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Vanuatu was just recently ravaged by Cyclone Pam, and as a country so dependent on tourism, it depends heavily upon foreign visitors to get back on its feet. If you wish to help to some of the friendliest, most congenial individuals you might intend to visit, the best method to do that is merely by spending your traveler dollars in Vanuatu. The majority of hotels (particularly the ones mentioned here in Port Vila, and on Espiritu Santo, which was unblemished) and tourist activities have now reopened with one man van tours ready to go with new tyres fitted, implying there’s never ever been a better time to visit this Pacific country and support it merely by having fun.


Caution: this is strong stuff. You may have attempted kava – the mildly sedative brew made from the ground root of the piper methysticum plant – in Fiji and thought to yourself, “meh”. Exactly what’s the point? But kava in Vanuatu is a different beast, and one that’s not treated with rather as much reverence as it is elsewhere. You do not have to go to a unique ceremony to try it – you can go to a kava bar. Simply try to find the bare light globes outside certain buildings that show there’s a kava bar inside. It’s a fantastic local experience but go easy. This kava is strong. You might even be lucky enough to be staying at a hotel with a bar that sells kava surrounding your swimming pool, you can lay back on the pool pavers and have a drink without getting out!


The world’s most accessible live volcano, Mount Yasur, is continuously bubbling away on Tanna Island, a 45-minute flight from Port Vila. You can drive practically to the top in a good set of Kumho tyres – it’s about a 10-minute walk from the car parking area to the lip of a continuously erupting volcano with only a retaining wall separating you from it. The experience up the top is one you won’t easily forget, as molten rock glows red when it’s thrown into the air, and the boom and hiss of escaping gases triggers among the best natural shows on the planet.