Helpful tip if you are arriving into Port Vila on the weekend or a Friday evening -grab some duty free drinks on your way through Customs, as you can’t purchase alcohol in Vila until Monday morning.
Aelan Chocolate Makers
Handcraft fine chocolate made of wild harvested cocoa beans from the pristine volcanic islands of the archipelago of Vanuatu. It is part of the Activ Association, a co-op designed to assist local craft workers and artisans market and produce their craft for tourist to see in one place. This chocolate is seriously good, made on site at Stella Mare from locally producted cocao beans. It comes in various flavours and is delicious! The Activ Association also sells locally produced craft that is priced very well and is of a very high quality.The shop and the café are located other on the main Lini highway, next to next to Island Time (opposite Healthwise Pharmacy).
The new handicraft market, on the sea front, near Nambawan Café is worth checking out. Reasonably priced, well made goodies made by local inspired artists. It’s great to see local’s artist creativity.
Duty Free Shopping
Duty free shopping is great in Vanuatu, the stand out being very affordable alcohol, perfume, and jewellery. Fung Kwei is very good at the northern end of Port Vila, but all the duty free shops have specials and sales so shop around. A service that I enjoy is purchasing something but having it sent to the airport so on departure, after check in and immigration clearance, simply collect your goods and think about enjoying them when you return home!
Some stand out Duty Free shops are:
Fung Kwei (alcohol, general goods, bags etc)
Pacific Passion (body and beauty products)
Prouds Duty Free (jewellery, perfume etc)
Sound Centre / Down Town Duty Free (alcohol, electronic goods, perfume)
Vanuatu Wines & Spirits Shop
All these shops are on Lini Highway, the main street in Port Vila.
This indoor market is great on a rainy day, and with the Stonegrill just next door makes a great afternoon destination for shopping and drinks! Lots of handicraft items are upstairs with local boutiques downstairs selling locally produced organic delights and clothing. Take cash, or use the ANZ ATM at the door.
Lapita is a small shopfront located at the end of the small dirt street opposite the roundabout to the maind wharf (Turn towards the lagoon past Vila Refrigeration). You can choose from their range of locally produced products. Great options for gluten free cooking, the manioc flour has a great texture and natural elasticity that makes it easy to use. Lapita take local foods such as manioc, banana, tamarind, choko and nganae (nuts) and creates tasty snacks and the world famous Lapita Tamarind Chutney. Can you tell we are fans? Local aged steak never tasted better – the chutney really is that good! Open 6 days a week from around 10 in the morning. Lapita also has a stall at the Handicraft market. A range of Lapita’s product are sold in the Au Bon Marché supermarket at Nambatu.
The Mamma’s market shares space with the fruit and vegetable market in the centre of Port Vila. The hand crafted items and souvenirs and still in plentiful supply. Grass items should be easily taken back into your home country as long as there are no bugs on board, however some seed necklaces may not make it through. Shells and shell products are also usually fine through customs.
Opening hours: Open daily from 07.00am to 05.00pm
Volcanic Earth Spa
Volcanic Earth, located just near Wharf Road offer volcanic ash baths, body wraps and scrubs as well as massages, facials, pedicures, manicures and more. Volcanic Earth and set above other similar businesses in Vanuatu by their product range. All their products are hand made locally and chemical free, and are also available for sale. Open 6 days and after hours by appointment.
Opening hours: Open daily from 09.00am to 05.00pm, Saturday (9.00am to 12pm) , closed on Sundays
Organic Paradise is located at Chantilly’s on The Bay, just north of the centre of town.
Organic Paradise stocks 100% Vanuatu products – a one-stop shop for: achard, aromatherapy oils, biscuits, body and facial care, candles, chilli, chocolate, chutney, coco nibs, coconut oil, coffee, condiments, honey, kava powder, lip balms, manioc and taro chips, moisturisers, noni, nangae nuts, nangae oil, peanuts, peanut butter, pepper, sandalwood oil and powder, shampoos, soaps, spices, resilience remedy, sauces, tamanu oil, tamarind, turmeric, vanilla and much more …
These flavours of Vanuatu will remind you and your friends of this organically rich paradise – great souvenirs, gifts for friends overseas and here and yourself that you can use to for your cooking, health and beauty treatments.
Opening hours: Open daily from 08.00am to 06.00pm, Saturday (08.00am to 12.30pm), closed on Sundays
Just near the ANZ bank, Pandanus has a select range of quality hand crafted items. The product range at Pandanus is eclectic, but more and more focused on items Made in Vanuatu. They sell accessories, jewelry, funky tea towels, spices, carvings, homewares, books, and the odd item that we find hard to categorize. Pandanus is the place to come if you celebrate individuality, cherish good design and are inspired by the cool, the quirky and the creative.Approximately 80% of what we sell is made in Vanuatu. Love for design and passion for seeking out the unusual remain the guiding principles of our little business.
Opening hours: Open daily from 09.00am to 05.00pm, Saturday (00.00am to 01.00pm), closed on Sundays
Stunning, hand crafted jewelery with a unique Melanesian influence. Established in 1971, this small jewelery house offers the discerning buyer hand crafted and bespoke items that take inspiration from the South Pacific and use the highest quality gems, 18ct Gold and Stirling Silver to create modern masterpieces. For the perfect gift or special memento, visit their shop, right next to BSP Bank, on the main town street.