An Autumn Escape in Vanuatu

Mar 18, 16 An Autumn Escape in Vanuatu

 

Summer has drawn to a close and you might be kicking yourself, thinking that holiday season is over for another year. Well, don’t! Autumn is a wonderful time to visit Vanuatu – it’s mild all year round and the water temperature barely changes, so you can still laze on the beach to your heart’s content.

Beach aside, Vanuatu has so much to offer, which you can appreciate all the better without the rush of summer visitors. We’ve compiled little taste of what awaits you on the perfect Autumn holiday!

 

 

Pentecost Island Land Diving (Naghol)

If you thought bungee jumping was extreme, think again! On Pentecost Island, it is a local tradition for men from the community to dive off a large wooden tower with liana vines secured to their ankles as a kind of bungee rope.

The legend behind the practice of land diving is that, once, a woman ran deep into the jungle and climbed a tall tree to escape her husband. He pursued her, so she tied liana vines to her ankles and jumped from the tree. Her husband jumped after her, not knowing about the vines, and perished in the fall, while the woman survived. The ceremony is now performed as a symbol of masculinity. Villagers construct the tower, and liana vines are chosen by an elder according to the diver’s height and weight.

Land diving is not something visitors can participate in – it is strictly a local custom. Visitors are, however, welcome to watch the ceremony take place, which most people will agree is nail-biting enough. Furthermore, land diving is only performed in April, May and June (it usually takes place weekly), when the liana vines are supple and elastic, which means that an Autumn holiday is the only way to experience it!

It is advisable to book a tour from Port Vila well in advance. You will travel to Pentecost and, after a short trek through the jungle, come to the village for the ceremony. There are celebrations after the dive has been performed, with traditional music and dancing and a village feast. It is important to remember that this is a cultural event and that visitors ought to respect it as such.

 

 

 land diving pentecost vanuatu

 

Photo: @arewethereyetblogger on Instagram

 

 

Millenium Cave Tour

The Millenium Cave Tour is not an experience for the faint-hearted! Tours with a local guide are essential for safety and maximum enjoyment. To see Vanuatu’s largest cave, visitors must first undertake a challenging trek through dense rainforest and across various bodies of water, and then cross a bamboo bridge. The huge and magnificent cave is a rewarding sight at the end of this journey, and can be explored at a more leisurely pace–  just don’t forget a torch! Most tours will also include a river experience, which involves another couple of rope-assisted climbs before a cooling dip in the waterfall. This is an experience for those with a decent level of fitness, and is a perfect adventure for Autumn, when the sun is not quite so intense.

 

Port Vila Markets

Visiting the eclectic, colourful markets in the vibrant capital of Port Vila is a unique experience all year round. The markets offer the very best and freshest seasonal produce – so there’s no better way to get a taste of any given month in Vanuatu! Between March and May you will taste the most delicious passionfruit imaginable. You can try delicious local delicacies made on the spot and choose from a range of hand made souvenirs. Unlike many markets, there is no bargaining, and everything is great value. The market is constantly open from early on Monday until noon on Saturday so you can have every meal there if you fancy!


port vila markets .

 

Sailing & Boating

On the odd day when the water is a little to cool to swim, there are still plenty of watersports to enjoy! Sailing or boating is not only great fun but is a perfect way to see some of Vanuatu’s smaller islands. There are numerous yacht and boat tours available from the larger islands, many of which aim to show you the unique beauties of each individual island you visit. You can go exploring, snorkel, canoe or fish at the stop offs, then climb back on board the yacht to feel the wind in your hair as you take a spin on the water.

 

Immerse yourself in Culture

As well as being one of the most naturally stunning places on earth, Vanuatu also has a rich history and culture. The Vanuatu Cultural Centre, located in the capital of Port Vila, is a must for anyone looking to learn more about this beautiful place. Visitors can explore on their own, but the most valuable experience comes from being shown around by a local guide. This way, you will not only be able to appreciate the many historical and cultural artifacts on display, but also absorb the oral history of Vanuatu, traditional music and even some traditional sand drawing. Local guides are incredibly knowledgable and will increase your understanding and appreciation of the exhibitions. The cultural centre also has a number of local publications for sale, which would make a beautiful gift or truly meaningful souvenir.

 

vanuatu culture .

 

Find information about Vanuatu, Flights, and Accommodation visit Air Vanuatu’s Website.

 

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *