VANUATU TRAVEL GUIDE
Vanuatu is a South Pacific Ocean nation made up of roughly 80 islands that stretch 1,300 kilometres. The islands offer scuba diving at coral reefs, underwater caverns and wrecks.
The chain of 83 islands reminded Capt Cook of the dark, forbidding, wind buffeted islands off the Scottish coast and he named them New Hebrides. The islands range from towering volcanoes to those covered in dense rainforests to those with wide beaches with deep natural harbours.
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VANUATU QUICK FACTS
- Capital: Port-Vila
- Currency: vatu (VUV)
- Area: 12,200 km²
- Population: 292 680 (2018)
- Language: English, French, creole (known as Bislama or Bichelama) official; plus 100+ local languages
- Religion: Presbyterian 36.7%, Anglican 15%, Roman Catholic 15%, indigenous beliefs 7.6%
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VANUATU PUBLIC HOLIDAYS
- 21 February, Father Walter Lini Day (Father of Independence)
- 5 March, Custom Chief’s Day
- 24 July, Children’s Day
- 30 July, Independence Day
- 15 August, Assumption
- 5 October, Constitution Day
- 29 November, National Unity Day
- 26 December, Family Day
Also, Good Friday, Easter Monday, and Ascension Day.
VANUATU WEATHER SYNOPSIS
Vanuatu’s climate varies with latitude, from wet tropical in the northern islands, which receive over 4,000 millimetres (mm) of annual rainfall to the dryer subtropical in the southern extremes of the archipelago, where annual average rainfall measures 1,500 mm. Average temperatures range from 21°C to 27°C, and unlike many of the Pacific island nations, seasonal temperatures in the capital city of Port Vila exhibit high variability with summertime highs exceeding 30°C and minimum temperatures often reaching below 20°C. Seasonal and inter-annual variations in climate are driven by changes associated with El Niño, which affect every aspect of the climate in the Pacific. Cyclones are common during the warm months of November to April, although two recent cyclonic events were experienced outside of the traditional cyclonic season.
SPORT & ACTIVITIES
HIKING & CYCLING IN VANUATU
The best time to enjoy outdoor activities in Vanuatu is during the dry season from May to October when temperatures are also a little cooler. During the rainy season, even though showers are generally brief it is much more humid.
BEACH OPTIONS IN VANUATU
The best time to enjoy the beaches of Vanuatu is during the dry season from May to October when temperatures are also a little cooler. During the rainy season showers are generally brief but it is much more humid. The water is always warm enough for swimming.
SURFING IN VANUATU
Although Vanuatu may not be typically associated with surfing, it is gaining a growing reputation among the global surfing community. With excellent conditions almost all year round, there is plenty of potential for surfing in Vanuatu. Surfers willing to travel to the outer islands islands will be rewarded with breaks that offer perfect hollow waves and ideal surfing conditions. The best time to surf here would be between March and December with consistent southern swells.
KITESURF IN VANUATU
Kitesurfing in Vanuatu will make you feel as though you have been taken back in time. The trade winds are most stable and predictable during the months of June, July and August when about half the days should be suitable for kiting. The winds are usually only around 12-15 knots, sometimes more. Make sure to take the tide into consideration as there can be shallow rocks.
HEALTH RISKS IN VANUATU
Be aware of possible health risks in
Malaria - Malaria is a serious and sometimes fatal disease caused by a parasite that commonly infects a certain type of mosquito which feeds on humans. People who get malaria are typically very sick with high fevers, shaking chills, and flu-like illness. Although malaria can be a deadly disease, illness and death from malaria can usually be prevented.