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Erakor Island: Exploring Vanuatu By Kayak


Modified: December 27, 2023

by Ingaberg Casper



Welcome to the enchanting tropical paradise of Erakor Island, nestled in the heart of the stunning archipelago of Vanuatu. Known for its crystal-clear turquoise waters, pristine beaches, and abundant marine life, Erakor Island is a haven for adventure-seeking travelers.


Located just a short distance from the main island of Efate, Erakor Island offers a myriad of thrilling experiences, with kayaking being one of the most popular activities for visitors. Whether you’re a seasoned kayaker or a beginner looking for new adventures, Erakor Island is the perfect destination to embark on a kayak exploration.


Discover the untouched beauty of the surrounding waters as you paddle your way through hidden lagoons, explore secluded beaches, and witness breathtaking sunsets from the comfort of your kayak. Immerse yourself in the tranquil atmosphere and reconnect with nature as you navigate through the labyrinth of mangroves and coral reefs that surround the island.


But Erakor Island is not only a destination for water enthusiasts. With its rich cultural heritage, friendly locals, and delectable cuisine, Erakor Island offers a well-rounded experience for all types of travelers. From learning about traditional customs and rituals to indulging in mouthwatering local dishes, you’ll have a truly immersive cultural experience during your time on the island.


In this comprehensive guide, we will take you on a journey to Erakor Island, providing you with all the information you need to plan and enjoy an unforgettable kayak adventure. From how to get there to the best places to explore, wildlife encounters to local cuisine, and everything in between, get ready to embark on an incredible adventure that will leave you with memories to last a lifetime.


Getting to Vanuatu

Getting to Vanuatu is relatively easy, with direct flights available from various international destinations. The main airport serving Vanuatu is Bauerfield International Airport, located on the main island of Efate. Airlines such as Air Vanuatu and Virgin Australia offer regular flights to and from Vanuatu, making it accessible for travelers from around the world.


If you’re traveling from Australia or New Zealand, you can find direct flights to Vanuatu from major cities like Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Auckland, and Wellington. The flight duration from these cities is approximately 3-4 hours, making Vanuatu a convenient option for a short getaway.


For travelers from other parts of the world, connecting flights via Australia or New Zealand are available. Alternatively, you can also consider flying to major Asian cities like Hong Kong or Singapore, and then catch a connecting flight to Vanuatu.


Once you arrive at Bauerfield International Airport, you have a couple of options to reach Erakor Island. The most convenient way is to take a short domestic flight from Bauerfield Airport to Port Vila Airport, located on the nearby island of Efate. From there, it’s just a short boat ride or kayak trip to Erakor Island.


If you prefer to take a more scenic route, you can also take a taxi or a shuttle bus from Bauerfield Airport to the Port Vila Wharf, where you can catch a ferry or a water taxi to Erakor Island. The journey takes approximately 15-20 minutes, and you’ll be rewarded with stunning views of the surrounding islands and coastline along the way.


It’s important to note that Vanuatu requires visitors to have a valid passport with a minimum of six months validity from the date of entry. Some nationalities may also require a visa, so it’s advisable to check the visa requirements before traveling. Additionally, it’s always a good idea to have travel insurance to cover any unforeseen circumstances during your trip.


Now that you know how to get to Vanuatu, let’s dive into the fascinating world of Erakor Island and discover the adventures that await you in this idyllic paradise.


Overview of Erakor Island

Erakor Island is a picturesque island paradise located just off the coast of Port Vila, the capital city of Vanuatu. Known for its stunning natural beauty and serene atmosphere, the island offers a tranquil escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.


Spanning an area of approximately 60 hectares, Erakor Island is surrounded by crystal-clear turquoise waters and boasts pristine white sandy beaches that beckon visitors to relax and unwind. The island is covered with lush tropical vegetation, including palm trees, coconut groves, and colorful flowers, adding to its postcard-perfect appeal.


