Vanuatu – Pacific Islands
The Adventure & Relaxation Capital of the Pacific
Vanuatu is a South Pacific island nation made up of more than 80 islands, some of them active volcanoes. It’s a warm, friendly place to visit with a number of activities and sights for all budgets and interests.One of Vanuatu’s most fascinating sights is Chief Roi Mata’s Domain. More than 700 years ago, a chief so great he was known as king reigned over the islands, and his legend lived on in oral histories.
The oral tradition was not considered reliable history, however, until archeologists began discovering evidence that backed up the old stories. In 1967, the extensive grave of the chief was discovered, and today, Chief Roi Mata’s Domain is a World Heritage site. Tours can be arranged to the area. Vanuatu is a terrific place for fishing, adventure travel and outdoor activities. It’s a particularly popular destination for scuba divers.
The sunken SS President Coolidge is the main attraction, a massive luxury liner converted to a troop carrier for the war effort and sunk in 1942. Because the ship went down within mere meters of shore, beginning divers can enjoy this spectacle alongside more experienced ones.
Because the ship went down within mere meters of shore, beginning divers can enjoy this spectacle alongside more experienced ones. Other outdoor activities for fit and adventurous travelers include kayaking, horseback riding and jungle zip lines for all ages. Real thrill-seekers will want to look into volcano sand surfing. These tours combine treks around a live volcano with boarding or surfing down the volcanic sand, an activity which is actually safe for children as well as adults.For those who are more interested in relaxing than diving shipwrecks or surfing down volcanoes, Vanuatu offers spas, shopping, golf, nightlife and more. A number of day spas throughout the island book both male and female clients, and visitors can enjoy body scrubs, massages, baths and healing activities. Some spas make use of volcanic ash for therapeutic purposes.
Port Vila is the place for shopping in Vanuatu, the only duty-free area in the islands. The unique pleasure of shopping at Port Vila is the combination of French, English and Melanesian cultures. Away from the luxury of the duty-free shops, on the island of Espiritu Santo, lies Luganville Town, where visitors more interested in traditional arts and crafts can purchase such items.