South Pacific Series - #4 Efate, Vanuatu (Waterfall & Turtles)

Dec 22 (Thur) Vanuatu, Day 3 – Waterfall and Sea turtles  

Atmosphere Tours
$7,000 VT per person
8:30am - 1:30pm

7:30am, the sun is shining bright into the room already. We gave atmosphere tours a ring around 8am again, and they picked us up at 8:45am for another private tour. This time it’s just half a day since the next day’s flight is at 6:30am. Driver’s name is Moses, and tour guide is Steve. We met Steve already on day 1 since he was also taking another group (full of Chinese) on the round island tour. He talked briefly about the sports here and women’s rights. It’s incredible that on this small island, most people speak decent English and French, they are also very aware of things going on in other countries and are very progressive with their thoughts about society. (Unlike some larger countries, where people only know about their standard of life, and their way of doing things.)

On today’s agenda, there is just 2 items: a waterfall and a turtle sanctuary.

We head Southeast ish, same route near the local village we drove to on Day 1. The waterfall is located on the Rarru Rantapau river which flows North to South into the Pacific ocean. After around a 10 minute walk along the riverside, we reach to a small cascade. The water was clear and you could see many fishes swimming in the stream. The guide threw some bread and immediately the fish were jumping to catch a bite of the bread. Near the cascade you could get into the water to swim. There were just 4 other people but they soon got out. We had the whole cascade to ourselves for a good 15 minutes till the next group arrived. The water was cool, and I swam over to the cascades with a floaty. You can sit on one of the flat surfaces where the water flows down into the stream. Near the cascade, there are some taller rocks in the water, but for the most part it was very deep, so deep I couldn’t see the bottom. Back at the entrance, we were given some fresh fruits, and then we are back on the road to the next stop.  


We head just 5 minutes further Southeast to Naiwe beach. There was a turtle sanctuary with about 7 small turtles and 7 big turtles. They also had some tropical fish, stingrays, and starfishes. As the cruise ship docked yesterday, there was a big flock of tourists, and they just kept coming by the van. The baby turtles were kept in a sheltered shallow area walled up by stone, and the adult turtles were in a large pool of sea water nearby. You could get some papaya to feed the turtles so they’d come to you. But I do wonder about the health of the animals here. People could jump freely into the water, meaning that sunscreen and all kinds of chemicals are being mixed in. I hope there’s some kind of regulations, I wouldn’t want these poor turtles to live uncomfortably.

After a short feeding session, it’s time to feed ourselves! There was a BBQ kitchen outside with some salad, potatoes, chicken, sausage, and pork chops. Another lunch served facing a blue lagoon and aqua colored ocean. No matter where you go in Vanuatu, it always looks like a perfect paradise off a wallpaper or screensaver. I dipped into the water after lunch, and the current coming into the lagoon is so strong that even if I kept swimming towards the sea, I stay in one place.


This is the 3rd day in a row where I’m under the direct sun for a long period of time, and my back was getting pretty burned. We finished our half day trip and headed back to the hotel to cool down. As the sun was setting over the bay area, I sat on my balcony and edited the first vlog in Fiji Islands. Tomorrow, I’ll have to get up around 4:30am to catch an early flight to New Caledonia, so after an early dinner and packing up, it’s time to rest up.

Vanuatu has been really amazing. Efate island offers almost everything you can experience on an island. In a single day you drive by mountains, beautiful beaches, blue lagoons, coral snorkeling, and you experience the local culture in the various villages throughout the island. It is still not very touristic, so you get the most raw and original form of local island life. Although it doesn’t have high end luxury beach resorts like Fiji’s Denarau island, if you’re looking to get the most authentic experiences of the South Pacific islands, I would highly recommend stopping by at Port Vila (Efate Island), Vanuatu.

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