haggle on price. There are daily flights between the islands of Vanuatu should you wish to partake in some island hopping – or there is also the Vanuatu ferry.
The airport for Vanuatu is called on Port Vila and called Bauerfield International. International flights from London, New York, LA and Hong KongFrom London
From London you can fly to Vanuatu for around £900 – £1200 in June, or upwards of £1600 in August or upwards of £5000 in January with two stop offs (usually Sydney and Dubai) taking anywhere between 30 hours and 60 hours.
It is cheaper to book flights separately from London to Australia and then get the connecting flight to the remote island from there with flights from Sydney to Port Vila between £400 and £600 all year round.
Google flights provide good averages for journeys when doing your own research prior to booking.From New York
From New York it is a similar picture in terms of flight times. The trip costs between £1500 and £1800 year round. From Los Angeles prices are between £800 and £1200 for a return and you can do this with only one stop off. Again if you can find a good deal on a flight to Sydney it may be cheaper to book the connecting flight separately.From Hong Kong
When travelling from Hong Kong prices are around the £2000 mark all year round. The routes will mean one or two stops and a journey time of between 20 and 40 hours. It may also be cheaper to split the flight and book to Australia first then a second to Vanuatu.
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