"Your Vanuatu Volcano tour was a fantastic mix of hard core volcanoes and cultural Vanuatu life." (Shellie B., Australia)
Strombolian activity of Yasur
Beach on Ambrym (Photo: Marco Fulle)
Volcanoes and Cultures - Adventures in the South Sea
15-day volcano and photo expedition to Ambrym and Yasur volcanoes, Vanuatu
Volcano expedition: photography - active volcanoes - nature & culture
15 days / 14 nights
Are you ready for adventure?
The contrast between unspoiled rain-forest, coconut palm beaches, primitive culture and moon-like landscapes surrounding lava-spitting volcanoes could not be bigger: join us on an expedition to the two most active volcanoes of Vanuatu: Ambrym and Yasur.
The expedition is also an immersion into the diverse and rich traditional culture of the islands, the daily life in remote jungle villages where you meet the very hospitable and welcoming people of Vanuatu.
A great mix of adventure, breathtaking landscapes, unspoiled tropical beaches, friendly people and exotic culture awaits you.
1 / 9
2 / 9
3 / 9
4 / 9
5 / 9
6 / 9
7 / 9
8 / 9
9 / 9
- Multiple days for close observation of the active volcanoes Ambrym and Yasur
- Option to abseil into Bembow crater on Ambrym
- Charter flight Port Vila to Ambrym with scenic rounds over Lopevi and Ambrym volcano for aerial photography
- Breathtaking moonscapes, unspoiled rainforests, pristine beaches
- Intense experience of traditional life and culture of Vanuatu
- Delicious food (rich buffets with roasted pig and chicken, vegetables, tropical fruits etc)
- Custom dances and local music
- Small groups
- Accompanying geologist/volcanologist expert in Vanuatu's volcanoes
Tanna + Ambrym 15 days (itinerary when no lava lakes on Ambrym)
Day 1: Arrival on Vanuatu (Port Vila, Efate Island)
Arrival at the Airport of Port Vila & transfer to Port Vila town.
Day 2: Flight to Tanna - Transfer to Yasur volcano
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...
Day 3: Day-trip to Port Resolution beach & Yasur volcano
Relaxing day-trip to Port Resolution combined with a magnificent lunch on one of the world's most beautiful beaches... Visit of Yasur volcano for sunrise/sunset.
Day 4: Custom dances of Imao - John Frum village - Yasur
Optional early morning / sunrise excursion to Yasur volcano. Walk to the village of Imao to see unique custom dances with an
amazing panoramic view on Yasur volcano.
After lunch, transfer to the village of John Frum : meeting (and lunch) with village chief; side-trip to Sulfur Bay at the foot of Yasur to bathe in hot springs, visit of the local museum dedicated to the memory of John Frum.
If this falls on Friday, option to assist the all-night long dancing celebrations. Option to visit Yasur volcano again in the evening / night.
Day 5: Flight Tanna - Port Vila, free afternoon
Optional morning visit to Yasur volcano.
Transfer to airport, flight Tanna - Port Vila. Transfer to the hotel, free afternoon. Farewell dinner at the seafront (not included).
Day 6: Flight PV to Ambrym. Port Vato
Flight to Ambrym. Panoramic flight in a private charter to see the Lopevi volcano and fly over the Ambrym caldera (Weather permitting). Road to the village of Port-Vato and welcome ceremony. Possibility to discover the spectacular customary dances, ROM DANCE from the north of the island. Dinner with local music. Accommodation in very simple homestay accommodation. bamboo bed or on traditional mats. Normally simple accommodation but with a lot of charm in a village family. (The charm of the accommodation is not guaranteed this year because Ambrym suffered a very strong cyclone in March 2020, so the reconstruction of the houses can take several months or a year).
Day 7: Hike into the Ambrym caldera
Hike with porters into the caldera of Ambrym, set up base camp.
Day 8-9: 2 spare days on Ambrym
Depending on conditions and preferences, these 2 days could be used for additional excursions in the caldera or in one of the villages of Ambrym.
Day 10: Crossing of the caldera - descend to Endu
Cross the entire caldera and descend to the east coast of the island to the charming and unspoiled village of Endu on the east coast, where you'll be welcomed with lots of smiles. A welcome ceremony and a wonderful local dinner wait for you.
Day 11-12: Culture and Traditions of Endu
Two full days to discover the traditional culture and life of the village Endu: visit the schools, see dances, magic, medicine, local crafts and assist the preparation of the pig - the highest of ceremonial meals.
Day 13: Endu - Lopevi volcano and lava tubes - flight back to Port Vila
Transfer early morning to Toak or Penapo village; views of Lopevi stratovolcano. Discover the famous tradition and art of sand-drawing of Toak, a declared Unesco immaterial heritage.
On the way to the airport, visit lava tubes in Penapo; refreshment and flight back to Port Vila. After transfer to the previous hotel.
Day 14: Tour around Efate island
Day-tour to explore Efate island: visit a famous waterfall and the "Blue Hole".
