Arriving at Port Vila, Vanuatu. Cruise ships dock at Port Vila’s commercial pier, on Wharf Road, about three kilometres southwest away from the center of town. To get into Port Vila you can either take a locally-operated shuttle van or hire a taxi. Some people in good shape may opt to walk it.
Printable map to take along.
Watch a destination video.
Vanuatu (previously known as the New Hebrides Islands) is an archipelago nation consisting of 83 islands in the southwest Pacific Ocean, north of New Zealand and east of Australia.
Port-Vila is the capital of Vanuatu. It is located on the island of Efate in the province of Shefa.
Free of skyscraper office blocks, Port Vila is set within a magnificent natural harbor. It is a charming potpourri of cultures, blending elements of Melanesian, English, French and Chinese tastes. Its Cultural Center has one of the most extensive Pacific artifact collections in the world.
There are also plenty of opportunities for active visitors, especially those interested in watersports.
This is a colorful, cosmopolitan port with fine restaurants, duty free shopping, diving, fishing, eco-tours and excursions like Hideaway Island and Mele Cascades waterfall.
Taxis, mini buses, private buses and rental cars are available for getting around Port Vila. It also an easy place to tour around on foot.
In a jaded world such as we live in, Ekasup Cultural Village is a breath of fresh air.
It pays to compare your cruise line tours here.
Although it costs roughly $10 US, the trip to the waterfall is a must do if you're in Port Vila. The 15-20 minute hike through the lush green trails is not too strenuous. Be ready to get your feet wet and you must walk across a few wet spots to find the waterfall at the end. Spectacular!
Right in the middle of town are the markets. They are open every day, except on Sunday, from just after dawn until whenever they feel like packing up and going home - usually this starts happening around 3 or 3:30. The last people are gone by dusk (around 5:30 in the winter). The large, covered area of the market is dominated by food. You can get fresh fruits, veggies, seafood, laplap (a common food made from grated yams, bananas, taro, manioc, or kusava and covered in coconut milk -- sometimes with extras on top like local cabbage, crab, or other seafood, then wrapped in pandana leaves and baked over hot rocks or coals). In front of and just to the side of the food stalls are clothing and crafts.
The local currency is the Vatu (VT), which is worth approximately 1 US cent or 0,7 Euro cents.
Credit and debit cards on the major networks (Cirrus, Maestro, etc) are accepted by many businesses. ATMs are available in Port Vila. AU$ also widely accepted.
Tipping is not expected in Vanuatu, nor is haggling or bargaining.
There are three official languages: English, French and Bislama.
Internet access is available from some Cafes which offer free WiFi for customers and from wireless hotspots in the downtown of Port Vila.
1 Jan New Year's Day.
21 Feb Father Lini Day.
5 Mar Custom Chief's Day.
1 May Labour Day.
24 Jul Children's Day.
30 Jul Independence Day.
15 Aug Assumption.
Oct Constitution Day.
29 Nov Unity Day.
25 Dec Christmas Day.
26 Dec Family Day.
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