One of the highlights of Erakor Island is its breathtaking coral reefs, which are teeming with a vibrant array of marine life. Snorkelers and divers will be mesmerized by the kaleidoscope of colors and the abundance of marine creatures that call these reefs home.


Aside from its natural beauty, Erakor Island is also rich in cultural heritage. The island is home to a local village, where you can experience the warm hospitality and learn about the traditional customs and way of life of the Ni-Vanuatu people. Engaging in a cultural exchange with the locals is a unique opportunity to gain a deeper understanding of the island’s rich cultural heritage.


Erakor Island offers a range of activities for visitors to enjoy. Apart from kayaking, you can indulge in snorkeling, paddleboarding, or simply soak up the sun on the pristine beaches. If you’re feeling more adventurous, you can embark on a hiking expedition through the lush rainforest and discover hidden waterfalls and panoramic viewpoints.


For those seeking relaxation and rejuvenation, Erakor Island has a selection of luxurious resorts and spas that offer indulgent treatments and services. Unwind with a massage on the beach or enjoy a romantic sunset dinner overlooking the ocean.


Whether you’re a nature lover, a thrill-seeker, or simply in search of a peaceful retreat, Erakor Island caters to all preferences. Its untouched beauty, welcoming culture, and range of activities make it an ideal destination for a memorable getaway.


Now that you have an overview of Erakor Island, it’s time to prepare for your kayak adventure on the surrounding waters. Let’s delve into the next section to find out all you need to know before embarking on your exploration.


Preparing for a Kayak Adventure

Before embarking on your exhilarating kayak adventure around Erakor Island, it’s essential to make some preparations to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience. Here are some tips to help you get ready:

  1. Choose the right kayak: Selecting the right kayak is crucial for a comfortable and stable ride. Consider factors such as your skill level, the type of water you’ll be kayaking in, and the duration of your adventure. Single kayaks are ideal for solo explorations, while tandem kayaks are great for sharing the experience with a partner or friend.
  2. Adequate safety gear: Safety should be a top priority, so be sure to wear appropriate safety gear. Life jackets are essential, regardless of your swimming abilities. It’s also a good idea to have a whistle, a waterproof bag for personal belongings, and a first aid kit on hand.
  3. Plan your route: Familiarize yourself with the area and plan your kayaking route beforehand. Take note of any potential hazards, such as shallow reefs or strong currents, and ensure you have a map or a GPS device to guide you along the way.
  4. Check the weather conditions: Before setting off, check the weather forecast for the day and be mindful of any potential changes. Avoid kayaking in severe weather conditions such as strong winds, thunderstorms, or rough seas. If in doubt, it’s best to postpone your excursion for another day.
  5. Stay hydrated and protect yourself from the sun: Kayaking can be physically demanding, so remember to stay hydrated throughout your adventure. Carry plenty of water and apply sunscreen to protect your skin from the sun’s harmful rays. Wearing a hat and sunglasses is also recommended.
  6. Inform someone of your plans: Always let someone know about your kayaking plans, including your intended route and estimated time of return. This ensures that someone is aware of your whereabouts and can raise the alarm if needed.
  7. Respect the environment: Erakor Island is a pristine natural paradise, and it’s important to preserve its beauty. Avoid disturbing wildlife or damaging coral reefs while kayaking. Take only photographs and leave only footprints as you explore the surrounding waters.

By following these preparations, you’ll be well-equipped and ready to embark on a thrilling kayak adventure around Erakor Island. The next section will delve into the awe-inspiring experiences that await you as you explore the surrounding waters and encounter the diverse marine life of this stunning destination.


Exploring the Surrounding Waters

As you paddle your way around Erakor Island, you’ll be captivated by the breathtaking beauty and diversity of the surrounding waters. From hidden lagoons to picturesque beaches, there is no shortage of stunning sights to discover.


One of the must-visit spots is the Blue Lagoon, a mesmerizing natural pool nestled between the lush mangroves. Take a leisurely kayak ride through the tranquil waters and immerse yourself in the vibrant blues and greens that surround you. Relax and soak in the serenity of this hidden gem as you marvel at the beauty of nature.


