Enjoy horseriding on the beach in Vilanculos © graemenewcomb
Vilanculos is a popular tourist destination and the gateway to the Bazaruto Archipelago, a group of islands incorporated into Mozambique's stunning underwater national park. On day trips from Vilanculos, visitors can go scuba diving and snorkelling in the clear waters, or enjoy the wonderful views on horse safaris and day rides along the long unspoiled beaches of the Vilanculos coast. Sailing around the archipelago in a traditional dhow is a great way to enjoy the azure waters, sandy beaches, palm trees and coral reefs of the islands. Vilanculos is also a great fishing area, ranked as the best black marlin destination in the eastern Indian Ocean.
The Vilanculos area can be explored on foot, and offers a number of good restaurants, a few bars and shops, and a central market in the village of Vilankulo. Although Vilanculos has been experiencing a tourism boom and has decent amenities and great accommodation options, it has retained its local flavour. There is even a new international airport on the outskirts of town, with flights to both Johannesburg and Maputo.