The island state of Vanuatu in Melanesia consists of 83 island groups and individual islands, which all lie in the South Pacific Ocean. The greatest island is Espiritu Santo. The most important one, however, is the main island of Efate with the capital of Port Vila and the international airport. Vanuatu's climate is tropical to subtropical, depending on the region. The maximum temperature is higher than 30 °C. The warmest months are those from December to February and it is much milder from May to October.
Most of Vanuatu's islands are volcanic islands. Of course, the country also offers wonderful sandy beaches, coconut palms and banana trees but life on Vanuatu is characterised by the volcanoes. Some of them are active to the present day and present spectacles of bizarre beauty. The state's highest peak - the Tabwemasana (1,879 m) on the island of Espiritu Santo - is a volcano too. Mount Yasur on Tanna Island and Lombenben on Ambae are particularly active. Visitors enjoy the Vatthe Conservation Area, Siri Waterfall and Lake Letas. With a bit of luck, travellers can swim with manatees on Epi.
99 percent of Vanuatu's inhabitants are Melanesians, which makes the islands' population very homogenous. Their languages, however, are all the more diverse. Over 100 Vanuatu languages are spoken, which means that there are more languages than islands in this country. In the course of the centuries, several groups of people have communicated using sand drawings and some of them do this to the present day. The UNESCO has declared this special form of communication a World Cultural Heritage site. Since the islands were settled by the French and British in the 19th century, French and English have become official languages. English is understood and spoken on most islands.
As in many island states, it is all about water in Vanuatu. Bathing, relaxing at the beach and doing various water sports are everyday activities here. Sailing trips around the small islands are particularly popular. Windsurfing and wreck diving are popular sports as well. If you want to see the island state from above, you should go on a helicopter flight.
Vanuatu has suffered several earthquakes in the last centuries, which were followed by devastating tsunamis. Tourists should keep this in mind when they plan their journey.