Another highlight of exploring the surrounding waters is the opportunity to visit secluded beaches that are only accessible by kayak. Picture yourself gliding along the calm turquoise waters, discovering pristine sandy stretches where you can relax, picnic, or simply bask in the sun. These secluded spots offer a sense of tranquility, providing a perfect escape from the crowds.


If you’re a wildlife enthusiast, keep your eyes peeled for the various marine creatures that call these waters home. Look out for schools of colorful fish as they swim beneath your kayak, or catch a glimpse of playful dolphins as they frolic in the distance. You may even be lucky enough to spot sea turtles gracefully swimming by.


Coral reefs are abundant around Erakor Island, making it an ideal destination for snorkeling or even diving. Take a break from kayaking and don your mask and snorkel to explore the vibrant underwater world. Immerse yourself in a kaleidoscope of colors as you encounter an array of coral formations and tropical fish species.


As you navigate through the maze-like mangroves, keep an eye out for various bird species that inhabit this unique ecosystem. From colorful parrots to graceful herons, the diversity of birdlife is remarkable. Don’t forget to bring your binoculars for a closer look.


For the adventurous souls, consider extending your kayak exploration to nearby islands and islets. These picturesque destinations offer even more secluded beaches, hidden caves, and breathtaking viewpoints. It’s a chance to truly connect with nature and feel a sense of freedom as you navigate through the open waters.


The beauty of kayaking is that you have the freedom to create your own adventure. Take your time, explore at your own pace, and let the enchanting surroundings of Erakor Island unfold before your eyes as you paddle through the captivating waterways.


From hidden lagoons to secluded beaches, diverse marine life to stunning coral reefs, your kayak adventure around Erakor Island promises to be a truly unforgettable experience. The next section will delve into the encounters you may have with the local wildlife and marine creatures during your exploration.


Wildlife and Marine Life Encounters

Erakor Island and its surrounding waters are teeming with a rich diversity of wildlife and marine life, offering countless opportunities for thrilling encounters. Prepare to be amazed as you come face to face with some of nature’s most fascinating creatures.


One of the most sought-after encounters is with sea turtles. Erakor Island is a nesting ground for these magnificent creatures, and if you’re lucky, you may witness them making their way back to the sea or even catch a glimpse of the hatchlings making their first journey into the ocean. Observe their graceful movements as they glide through the water, creating memories that will last a lifetime.


As you paddle through the crystal-clear waters, you’ll likely encounter an array of colorful fish species. Look down through the kayak’s transparent bottom and be mesmerized by the kaleidoscope of colors beneath you. From striped angelfish to vibrant parrotfish, the underwater world is a true spectacle.


Keep your eyes peeled for dolphins during your kayak adventure. These intelligent and playful creatures are often sighted in the waters surrounding Erakor Island. Watch as they swim alongside your kayak, leaping and diving with grace and elegance. It’s an experience that will leave you in awe of their beauty.


The surrounding coral reefs are home to a vast variety of marine life. Look out for stunning reef fish, such as butterflyfish, triggerfish, and wrasses, as they navigate through the intricate coral formations. If you’re lucky, you may even spot the elusive clownfish peering out from their anemone homes.


For those who are passionate about marine conservation, Erakor Island’s waters offer an opportunity to contribute to ongoing research efforts. Join a guided kayaking tour that combines adventure with education, allowing you to learn about the importance of protecting the delicate marine ecosystem and providing a chance to participate in data collection initiatives.


While enjoying these wildlife and marine life encounters, it’s important to remember to respect the natural habitat and maintain a safe distance from the animals. Refrain from touching or disturbing the creatures and avoid leaving any trace of your presence behind. By observing these guidelines, you can help preserve the natural wonders for future generations to enjoy.


