Snorkel, dive, dine and drink on Hideaway Island, a resort and marine sanctuary near Vanuatu’s Efate island. Enjoy some of the best diving in the South Pacific and plenty of non-diving activities as well.
You could probably swim the 300 feet (100 meters) from Efate’s Mele Beach to Hideaway Island, but it’s more convenient to take the free 5-minute ferry running regularly. Change into your swimsuit and quickly be on the beach for sunbathing and snorkeling. Swim to the Underwater Post Office just offshore to send a “Wish you were here” greeting to friends back home.
Diving is a key focus on Hideaway Island. PADI-certified divemasters host three dives daily, rotating through 18 sites along the island, from shore dives and caves to 90-foot (30-meter) walls. Join night dives three evenings weekly. Take instruction at varied levels, including night, wreck and photography specialties. The resort has updated rental gear, wetsuits, waterproof 12-megabyte cameras, underwater scooters and nitrox enriched air.
Wade into water just 6 to 13 feet (2 to 4 meters) deep to feed tame fish. Snorkeling just offshore will reveal anemones, fans, sponges and thousands of fish in the clear waters over the sandy bottom of the marine sanctuary. If you’re not a swimmer, appreciate the reef’s colorful corals and marine life via a ride on the glass-bottomed boat. A catamaran sailboat, pedal boats and kayaks are available for on-the-water excitement.
On land, play beach volleyball and have lunch and post-game drinks at the beachfront restaurant. Cross to the mainland for golf at Port Vila Golf and Country Club. Visit waterfalls, blue holes, rainforests or cultural villages.
Fly to Bauerfield International Airport near Port Vila and take a 10-minute taxi ride to Mele Bay to catch the Hideaway Island ferry. The marine park is open to non-resident visitors until late afternoon. Many activities are free to guests of island accommodations. Visitors can pay fees to participate. Transportation logistics work for cruise boat passengers to visit the island too.