Meet the ‘cargo cult’ communities of Tanna and see for yourself how these indigenous villages have incorporated WWII iconography into their religious traditions.. Hike to the rim of Mt Yasur, one of the world’s most active volcanoes, and watch the smoke and lava billowing (from a safe distance, of course).. Snorkel in the clear waters around Nguna and see the remarkable coral reef that is protected as part of a marine reserve.. Go beyond the walled-off resorts and discover the beauty and cultures of Vanuatu. Trek, paddle, swim and snorkel in some of the most beautiful places in the tropics.
Encounter raw beauty and vibrant culture on the tiny islands of Vanuatu on this eight-day expedition. Leave the resorts of Port Vila behind and fly to rainforest-rich islands where you can meet locals, immerse yourself in nature and enjoy true adventure travel. Encounter communities where kastom – traditional culture and law – still rules, including the legendary John Frum ‘cargo cult’ villages. Snorkel among the gorgeous coral reef that is protected by law. Trek through towering greenery and learn about living among active volcanoes and tropical wilderness. Embrace a side of Vanuatu that few tourists seek out, but one that those who do will never forget.
Breakfast Included: 7 Lunches Included: 6 Dinner Included: 3
Welcome to Port Vila, the capital of Vanuatu! Your adventure begins today with a welcome meeting at 5 pm at your accommodation. There are no other activities planned for the day. If you arrive with time to spare before the welcome meeting, the heart of the city and the waterfront promenade are just a short walk from the hotel
Port Vila – Rentapao River
Today you will discover some of Efate’s best spots. A 25-minute scenic drive will take you to our kayak base on the Rentapao River. Experience Vanuatu’s rainforest and village life as you paddle and swim its safe waters. After a French-style lunch at the river’s edge, we transfer upstream to the river cascades, a great place to swim, relax, and shake off any jet lag. You will be back at your hotel by mid-afternoon, allowing ample time to discover more of Port Vila.
It is an early morning start today for our Air Vanuatu flight to the legendary southern island of Tanna. On arrival, it is a short transfer to our beachside bungalow, and after lunch, we begin the first of our amazing Tanna treks. High on a ridge overlooking the coast is the world’s largest banyan tree. Our path there and back passes through scattered villages, food gardens, and rainforest – a great opportunity to meet ‘the happiest people in the world’ going about their daily lives. Trekking time may be up to 3 hours. Arriving back at our bungalow, enjoy the sunset and maybe a cool drink, and keep an eye out for whales that cruise along the coast from July onwards.
Tanna – Mt Yasur
A big day today! We start with a 30-minute drive to a remote "kastom" village hidden in the rainforest. The community here have rejected modern life and are proud to conserve and maintain their traditional lifestyle. Our village hosts will prepare some traditional foods from the garden and share their culture with you, before we head across the spine of the island towards Tanna’s famous volcano, Yasur. At the edge of the ash plain, we don our
walking shoes again for the second of our Tanna treks, three hours to the rim of the volcano. Our track winds through rainforest and John Frum cargo cult villages, with sweeping views the higher we go. Throughout the trek, you will feel the ground shaking and hear the volcano rumbling, and finally, as you arrive at the crater rim in the late afternoon, you will be amazed at the firework show that awaits. We return from the volcano in the evening, our accommodation a village bungalow located near the volcano.
Tanna – Port Vila
This morning you will travel down to Port Resolution, named after one of Captain Cook’s ships, to discover the black sand beach and natural hot springs, and take a short trek around the shore. Enjoy lunch in the heart of the village, before the scenic drive back to the airport for our afternoon flight to Port Vila and return to our accommodation.
After the spectacular culture, rainforest, and volcano on Tanna, today you head to a pristine tropical island, renowned for its marine conservation area. It is a one-hour scenic drive via Efate’s west coast to our boat landing, followed by a half-hour boat ride to Nguna island. You may choose to spend the full day snorkelling in the marine conservation area. Expect lots of fish, maybe the occasional turtle, and plenty of hard corals and small canyons and crevasses to explore. If you are keen on walking there is the option of a three-hour walk to a community conservation area at Nguna’s smallest village – a mixture of historical relics, forest, and windswept cliffs. You will also have a chance to assist the community’s reforestation project through tree-planting. Accommodation is at a beachside bungalow run by village women.
Nguna Island – Port Vila
This morning we take an easy walk into the main village of Taloa, the historic church juxtaposed next to the new nakamal (traditional men’s house). There is time for one last snorkel before heading back to Efate and lunch at a locally-owned restaurant. Savour your memories as you take in the lovely views across to Nguna! You then drive back to Port Vila, but this time along the east coast road, meaning you also get to do a round-Efate tour. There are lots of roadside markets to explore and plenty of photo opportunities. Plus you will stop for a swim at one of the beaches or coves around Eton village. We arrive back at our Port Vila accommodation for our final night together late afternoon.
Your Vanuatu Expedition comes to an end this morning after breakfast.
If you are travelling from April to June, this trip can be combined with our 5 day Vanuatu Land Diving Festival trip - search code TESL on our website.