- One must be a fox in order to recognize traps, and a lion to frighten off wolves. Machiavelli Niccolo
Vanuatu is a Pacific island adventure far beyond any notions of cruise-ship ports and flashy resorts. Deserted beaches, ancient culture, remote and rugged islands and world-class diving are just a small part of the magnetism of this scattered 80-plus island archipelago.
Where else can you hike up a crater to stare down into a magma-filled active volcano then ashboard back down, snorkel in a blue hole and drink kava with the local village chief – all in the same day? The resorts and restaurants of Port Vila have little in common with traditional kastom (custom) village life in the outer islands, but it's contrasts like these that make Vanuatu a surprise and a challenge.
Vanuatu was slammed by Cyclone Pam in 2015, but the ni-Van people, resilient and laid-back as ever, take life in smiling strides. It takes a little time, effort and a healthy sense of adventure to truly explore Vanuatu's islands, but it's worth every bit of it.