Mele Maat cascades at Port Vila, Vanuatu
ECLECTIC ISLAND PARADISE

Cruise to Port Vila, Vanuatu

In Port Vila, Vanuatu's energetic capital, you'll be greeted by friendly Bislama-speaking locals and street-side markets. Walk around the center of town — you'll see a touch of French influence still remains in the form of bistros and murals. Cruise to Port Vila to explore the hidden waterfalls of the Mele Cascades, tucked away in the Mele village rainforest with plenty of gently sloping hiking trails. Check out Mama's Market, the cultural hub of Vanuatu, where you can sample local bananas or shop for traditional island handicrafts. Or take the 10-minute boat ride out to Pele Island: Here, you'll find picturesque beaches shaded by palm trees overlooking turquoise waters that are prime for snorkeling.
National Language Bislama, French, English
Currency Accepted Vanuatu Vatu (VUV)

Things To Do in Port Vila

Two wooden tam tamsin from tree trunks in Port Vila, Vanuatu

One for the History Books

Two wooden tam tamsin from tree trunks in Port Vila, Vanuatu

Two wooden tam tamsin from tree trunks in Port Vila, Vanuatu

One for the History Books

The history of Port Vila alone is impressive — add that to the story of the entire South Pacific, and you've got the Vanuatu Cultural Center. It houses one of the most extensive collections of South Pacific artifacts on the planet. Outrigger canoes, photos, videos and traditional sand drawing exhibitions await.

Slippery path with guide ropes at Meele Cascades Waterfalls in Port Vila, Vanuatu

Natural Heat Remedy

Slippery path with guide ropes at Meele Cascades Waterfalls in Port Vila, Vanuatu

Slippery path with guide ropes at Meele Cascades Waterfalls in Port Vila, Vanuatu

Natural Heat Remedy

It gets pretty hot and sticky on a tropical island. Do like the locals do and cool down at the Mele Cascades Waterfall. At 150 feet high, the spray alone is refreshing. A bus ride and a brief walk up the valley gets you to this spectacular feat of nature.

The beautiful tropical Hideaway Island by Port Vila, Vanuatu
The beautiful tropical Hideaway Island by Port Vila, Vanuatu

Find the Perfect Hideaway

A quick drive and a water taxi trip will bring you to the tiny Hideaway Island. Jump right in and snorkel in crystal clear waters teeming with rainbows of fish. Jump onboard a Port Vila, Vanuatu cruise to swim to the world's only underwater post office, and post a waterproof postcard to your friends back home.

Traditional Fried Pancakes in Port Vila, Vanuatu
Traditional Fried Pancakes in Port Vila, Vanuatu

Local Cuisine

For cheap eats, go to Mama's Market, where you can sample taro root pancakes, Vanuatu French fries — delicious flakes of coconut deep fried and salted to perfection —or traditional lap lap, grated yam and banana cooked with coconut cream in an earthen oven. Or dine al fresco along the waterfront: Modern eateries serve up French-inspired takes on local fish and grass-fed beef, which is some of the world's best.

Woodem Tam-Tams spiritual totems being created in Port Vila, Vanuatu
Woodem Tam-Tams spiritual totems being created in Port Vila, Vanuatu

Shopping

Along Wharf Road in the center of town, you'll see the charming Vanuatu Handicraft Market. Here, local vendors sell authentic Vanuatu wooden carvings, as well as prints and other crafts. If you're looking for something a bit more tailored during your cruise, pop in at the nearby Pandanus shop, which supports local creators.

Insider's Tips
Insider's Tips
1 Public buses are cheaper than taxis and don't follow a set route. Just tell them where you want to go.
2 The local language is Bislama. It is loosely based on English and can be deciphered with a little effort.
3 Water taxis are a great way to get a unique view of the town without breaking the bank.

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