Vanuatu is a wonderful destination for kids – who will be cherish by the locals and have countless activities to undertake across the islands. Vanuatu is home to isolated natural beaches, world-class underwater explorations, impressive natural phenomena, and unique cultural experiences. There are contrasts between the resorts and upbeat rhythm of Port Vila to the traditional untouched village life of the more remote islands. Now is the perfect time to visit Vanuatu – less crowded and tourist-heavy than many other Pacific destinations – the islands abound with unblemished beauty and ingenuity.
The liveliest town in Vanuatu, Port Vila is full of interesting tours and adventure activities. The town is upbeat and features markets, restaurants, resorts and many activities to entertain all ages. Great sites include the Mele Cascades, natural pools and waterfalls, Ekasup Cultural Village, and the National Museum of Vanuatu featuring traditional culture.
This beautiful island is home to undisturbed natural landscapes and phenomena – secluded beaches, rainforest and hot springs; marine and wildlife sanctuaries run by local chiefs and traditional village life. A top feature is the captivating active volcano, Mt Yasur. The volcano is best explored with a guide, but you can also walk (about 45 minutes) or join a group vehicle travelling to the site.
Luganville is a great base for taking adventure activities across the island Santo – particularly diving and snorkelling. The East Coast Road, linking Luganville and Port Olry is an idyllic road trip – great for a day trip or spending a couple days staying at the secluded family-friendly beaches across the coast. Be sure to stop at Oyster Island for its welcoming family vibe and Champagne Beach for its turquoise waters and impromptu souvenir markets.
The best time to visit Vanuatu is between April and October. The tropical climate means beautiful beaches, landscapes and temperatures between 18 and 28 degrees throughout these months. The busiest time for tourism is late May to July, coinciding with the Australian and New Zealand school holiday. It is best to avoid these times, where possible, and visit between August and October – crowds will be lower and better deals are available on accommodation and flights.
November to March brings cyclone season – it is advised to avoid travel during this period as transport is often delayed and weather conditions can be rough and dangerous.
Children are loved in Vanuatu, are welcome everywhere and will be cherished by the locals. Port Vila is a great destination for young kids – there are plenty of activities and safe beaches to explore, as well as family-centric resorts with kid’s programs and playgrounds.
Boat: Passenger boats run between most islands. There are two main companies, Big Sista and Vanuatu Ferry, which run between destinations weekly. Children travel for half price with company Big Sista.
Bus: Minibuses operate in Port Vila, Luganville and Malekula. These operate in a communal taxi-fashion, picking up passengers and travelling directly to their destinations.
Taxi: Taxis in Port Vila and Luganville are usually sedans and on all other islands and areas, are 4WD trucks with open-air trays on the back. Fares are dependent on distance and road conditions. It’s recommended to ask for the approximate fare to a destination before setting off. Fares are usually reasonably cheap, but when crowds from cruise-ships are in port, prices can hike up to 2 or 3 times the regular fare.
Car: Small cars and 4WDs are available for hire in Port Vila and Luganville, and are inexpensive. Insurance is added to the cost of hire for a small extra fee. Maximum speed limit does not exceed 50km/h.
Pack your snorkels and tick off the top 15 tropical destinations for families around the world. Check out our sightseeing and accommodation tips.
Romantic beaches, heritage and culture, world-class snorkelling, amazing natural wonders – the South Pacific has it all.
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