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Volcanoes and Cultures - Adventures in the South Sea

- 15 days volcano and photo expedition to Ambrym and Yasur volcanoes, Vanuatu -

Ambrym + Tanna 15 days (normal itinerary) | Ambae-Santo-Ambrym-Tanna (21 days)

Ambrym + Tanna 15 days (normal itinerary)

Note:
Due to the expedition character and the infrastructure of the destination, changes in the exact itinerary on location might be necessary (e.g. due to weather conditions, changes in domestic flight schedules etc.)

Day 1: Arrival on Vanuatu (Port Vila, Efate Island)

Morning mood at the beach (Port Vila)
You are picked up and welcomed at the airport and transferred to the hotel in Port Vila, where the group meets. The afternoon / evening is free to relax, and perhaps to stock up snacks at the supermarkets in Port Vila (there are Western choices like musli bars, etc.).
Unless you prefer to get an early sleep, it's nice to spend the evening at the idyllic waterfront in a sea-side restaurant and bar to enjoy the refreshing breeze of the trade winds (dinner not included).
Acc.: mid-class hotel in Port Vila

Day 2: Efate - Ambrym (charter flight with sightseeing)

Arrival in Craig Cove on Ambrym
Arrival in Craig Cove on Ambrym
Morning departure from Efate (Port Vila) to Ambrym (chartered plane) with scenic flight time over Lopevi volcano and the Ambrym caldera.
Meeting with the exceptional family of your guide and transfer in the village with one stop to the hot springs of sesivi with a refreshment at the ocean shore. Welcome ceremony. Afternoon & evening to discover the village.
Acc.: simple village guesthouse (B, L, D)
Parrot
Parrot
Preparation of Laplap, one of Vanuatu's signature dishes
Preparation of Laplap, one of Vanuatu's signature dishes

Day 3: Ascend into the caldera - Marum volcano

Children in the village at the foot of a Navèle
Children in the village at the foot of a Navèle
Hike and ascent into the caldera. Installation of the base camp, picnic lunch with traditional food and hike to discover Marum volcano.
Acc.: base camp inside the caldera (B, L, D)
Climbing to the caldera through the rainforest
Climbing to the caldera through the rainforest
cooking at base camp in the caldera
cooking at base camp in the caldera

Day 4: Benbow volcano

Climbing towards Benbow crater
Climbing towards Benbow crater
Expedition to the crater of Benbow with its usually active lava lakes. Descend (abseiling) into its crater optional, conditions permitting (trained guides assist you with professional equipment). Return to the base camp in the evening.
Acc.: as before (camp) (B, L, D)
The interior of Benbow
The interior of Benbow
The flancs of Benbow
The flancs of Benbow

Day 5-6: Marum & Benbow - spare day in the caldera

Spare day to discover Marum and Benbow inside the large Ambrym caldera.
Spare day to discover Marum and Benbow inside the large Ambrym caldera.
2 more days in the Ambrym caldera to discover Marum and Benbow inside the large Ambrym caldera in order to maximize photo / video opportunities.
Acc.: as before (camp) (B, L, D)
Glow from the glow of the lava lake at night
Glow from the glow of the lava lake at night
Observation of glowing lava lake crater Mbuwelesu
Observation of glowing lava lake crater Mbuwelesu

Day 7: Crossing of the caldera - descend to Endu

Refreshments during the hike
Refreshments during the hike
Thanks to our two crews on Ambrym, it is possible to cross the entire caldera - the local boundary - and descend on a different side of the island, a hike through unrivaled natural beauty, and allowing you to fully experience the grandeur of the caldera, stop at spectacular viewpoints and enjoy the lunar, almost surreal multicolored landscape.
You pass on the rim of the pit crater Liwelèbih with its tropical vegetation, the old volcanic cone Marum Liglar, Marum and Benbow. The hike ends in the charming village of Endu on the east coast, where you'll be welcomed with lots of smiles: a total immersion into a new world unspoiled by tourism waits for you!
Welcome ceremony and wonderful local dinner.
Acc.: simple, but charming family-run guesthouse (B, L, D)
traditional Music
traditional Music
manufacture of mats
manufacture of mats

Day 8-9: Culture & Traditions of Endu

Two full days to discover the traditional culture and life of the village. Visit of two schools of the village, contact with the teachers and the children. A performance of an impressive custom dance will be shown to us in the tropical forest.
See traditions of magic and local medicines, and the preparation of the pig for the big ceremonies: the highest (and most delicious) of all local foods.
The women of the village will show you the manufacturing of mats and traditional clothes and other goods.
We'll enjoy rich and tasty buffets for lunch and dinner along with local music.
Acc.: as before (guesthouse) (B, L, D)