With the diversity of wildlife and marine life encounters awaiting you, Erakor Island provides a truly immersive experience in nature. The next section will take you on a cultural journey, exploring the unique customs and traditions of the local Ni-Vanuatu people.


Cultural Experiences on Erakor Island

Immerse yourself in the rich cultural heritage of Erakor Island and get a glimpse into the traditional customs and way of life of the Ni-Vanuatu people. Engaging in cultural experiences will not only provide a deeper understanding of the island’s history but also create meaningful connections with the local community.


One of the best ways to learn about the culture is by visiting the local village on Erakor Island. Take the opportunity to interact with the friendly locals, who are known for their warm hospitality. Engage in conversations, ask questions, and listen to stories about their customs, traditions, and daily life. This firsthand interaction will give you valuable insights into the unique cultural identity of the island.


Witnessing traditional customs and rituals is a rewarding experience during your stay on Erakor Island. The Ni-Vanuatu people take great pride in their cultural practices, and you may have the opportunity to observe events like kastom dances, which feature colorful costumes and rhythmic movements. These dances often showcase traditional stories, legends, and significant historical events.


Participate in a traditional cooking demonstration and learn how to prepare local dishes using traditional cooking methods. Discover the flavors and ingredients that define Ni-Vanuatu cuisine, which often features fresh fish, tropical fruits, root vegetables, and coconut-based dishes. Taste the unique flavors of the island and gain an appreciation for the culinary traditions of the region.


Art and handicrafts play an integral role in Ni-Vanuatu culture. Explore the local craft markets where artisans display their handmade creations, including intricately woven baskets, carvings, and traditional ornaments. Engage with the artists and learn about the significance of their craftsmanship in preserving cultural heritage.


To delve deeper into the customs and spiritual beliefs of the Ni-Vanuatu people, consider visiting a cultural center or museum on Erakor Island. These venues provide further insights into the history, art, and daily life of the island’s indigenous communities. Exhibits may include traditional artifacts, historical photographs, and informative displays.


Respect for local customs and traditions is essential during your cultural experiences on Erakor Island. It’s important to dress modestly, observe any guidelines provided, and seek permission before taking photographs, especially during sacred ceremonies or events. By embracing these cultural nuances, you will foster mutual respect and create meaningful interactions with the local community.


Engaging in cultural experiences on Erakor Island will leave you with a greater appreciation for the rich heritage of the Ni-Vanuatu people. The next section will take you on a culinary journey, exploring the tantalizing local cuisine and dining options available on the island.


Local Cuisine and Dining Options

Erakor Island offers a delightful culinary journey, allowing you to savor the flavors of Ni-Vanuatu cuisine and indulge in the freshest local ingredients. From traditional dishes to international fare, you’ll find a range of dining options to satisfy your taste buds.


Start your culinary adventure by sampling the local delicacies that showcase the unique flavors of Vanuatu. Fresh seafood takes center stage, with dishes such as bougna, a traditional Melanesian dish consisting of fish, meat, or chicken wrapped in banana leaves and cooked in an earth oven. The result is tender, flavorful meat infused with aromatic spices.


Another must-try dish is lap lap, a staple in Ni-Vanuatu cuisine. Lap lap is made from grated root vegetables, such as taro, yam, or manioc, mixed with coconut milk and wrapped in banana leaves before being cooked over hot stones. The result is a rich, starchy dish that pairs perfectly with local grilled fish or meat.


While exploring Erakor Island, make sure to visit local restaurants and cafes that offer a fusion of traditional and international flavors. From beachfront dining to intimate garden settings, you’ll have plenty of options to choose from.


Indulge in fresh seafood platters, featuring succulent prawns, grilled fish, and crab, served with locally grown vegetables and aromatic sauces. Pair your meal with a refreshing tropical fruit cocktail or sip on Vanuatu’s famous kava, a traditional drink made from the roots of the yaqona plant.


