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 Luganville, 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 option.
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
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 hand.