Did you know that Vanuatu has its own Blue Lagoon? But, unlike Iceland’s famed pool, Port Vila’s Blue Lagoon is bathed in sun and nestled in lush trees. There’s even a rope swing for jumping into it – does anything yell “tropical island holiday” more than that?!
Visiting the Blue Lagoon in Port Vila is definitely a must during your time in gorgeous Vanuatu.
There are a few different ways to get to the Blue Lagoon and make the most of it. In today’s post I’ll talk about what to expect at the Blue Lagoon, as well as practicalities about how to get there.
Let’s dive right in! (sorry!)
The Blue Lagoon in Port Vila: What is it?
The Blue Lagoon is a beautiful spot located about an hour to an hour and a half away from the capital of Port Vila. Most visitors to Vanuatu fly into Port Vila, and it’s the largest city in Vanuatu and the island of Efate.
The Blue Lagoon is definitely one of those super Instagrammable places that makes you think, “oh, no way!‘
The Lagoon itself is super beautiful. As you’d expect from its name, the lagoon is a brilliant cerulean colour. Even at its deepest point, which is about 6 metres, you can still see right to the bottom!
Because the lagoon is connected to the ocean (you can swim out to the entrance, if you can swim better than me), the water is super fresh and clean.
It’s about 30 metres by 60 metres in size, so there’s plenty of room for everyone. Even though is one of Efate’s most popular tourist attractions, it’s still not overcrowded, except maybe on cruise days.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: I just don’t understand why Vanuatu isn’t as popular as Bali. I guess I shouldn’t look a gift horse in the mouth!
So, the Lagoon is actually split into two sides, with each side being owned by different people. Don’t worry, either side has access to the whole lagoon, it’s just the land around it that is different.
I’d recommend going in the first entrance on the way from Port Vila as the facilities are a little better.
Not only is the lagoon itself very beautiful, but so is the setting. It’s on private land, so it’s very well maintained, and there are nice grassy areas for having a picnic. There are also toilets and changing rooms, which were appreciated!
There are no lockers or anything to store your things, but it seemed very safe. If in doubt, you could aways leave things with your driver/guide or in your car.
The lagoon itself is surrounded by lots of trees and bushes. It is a super pretty setting, and great for getting beautiful photos.
When I was there, there were heaps of spider webs… eeek!
One of the highlights for me was the rope swing. You can climb up onto a platform and then swing out and into the water, like something out of a nostalgic 80s movie. Despite the fact that I looked a little like a baby giraffe dangling off the swing (Instagram model, I ain’t), it was super fun.
Getting to the Blue Lagoon
There are few options for how to get to the Blue Lagoon from Port Vila. As mentioned, Port Vila is the hub for both international plane arrivals, and cruise ships visiting Efate. So it’s almost certain that’s where you’ll be coming from.
Hiring a car
Hiring a car might be a good option if you want to check out a few different places on Efate. It’s also going to be the most budget friendly way to reach the Blue Lagoon, especially if a few of you can split the costs.
The problem with hiring a car, though, is that the roads are pretty bad. Actually, “pretty” bad is quite the understatement – a favourite bumper sticker of locals warns, ”I’m not drunk, I’m avoiding potholes!’
That said, if you’re used to driving on questionable roads, then this could be a great option. There are several rental companies that operate in Vanuatu, such as the big names like Europcar and Hertz, as well as smaller operators like World Car Rentals.
My favourite thing about World Car Rentals is they rent “Mokes”, like little open-air safari jeeps. I know which car I’d be choosing to visit the Blue Lagoon!
If you just want to go to the Blue Lagoon and don’t want to drive or get a tour, then your best bet is probably going to be getting a taxi. It’s best to get your guesthouse to arrange the taxi for you so you get a fair price.
I’d also advise that you arrange a set time to get the taxi to come back and collect you, since the Blue Lagoon is a little out of the way and you’re unlikely to be able to hail a ride.
However, if you have a phone that works in Vanuatu, you can always just call. This gives you a little more flexibility with how long you stay at the Blue Lagoon.
You should expect to pay in the region of about 2000 vatu ($18 USD) for the ride each way. You might want to check with your hotel/guesthouse for the latest fair price, as it changes a little.
The other option is to hire a driver and car/van for the day, to take you around to a few different sites. There are many beautiful and interesting places to visit on Efate, and having a private drivers gives you a lot of flexibility.
Plus, your driver is probably going to be happy to have a chat with you about the sights and life in Vanuatu. People in Vanuatu are super friendly, so don’t be afraid to start a chat.
For a driver for the day, you can expect to pay in the region of about 10,000 vatu, which is about $90 USD. As you can see, it’s very reasonable, especially if you split the costs between a few people.
If you’re interested in seeing a few of the sights on offer on Efate Island, then a tour is a really good option.
My guide, Manu, was so enthusiastic about Vanuatu. Even after I badgered him with questions for about eight hours, he was still patient with me. I definitely recommend this tour if you want to see the Blue Lagoon and find out more about Vanuatu and its history.
The tour is $100 AUD per person (about $72 USD currently, thanks to the terrible exchange rate).
If you are staying in Port Vila, they come and pick you up from your accommodation, or else you can get it from the cruise ship dock as well.
The only thing about doing this tour is that the visit to the Blue Lagoon is only an hour or so. That was fine for me, but I tend to be a fan of a lightning visit to most attractions (I visited the Louvre in an hour.) Oh, and I have a bad habit of turning blue and getting mild hypothermia from swimming. So, an hour was fine for me – but may not be for you.
Which should you choose?
It’s up to you really, but if you want my advice, then I’d go with the Atmosphere Tours Round Island tour if you want to see all of Efate’s other attractions. This is also my pick if you’re a solo traveller – the Blue Lagoon is more fun with friends!
If you want to spend several hours at the Blue Lagoon, however, then I’d hire a driver. This is an especially good choice if you’ve got a group you can split costs with.
Frequently Asked Questions about the Blue Lagoon near Port Vila
Here is some more basic information you need to know about visiting the Blue Lagoon in Vanuatu.
What time is the Blue Lagoon open?
As much as I have tried, I have not been able to locate any “official” opening hours for the Blue Lagoon. In fact, I’m not sure they actually have them (this would not be unusual for laidback Vanuatu).
That said, I’ve scrolled through hundreds of Tripadvisor reviews, and I’m yet to hear of anyone going when it was closed.
I’d say any time between 10am and 4pm you’re definitely safe.
How much does it cost to enter the Blue Lagoon on Efate?
There is a 500 vatu (about $4.50 USD) entry fee to enter the Blue Lagoon, so it’s very affordable.
What should you take with you to the Blue Lagoon?
Although the lagoon itself has some basic facilities, there aren’t any shops or cafes nearby. You might find a local kava stand nearby, but I definitely don’t recommend messing with that befor you go swimming!
Here’s a list of things to take with you to the lagoon:
- Exact cash for the entry fee, as change can be a problem
- Your bathing suit – it’s a tourist place so there are really no limitations on what you can wear.
- Sunscreen (don’t want to come out of the Blue Lagoon looking like a red lobster)
- Insect repellant
- Lunch for a gorgeous picnic – I recommend tropical fruit!
- Optional: Go Pro, Snorkel
Final Thoughts on Efate’s Blue Lagoon
I had the time of my life on Vanuatu’s Efate Island, and I definitely recommend making a visit to the Blue Lagoon near Port Vila. It’s such a beautiful spot, and the rope swing really makes you feel like a kid again (no matter how ungraceful you are!)