For a taste of international cuisine, you’ll find restaurants and resorts that offer diverse menus inspired by flavors from around the world. From Asian fusion to European-inspired dishes, there’s something for every palate. Enjoy a romantic candlelit dinner on the beach or dine in a picturesque setting overlooking the ocean.


For a unique dining experience, consider booking a table at one of the island’s private dining venues, where a personal chef will prepare a gourmet meal tailored to your preferences. Savor the culinary delights while surrounded by the natural beauty of Erakor Island, creating a truly memorable dining experience.


Don’t miss the chance to visit local markets and food stalls, where you can sample street food and homemade snacks. Taste freshly baked coconut bread, try seasonal fruits like mangoes and papayas, or savor local snacks like island-style doughnuts known as “nawas” or “mandarins.”


Whether you choose to dine in a restaurant, indulge in gourmet private dining, or explore the local street food scene, Erakor Island offers a wide range of culinary delights that will tantalize your taste buds and leave you craving for more.


As your culinary journey on Erakor Island comes to an end, it’s time to explore the accommodation options and facilities available on the island to ensure a comfortable and memorable stay. The next section will guide you through these aspects, helping you plan your perfect getaway.


Accommodation and Facilities on Erakor Island

Erakor Island offers a range of accommodation options that cater to different preferences and budgets, ensuring a comfortable and memorable stay for every visitor. From luxurious resorts to cozy bungalows, you’ll find the perfect place to call home during your time on the island.


Luxury resorts on Erakor Island offer world-class amenities and breathtaking views. Imagine waking up to the sound of crashing waves and stepping onto your private balcony to admire the panoramic ocean vistas. These resorts often feature spacious rooms and suites, infinity pools, spa facilities, and renowned restaurants offering a plethora of dining options.


If you’re seeking a more intimate and rustic experience, consider staying in one of the island’s cozy bungalows or beachfront cottages. These accommodations blend seamlessly with the natural surroundings, providing a tranquil escape from the outside world. Wake up to the gentle sway of palm trees and the soothing sounds of the ocean just steps away.


Erakor Island also offers camping and glamping options for travelers who prefer a closer connection with nature. Set up your tent or book a pre-pitched luxury tent, complete with comfortable bedding and basic amenities. Camping on the island allows you to fully immerse yourself in the island’s natural beauty, with star-filled skies and the soothing sounds of the ocean as your backdrop.


When it comes to facilities, many accommodations on Erakor Island offer a wide range of amenities to ensure a comfortable stay. Enjoy swimming pools, private beaches, sun loungers, and water sports equipment for your enjoyment. Some resorts also offer spa services and fitness facilities, allowing you to relax and stay active during your stay.


Many accommodations on Erakor Island also offer dining options, ranging from casual beachfront cafes to fine-dining restaurants. Indulge in delicious cuisine prepared with fresh local ingredients and enjoy exquisite views as you savor your meals. Don’t forget to try the signature cocktails and local specialties offered at the resort bars.


In terms of transportation, most accommodations on Erakor Island provide convenient shuttle services or boat transfers to and from the main island of Efate. This ensures easy access to the various activities and attractions in the area, as well as the vibrant city of Port Vila.


Whether you seek ultimate luxury, charming bungalows, or a unique camping experience, Erakor Island offers a range of accommodation options to suit every traveler’s needs and preferences. Take your time and choose the perfect place to stay, ensuring a comfortable and unforgettable retreat on this tropical paradise.


With accommodation and facilities covered, it’s important to prioritize safety during your kayak adventure on Erakor Island. The next section will provide safety tips and recommendations to ensure a secure and enjoyable experience.


