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About Vanuatu
The early inhabitants of Vanuatu were Melanesian people who migrated as far back as 4,000 years ago, with archaeological evidence dating back to 1300 BC. The history of these people
and their early settlement is not known, until the arrival of European explorers in the 17th century. Pedro Fernandes de Queiros, a Portuguese explorer sailing for Spain arrived on the Vanuatu island that he would name Espiritu Santo. The next waves of Europeans visited over a century later, with the French and then the British, with the rediscovery by Captain Cook in 1774. Cook named the islands New Hebrides and they were settled over the next decades by the British, French, and Australians. These islands were used for cotton, coffee, and coconut cultivation, and other cash crops. The Melanesian people who inhabited the islands were oppressed and not allowed the same rights as the colonists. The French and British ruled jointly until the community of Franceville claimed independence in 1889.

In 1906, the Britain and France together annexed the islands, calling their new colony Condominium. The government lasted for decades, until the rise of the New Hebrides National Party in the 1970s, later becoming the Vanua'aku Pati. The people began to fight to become independent from the colonial rulers, and while the country was engrossed in the Coconut War with Papua New Guinea, they formed the Republic of Vanuatu. As an independent nation, Vanuatu struggled to gain stability for its first decades, complete with attempted coups and unrest.

Neighboring Countries of Vanuatu
Vanuatu is located near Fiji, New Caledonia, Solomon Islands, Papua New Guinea, and Australia.

Major Cities
Vanuatu is an island nation in the South Pacific, made up of 82 volcanic islands. The major islands include Espiritu Santo, the country's largest island, followed by Malakula, Efate, Erromango, Ambrym, and Tanna.

Espiritu Santo is home to the country's highest peak, which is Mount Tabwemasana, which stands 1,879 meters (6,165 feet) above sea level. As volcanic islands, there are still active volcanoes in Vanuatu, particularly Lopevi. Around the islands of Vanuatu, there are also volcanoes beneath the ocean waters. Coastal regions of Vanuatu are rocky or sandy, with reef zones along the shores. The terrain of the lands features tropical rainforests and mangroves along the waters. There are no significant freshwater resources on Vanuatu.

Points of Interest
The beaches of Vanuatu are some of its greatest attractions, with clear turquoise waters and luxurious beach resorts and bungalows. Visitors can snorkel and dive off the coast to view the varied sea life up close. One popular beach to visit is Champagne Beach, while exploring the Millennium Caves can be an adventure. On Epi Island, visitors may be able to witness the endangered dugong, also known as a sea cow, which is a rare and amazing sight. There are also natural sites like mangroves and tropical forests to be explored, with exotic wildlife and plant life.

The cities of Vanuatu are small but offer markets, restaurants with local fare, and nightlife with the local Kava. One important site in Vanuatu is the SS President Coolidge, a wrecked ship from World War II, which can be seen and explored via scuba diving.

The islands are home to a UNESCO site known as Chief Roi Mata's Domain, which sits across parts of the Efate, Lelepa, and Artok Islands. The sites include the home of the former chief, Roy Mata, who lived in the 13th century, as well as the site of his death and his burial site.

The main international airports in Vanuatu are Bauerfield International Airport in Porta Vila on Efate, and Santo-Pekoa International in Luganville on Espiritu Santo. These airports offer service to other nearby island nations, like Fiji and Solomon Islands, as well as destinations in Australia and New Zealand. Flights can be chartered to many of the smaller islands of Vanuatu. The other method of getting into Vanuatu is via boat, including cruises, with ports in Porta Vila and Luganville. On the islands there are buses and taxis for transportation within the cities.


Shefa78,7231,507582Port Vila
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Last Updated On : March 05, 2015

The flag of Vanuatu is a blend of four colors red, green, black and green. There is a 'Y' placed horizontally on the national flag of Vanuatu which signifies the chain of islands of the country which are placed in this particular shape.
Facts about Vanuatu
Lat Long17°45'S168°18'E
Area12,190 sq. km.
Population245,619 (2011)
CapitalPort Vila
Largest CityPort Vila
Official LanguagesFrench, English, Bislama
Major ReligionAccording to the 2001 census, 81.5% of the population of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines is considered Christianity, 6.7% has another religion and 8.8% has no religion or did not state a religion (1.5%).
National Day30 July (1980)
Form of GovernmentUnitary parliamentary republic
PresidentBaldwin Lonsdale
Prime MinisterCharlot Salwai
CurrencyVanuatu vatu
GDP$1.204 billion 2011 estimate
Calling Code678
Time Zone(UTC+11)