Snorkel in Paradise at Uri Marine Park Malekula, Vanuatu
If you dip your face into the sea at Uri Marine Park, colours will explode across your mask. This is the real deal! Uri is a seriously remote tropical island with a coral reef that would give the Barrier Reef a run for its money. Best of all, there's not another tourist in sight, so you can forget where you are and let go and float your worries away.
You can expect to see giant clam shells and huge turtles glide past you surrounded by schools of exotic tropical fish; including translucent hound fish that look like they've got straws on their noses. If you're super lucky you might even see a majestic dugong amble past you. The soft coral is an epic combination of purple, lime green, pink and tan. This is as good as it gets...just the sound of your breath...no mechanical sounds, just nature.
Once you have finished you snorkel, you'll be greeted by local, giggling children who have come down for a swim and a chat after school. Nothing on here is touristy or flashy, accomodation is basic - bungalows constructed from bamboo. There's no power and no fuss but everything is idyllic and perfect. If you want to escape the hustle and bustle, Uri Marine Park is your place.
- To watch the locals go about their daily village life – women weaving local pandanus fiber baskets or thatching
- Uri is right next to Malekula Island which is culturally diverse and full of different tribes all with tours, walks and stories to tell
- Local food is usually plant based and includes great laplap puddings cooked on hot rocks. While this is great to try once, you may like to pack some snacks and nibbles in case you feel like a change
- Serious adventures off the beaten track take some organising. If your remote planning is not working, get on a flight and just go
Getting here takes a day or two and a few hops – an international flight, a domestic flight, a bus, a boat and voila!
Allow a bit of time for planning and organising. We recommend emailing Air Vanuatu for international flight and domestic bookings (you’ll get 20% off the domestic flight this way) and they can likely book your bungalow too. Or if you want to make your flight bookings independently, message Santo Travel Centre who can help you with your bungalow and transfers.
If you can swim, you can snorkel. Take your time for the first few dips to get the hang of breathing through your ‘windpipe’ (local name for snorkel). You’re good to go.