7Â – 10 Days in Santo and Ambrym
An adventure seeker 7 to 10 days in Santo and Ambrym itinerary provides a sample of what Vanuatu has to offer. Located in the South Pacific Ocean, Vanuatu residents maintain traditional cultural practices while hosting visitors from all over the world. The previously French-owned Island is approximately 1,750 kilometres from Australia.
Local residents speak French, a local dialect known as Bislama and English. Official island currency is the vatu. During their weeklong adventure, guests try their hand at extreme sporting and tuna fishing. Island getaways cannot be strenuous all the time so visiting local relaxation facilities is also on the menu.
The following is a suggested itinerary for first-time visitors:
Day 1 Espiritu Santo – Luganville
Arrive at Santo – Pekoa International Airport in Luganville. Luganville sits on the southeast coast of Vanuatuâs largest island, Espiritu Santo or Santo. Check with Pacific Blue and Vanuatu Air for flights out of Brisbane, Australia. Average flight time between the two locales is approximately two hours and 30 minutes. Use one of many local airport taxicab services for transport to desired accommodations. Local hotels also provide guest transfer services. Inquire about availability while making initial reservations.
Plan to dine at a Luganville restaurant in the evening. The bustling port area offers a host of dining options including fresh seafood and traditional French bistros. Head to Restaurant 1606 for a truly decadent experience. Attentive staff serve French, vegetarian and Egyptian entrees in an elegant setting. For budget-conscious options, dine on beef stew and fish from local vendors. If going out feels overwhelming, hotel restaurants and lounges offer delicious menu options just a short distance from guestrooms.
Day 2 Espiritu Danto – Luganville
Try Quad Biking in the morning with experts at Santo Splash Extreme. Many view the four-wheel bikes as a nuisance on city roadways, but Luganville bike trails allow users to unleash the vehicleâs full potential. Yamaha YZF 450cc Raptors deftly maneuver through jungle trails that accommodate every skill level. Quad Biking is necessary for speed enthusiasts.
Head out to sea in the afternoon on Hobie Cats. Leisurely cruise the shoreline or attempt to command one of the 16-foot vessels. Dine at Vanuatuâs new Slipway Bar and Grill in Lope Lope Adventure Lounge. Slipway combines free pool, darts and live television programming with popular food and beverage selections. Call (678) 36066 from international locations, 36066 inside Vanuatu or send an electronic mail (email) message to email@example.com for operating hours and additional information.
Day 3 Espiritu Santo – Luganville
Spend the morning exploring Sailing Ship (SS) President Coolidge, wrecked just off the coast of Luganville. At one point, the 22,000-ton vessel served as a luxury liner for high society. During World War II SS Coolidge became a troop transport ship and sank in 1942 after hitting landmines while attempting to enter Espiritu Santo harbor. Do not miss the front hold areas that still contain gas masks, helmets and personal effects. Novice and expert divers enjoy diving in reefs that vary from 10 metres to unknown depths. Make trip arrangements with Santo dive operators.
During the afternoon, get spirited away by Espiritu Santo Cultural Tours for a walk through Vatthe Conservation Forest. Prepare for transport directly from the hotel to Vanuatuâs first national park. Marvel at the rainforest and black sand beach located in Big Bay on the Northern side of the island. Bird watchers and nature enthusiasts are huge tour fans. Trained guides discuss local plant and animal life. Bring plenty of insect repellent as the trail is home to many mosquitoes. Wear comfortable shoes for the easy but lengthy journey.
Day 4 Espiritu Santo – Luganville
Join Oga Wriley and his team in the morning for an outrigger canoe adventure up Riri River. After an hour-long trek along the waterway, enjoy swimming through picturesque blue waters of an inland swim hole. Board the bus after lunch and prepare for a 30-minute drive to Santo – Pekoa Airport to board for departures to Ambrym. Total flight time is approximately one hour. Contact the Malampa Province Tourism Office before departing to discuss accommodations and exploration options. There are no hotels on the island so guests stay in traditional-style bungalows. Call trip coordinator Edna Paula at (678) 48491 or send email correspondence to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Enjoy a restful afternoon after arriving at Craig Cove or Ulei airports in Ambrym. The next day promises to be physically exhausting.
Day 5 Ambrym
Spend the day trekking through Ambrym and visiting twin volcanoes Marum and Benbow. Ambrym has a few settlements but most of the area has thick vegetation. A 12 kilometre cauldron-like feature on the island is home to active volcanoes known as Marum and Benbow. Northern portions of the island are known for intricate woodcarvings and snorkeling. Natural springs attract sea turtles and colorful fish.
Be aware that Ambrym adventures are physically demanding and only healthy individuals should attempt volcano hikes. Plan to spend the entire day hiking and carefully research the area before starting. All visitors assume responsibility for personal safety and the well-being of travel companions.
Day 6 Ambrym
Rest and recover at Ambrym accommodations in the morning.
Spend time in local gardens during the afternoon to learn about life on Ambrym. Residents are extremely proud of garden areas and welcome the opportunity to give visitors a tour.
Day 7 Efate – Port Vila
Return to Craig Cove or Ulei airports in the morning for flights to Port Vilaâs Bauerfield International Airport. Arrive at least one hour before scheduled departure time. Prepare to pay a domestic departure tax of approximately 200 vatu before the hour-long flight. Take a taxi or arrange hotel transfer to desired accommodations.
Unleash the inner child with afternoon Hydro Zorb adventures from Wet nâ Wild. Spend two to three hours sliding and bouncing down Mele hills inside a 2.5-meter inflatable ball. Prepare to get wet and have tons of fun. Pre-book sessions to ensure parties meet the minimum participant requirements.
Day 8 Efate – Port Vila
Embark on an early morning three, four or eight hour charter fishing boat adventure. Day trips range from live-aboard game fishing to light game fishing tackling. Opt for sightseeing if testing fishing abilities against tuna and albacore do not feel right. Contact Port Vila fishing operators to customize any fishing expedition.
Spend the afternoon relaxing and preparing for a sunset cruise.
Enjoy an evening with Meridian Charters on a two-hour cruise of Port Vila Harbor departing at 5:00 pm from Iririki Jetty or CafÃ© du Village. Beverage selections including wine, beer and orange juice compliment gourmet finger foods. Great food and good company provide a stunning backdrop to a beautiful tropical sunset. Watching the moonrise above paradise brings an exciting day to a romantic, peaceful ending.
Day 9 Efate – Port Vila
Start the day by indulging in serious shopping at local markets. Port Vila is the only duty-free area in Vanuatu, meaning available goods are exempt from customs taxes. French, English and Melanesian cultures come together to offer a variety of eclectic goods including perfumes, clothing and edible goods.
Unwind with a spa or beauty treatment at one of Port Vilaâs day spa facilities. Men and women are welcome to receive massages, manicures, pedicures and facials. Galvanting Goddess Experience makes every woman feel like royalty while Lotus Day Spa warmly welcomes solo male travelers.
Day 10 Departure
Arrive at Bauerfield International Airport for departing flights. Come at least two hours ahead of scheduled departure time. Remember that ticket prices include international departure taxes. Visit again!
Adventure Seeker itineraries touch on every activity that embodies the South Pacific region. Guests explore scenic natural beauty and talk with residents who provide first-hand knowledge on unique local features. From exploring active volcanoes to receiving facials with mineral-enriched mud, no two days are ever the same. Travelers looking for indescribable adventure should look no further than Vanuatu Islands.