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Location: Port Vila

Day 1 - 24 May 2019

Port Vila International Airport (VLI)

Port Vila, Port Vila International Airport (VLI)

Content: We made it to the pristine and happy islands of Vanuatu! We flew from LA to Fiji on Fiji Airlines, and then took a one hour connecting flight to Port Villa, Vanuatu. We did have some long delays (like 13 hours ugh) in the Fiji airport, so we purchased the Fiji airlines lounge tickets ($60 each) which we was the best decision we made! Nice clean showers and amenities with hair dryer, food stocked all day both hot and cold, alcoholic drinks and very comfortable lounge chairs, tv’s, wifi, etc. Finally when we arrived, Port Villa was an easy airport to go through, only passport needed at the time in 2019. Once the Pacific Oceania opens again, this country of islands should be your number one stop for paradise! Much less commercialized than Fiji and more inexpensive. Every single person you pass on the road waves and smiles—literally have never seen so many happy and smiley people all. the. time! A lot of locals do not have cars or even shoes, and yet they are living their best lives. Many Australians come here to vacation, so people from the US do not have as much knowledge about this wonderful place. We rented a car from the airport and drove to our hotel for the evening.

Location: Port Havannah

Day 1 - 24 May 2019

The Havannah Vanuatu

Port Havannah, The Havannah Vanuatu
Port Havannah, The Havannah Vanuatu
Port Havannah, The Havannah Vanuatu

Content: We LOVED staying here! Calm waters, beautiful Villa with a pool, excellent food and hospitality, and lovely manatees swimming in the water nearby while eating breakfast.

Location: Port Havannah

Day 2 - 25 May 2019

The Havannah Vanuatu

Port Havannah, The Havannah Vanuatu
Port Havannah, The Havannah Vanuatu

Content: Woke up for an amazing breakfast (pancakes and granola were yummy) right by the ocean. The coffee here is excellent, we had A/C all night to keep us cool, and the managers of the hotel made us feel very welcome the entire time.

Location: Port Vila

Day 2 - 25 May 2019

BSP Bank

Port Vila, BSP Bank

Content: The most common currency used is Australian dollars if you don’t have the local Vat currency, so we stopped in town to exchange USD which is almost a 1:1 ratio with Vat. Very easy to drive into town, we use the Sygic app or Google maps. Just drive the speed limit, look out for pedestrians, and note that some streets are one way only. All they needed to see was the passport to exchange the money.

Location:

Day 2 - 25 May 2019

Eden on the River

, Eden on the River
, Eden on the River
, Eden on the River

Content: Wow! We followed the signs to this area where you can choose to tube or just walk to the river and swim on your own. There is a few dollar fee to park and enter, and a bit more to rent a tube. The river is so clear and pure—we couldn’t believe how beautiful and clean it was. Crisp to swim in and very calm waters. We flew the drone around to get some cool shots.

Blue Lagoon

, Blue Lagoon
, Blue Lagoon
, Blue Lagoon
, Blue Lagoon

Content: We then drove to the much anticipated Blue Lagoon! No clue how deep it is, but many locals were here enjoying picnics and watching the kids jump from a rope doing all sorts of acrobatics. There is a one time entrance fee again of a few dollars, but this is a great area to spend half a day, bring some food or grill by the picnic tables, and cool off!

Location: Port Vila

Day 2 - 25 May 2019

Port Vila

Port Vila, Port Vila
Port Vila, Port Vila

Content: We slowly made our way back to our hotel from the Blue lagoon, stopping at breath taking viewpoints, flying our drone for stunning shots, and walking around the town a little. We parked at independence park where there is free parking, and walked along the waters edge where markets, shops, and some cafes are with free wifi to grab a beer, pizza, and enjoy the views!

Location: Port Havannah

Day 2 - 25 May 2019

The Havannah Vanuatu

Port Havannah, The Havannah Vanuatu
Port Havannah, The Havannah Vanuatu
Port Havannah, The Havannah Vanuatu

Content: Back to our lovely hotel, for a free sunset cruise complimentary of our hotel, with some wine and good vibes only. There was then a barbecue on the beach, they set up a romantic table for us with candles, and live music to listen to while we enjoyed dinner!

Location: Port Havannah

Day 3 - 26 May 2019

The Havannah Vanuatu

Port Havannah, The Havannah Vanuatu
Port Havannah, The Havannah Vanuatu
Port Havannah, The Havannah Vanuatu

Content: Another blissful morning where we are waking up and pinching ourselves to make sure this is real life. Eggs Benedict and a seafood Thai omelet to enjoy while watching the shy manatees swim playfully in the water nearby.

