Vila is the capital of Vanuatu, an archipelago of some 83 islands in the Coral Sea. Vanuatu is a new republic, having achieved independence from France and Britain in 1988. Before then the archipelago was better known as the New Hebrides, the name given the islands by Captain Cook. Cloaked in dense rainforest, these volcanic islands were little known until World War II, when the islands of Espiritu Santo and Efate served as Allied bases. Today increasing numbers of travelers visit Vila, drawn by its easy-going charm, superb white-sand beaches and pristine rainforest. The islands are also renowned for their excellent dive sites and for their big game fishing.
Vanuatu's visibility on the American scene increased when the CBS television series "Survivor" filmed in the archipelago. Vanuatu is also noted among anthropologist - its island of Tanna is home to the unique "John Frum" cargo cult.
Discover the underwater delights of Vila Harbor from two perspectives when you climb aboard a glass-bottom boat adventure that introduces you to the area's coral gardens and marine creatures. Then, a guided snorkeling expedition along the reef at Iririki Island affords truly up-close-and-personal sea life views.
Come sail away with us onboard a classic 1960's yacht. Take in the breathtaking emerald waters of Iririki and Ifira Islands as you make your way towards Mele Bay. As we drop anchor at our destination, you'll come to understand why it's called Dream Cove. The bright turquoise water, colourful coral reef, and soft sandy beaches will make you question if you're even awake.
Discover Vanuatu's cultural heritage when you explore one of its most popular attractions, Ekasup Village, a traditional Melanesian compound. Travel into the rainforest and meet the locals. Watch hunters demonstrate their skill, marvel at a dance performance and listen to tales of cannibalism.
You haven't seen Vila till you've seen it from "The Barge!" This infamous open-air pontoon-style vessel provides a fun-filled, good time for the whole gang! Sip a complimentary beverage, take in views of the island's villages, rainforest and resorts, and listen to stories told by your lively captain.
Explore the waters off Vila onboard a traditional outrigger canoe. Skim over the waves and admire views of the island's coral gardens. You might even sight a dugong, the Vanuatu version of a manatee. Then, visit Ifira Island for a chance to swim or snorkel along its pristine reef.
This is an ideal orientation tour of Port Vila offering many points of scenic, cultural and historical interest. Skirt the scenic waterfront by motor coach, taking the Lini Highway into the harborside town area. Drive past the New Parliament House, local markets, the compact shopping area and the former French Quarter. View the distinctive architecture dating from the colonial era and other landmarks established by the Republic of Vanuatu. Take photos of Independence Square, the Irririki Island viewpoint and the picturesque harbor beyond. Visit a local Ni-Vanuatu village community to see how the villagers live. . Fresh seasonal fruit and a drink will be served at Mama's Market. There will also be an opportunity to shop for local craft and souvenir items.
Giddyup! Thrill to a horseback riding adventure at Club Hippique, a spectacular riding facility located on a 400-acre copra plantation. Set off on a magical ride through the rainforests. When you come to the turquoise lagoon both you and your mount can take a refreshing dip followed by refreshments!
Strap on your helmet and prepare for a thrilling, open-air dune buggy adventure! Traverse Vila's untamed wilderness, discover the bush-clad tracks of Tagabe, view the untouched natural beauty of Vanuatu and meet the friendly locals. It's a wild ride that includes photo stops and lots of mud!
Take your Port Vila adventure to new heights with this thrilling Canopy Zipline tour. Enjoy the best views in town as you fly through the lush, scenic rainforest on one of six different ziplines. Be sure to look out for the stunning hidden waterfall and other tropical treasures.
Vila is renowned for its excellent dive sites. Certified scuba divers can explore the Twin Bommies on a 45-minute dive that travels to a maximum depth of 59 feet - right where the vertical reef wall drops off into the deep. PADI-certified instructors refamiliarize divers with equipment and safety procedures before the dive.
Explore the underwater world of Konanda Reef, a magical home to corals, tropical fish and moray eels, on a beginner's scuba diving adventure. No experience is required; participants are taught the basics at Vila's PADI dive school. A guided dive introduces you to the wonders of this popular water sport.
Experience the wonders of Efate when you leave Vila behind and enjoy a narrated drive around the picturesque island. Your guide will share all the points of interest as you travel through incredibly varied scenery. Climb to the top of Klemm's Hill, over 600 feet above sea level. First stop is at Iarofa Cultural Village, where warriors in ceremonial regalia will greet you. Enjoy morning tea and watch a variety of cultural demonstrations. The highpoint of the visit is an opportunity to watch the ritual preparations required prior to performing a fire-walking rite. Then, travel to the sheltered cove of Secret Beach. You can enjoy a swim at a natural swimming hole at Eden on the River, or wander around the lush gardens. Proceed through a series of small villages to a restaurant, where fruit and dessert accompany baguette-style sandwiches. An island string band provides entertainment during lunch. Browse for souvenirs at Havannah Harbor before the conclusion of this delightful tour..
Certified divers will thrill to the underwater exploration of the famed freighter "Konanda." Severely damaged in a typhoon, "Konanda" was deliberately sunk to provide a fascinating dive site. Descend to the bottom some 85-feet below the surface and explore the vessel's cabins and holds. A perfect introduction to wreck diving.
Spend a morning or afternoon fishing around some of the untouched reefs of Efate or Mele Bay. The sea mounts off Pango Point boast fish such as Yellowfin Tuna, Marlin, Sailfish, Wahoo, Mahi Mahi and Barracuda.
Enjoy a taste of tranquillity as you encounter Vanuatu's majestic marine life on this one of a kind turtle sanctuary and snorkel experience. Sail by boat to the idyllic Tranquillity Island and get up close and personal with the island's Hawksbill turtles. Take a guided tour of the turtle sanctuary, before taking part in a short, guided nature walk across the island. Spend the afternoon at Jade Beach, where you can swim and snorkel from the shore, or hop on a tender to join in on a guided snorkel tour of the outer reef.