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Overview

In 1980 the Republic of Vanuatu was born out of the New Hebrides Condominium, a joint colony of Britain and France. Today the rich melange of Australian, French, and Melanesian influences is what makes this country so delightfully different. Aside from speaking English or French, the indigenous ni-Vanuatu may know one of the 113 indigenous languages, none with over 5,000 speakers. The national language is Bislama, a form of Pidgin English which evolved as a traders' tongue in the 19th century. The capital of this colorful country of many cultures is Port Vila on Efate Island near the center of the 83-island Vanuatu chain. Swish resorts face ...

In 1980 the Republic of Vanuatu was born out of the New Hebrides Condominium, a joint colony of Britain and France. Today the rich melange of Australian, French, and Melanesian influences is what makes this country so delightfully different. Aside from speaking English or French, the indigenous ni-Vanuatu may know one of the 113 indigenous languages, none with over 5,000 speakers. The national language is Bislama, a form of Pidgin English which evolved as a traders' tongue in the 19th century. The capital of this colorful country of many cultures is Port Vila on Efate Island near the center of the 83-island Vanuatu chain. Swish resorts face the lagoons of southern Efate, and Port Vila has amusements and sights enough to keep the visitor busy for a week. Many travelers carry on to Tanna Island in the south, with its cargo cults and active volcano, or to the scuba diving destination of Espiritu Santo in the north. That only scratches the surface of all there is to see and do in Vanuatu.

David Stanley
About the Expert

David Stanley is the author of the Moon guidebooks Fiji, Tahiti, and South Pacific. He has been writing about the Pacific since 1979.

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David Stanley for Triporati

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Facts at a Glance

  • Location: The Republic of Vanuatu is an island nation located in the South Pacific Ocean. The archipelago is east of northern Australia north-east of New Caledonia, west of Fiji, and south of the Solomon Islands.
  • Language: Bislama, English, French
  • Currency: Vanuatu Vatu
  • Research: Wikipedia | Wikitravel
  • Weather: Daylight | Rainfall
  • Current Time:

Climate

  • Best Time to Visit:

    May to October are the cooler, drier months in Vanuatu.