Location: Mele Maat

Day 3 - 26 May 2019

Evergreen Cascades Waterfall

Mele Maat, Evergreen Cascades Waterfall

Content: A gorgeous waterfall to hike about 30 minutes to. You park in a parking lot and there is a few dollar entrance fee again. You walk around these beautiful botanical gardens over mini bridges, and then begin your hike. There is a medium incline, areas where tiny creeks go over the paths so you have to get your shoes wet, and muddy areas. Basically, wear good water shoes and bring towels. The waterfalls themselves are stunning and dramatic!

Location:

Day 3 - 26 May 2019

Hideaway Island

, Hideaway Island
, Hideaway Island

Content: Want to do something really unique?! Mail a postcard in the world’s only underwater post office! We parked at Mele beach, where there is a small ‘ferry’ that takes you a few minutes to Hideaway island. It’s free to ferry, but tipping is nice. Arriving at the island, it’s about $12.50 Vat a person. You can spend the day there, or even sleep at the hotel there. It’s a very small island with a volleyball net, restaurant, and some beach chairs. Getting into the water there is a lot of crushed coral mixed with the sand, so be careful. We brought our own snorkeling equipment, but you can rent there as well. We bought the underwater post cards and wrote with a special water proof pencil they had. We’re not typically post card people, but our families really thought it was cool to receive them from so far away, and we sent one to our home address to remember the moment. Surprisingly when we returned, the postcard was in pretty good shape and arrived within 2-3 weeks of sending! (We live in Texas). There’s a buoy in the water marking the mailbox, and it’s about 3 meters under the water. Not too deep, but difficult enough to swim straight down to try to slip the postcard in the tiny slot and get a decent picture while doing so lol took a few tries.

Location: Port Havannah

Day 3 - 26 May 2019

The Havannah Vanuatu

Port Havannah, The Havannah Vanuatu

Content: We drove back for one last night at our beloved hotel—relaxing and reflecting on our days of adventures in Port Vila.

Location: Port Vila

Day 4 - 27 May 2019

Port Vila International Airport (VLI)

Port Vila, Port Vila International Airport (VLI)
Port Vila, Port Vila International Airport (VLI)
Port Vila, Port Vila International Airport (VLI)
Port Vila, Port Vila International Airport (VLI)
Port Vila, Port Vila International Airport (VLI)
Port Vila, Port Vila International Airport (VLI)

Content: We dropped our rental car off at the airport and went over to the domestic side to check in for our tour with Air Taxi Vanuatu for a once in a lifetime experience! We left most of our luggage with them in a locked and secure area, as we’re only allowed to take 5kg a person in soft bags. They also weigh you on a scale as you can’t be over 130kg. This tour includes transportation, hotel stay with breakfast, entrance fees, 4x4 adventure to the jungle, guide up to the most accessible active volcano in the world, flight to Tanna island and scenic flight over the volcano, and lunch/drink when you land = $500 pp. Completely worth every penny and would do it again! We had our own personal pilot in a plane just big enough for the two of us in the back. The pilot was five stars all around with class, skill, and safety.

Location:

Day 4 - 27 May 2019

Mount Yasur

, Mount Yasur
, Mount Yasur
, Mount Yasur
, Mount Yasur
, Mount Yasur
, Mount Yasur
, Mount Yasur
, Mount Yasur
, Mount Yasur
, Mount Yasur
, Mount Yasur
, Mount Yasur

Content: When we landed, it was about another 2 hour drive to the base camp of the Mt. Yasur volcano. We were given sandwiches and drinks for the bumpy ride. Roads are practically ash from the volcano with huge potholes, so we had to go slow most the time. Watching kids run around happily, seeing villages that are governed by Chiefs, and all of the natural beauty of the lush jungles growing around and epic viewpoints over the water was amazing. We arrived with warm welcomes, and we’re presented with a dance and blessing with the locals. We then entered 4x4 vehicles to take us up and up. We stopped a couple times along the way to fly the drone and take our own pictures with the stunning volcanic fumes billowing into the air. When we finally arrived at the top, it was another 15 minutes to walk with the guides around the rim to post up and watch the sun set. Of course there are lots of safety tips given beforehand, but as long as you don’t stray on your own and stand behind the guard rails, there’s nothing to worry about (even families were there with kids). We watched the lighting in the smoke, then the sonic BOOOOM that shook you like no other, then these fantastic lava bombs and magma would shoot into the air, lighting up all sorts of colors and eerie shadows around it. Especially when it was pitch black after the sun went down, it was the best natural show we could witness. Mother Nature rules, she is wonderful and jaw dropping to experience.