Safety Tips and Recommendations

Exploring Erakor Island by kayak can be an exhilarating and memorable experience, but it’s important to prioritize safety to ensure a secure and enjoyable adventure. Here are some essential safety tips and recommendations to keep in mind:

  1. Wear a life jacket: Always wear a properly fitted and secure life jacket while kayaking. This is essential for your safety, regardless of your swimming abilities.
  2. Check weather conditions: Before heading out, check the weather forecast and tides to ensure safe kayaking conditions. Avoid kayaking in strong winds, thunderstorms, or rough seas.
  3. Know your limits: Be honest about your kayaking skills and abilities. Stick to routes that match your experience level and gradually challenge yourself as you become more confident on the water.
  4. Inform someone of your plans: Let someone know about your kayaking plans, including your route and estimated time of return. This ensures that someone is aware of your whereabouts and can raise the alarm if needed.
  5. Stay hydrated and protected from the sun: Bring plenty of water to stay hydrated during your kayaking adventure. Apply sunscreen to protect your skin from harmful UV rays and wear a hat and sunglasses for added sun protection.
  6. Keep a safe distance from wildlife: While encountering marine life can be thrilling, remember to maintain a respectful distance to avoid disturbing or endangering the animals. Avoid touching or feeding wildlife to protect their natural behavior.
  7. Be aware of your surroundings: Pay attention to your surroundings, including potential hazards such as shallow reefs, rocks, or strong currents. Stay vigilant and be prepared to adjust your course if needed.
  8. Pack essential safety gear: Bring a whistle, a waterproof bag for personal belongings, a first aid kit, and any necessary navigation tools such as a map or GPS device.
  9. Respect the environment: As you explore the waters around Erakor Island, be mindful of the delicate ecosystem. Avoid littering, dispose of any waste responsibly, and refrain from touching or damaging coral reefs.
  10. Practice proper kayak etiquette: Be courteous to other kayakers, boaters, and swimmers in the area. Yield to larger vessels, maintain a safe distance from other watercraft, and avoid creating excessive wakes.

By following these safety tips and recommendations, you can ensure a secure and enjoyable kayak adventure around Erakor Island. Remember to use your judgment, stay informed, and trust your instincts while on the water. With proper precautions in place, you can fully immerse yourself in the beauty of the surroundings and create lifelong memories.


With safety covered, it’s time to conclude our comprehensive guide to Erakor Island. Prepare for an unforgettable adventure filled with stunning landscapes, captivating wildlife, rich cultural experiences, and delectable cuisine. Let the magic of Erakor Island envelop you and create memories that will last a lifetime.



Erakor Island in Vanuatu offers a truly unparalleled adventure for those seeking a blend of natural beauty, cultural experiences, and thrilling water activities. From the moment you arrive, you’ll be captivated by the stunning turquoise waters, pristine beaches, and vibrant marine life that surrounds this enchanting island.


Embarking on a kayak adventure around Erakor Island allows you to connect with nature in a unique and immersive way. Explore hidden lagoons, discover secluded beaches, and marvel at the diverse underwater world as you paddle through crystal-clear waters. Encounter sea turtles, colorful fish, and dolphins, creating memories that will stay with you forever.


Beyond the natural wonders, Erakor Island offers a rich cultural heritage that is waiting to be explored. Engage with the Ni-Vanuatu people, witness traditional customs and rituals, and savor the flavors of authentic local cuisine. Immerse yourself in the vibrant art scene, visit cultural centers, and embrace the warm hospitality of the locals as you learn about their way of life.


When it comes to accommodations, Erakor Island caters to all preferences, from luxurious resorts offering top-notch amenities to cozy bungalows and camping options for those seeking a closer connection with nature. With various dining options available, you can indulge in local delicacies or enjoy international fare prepared with the freshest ingredients.


While exploring Erakor Island, remember to prioritize safety by wearing a life jacket, checking weather conditions, and being aware of your surroundings. Respect the environment and wildlife, and engage in responsible and sustainable practices to preserve the natural beauty of the island for future generations.


Erakor Island is a destination that will awaken your senses and ignite your spirit of adventure. Whether you’re seeking tranquility, excitement, cultural immersion, or simply a rejuvenating getaway, this tropical paradise has it all. So pack your bags, grab your kayak, and prepare for an unforgettable journey that will leave you in awe of the wonders waiting to be discovered on Erakor Island.