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Away from the packaged day tours and commercial resorts, this unpolished jewel of the South Pacific islands is an ideal adventure travel destination.
(top) A principal botanical curiosity of Vanuatu is giant banyan trees (nabangas), which often dominate village meeting or dancing places (nasaras), especially on Tanna.
The glamorous duty-free shops, casinos, hotels, resorts, and gourmet restaurants of the cosmopolitan capital, Port Vila on Efate Island, contrast sharply with unchanging, traditional villages just over the horizon.
You'll be moved and touched by the friendliness, warmth, and sincerity of the ni-Vanuatu.
Also unique is a prehistoric giant tree fern called namwele, which has great cultural significance and is used in many of the large carvings sold in Port Vila.
Vanuatu's colorful reefs hold its greatest store of life, including potentially dangerous tiger sharks in some areas (especially the corridor between Ambrym and eastern Malekula).