When the sun goes down and you've rolled up your beach towel for the day, get ready to explore a whole different side of Vanuatu. Nightlife in Vanuatu is never quite what you’d expect. There could be fire pits and drumming shows, shells of kava or just mellow sunsets accompanied by cocktails - but whatever direction your night takes, you know it's going to be a good one.
Though for someone who hasn’t been to Vanuatu before, there are a couple of things that you should experience to have an unbelievable time once the sun goes down. Have a read of our guide we’ve outlined below - if you keep these things and places in mind, you’re bound to love Vanuatu’s nightlife.
One of Port Vila's most popular after-dark hangouts, Voodoo Bar is always packed with locals and visitors alike when 11 p.m. rolls around. Located right in the heart of Port Vila, it's an easy walk back to your resort from here after a night out.
Beach Bar at Mele Beach
You can find Beach Bar a little outside of Port Vila's centre, right on the waterfront of the peaceful Mele Bay. There’s a wide range of wood-fired pizzas on offer to go along with your ice-cold beer, and with the Mele cascades and Hideaway Island close by, the Beach Bar is a great place to stop after a day of exploring. If you're passing by on a Friday, make sure you stick around for the weekly fire show!
The Banyan is a true beach bar, with sun loungers, fire pits on the sand, rustic decor and a range of tropical cocktails true to its island vibe. Relax by the water or chat to the friendly staff - however you spend your time in this bar, you'll leave feeling rejuvenated.
Lava Lounge is a laid-back watering spot perfect for enjoying a cold beverage while watching the sunset and listening to live music. For a taste of Vanuatu, check out the Kavalava cocktail. It's made with black honey, a combination of kava resin and Vanuatu honey, so it counts as a cultural experience!
Exploring the nightlife in Vanuatu might end up with you sampling kava for the first time.
Vanuatu's kava, renowned for being the strongest in the Pacific, is a traditional local drink made from the root of the kava plant. The beverage was once reserved for ceremonies, however these days more people are drinking it socially. It also used to be taboo for women to partake, but now in Port Vila it is increasingly common for women to drink kava.
Kava has a sedative effect when taken in small doses. You might notice it numbing your tongue slightly as you sip, but don't worry, there are no damaging side effects.
In Vanuatu, kava is typically served in a coconut shell. Trying kava is a unique experience, but it's not famous for its taste - some people describe it as tasting muddy, bitter or even like dishwater! No one will be offended if you take a sip of something else after drinking it to get the flavour out of your mouth.
Vanuatu is a safe place to explore most of the time - however, petty theft and assaults against foreigners have happened in the past. When heading out at night, we recommend going in groups and always have a plan in place for getting back to where you’re staying.
You don't have to dress up, but it's better to wear conservative clothing on a night out, to be respectful of local customs.
To discover Vanuatu after dark, get in touch with the holiday specialists. We will help you put together a trip that keeps the adventure going both day and night!