Banks and ATMs
A Travelers Guide to Banks and ATMs in Vanuatu
A visit to Vanuatu can be an exotic getaway, allowing you to enjoy
the natural beauty of the South Pacific. However, whether you plan to dive and snorkel, enjoy horseback riding,
hike the islands or simply relax in Port Vila or Luganville, you'll need one thing: money. A visit to the islands
can be relatively inexpensive.
However, Port Vila (Efate
island) and Luganville (Santo island) are not cheap, and you'll need
to exchange your dollars and pounds for some Vanuatu vatu (the local currency). Many resorts in the area feature
money exchanges and ATM access.
Cash is a necessity
Australian ANZ and Westpac banks have major presence in Vanuatu, including ATMs
in Port Vila, on Efate island and Louganville, on Espiritu Santo island
However, for the average traveler through the islands, cash is a
necessity. Maintaining a supply of money during your trip is not only desirable, it is vital. Without a few
thousand vatu, you can't even get a cab, much less pay for dinner. Many of the restaurants and shops in Port Vila and Luganville do not accept credit cards and ATM cards; cash is the only
The resorts on Tanna, Santo, Efate
and elsewhere will take your plastic, but you cannot rely on that throughout the islands. Some hotels will only
accept cash, in the local vatu, Australian or US dollars. Carrying cash is the
only way you can ensure that you have the funds on hand to enjoy yourself.
If you're on a tight budget, you can get by for less than $50 per day
if you are very frugal and never eat out. Most travelers will find that they spend upwards of $175 per day by
staying in resorts, taking tours and enjoying the dining options in Port
Vila and elsewhere.
Banks and ATMs on islands
Cash machine or ATM
So, how do you find ATMs and banks in the islands in order to secure
this cash? Well, your options are somewhat limited. You will not find banks or ATMs in any of the villages around
the islands. In fact, Port Vila and Luganville are the only places that you'll be able to do that. The ANZ bank and
the supermarket in Port Vila offer ATMs for your convenience.
Additionally, you'll find that traveler's checks can be used in the cities, though you should not
rely on them throughout the islands. Stock up on 1,000 VT notes, as well as smaller denominations in coins. Some
smaller villages will not make change for bills they cannot break, so be prepared by having the right cash on