An archipelago of smiles and warm welcomes, Vanuatu enjoys a reputation as the happiest place in the world. With an abundance of stunning isolated beaches, and endless reefs offering idyllic escape from the humdrum, it’s easy enough to understand why. Green-clad volcanoes rise from the depths of the South Pacific Ocean, creating 83 lush islands. Port Vila is the capital of this scattering of geothermal isles, where mountains brood, hot springs gurgle, and thick rainforests sway. The sounds of water rushing - as you cut through rainforest trails - offers a clue that you’re getting close to the Mele Cascades - one of Port Vila’s most dramatic and spectacular natural sights. A remarkable collection of plumes rolls through the jungle, and down into the refreshing splash pool waiting below. Jump in, to experience the cool hit of the fall’s pure waters. Offshore islands offer exemplary snorkelling opportunities, and glass-bottom boat rides give privileged windows into the swirling worlds of colour below the waves.
Explore more of the islands, to encounter traditional villages and Vanuatu island culture, or to seek out secluded beaches of crystal-clear water - where worries you didn’t even realise you had will drift away. Set on Efate Island, Port Vila is close to a selection of marvellous beaches like Eton Beach and Crystal Blue Lagoon. Visit one of the many restaurants serving food from across the globe, to try fresh Spanish mackerel and meaty chunks of seared tuna. Or the adventurous can pound through the jungle on horseback, kayak on the river, or hook fish from the island’s sparkling waters.