To reach Vanuatu’s waterfalls, beaches, volcanoes and other attractions, you’ll need transport. But figuring out how to get around in foreign countries is always a challenge, so to make things easier we have put together our best tips on how to circumnavigate Vanuatu’s islands with ease.
Getting around Vanuatu by bus is quick, convenient and an experience in itself.
Local privately owned minibus services are the main means of transport around Port Vila and Luganville. You’ll spot them easily – they have a red letter ‘B’ fixed to their number plates for easy identification. These buses are everywhere and to catch a ride you simply wave them down by the side of the road and hop on.
Taking a local bus gives you a taste of Vanuatu’s incredible culture. One of the quirks of this transport system is that there is no set bus route. The drop-off points are usually in the order of the people who got on, going directly to each person’s destination. Local custom dictates that the last one is the last off, so you may find yourself getting a rather cheap tour around the island.
A faster option than buses are the taxis that you will see operating around the towns of Vanuatu. They don’t have meters, but their costs for local town travel are not much more than a bus. You can check with the driver how much a trip will cost before you get in.
Small, outboard-powered dinghies make some interisland trips. On more remote islands, travelling by water is faster than by road and sometimes the only option available!
Passenger boats, Vanuatu Ferry and Big Sista, have regular services between Port Vila and Luganville, stopping at Malekula along the way. Bear in mind that the trip takes 25 hours and is subject to the whim of the seas, so if you’re in a hurry it might be best to fly!