This information site is courtesy of Tropical Holiday Deals, the specialists in holiday and honeymoon travel to the Tropics.
Vanuatu Visitor Information
Here is some general information on Vanuatu, compiled on the basis of questions guests have asked in the past.
- Vila water is perfectly safe to drink. It does, however, have a high calcium content so those little white specks floating in your tea doesn’t mean the milk is ‘off’ (it will be long-life milk anyway!).
- Despite what your doctor or travel agent says, malaria tablets aren’t necessary or recommended unless you are going to the outer islands. You don’t need vaccinations against exotic tropical diseases but you should have an up-to-date tetanus shot in case of coral cuts and take medical insurance. While there are good doctors and regular flights out, you shouldn’t travel anywhere without insurance. It’s also a good idea to take a small first aid kit – to be on the safe side and because pharmaceutical items are expensive. Panadol/Panadeine, (Berocca?), Hydrogen Peroxide for coral cuts, Bandaids, Imodium/Buscopan for possible tummy upsets – a change of diet or time zone can do this.
- You can take wood carvings home with you, as long as you present them at Customs for inspection.
- The climate is hot can be humid. While historically November to March is the ‘wet’ season, over the last couple of years El Nino has sort of reversed the seasons. Yes, there are cyclones every couple of years but they come, they go and they are part of the tropics (even in Australia). There are also occasional earth tremors, as there are in any place with volcanic activity (like New Zealand).
- The currency is the vatu and the exchange rate is stable. All major credit cards are accepted and there are ATM‘s at supermarkets, the airport and outside the ANZ and Westpac banks. The best exchange rate is at Goodies souvenir shop. Most credit cards are accepted.
- Getting around is easy and Vanuatu is a destination where you should venture out from your resort a bit. Just flag down a bus (‘B’ on the number plate) – you will be dropped off door-to-door, which may mean the scenic route depending on where other passengers want to go. The fare around Port Vila is 150 vatu ($1.70). With taxis (‘T’ on the number plate) it is best to negotiate the fare first.
- Orientation… You can take a Port Vila Discovery Tour but it is pretty easy to get your bearings. Perhaps start at the women’s markets (closed Sundays) and head along the waterfront to the Nambawan Cafe then back along the main street to check out the shops, banks, cafes, post office etc.
- Shopping… There’s excellent duty free – check out Prouds, Paris Duty Free, Fung Kwei and the Sound Centre. There are chemists, supermarkets and bottle shops that stock most of the things you can get back home.
- Dining out should be on every visitor’s ‘must do’ list. We send our guests a comprehensive guide to restaurants, cafes and bars.