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Vanuatu is a country composed of more than 80 islands of various sizes and shapes, 60 of them being inhabited. The official language is Bislama, a sort of pidgin English and everybody speaks it. Because it is so similar to English, it is not very hard to communicate in English and many people speak it. Other than that, Vanuatu has been a French colony and you will be surprised to find from time to time someone that studied in a French school and who will enjoy sharing a few words with you. As well, there are about 120 different languages in all Vanuatu (real languages, not only variations), so people often speak their dialect between them. 250 000 people live in this peaceful country, 50 000 living in the capital city Port Vila on the Island of Efate. Every island has a different name, the main ones being Efate, Malakula, Pentecost, Espiritu Santo, Erromango, Ambrym, Tanna and Epi. You will not find big cities in Vanuatu, only the capital Port Vila and Luganville on Espiritu Santo.

Although very poor, ni-Vanuatu or ni-Vanu (inhabitants of Vanuatu, literally "of Vanuatu") are considered as being one the happiest population of the world. Except in the capital island and on Espiritu, electricity is rare. Some richer persons of the villages, usually the chief or the shop owner, own a generator or have solar panels to make a few light globes work some hours at nightfall. Otherwise people use electric torches to move around in the village. So don't come to Vanuatu without an electric torch ha ha!!

Located not far from the Equator level, day starts at 6am and night falls at 6pm, no matter what time of the year. Because of the lack of electricity and the short days, people live with the sun and go to bed to what can seem early for Westeners (rarely more than 10-11pm). Climate is almost always nice, some periods a bit more rainy than others but nothing crazy. This changes of course from the most Northern island to the most Southern. In Vanuatu, there is nothing to be afraid of: no snakes, no dangerous spiders, no weird animals, no dangerous people and no sharks (or very rarely). Only birds and some lizards before White man arrived with cows, dogs, cats, pigs and chicken.

All information below has to be taken with a large range of appreciation, as every island is very different mainly depending on the amount of tourist that visits it. Infrastructure, frequency of the boats and flights, access to internet and electricity, etc.


Find info on hitchhiking at Hitchwiki.

In between the islands: Vanuatu is composed of islands, so there is as you might guess, water in between. There are thus only two ways to travel from the one to the other: by boat (ferries and hitching private sailing boats) or flying. It can be a nice idea to combine all these options, otherwise you can be stuck for a while on one island

Flying: it is very expensive, but flights are quite regular and fast. Well, fast like small planes are, but speed doesn't matter because on Vanuatu you live on island time, so veryy sloowlyyy. From an island to the other, you will pay between 50$ and up to 200$ easily one way. It can be an experience though, because these are very small planes (few dozens of people), landing on what is supposed to be a takeoff ramp, people carrying machetes in the plane, etc. If you want to visit several islands, as a cheap traveler your budget will explode pretty fast

Ferries: Ferries are cheaper (maybe half the price?), but they can be less reliable as they might not leave on the scheduled date depending on the weather. They are less regular and much slower than the flights, sometimes once a week (and it will take you several hours, maybe a day to reach your island as the ferry stops on all the islands in between to make people go out and come in). But they are a lot of fun to go on, people sleeping everywhere, and usually not many tourists on it!

Boat-hitchhiking: A great way of moving through Vanuatu. As quite a lot of these private sailing boats are moving through the different islands, from Vanuatu but from all the rest of the Pacific as well, you might want to try to ask the owners if they can give you a lift to the next island they are going on. It might not be the island you wanted to visit, but oh well?! If possible, you can try to ask a local if they have a kayak or a traditionnal wooden kayak and then go from boat to boat. And don't forget to bring the kayak back ;)

On the islands: Lot of the islands are small and thus walkable. Many of the islands have no concrete roads, just dirt roads. You will be in the middle of nowhere, you can have a swimm whenever you feel like it, sometimes passing by a small village. Be careful not to get lost in the forest, even though you will not struggle to find coconuts and fruits growing everywhere. Usually on the small islands, there are not more than 2 or 3 cars, used only to transport people or material, kind of buses, and they might want you to pay like everybody else. You can always negociate, it is up to you to see if the reward is worth the effort. On the bigger and more touristic islands, with concrete roads, you can hitchhike as there are quite a few tourists. The local cars are very often some kind of common buses, but you might get lucky as ni-Vanu are very nice people

(How to get to Vanuatu by flight: There are two airports, Port Vila and Luganville. Check both of them as the price can nicely vary between them. Luganville can be a better choice if the prices are similar as there are a bit more stuff to see on the island Espiritu Santo)


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Find info on hosp ex at Couchwiki.

Here again, Vanuatu has two different aspects between Port Vila and Luganville as with the rest of the country. See the Port Vila article for more infos

In the big cities: you will find some hostels, or people hosting tourists

Meet fellow travellers on hospitality exchange networks: Trustroots


Find info on dumpster diving at Trashwiki.
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Ha ha.... On the main islands and in the capital, yes there are some internet cafés, or cafés with free Wifi. Other than that, forget about your internet updates. The government tries to put some satelites to get internet in the schools, but I would'nt count on it... But they have a pretty nice phone coverage, some with internet included. You might wantto check this out if you can't live without updating your pictures every second day

To charge batteries: on a lot of the small islands, there is not electricity except for some houses, for the shop or at the school for example. Go and ask the locals where to charge your electronics. They might charge you a bit for that as they need to run a generator, which is pretty fair


No idea! But I don't think that it can work anywhere else than Port Vila or Luganville thanks to the tourists' wallets.


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