Find information, maps and high quality videos & photographs on locations in Vanuatu
Vanuatu is an archipelago made up of 83 stunning tropical islands located in the South Pacific almost 2000 kilometres east of northern Australia and west of Fiji. The archipelago is of volcanic origin and there are still around 25 active volcanoes in Vanuatu, attracting many tourists each year. Besides its seismic activity, Vanuatu is well known for its crystal clear waters, white sandy unspoilt beaches, stunning waterfalls, amazing snorkelling and dive sites, and fascinating cultural and dance festivals.
Originally only inhabited by native Melanesian people, Vanuatu was discovered by Europeans when James Cook came across it in the late 1700's, this trip was the beginning of European settlement towards the end of the century. The United Kingdom and France both claimed parts of the nation during the 1880’s before agreeing to jointly manage The New Hebrides, as Vanuatu was then known. This British-French Condominium continued until 1980 when the Republic of Vanuatu was created following a push for independence through the 1970’s.
Port Vila is the capital of Vanuatu and is located on the island of Efate, Vanuatu’s commercial and tourism hub. The country consists of six provinces or regions of islands, each region named by combining the first letters of the major islands in that group, the are: Sanma (Santo, Malo), Shefa (Shepherd group, Efate), Torba (Torres islands, Banks islands), Penama (Pentecost, Ambae, Maewo), Malampa (Malakula, Ambrym, Paama) and lastly Tafea (Tanna, Aniwa, Futuna, Erromango, Aneityum). Aside from Efate and the cosmopolitan capital of Port Vila, Vanuatu’s most visited attractions are Tanna Island with its active volcano and traditional tribal culture, and the island of Santo in the north where scuba divers flock for spectacular diving.