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Vanuatu vs. AItutaki

London, United...
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Vanuatu vs. AItutaki

Hi. Am looking to go to Vanuatu, Aitutaki or Rarotonga over Christmas. but am having difficulty choosing. We'll be flying there from New Zealand and staying for c. 5 days. We've been to Fiji before and really enjoyed the snorkling and kayaking.

Any tips on how the different islands compare? Where are the best beaches for exploring and relaxing? Accommodation-wise, we're looking fr something comfortable but not over the top luxurious or expensive.

Thanks in advance, any advice much appreciated

Auckland, New...
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1. Re: Vanuatu vs. AItutaki

They are all very different islands, and costs are also very different. You will need to be more specific about what you want on your holiday for people to give you a relevant response.

Do you care about big resorts? What do you want to do during your time there, is good food important? The comforts of home etc?

London, United...
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2. Re: Vanuatu vs. AItutaki

Thanks. We'd like a secluded beach resort, small island preferred to a big resort. This is why we're probably less keen on Rarotonga vs. the other two as I understand that there are big 3* resorts, party buses, lots of touristy activities etc. We would like to be able to snorkel and kayak. Decent food at the hotel / near vicinity would be a plus. Doesn't need to be luxury accommodation, but comfortable bed, clean sheets etc. For the right place, we'd probably pay c. 600-700 NZ$ per night in total for the two of us, but if there's something nice for less that'd obviously be better.

As a reference, we stayed at Navutu Stars in Fiji and loved it but at the time it wasn't as expensive as it is now.

How would you characterise these islands? Which is best beaches / most luxurious / most secluded?

Thanks so much in advance for any pointers

Hobart, Australia
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for Vanuatu
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3. Re: Vanuatu vs. AItutaki

Rarotonga definitely does not have big resorts, party buses or lots of touristy activities - neither does Vanuatu and as for Aitutaki it is beautiful but very, very quiet. Fiji is probably is the most touristy out of all South pacific destinations and that still is pretty low key compared to other areas of the world

London, United...
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4. Re: Vanuatu vs. AItutaki

Thanks, Suzii. The Rarotonga impression was based on some previous posts where it seemed that at least the main area is very touristy, but it does seem most accessible and reasonably priced so good to hear you think it's still pretty quiet and low key. In Fiji I stayed on an island with just the one small resort (max 30 guests at a time) and it was a great experience, so based on your description I will look into Aitutaki in more detail. We really don't need bars / choice of restaurants etc. Happy to cook for ourselves - beach, seclusion and snorkelling are the priorities we're looking for in this holiday.

Moreton Island...
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5. Re: Vanuatu vs. AItutaki

If you want some of the most untouched beautiful beaches in the South Pacific, amazing pristine clear blue holes, peace and a seclusion, combined with very friendly local ni-vatuatu people, have a look at the island of Espiritu Santo in Vanuatu. Easy to fly from Port Vila the capital on Efate. There's also direct flights from Brisbane Australia.

Suggest you check out my recent reviews with pictures, or check out the info on TA and the Espiritu Santo and outer islands tourism website and FB page.

Sure you'd love Santo as we do

LTB

nz
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for Norfolk Island, Noosaville, Rarotonga
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6. Re: Vanuatu vs. AItutaki

Hi

If you're flying to Vanuatu from NZ and want to go to Santo as LTB suggests, you need to change planes at Port Vila and go on a smaller plane for about 40 minutes I think.

Personally, I'd plump for Rarotonga - it's not a bit like you've been told. The southern side of Titikaveka is very quiet and great for snorkelling, kayaking and swimmimg. The beauty of Raro is that you can get around to lots of different restaurants. Sure, there are tourist activities but you can just ignore them.

But we just like to lie around on the beach, buy some fresh fish and cook it at 'home' while watching the lagoon or go out to a restaurant.

Have a look at the link for this small resort.

http://www.moanasands.co.ck/

You could also look at the Little Polynesian which is along the beach but that is pretty pricey. Lots of other possibilities

Alternatively, there are lots of holiday homes for rent if you want to do your own thing.

holidayhomes.co.nz/for-rent/…

The east side of the island around Muri is somewhat built up as is the west (or sunset side) around Arorangi.

If you decided to go to Aitutaki that is a further flight which may not be worth your while if you've only got 5 days.

nz
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for Norfolk Island, Noosaville, Rarotonga
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7. Re: Vanuatu vs. AItutaki

Hi again

Forgot to mention that if you're travelling to or from London via LA, Rarotonga (and thence Aitutaki) can be included as a stopover in one direction.

Brisbane, Australia
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for Vanuatu, Port Vila, Espiritu Santo
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8. Re: Vanuatu vs. AItutaki

Well I was also going to suggest Espiritu Santo (Pekoa airport) as recommended by LTB.

Espiritu Santo beaches are the stuff of dream screensavers. Need I say more.

A good base would be Oyster Island, Moyyan or any of the other highly regarded places. If you like quiet and basic then Lonnoc Beach Bungalows might do the trick, but perhaps check them out first before staying. It's easy to book the first part of your trip and then add on the rest once you've decided on where you'd like to complete your stay.

Happy travels,

Jen

London, United...
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9. Re: Vanuatu vs. AItutaki

Thanks very much Jen, Lilibet & LTB - great trips. Santo looks very idyllic and offering a good balance of seclusion + comfortable accommodation.

Are there any recommended day trips to sights / good snorkelling spots or do you think these places are mainly the kind where you laze at the beach / snorkel etc near the hotel?

Auckland, New...
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10. Re: Vanuatu vs. AItutaki

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