Efate Island and Port Vila
Efate Island is home to the Vanuatu’s capital Port Vila and Bauerfield International Airport. Pot Vila is a starting point of your Vanuatu vacation.
The island has a rugged coastline and a country side of rolling hills, fast flowing rivers, cascading waterfalls, isolated sandy bays and lagoons. The interior is verdant rain forest cut only by a few walking tracks.
There are numerous types of accommodation around Efate Island. On the upmarket side, we recommend, the Iriki Island Resort and Spa, Erakor Island Resort and Spa, the Grand Hotel and Casino, Holiday Inn Resort Vanuatu and Poppy’s on the Beach. At a more affordable level are Fatuma Lodge, Hideaway Island Resort, Moorings Hotels and the Coconut Palms Resort.
The international airport is a 10-minute drive from town and all major resorts and hotels. Port Vila, extending up the hillsides, is located around a magnificent natural harbor offering stunning views of Iririki and Ifira Islands and with a view all the way to Malapoa Point. Cruise companies offer day and overnight charters to the nearby islands of Hat, Pele, Moso, Nguna, Lelepa and Kakula Islands. Abseiling and parasailing are popular adrenalin activities. For a bit more sedate options, you can do undersea viewing on the Blue Submarine, take a sunset cruise, kayak in or do a flightsee over the harbor.
Key sites around town include the Vanuatu Cultural Centre, the general outdoor market and the Nambawan Market (by the harbor). The best days to visit are Wednesdays and Saturdays. and they are open every day but Sunday, from 05:00 until late evening. Away from town is the outdoor cultural centre and nature reserve known as the Secret Garden, the 100-foot cascades of Mele Falls and the Ekasup Cultural Village, where you can attend a “kastom” dance show and have a traditional island feast. Speaking of food, Vila is also known as the gourmet capital of the South Pacific owing to it’s French and Asian influences.
Snorkelling can be done at two fine spots just 15 minutes from Vila, namely Erakor and Hideaway Islands. They are easily reached by local bus and both resorts cater to day visitors.
The many beautiful beaches are suitable for swimming and most hotels have swimming pools. Kayaking, sailing, windsurfing and water skiing are also easily accessed. You can reach bountiful fishing grounds within one hour of town and get some serious fishing in very quickly. Full day tours usually include lunch and all the necessary equipment (with the exception of fly rods).
Night life in Vila has steadily blossomed and caters for all ages offered by the resort hotels, casinos, night clubs and pubs.