Day 10: Endu - Lopevi volcano and lava tubes - flight back to Port Vila

Transfer early morning to Toak or Penapo village, located at the coast facing the spectacular cone of Lopevi stratovolcano. In Toak, we'll discover the famous tradition and art of sand-drawing, a declared Unesco immaterial heritage.
In Penapo, we can visit lava tubes left by earlier large eruptions of Ambrym volcano. After a refreshment, we depart from Ulei airport and return to Port Vila, were we transfer to your previous hotel and can enjoy a dinner in a seaside restaurant (not included) or have a free afternoon.
Acc.: hotel in Port Vila as on D1 (B, L)

Day 11: Flight to Tanna - Transfer to Yasur volcano

Watching Yasur volcano at night
Watching Yasur volcano at night
In the morning, we fly to Tanna island. A 4WD pick-up brings us accross the island to a simple, but charming guesthouse directly at the feet of Mt. Yasur volcano. After lunch, we drive and hike to Yasur volcano to enjoy its spectacular volcanic activity from close, as long as we wish...
Acc.: guesthouse on Tanna (B, L, D)

Day 12: Day-trip to Port Resolution beach & Yasur volcano

Relaxing beach break
Relaxing beach break
Optional early morning / sunrise trip to Yasur volcano for best light conditions for volcano photography.
After breakfast at the Jungle Oasis we take a side-trip to Port resolution to swim and relax on a gorgeous white sand beach and enjoy a delicious lunch prepared from a skillful cook at the beach...
We return to Yasur volcano for another ascent to Yasur Volcano in the afternoon. If the situation permits, we might be able to hike around the crater (1 hour) and descent onto the ash plane in the dark. Hike back to our "Jungle Oasis" and dinner.
Acc.: as before (guesthouse) (B, L, D)

Day 13: Custom dances of Imao - John Frum village - Yasur

Optional early morning / sunrise excursion to Yasur volcano and return in the guesthouse for breakfast. In the morning, walking tour to discover the unique custom dances to the traditional village of Imao with an amazing panoramic view on Yasur volcano.
After lunch, transfer to the "village of John Frum" (Lamakara). During the crossing of the Yasur caldera we can make photo stops for the amazing volcanic landscape.
In the village, we meet with the chief of the village where we are probably going to be invited to take the dinner with his family.
Discovery of hot sources of Sulfur Bay, possibly to swim in the hot volcano springs. Return to Lamakara to visit the local museum dedicated to the memory of John Frum.
If the day of our arrival falls on Friday we can attend the traditional ceremony of the John Frum where inhabitants of the village dance all night long. (you can stay in the village if you like).
Optional another visit of Yasur volcano in the evening/night.
Acc.: as before (guesthouse) (B, L, D)

Day 14: Flight Tanna - Port Vila, free afternoon

Optional morning visit to Yasur volcano.
Transfer to airport, flight Tanna - Port Vila. Transfer to the hotel, free lunch & afternoon. Farewell dinner at the seafront (not included).
Acc.: hotel in Port Vila as on D1 (B)

Day 15: End of tour

Transfer to airport or own extension (recommended: 1-day tour on Efate).
Acc.: none (B)

Ambae-Santo-Ambrym-Tanna (21 days)

Day 1: Arrival in Port Vila

You will be picked up at the airport, either by us or by our appointed transport.
Transport to Port Vila and check into Hotel Vanuatu Holiday (www.vanuatuholidayhotel.com), a clean hotel close to the city centre, situated in lush tropical garden with swimming pool. Free afternoon, possibility to buy snacks for Ambrym at the supermarkets in Port Vila (5min walk from the hotel, western food choices, like muesli bars, dried fruits…). Meeting at 18.30h at the hotel reception for early dinner at a nearby restaurant.
Acc.: hotel (D)

Day 2-6: Ambae - Mt Garet Volcano - Santo Island

D2: Domestic flight Vila - Santo - Gaua / night in bungalow
D3: Mt Garet volcano / night in base camp on caldera rim
D4: Mt Garet volcano / night base camp on caldera rim / possibility to cross the lake with canoe (option)
D5: Spare day, night in village bungalow
D6: Domestic flight Gaua-Santo, free day to relax or do an optional tour on the Island / night in hotel
Acc.: guesthouse, camp, hotel (B, L, D)

Day 7: Flight Santo - Efate - Ambrym

Transfer to Ambrym via Efate. This corresponds to day 2 of the normal itinerary and it's possible to join on this day if you don't want to go to Ambae.
Acc.: guesthouse (B, L, D)

Day 8-21: as D2-15 in normal itinanerary


Ambrym + Tanna 15 days (normal itinerary) | Ambae-Santo-Ambrym-Tanna (21 days)
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