When is the best time to visit Vanuatu?
Thanks to its mix of tropical and equatorial climates, Vanuatu is a year-round destination experiencing warm temperatures and sunny days in all seasons, however, the best time to travel to this island country is between April and October when the temperatures are comfortable (18°C - 28°C/64°F - 82°F) and the rainfall is minimal. Having said that, there is plenty to do in Vanuatu at any time of year with each season offering different ways to explore the breathtaking landscapes and underwater worlds that make this destination so popular.
Winter in Vanuatu
Best for: festivals, cultural activities, and local village visits
While you might be used to temperatures dropping dramatically elsewhere, winter in Vanuatu remains relatively and consistently warm with an average low of 21°C (69°F) and a high of 26°C (78°F). Sea temperatures also stay around the low-mid 20°Cs (60°Fs - 70°Fs) so you can still participate in water-based activities such as swimming and snorkelling without worrying about feeling cold. While it's unlikely to experience heavy and sustained rainfall in winter, infrequent showers do happen so be mindful of that when planning out your itinerary.
One of Vanuatu's most notable cultural events occurs during the winter season and that is the traditional naghol festival (land diving festival) which sees indigenous men from Pentecost Island jump off wooden towers as part of a coming-of-age ritual. Organised on Saturdays between April and June, this festival is one of the major drawcards for visiting Vanuatu during winter as it offers a deeper insight into the practices and customs of local tribes.
Spring in Vanuatu
Best for: kayaking, hiking, and scuba diving
Spring is the perfect 'in between' season in Vanuatu with temperatures ranging from a low of 20°C (68°F) to a high of 29°C (84°F). While rainfall is also expected during this season, it's likely to be light and short which still leaves plenty of time for sunshine hours and exploring the beautiful landscapes. The humidity levels increase over the course of each month in the season (September, October, and November) but generally don't reach uncomfortable levels until late November meaning it's the perfect weather to make the most of being outside.
You can also avoid most of the crowds and increased prices during this season so many travellers find it a very budget-friendly and relaxing time to travel to Vanuatu.
Summer in Vanuatu
Best for: swimming, snorkelling, and sunbathing
The summer season in Vanuatu typically runs from December through to February and experiences hot and humid weather with frequent tropical storms and heavy but short rain showers. December is one of the most popular times to visit Vanuatu as the temperatures are hot but the worst of the stormy weather conditions haven't kicked in yet. During this time the islands tend to be crowded with other travellers as it coincides with the Australian school holidays. This can also mean accommodation prices increase and availability for activities such as boat cruises and scuba diving sessions becomes harder to secure.
January and February also see an increased probability of cyclones (the cyclone season starts in November and runs through to May), meaning it's common to experience unpredictable and unfavourable weather patterns during these two months. While it's not impossible to have a great holiday in Vanuatu at the start of the year, caution should be taken when planning out an itinerary so you can be properly prepared for all weather events.
Autumn in Vanuatu
Best for: island cruises, local markets, and swimming
Similar to the weather experienced in spring, autumn in Vanuatu is consistently pleasant with high temperatures (around 26°C/78°F on average) left over from summer and frequent but short bursts of heavy rainfall which decrease as it gets closer to winter. There's still a possibility of cyclones throughout autumn but as long as you're aware of shifting weather patterns and are keeping up to date with various communications then you shouldn't have any problems.
Take advantage of the low tourist numbers on the islands during this time by booking cruises and other waterbased activities but you should also remember to pack insect repellant as mosquitos and other insects are still out in full force, especially in March, and no one wants to spend their entire holiday covered in red lumps that itch like crazy.
Read about the weather in Vanuatu
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