Pentecost & Maewo Island

pentecost island 2Pentecost Island has become famous throughout the world for the land diving ritual (Nagol or N’gol) which occurs every Saturday between April and June. The ritual, which influenced the invention of bungee jumping by Kiwi AJ Hackett, sees local men and boys as young as seven jump from a 20 -30 metre high manmade tower with only a vine attached to their legs.

The tower itself takes locals five weeks to build using materials from the forest. The vines are carefully selected by jumpers who know that just 10 centimetres may be the difference between life and death. Traveling to view this magnificent ceremony is a once in a lifetime experience. No words can express the feeling of the ground vibrating under the dancing and stomping feet of villages and the excitement of sitting beneath the tower waiting with unease for the diver to jump safely to ground. The awe-inspiring ceremony celebrates the yam harvest and is a fertility rite for men.

Things To Do

In Pentecost, there is a variety of tours and excursions to experience the culture, people, and beauty of the environment, which can all be organised by your bungalow hosts and include custom village tours, hikes, snorkeling, outrigger canoe paddling, and visiting historical sites and land marks.

On Maewo, yachting is popular especially when traveling during traditional festival periods. Highlight activities whilst on Maewo include river and waterfall tours, cultural village tours and bird watching. All tours can be arranged by your bungalow hosts.

April - June every year (Pentecost)

Land Diving festival, occurs every Saturday between April and June.

Custom (Kastom) village

Learn about the ancient lifestyle and traditions of the local villagers on Pentecost and Maewo.

Waterfall and Rivers

Tours can be arranged to some of the most beautiful rivers and waterfalls on both islands.

Yachting

A great way to sight-see on the water and catch a glimpse of other nearby islands, is by yachting up to Pentecost and Maewo during festival seasons. Yachting is very popular around April to June as yachts sail to Pentecost to watch the land diving.

Getting there and getting around

pentecost island 1 diverThere are four flights a week to the island’s two airfields from Port Vila and Santo. For details and schedules, visit the Air Vanuatu website. Both Nagol and Waterfall Bungalows have transportation available for guests. Tours can be arranged on request at the bungalow such as custom village tour, hiking, snorkelling, paddle on outrigger canoe, and visiting historical sites and land marks.

Day Tours and Overnight Trips on Pentecost are available from April until end of June of every year. There are a number of Operators who offer activities and tour packages to the world famous Land Dive or Nagol festival.

Most bungalows have transportation available for guests and tours can be arranged on request with the bungalow hosts.

Things You Should Know

Accommodation

There are very few bungalows on Pentecost, but two offer overnight accommodation for guests traveling to Pentecost to watch the land diving ceremony or just to stay for a few days away from the towns’ bustle and hustle. They are Nagol Bungalows in south Pentecost, Pangi Area, and Waterfall Bungalows in Noda area.

Maewo Island

Maewo is very thin and rugged island stretching 56km with a mountainous central chain and both coastlines covered with black sand beaches.

Most of the islanders live on the sheltered west coast. Maewo receives the largest amount of rain in Vanuatu and as such, has some of the most beautiful waterfalls.

Maewo is famous for its ancient secret societies. Magic is performed almost as much as in Ambrym and the sorcerers claim to be even more skilled. Some traditional dances performed by men are tabu for women. They must not see any of the dances and the dancing ground will remain forbidden for some time after the dance.

In return, the women have their own dances which cannot  be seen by men. Please note that visitors will face the same restrictions.

Highlight activities whilst on Maewo include the river and waterfall tours, cultural village tours and bird watching. All tours are arranged on request.

Getting there and getting around in Maewo

Flights with Air Vanuatu operate direct from Port Villa to Maewo on Wednesday and Fridays. For details and schedules, visit the Air Vanuatu websiteYachting is also popular as a means of traveling to Maewo, especially around the various festivals period.

Accommodaiton

Accommodation in Maewo is made up of basic island bungalows. Below is a list of island bungalows available for overnight stays on Maewo, including some information on facilities and services available:

Asanvari Yacht Club Bungalow (South)

  • Beach Front Bungalow
  • Yacht club frequented by yachties
  • Waterfall nearby
  • 24 hour Hydro Power
  • 5 minute walk to shops and clinic
  • Tours can be arranged on request
  • Host: Chief Nelson Sarai

Aurora  Island Guest house (Narovorovo, South Maewo)

  • Bedrooms (3 beds)
  • Self contained kitchen
  • Flash toilet and shower
  • River and cultural tours can be arranged on request
  • Telephone (678) 38829 or Mobile (678) 7741309, (678) 7747391
  • Host: Naomi Garae

Lini Guest House (Kaiovo, North Maewo)

  • Thatched roofing house
  • By the sea
  • Flash toilet and shower
  • Tours can be arranged on request