Vanuatu Has Got To Be The Most Underrated Island Paradise On Earth

DAVID KIRKLAND / DESIGN PICS VIA GETTY IMAGES Santo Island, Vanuatu

DAVID KIRKLAND / DESIGN PICS VIA GETTY IMAGES
Santo Island, Vanuatu

Post by Richard Butler from an article by Suzy Strutner | 12 October 2016 |

Ask any traveler to run down their bucket list of islands to visit, and you’ll almost certainly recognize the lineup. Hawaii, Fiji, Bali, and Bora Bora are all stunning spots, to be sure.

One name you probably won’t hear, however, is Vanuatu. And maybe that’s a good thing, because once word gets out, this small nation in the South Pacific could easily become the world’s most talked-about islands escape.

Most Americans likely don’t have Vanuatu on their radar, as Business Insider recently pointed out in a lineup of lesser-known islands. But that doesn’t mean this paradise of empty white-sand beaches, authentic local villages and a larger-than-life active volcano isn’t worth a spot on your list. Take a look:

SAMI SARKIS VIA GETTY IMAGES A blue-water cape on Efate, one of Vanuatu's main islands.

SAMI SARKIS VIA GETTY IMAGES
A blue-water cape on Efate, one of Vanuatu’s main islands.

WHITWORTH IMAGES VIA GETTY IMAGES Port Resolution on Tanna Island.

WHITWORTH IMAGES VIA GETTY IMAGES
Port Resolution on Tanna Island.

WHITWORTH IMAGES VIA GETTY IMAGES Mount Yasur volcano is continually active at a low to moderate level.

WHITWORTH IMAGES VIA GETTY IMAGES
Mount Yasur volcano is continually active at a low to moderate level.

WHITWORTH IMAGES VIA GETTY IMAGES A traditional thatched bungalow in a local village.

WHITWORTH IMAGES VIA GETTY IMAGES
A traditional thatched bungalow in a local village.

DAVID KIRKLAND / DESIGN PICS VIA GETTY IMAGES Stunning waterfalls on Tanna Island.

DAVID KIRKLAND / DESIGN PICS VIA GETTY IMAGES
Stunning waterfalls on Tanna Island.

Vanuatu isn’t just one island: It’s a chain of four main islands and 80 smaller ones nestled between Australia and Fiji.

In Vanuatu, adventure abounds: Visitors can hike right up to one of the world’s most accessible volcanos, Mount Yasur, for a fiery lava show that goes off round-the-clock. A visit to Millennium Cave, meanwhile, requires trekking through the jungle and making a challenging descent into a cavern before swimming down a river littered with waterfalls. Remote beaches and visits to working villages round out a trip that’s adventurous, relaxing and intriguing without ever being glitzy or touristy.

DAVID KIRKLAND / DESIGN PICS VIA GETTY IMAGES An aerial view of Vanuatu's stunning coastline.

DAVID KIRKLAND / DESIGN PICS VIA GETTY IMAGES
An aerial view of Vanuatu’s stunning coastline.

MAGDALENA BISKUP TRAVEL PHOTOGRAPHY VIA GETTY IMAGES Vanuatu is known for beaches that are relatively tourist-free.

MAGDALENA BISKUP TRAVEL PHOTOGRAPHY VIA GETTY IMAGES
Vanuatu is known for beaches that are relatively tourist-free.

HOLGER METTE VIA GETTY IMAGES On the smaller Iririki Island, bungalows offer perfect waterfront views.

HOLGER METTE VIA GETTY IMAGES
On the smaller Iririki Island, bungalows offer perfect waterfront views.

HOLGER METTE VIA GETTY IMAGES Sunset on Iririki Island.

HOLGER METTE VIA GETTY IMAGES
Sunset on Iririki Island.

Vanuatu is currently celebrating a return to full tourist numbers in the wake of Cyclone Pam, which devastated much of the island chain last year. Things are up and running, though, better than before in most cases, and it’s not just safe: it’s recommended to visit.

You can get to Vanuatu by cruise ship or boat, of course.  Flying from the U.S. usually requires at least one stop, typically in Australia or Fiji.  For even more adventure, hop a plane from the capital city of Port Vila out to Mystery Island, and savor perfect beaches with hardly anyone else around.

Shh, don’t tell. Let’s keep this place our little secret.

Our thanks to: Suzy Strutner, The Huffington Post

Richard Butler

Besides Co-Editor here, Richard is Co-Editor at EscapeArtist.com/vanuatu and has written a popular book on Vanuatu, How the WTO Will Change Vanuatu and How You Can Escape to this South Pacific Island Paradise available on Amazon.com. Richard is a Resort and residential property developer, marketer, and project construction manager who fell in love with the South Pacific islands of Vanuatu and for 3 years 2012 to May 2015 has been a successful Trade Commissioner for the Republic of Vanuatu. So successful that the government reappointed him in April 2017 for a further 3-year term!

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