Day 15: End of tour
Transfer to airport or own extension (recommended: 1-day tour on Efate).
The tour starts and ends in the capital Port Vila on Efate Island where international flights arrive (usually from Brisbane or Sydney in Australia or via Aukland New Zealand). Participants normally arrange their own flight tickets, but on request we can help with that.
Important noteEarly booking essential:
Due to the limited availability of flights and numerous logistic challenges involved in this expedition, you should sign up at least 6 months in advance
. This is also normally the date when we need to decide whether or not a tour can run.
The expedition will be accompanied by VolcanoDiscovery team volcanologist Yashmin Chebli
. Yashmin is trained geologist with a university Master's degree and member of SGF (Société Géologique de France). He has been working as tour guide and expedition leader to actives volcanoes, volcano photographer and consultant for more than 30 years. His areas of expertise include the active volcanoes in Italy, Vanuatu, the Hawaiian Islands, Guatemala, RD of Congo, Tanzania, Costa Rica and others. Besides his mother tongue French, Yashmin speaks several languages including English, Italian, and Spanish.
(photos) and Youtube channel
Yashmin Chebli explaining a pumice deposit
The climb up to and down to the Ambrym caldera is strenuous and takes about 4-6 hours in often hot conditions, but the path is relatively easy and not excessively steep. Inside the caldera, the hikes from the base camp to the volcanoes take about 1-2 hours.
Camping inside the caldera is adventurous, and will not offer much comfort, but the experience will be rewarding! No special skills are required to descent on the first terrace of Bembow volcano (-180m).
Hiking up Yasur Volcano is easy and takes about 1 hour.
AMBRYM WAS EPIC!!!!
"Hi there Tom,
First up - AMBRYM WAS EPIC!!!! Thanks so much for the opportunity Yasmin is a fantastic guide and what can I say about the crater lakes?
Unbelievable! Everyone has been absolutely raving about the photos I bought back-hopefully you'll get some business off the back of it, you guys deserve it."
(Kat S. from Brisbane, about the Vanuatu volcano expedition)
One of the best volcano trips you can ever think to do is this one." Volcanoes in the South Sea
"One of the best volcano trips you can ever think to do is this one. I went with Volcano Discovery in 2012 (http://www.volcanodiscovery.com/). First is the traverse of Ambrym Island and the overlook of the asonishing lava lake on Marum. Then the nightime visits to Tanna Island down south in the archipelago where Yasur volcano has a Strombolian eruption about 40 times an hour - plus shockwaves. And the Vanuatu people are some of the nicest anywhere.
(Richard Henley, Australia, about the Vanuatu Volcano tour)
... the most outstanding holiday of my entire life (Vanuatu Volcano Expedition).
"Hi Tom, ... , I was on the May Vanuatu expedition. I have to say that it was the most outstanding holiday of my entire life."...
"Tom, You're welcome to quote me by name, but I should add a bit more.
I've done several expedition tours with various outfits over the years,
and VolcanoDiscovery is clearly the best that I've encountered."
(Bruce V., Australia, about the Vanuatu Volcano Expedition).
Larissa & Yulia wearing helmets and gas masks on Ambrym
Thank you for the wonderful trip to Vanuatu. We enjoyed the challenging trekking and picturesque scenery very much.
Special thanks should go to our professional and charming guide Yashmin."
(Larissa, Russia, about the recent Volcanoes of the South Sea tour on Vanuatu)
the trip was superb and Yashmin did a wonderful job!
"Hello Tom: the trip was superb and Yashmin did a wonderful job! I came back fitter than before and looking forward to the next trip. Yashmin has convinced me to put Guatamala on the list!"
(Richard H., Australia, about the Vanuatu Volcano tour)
"Dear Yashmin and Tom
Thank you for a wonderful, awesome holiday.
Holidaying with volcanoes was Craig's wish holiday and it definitely lived up to his expectations.
Your Vanuatu Volcano tour was a fantastic mix of hard core volcanoes and cultural Vanuatu life. I really enjoyed the time we spent in Endu while we both found the volcanoes amazing.
Yashmin thank you for your quiet persistent handling of the Air Vanuatu troubles. I am going to email them some feedback, but this will probably not make much difference.
Thank you again. I am not sure if other volcano tours are in our future, but if they are are we will do them with you.
(Shellie B., Australia, about the recent Volcanoes of the South Sea Vanuatu volcano tour)
"I had a great trip recently to Vanuatu" Vanuatu Expedition
Just wanted to let you know I had a great trip recently to Vanuatu on your volcanoes in the south sea tour. After a few hiccups at the beginning Ulla and Basti were able to get things sorted and we set out on our adventure. I thoroughly enjoyed the trip, seeing the 2 things that I had always wanted to see......boiling lava and an exploding volcano! If Yasur was in my backyard I would love to watch it every night!
It also made a big difference to share the adventure with friendly, easy going people from around the world. Ulla and Basti were fantastic, very accommodating and nothing was ever too hard. This was my 2nd tour with volcano discovery, Volcanoes of Java being my first last year. I would recommend either of these trips to anyone who is seeking a volcano adventure."
