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“Day Trip from Cruise Ships”

Hideaway Island Marine Reserve
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Half-Day North Efate Snorkeling Adventure from Port Vila
Ranked #2 of 59 things to do in Port Vila
Certificate of Excellence
Attraction details
Reviewed February 18, 2013

You needn't pay a lot for a day trip from the cruise ships which anchor in Port Vila.
There are dozens of taxi drivers clamoring for your custom.

I only wanted a trip to Hideaway Island to go snorkelling. The fare quoted started at $80 to take me, wait until I finished, and returned. When I said "too expensive", this was reduced to $60, and after I stated that I only wanted to be dropped off at the pier to catch the ferry, the fare was subsequently reduced to $10 each way.

The short ferry trip to the island is free, but you have to pay $10 on arrival at the resort.
The changing facilities are limited and not that clean, but adequqate.
Walking on the coral beach can be painful, so take slip on shoes.
The coral isn't very colourful, but there are masses of fish of all colours.

A pleasant relaxing day.

7  Thank Ken1939
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,202 - 1,206 of 1,573 reviews

Reviewed January 28, 2013

This is a nice snorkelling place that's easy to get to from Port Vila, just take a bus! We went after 4pm to get in free, spent a little time snorkelling which was all we needed, then easily hailed a bus home. We found much better snorkelling at Hat Island and the surrounding area, but had to take a cruise to get there.

2  Thank Ginevera
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 25, 2013

This is a full day trip. We hired a driver at the port, where our cruise ship docked. There were 5 of us and we were charged $100 all together, this was for the whole day. Our driver, Edmund, took us from the port to Mele Cascades, The Secret Garden, the jetty to catch the boat to Hideaway Island and then to his village where we met so many beautiful people.
I recommend hiring a driver at the port and getting him to take you to:

Mele Cascades- 1 1/2-2hrs for the walk to the waterfalls and a swim. $25 entry fee.

Secret Garden- 2 minutes from the cascades- they put on a show for tourists and you can walk around. They have animals locked in cages and we saw dogs that were starving. It was horrible. Entry $10

Hideaway Island- Hideaway Island costs $10 p/p. You can hire snorkeling gear and get food and drinks or take your own. If you have reef shoes or shoes that can get wet, take them as walking on the coral to the water is painful! I cut my toes on the coral in the water and had to go to the dive shop and get them sprayed as it is easy to get an infection from the bacteria- this I was unaware of until another tourist there told me! We barely spent 2 hrs here as we were on a schedule and still had some other things to do but it was enough time to snorkel and get food. When Edmund dropped us off we agreed on the time for us to meet him and he was there when we got back. The boat from the main island to Hideaway takes just a couple of minutes and goes back and forth all day. It took about 20mins drive from the cruise port to the jetty. There are plenty of market stalls at the port that are open all day- we hadn't been told this. Plus there are plenty of drivers. If you can get a group together it works out cheaper. Our driver originally wanted $200 for the day. He did a great job and we did give extra at the end.

Enimah village- Edmunds traditional village. The drive to the village was past the airport along several dirt and very bumpy roads. We were told that the road was getting resurfaced soon. The village was the highlight of our whole trip. Some of the children met us where we were dropped off and walked us to their village. They told us about the plants, way of life and we sampled some of their food and kava. When we arrived the chiefs greeted us and the women and men performed some traditional dances for us. We were then asked to join in and it was an amazing experience.
When we got dropped off we paid $10 each and then made the personal choice to each donate money at the end. They were all so kind and generous and so very happy.

We made the mistake of getting dropped off in the main area of town and thinking we could walk back- it is too far. Lucky there was a bus for hire and we were charged $10 to take us to the port.

4  Thank Jolene W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 24, 2013

It was a lovely place. We had a wonderful day there snorkeling and posted some postcards on the underwater post office..
At $10 AUD per person just to be on the island is a bit rich though. But it seems the norm on Vanuatu you are charged to use or go to anyplace.

Thank chuxtc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 24, 2013

We stopped off during a cruise. We enjoyed the snorkelling around the island, there were clearly some very habituated fish who will swim right up to you, So if you like that, then this is a good thing. We found the service and food to be good, but I think because of some storm activity, the reef and underwater post office and post box was looking a bit worse for wear.....

1  Thank James H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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