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Best snorkeling in Port Vila

Melbourne, Australia
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Best snorkeling in Port Vila

Hi, we are headed to Port Vila in December on a cruise with three small children and would like some help in finding the best beach and snorkeling which would be easy to get to from the wharf or the town.

Thanks for your help

Hobart, Australia
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for Vanuatu
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1. Re: Best snorkeling in Port Vila

I would suggest Hideaway Island - but it will be full of your fellow cruise ship passengers! Don't book through the cruise shop though – you can save a fortune by doing it yourself with a local Bus Driver. Look for a minivan with a B on it.

Another idea would be to go to Paradise Cove - as long as you purchase lunch there they are happy to share their beach - not white sand but a lovely area to sit and the kids will love it. A bit of a bumpy ride but that is part of the adventure. Be sure to give yourself enough time to get back through – as it is not a huge through fare for buses – perhaps organise with the driver who drops you off to pick you up.

A final idea – go to Le lagoon resort – great pool for the kids. Again - as long as you purchase lunch there they are happy for you to sue their facilities

Regards

Suzi

Sydney
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2. Re: Best snorkeling in Port Vila

Iririki- snorkelers cove is a good place to snorkel. Lots and lots of fish. The coral isn't brilliant but the fish are. You can pay 1500 vatu per person to go over on the ferry and also have use of the pools as well.

Newcastle, Australia
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3. Re: Best snorkeling in Port Vila

Suzi, why are Le Lagon happy to for you sue their facilities? :)

Further to ladybeetles post, the vt1500 you pay to get to Iririki is for adults while kids pay only vt500. This money is then added as a credit in the restaurant at Iririki, so in effect you are pre-paying your lunch.

In additon to Snorkelers Cove on Iririki, they have a great pool which the kids will love. There is plenty of room and sun lounges to relax on. We took our 5yo son there a few weeks ago and he loved it.

This could be an all-in-one option for you and will help you avoid the overload of cruise ship passengers who will make it to Hideaway.

Brisbane, Australia
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for Vanuatu, Port Vila, Espiritu Santo
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4. Re: Best snorkeling in Port Vila

All good advice for you there. Best to pick just one spot and unwind a bit when you get there.

An interesting snorkelling spot is Crystal Blue Lagoon where you can also see coconut crabs.

It depends if you want to share your spot with fellow cruise visitors or want a quiet spot in relative seclusion. If you are happy to go with the crowd then Hideaway is the place to be.

Jen

Campbelltown...
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5. Re: Best snorkeling in Port Vila

Hey Jen

Where is crystal blue lagoon? Havent heard of it before.

Jody

Brisbane, Australia
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for Vanuatu, Port Vila, Espiritu Santo
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6. Re: Best snorkeling in Port Vila

Hi Jody,

It is a few kilometres west of Tamanu on the beach and Eratap resort, just past the old White Sands golf course, which is now a land development project. It is not a place I'd choose to stay at but it is very interesting to visit.

There is a rocky reef surrounding the beach. The rocks are split into a v shape with the wide end facing the beach. Inside this v shape is a sandy floor and a great multitude of vibrantly coloured fish, some of which have grown to an enormous size. Mostly it is the little ones that come up to you, and if you have a handful of bread (supplied by the staff) you'll be surrounded by fish within seconds. I'd recommend holding off the bread for a while because it clouds the water fairly quickly. And the fish know its coming so they'll still come looking for it.

There is an overwater cafe in the complex as well as some farmed coconut crabs. These huge beasties are a site to see. There are also some rock pools with turtles and morays, plus a few caged flying foxes and pigeons.

The beach is nice and sandy so it makes for a pleasant day trip. We walked there from Tamanu. Its a fair hike so if anyone plans to do that allow for a full day of walking, snorkelling, relaxing and walking back again. Start out along the beach and go up to the road where white sands is then continue along the road till you get to the driveway. There is a day visitor fee which includes a look at all the creatures and some bread for the fish.

Jen

Edited: 18 January 2010, 10:31
New Zealand
14 posts
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7. Re: Best snorkeling in Port Vila

you'll probably find the town a bit dirty and the accommodation not so nice.

I don't know how old are your kids, but if you have small kids, the best is Erakor island or Hideaway Island (the second one is more expensive, but the snorkel is better). Nevertheless if you have mood for an adventure I recommend you to go to North Efate, Emua village (take a bus, they will take you only 500 Vatu/person 1 way - buses have a B in front of the number. There is a marine conservation area there and the snorkel is absolutely fantastic. If you take a speed boat from the village to Pele or Nguna islands you will be even more pleased (it costs 500 Vatu/person). There, the reef starts half meter from the shore and the corals are amazing! On top of that the locals are very hospitable and the place offers a lot of privacy. The price/bungalow/night is between 1500 Vatu to 2500 Vatu/night.

Newcastle, Australia
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8. Re: Best snorkeling in Port Vila

While anfra is correct in that there are some great places in North Efate I would advise against it due to travel times...the last thing you want to do is miss the cruise ship's departure time.

Campbelltown...
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9. Re: Best snorkeling in Port Vila

Hi all

there shouldnt be a problem......the guys cruise was last december

Jody

Campbelltown...
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10. Re: Best snorkeling in Port Vila

thanks Jen

Will look out for it next time we are driving around the island. I remember a few land developments happening, we drove into one of them.

Jody