Volcano Trekking in Ambrym Island
Fancy adding volcano trekking to your bucket list? Some of the best trekking in Vanuatu can be found at Ambryn Island, just a quick 1-hour flight from Port Villa you will find this Volcanic Wonderland. Named by Captain James Cook back in 1774 the triangular island is the second most popular for volcano trekking tours (first being Tanna).
Home to two of the world’s most active volcanoes, both located in the middle of the island with a 12km caldera joining them together like holding hands. These majestic twin volcanoes light up the night sky with their bubbling lava lakes a beautiful sight to see and great excuse to embark on an overnight trek. Mt Benbow sits at an impressive 1160m, while Mt Marun towers slightly taller at 1270m you can feel their presence as soon as you arrive.
While visiting the island you will also experience the authentic and unique customs and cultures of Vanuatu, you may even witness a spiritual sacrifice on your journey. The uniquely spirited Island is also known as the Black Magic Centre of Vanuatu, and it has been said by dropping a white chicken into the crater you will avoid bad luck. The villages are decorated in sculptured tam-tams, made from tree trunks and used in ceremonial rituals such the famous Rom Dance. Smaller carvings are often available to buy from the talented locals, as your time with the locals listens to the ancient stories about tradition and customs. Keep in mind the stories are scared and hold value to the locals, seek permission before taking photographs of the people and the sand drawings.
There are several different trekking options once you arrive on the Island, you can either fly to Craig Cove or Ulei Airports and then travel to the departure points from there. If you are looking for a day trek you can start from the north and return the same way, alternatively, if you want to immerse yourself for longer there are multi-day options available with local guides.
The Island offers traditional bungalow style accommodation, no hotel around these shores. If you are wanting to get a little more in touch with the surrounding nature camping is also a possibility anywhere on the ash plain. A more popular campsite for those in the south is at the edge of the caldera as the barren ash plain transitions into the lush surrounding vegetation. This provides shelter from the weather and there is also a spring for fresh water supplies. The campsites have bush toilets and kitchen-dining halls, with basic wood-fire cooking. Be sure to pack your own tent, bedroll and sleeping bag to ensure you get a good night’s rest.
Adequate fitness is a must for these treks, especially the multi-day options. You will pass through the rugged natural beauty of Vanuatu and climb up to heights of 950m. If you looking to bring the kids along for the ultimate memory making holiday they do need to be 12 years or older.
As a visitor to the island, you will pay a fee, depending on your length of stay. This fee includes your payment to the guide and should be negotiated before your trek begins. If you are looking for a longer stay the guide will be able to help with carrying supplies and is helpful for navigating your way around the Island, as you would almost certainly get lost amongst the ash plain. The plain more resembles a maze of rolling hills and eroded channels.
Ambrym Island is a truly magical experience where patience is key to capture the best experience, the longer you embrace this hidden treasure the more likely you are to get that picture perfect volcanic view. Check out flights to Ulei Airport to experience the Island of Black Magic today.