Vanuatu's name is derived from the word vanua ("land" or "home"), which occurs in several Austronesian languages, and the word tu ("stand"). Together the two words indicated the independent status of the new country. Vanuatu is an archipelago Pacific island made up of 80-plus island that stretch 1,300 kilometers. In the 1880s, France and Great Britain claimed parts of the archipelago, and in 1906 they agreed on a framework for jointly managing the archipelago as the New Hebrides through a British–French Condominium. An independence movement arose in the 1970s, and the Republic of Vanuatu was founded in 1980.
The islands offer scuba diving at coral reefs, underwater caverns and wrecks such as the WWII-era troopship SS President Coolidge. It takes a little time, effort and a healthy sense of adventure to truly explore Vanuatu's islands, but it's worth every bit of it.