Kristy W (Australia)
a cool trip in a really cool group - Vanuatu expedition
"Back home. It was a cool trip in a really cool group. Thanks to Ulla Lohmann and above all also Basti everything went smooth despite logistic challenges on location.
The experience of both gave us a great insight into the culture and people of Vanuatu. The video from this trip will this time be a professional one, as the SWR film team was with us. In November, you can see an impression from this tour on "Länder, Menschen,Abenteuer". Perhaps you'll see me in there as well."
(Alexander Günther, Hanover, Germany)
...What a genuinely life changing experience!... (Ambrym volcano tour)
Tim at Benbow volcano (Ambrym, Vanuatu)
What a genuinely life changing experience! I'm speechless!!!
Yashmin and the guides were first class and I am forever grateful for dealing with such experienced people!
I want to go again! Thanking you
Tim J C." (Australia)
"I can recommend this tour to anyone who wants to see, hear, feel, and smell the furious boiling lava of Vanuatu" (Andrew about the recent Expedition to Vanuatu)
Traditional dances on Ambrym (photo: Andrew McRae)
Explosion at Yasur volcano (photo: Andrew McRae)
"Hello Yashmin, and everyone at Volcano Discovery!
Thank you for running the Vanuatu tour, and explaining everything volcanic, and helping to keep us safe on the mountain and healthy in the jungles. None of us went for a lava swim so I guess it's a success?
Also, thanks for putting the flashing parking lights on the hills at Maroum because for a while I was concerned we wouldn't find our way back. But I think our local guides could have walked up and down blindfolded, they were amazing. Thanks for loaning me your jacket when I thought I would freeze to death - it was a privilege to wear that logo for just a few hours. :-D
Also thank you for helping me to understand that cultural immersion is the main value of travel.
I can recommend this tour to anyone who wants to see, hear, feel, and smell the furious boiling lava of Vanuatu. Not to mention the poulet fish is superb! I may even have a taste for camping, Camenbert theory, and cassava that I didn't have before." (Andrew M., Australia)
"Hi, I liked the Vanuatu trip, I think it was pretty professionally run and I would travel with Volcano Discovery again it's a good company and the people that travel on it are all nice..." (Antony, Australia about the Volcanoes in the South Sea expedition to Vanuatu)
kurze Naricht nach der Reise: es war SUPER!!!!!
Feuerberge der Südsee - Rückmeldung
Guy watching eruptions at Yasur volcano
"So urteilte ein Kunde über die 14 tägige Reise, welche als Expedition ausgewiesen wurde.
Das Reiseprospekt informierte im Voraus hervorragend über die zu erwartende Erlebnisse.
Die Durchführung der im Prospekte angegebenen Ankündigungen war vorbildlich. Alle Fahrzeuge bzw. Flugzeuge, die für die Transfers erforderlich waren bis auf einmal pünktlich, was unter den gegebenen Umstände ( auf Ambrym und Tanna existieren keine asphaltierten Strassen bzw. keine funktionierende Infrastruktur) eine ausgezeichnete Leistung darstellt. Zugleich blieb es jedoch möglich unter bestimmtem Umständen und mit Zustimmung der Reiseteilnehmer, dort wo das gewünscht wurde vom Reiseplan abzuweichen.
Für die Reiseleitung konnte die Fernseh-Moderatorin und Fotojournalistin Ulla Lohmann verpflichtet werden. Aufgrund Ihrer außergewöhnlichen Kenntnisse der Südsee und deren Bewohner konnte Sie nicht nur viel Wissenswertes vermitteln, sondern wegen Ihren vielen früheren Kontakten mit den Insulaner Tabus durchbrechen und der ganzen Gruppe
von neun Personen die Warmherzigkeit dieser Insulaner näher bringen. So waren Besuche bei den verschiedenen Dorfbewohnern einer der Höhepunkte dieser rundum gelungener Reise. Ihre hervorragenden Kenntnisse als Photographin und Hobby Vulkanologin führte zu mehreren sagenhaften Besuchen der Feuerberge mit gigantischen Ausblicken, die von den Besuchern – auch mit ihre Hilfe – auch fotographisch zu absoluten Höhepunkte werden konnten.
Auf den ältesten Expeditionsteilnehmer – immerhin deutlich über 60 Jahre alt – wurde stets Rücksicht genommen ohne das dies zu Einschnitte für die Jüngeren führte. Ich kann diese einmalige Reise jeden Vulkan – bzw. Südsee Liebhaber nur empfehlen."
(G. Franquinet, Teilnehmer der Pilotreise Mai 2009)
Ronny's mail about the expedition
Ronny at a freshly ejected lava bomb that is still glowing inside...
"Hi dear volcano lovers,
... I also wanted to thank everybody for making this tour so great!
Especially our professional and charming Ulla, for guiding us around Vanuatu, and Tom for the initiative/organization.
Hope we'll meet again sometime, miss you all,
Ronny" (Vanuatu expedition)