Traveling to Tanna Island ...the one with the live volcano


John Nicholls with the Yakel Tribe.

John Nicholls with the Yakel Tribe.

TIP: Tanna is an island where tourism is still quite new to local inhabitants. A small number of guesthouses, village bungalows and small "resort" have been established by the local villagers and do not fit any Western standard of accommodation criteria. Most are built of local materials (wood and palm leaves); floors can be mats on the ground; toilet facilities are holes in the ground and running water is not common.There is one 2 coconut; one 3 coconut, and one 4 coconut resort operated by expats all close to the airport.

Except for the three close-to-airport resorts, food is always locally grown and what is available on the day. As there is little or no power, cold storage is non-existent. Preserved and canned supplies are generally in stock for local consumption and often below the standard you are used to. If buying packaged or canned foods please check the expiry date as many are out of date.

Traveler’s cheques or credit & debit cards are not normally accepted outside the three resorts (only Visa & Mastercard). Payment for the most part in Vanuatu is is in cash, so when you arrive in Port Vila (the main international airport) exchange your cash for the local currency of Vatu.

You will obtain the best exchange rate at "Goodies"in Port Vila, then travel with cash and save 5% on CC fees found throughout the country.

A further word of advice when traveling in Vanuatu: some of the Port Vila roadside “Travel Agents” are closely associated (often family members) with some of the island bungalows of outer islands; consequently may not always have your objectives as their priority.

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Written by Vanuatu Local
My wife Silvana and I live permanently at Rockwater Resort, on the southern island of Tanna, Vanuatu. Tanna means "earth" in Tannese. The home of cargo cults, the most accessible volcano in the world and traditional, peaceful people. It is an island of contrast, stark black volcanic sand and pure white coral sand beaches fusing into each other. Uncrowded surfing or ash boarding down a live volcano. Tanna has lush rainforests and fat cows grazing in a ecological haven. Some Tannese are gentle artists others tough pragmatic businessmen, yet all are superstitious, even the politicians, consult their sorcerers or "wise men" on important... Read more

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