Vanuatu Expedition


On this eight-day expedition, encounter raw beauty and culture on the tiny islands of Vanuatu. Leave the resorts of Port Vila behind and fly to rainforest-rich islands where you can meet locals, immerse yourself in nature and enjoy true adventure travel. Meet communities where kastom – traditional culture and law – still rules, including the legendary John Frum villages. Snorkel among the gorgeous coral reef that's protected by law. Trek through towering greenery and learn about how it is to live among active volcanoes and tropical wilderness. Embrace a side of Vanuatu that few tourists seek, but one that those who do will never forget.

8 days, from

$3,082

per person

GROUP SIZE

12 people max

ACTIVITY LEVEL

3
Trip code: TESV
Style: Basix
Theme: Expedition

Details

Countries Visited:  Vanuatu
Accommodation: Hotel (4 nights), Bungalows (3 nights)
Transportation: Private vehicle , Boat , Plane
Included Meals:

  • 7 breakfasts
  • 6 lunches
  • 3 dinners

Group size: Minimum 1, Max 12

  • Encounter the cargo cult communities of Tanna and see for yourself how these indigenous villages have incorporated WWII iconography into their religious traditions.

  • Hike to the rim of Mt Yasur, one of the world’s most active volcanoes, and watch the smoke and lava billowing (from a safe distance, of course).

  • Snorkel in the clear waters around Nguna & Pele and see the remarkable coral reef that is protected as part of a marine reserve.

  • Go beyond the walled-off resorts and discover the beauty and cultures of Vanuatu. Hike, paddle, swim and snorkel in some of the most beautiful places in the tropics.

  • Walk through the towering rainforest to find a banyan tree that is said to be the largest in the world, with hundreds of prop roots that support it.

Itinerary

Show Full Itinerary

Day 1: Port Vila

Welcome to Port Vila, the capital of Vanuatu! Your adventure begins today with a welcome meeting at 5 pm at your accommodation. There are no other activities planned for the day. If you arrive with time to spare before the welcome meeting, the heart of the city, Port Vila's produce market and the waterfront promenade are just a short walk away. There's also the option of hiring a sea kayak from our hotel and taking to the ocean for a true taste of the Pacific.

Day 2: Port Vila – Rentapao River

Today you will discover some of Efate’s best spots. A 25-minute scenic drive will take you to our exclusive kayak base on the Rentapao River. Experience Vanuatu’s rainforest and village life as you paddle and swim its safe waters. After a French-style lunch at the river’s edge, transfer upstream to the river cascades, a great place to swim, relax, and shake off any jet lag. You will be back at your hotel by mid-afternoon, allowing ample time to discover more of Port Vila and choose a place for your optional dinner tonight.

Day 3: Tanna

It is an early morning start today for our Air Vanuatu flight to the legendary southern island of Tanna. On arrival, it's a short transfer to your beachside bungalow, your home for the next two nights. After an included lunch, begin the first of your amazing Tanna treks. High on a ridge overlooking the coast is the world’s largest banyan tree. Your path there and loops back through scattered villages, food gardens, and rainforest – a great opportunity to meet ‘the happiest people in the world’ going about their daily lives. Trekking time may be from 1.5 to 3 hours total depending on the route taken. Arriving back at your bungalow, enjoy the sunset and maybe a cool drink, and keep an eye out for whales that cruise along the coast from July onwards.

Day 4: Tanna – Mt Yasur

Get ready for a big day today! Start with an hour's drive across the spine of the island to a John Frum ("cargo cult") village hidden in the rainforest at the foot of a smouldering volcano. Road conditions permitting, you will have a short dip in the Sulphur Bay hot springs, before travelling down to Port Resolution, named after one of Captain Cook’s ships, to discover the black sand beach and natural hot springs. Enjoy a buffet lunch in the heart of the village. Returning to the foot of the volcano, don your walking shoes again for the second of your Tanna treks, along a rutted road to the rim of the volcano (a driving option to the crater carpark is also available). Throughout the trek, you will feel the ground shaking and hear the volcano rumbling, and finally, as you arrive at the crater rim in the late afternoon, you will be amazed at the firework show that awaits. Return from the volcano in the evening for a late dinner at your beachside bungalow.

Day 5: Tanna – Port Vila

This morning you'll head into the jungle-clad hills to find a ‘kastom’ village. The community here has rejected modern life and are proud to conserve and maintain their traditional lifestyle. Your village hosts will prepare some traditional foods from the garden and share their culture with you, before the scenic drive back to the airport for an afternoon flight to Port Vila. 

Day 6: Pele & Nguna Islands

After the spectacular culture, rainforest, and volcano on Tanna, today you head to a pristine tropical island, renowned for its marine conservation area. It is a one-hour scenic drive via Efate’s west coast to the boat landing, followed by a half-hour boat ride to Pele island, arriving by mid morning. You may choose to spend the full day snorkelling in the marine conservation area. Expect lots of fish, maybe the occasional turtle, and plenty of hard corals and small canyons and crevasses to explore. If you are keen on walking, there is the option of a three-hour walk to a community conservation area at neighbouring Nguna’s smallest village – a mixture of historical relics, forest, and windswept cliffs. You will also have a chance to assist the community’s reforestation project through tree-planting. Accommodation is at a beachside bungalow on Pele hosted by the village women.

Day 7: Pele & Nguna Island – Port Vila

This morning you'll take an easy walk into one of the main villages of either Nguna or Pele, or choose to just relax or enjoy one last snorkel before heading back to Efate for lunch at a locally-owned restaurant. Savour your memories as you take in the lovely views across to the islands! You then drive back to Port Vila, but this time along the east coast road, meaning you also get to do a round-Efate tour. There are lots of roadside markets to explore and plenty of photo opportunities. Plus you will stop for a swim at one of the beaches or coves around Eton village. Arrive back at your Port Vila accommodation for your final night together in the late afternoon or early evening. Tonight there is an optional farewell dinner and fire show at Mele Beach Bar, a fantastic way to finish your Vanuatu adventure.

Day 8: Port Vila

Your Vanuatu adventure comes to an end this morning after breakfast. If you are staying longer, ask your tour leader about the optional Discovery Bushwalk tour to visit more villages and communities nearby. If you are travelling from April to June, this trip can be combined with our 5-day Vanuatu Expedition: Land Diving Festival trip - search code TESL on our website and continue your exploration of Vanuatu for a little while longer!