Rockwater Resort

, Rockwater Resort
, Rockwater Resort
, Rockwater Resort

Content: If we had more time, we would definitely stay another night here! We arrived late back after the volcano tour to our included hotel that made of all rocks and seashells! Very unique and lush, and in the morning you can see the cliffs and water right in front of you with great diving from what we hear.

Location: Port Vila

Day 5 - 28 May 2019

Port Vila International Airport (VLI)

Port Vila, Port Vila International Airport (VLI)

Content: We had our private air taxi fly us back to Port Villa to pick up our belongings, and say goodbye to the phenomenal tour team. We then made our way to the ticket counter again for a flight with Air Vanuatu to Espiritu Santo, about an hour flight.

Location: Luganville

Day 5 - 28 May 2019

Santo-Pekoa International Airport

Luganville, Santo-Pekoa International Airport

Content: Very small airport, with baggage claim basically a small hallway with a rolling desk that they place each bag on top of. We were greeted by a taxi driver organized by our resort, who then drove us 20 minutes to a small dock where a boat (also organized by resort) picked us up for 45 minutes to our Ratua island.

Location:

Day 5 - 28 May 2019

Ratua Island Resort & Spa

, Ratua Island Resort & Spa
, Ratua Island Resort & Spa
, Ratua Island Resort & Spa
, Ratua Island Resort & Spa
, Ratua Island Resort & Spa

Content: We arrived by boat to this amazing private island resort, checked in, upgraded to a beautiful villa (we stayed in Crocodile), and learned about the Indonesian wood built resort that’s all open air and eco friendly. We bought the all inclusive food package, and were presented with yummy seafood feasts for lunch. We enjoyed the rest of our day relaxing by the ocean in the sun, settling into our amazing two building villa, and planning out our upcoming days.

Location:

Day 6 - 29 May 2019

Ratua Island Resort & Spa

, Ratua Island Resort & Spa
, Ratua Island Resort & Spa
, Ratua Island Resort & Spa
, Ratua Island Resort & Spa
, Ratua Island Resort & Spa
, Ratua Island Resort & Spa
, Ratua Island Resort & Spa
, Ratua Island Resort & Spa
, Ratua Island Resort & Spa
, Ratua Island Resort & Spa
, Ratua Island Resort & Spa

Content: The next day, we explored the rest of the island’s property and found their own private landing strip in the middle of these ginormous palm trees! We of course took our drone out and had fun with this massive area to ourselves and a fresh coconut drink we brought with us. We then decided it was time to snorkel right off of our villa dock, saw blue starfish and all sorts of sealift. We did get stuck in really shallow water over coral not paying attention to the drop in tide timings, so be aware of when those are at. Had to very carefully mini paddle back to a deeper area of water and walk all the way around back to our place which took some time. We then decided to do one of the activities available—horse back riding in water! The horses love the exercise and getting into the water. We had no saddles, so the guide showed us how to balance and careful hold the horse in certain areas while we get in and out of the water. Once in the water, you essentially float with the horse across the crystal clear waters.we ended the night with a performance by the women water dancers and a bonfire. This performer was really cool to see, where they pound and splash the water in a way to create actual rhythms and music.

Location:

Day 7 - 30 May 2019

Ratua Island Resort & Spa

, Ratua Island Resort & Spa
, Ratua Island Resort & Spa
, Ratua Island Resort & Spa
, Ratua Island Resort & Spa
, Ratua Island Resort & Spa
, Ratua Island Resort & Spa
, Ratua Island Resort & Spa
, Ratua Island Resort & Spa
, Ratua Island Resort & Spa
, Ratua Island Resort & Spa
, Ratua Island Resort & Spa
, Ratua Island Resort & Spa
, Ratua Island Resort & Spa
, Ratua Island Resort & Spa
, Ratua Island Resort & Spa
, Ratua Island Resort & Spa

Content: Massages today in the overwater spa! Omg..one of the best massages we’ve ever had, open air and breezy, peaceful with ocean views—pure bliss! We then rented kyaks to row over to another small island nearby to it’s blue lagoon. That evening, we went to the Fish House on the resort’s property for some local music—Johnny’s String Band! All music and high energy, and free kava to drink for everyone.

Location: Port Vila

Day 8 - 31 May 2019

Port Vila International Airport (VLI)

Port Vila, Port Vila International Airport (VLI)

Content: It was time to say goodbye to such an amazing vacation that we planned all on our own, which means it was very easy to get around. We took the boat back to Espiritu Santo airport, flew back to Port Villa airport, and boarded our international flight back to the US. Definitely a bucket list destination to put on your maps!