The home to Vanuatu's land dive ceremony
Pentecost Island got its European name when Captain Cook sighted the
island on the Day of Pentecost, in 1774. This lush paradise consists of a mountain range, central plains and a
markedly different climate in the east and west. The western side of the island has a temperate climate, while the
eastern side is much wetter and tropical. The largest population centers lie on the western side of the island,
though inroads are being made into the eastern half of the island as the population grows.
What to do on
The island features little in the way of tourist attractions. There
are no towns of note on the island, though small villages dot the island. Visitors will find a largely unspoiled
natural preserve, where the residents survive through farming for food and raising cash crops. You'll find at least
one tourist attraction, though.
|Popularly known as land dive, the Naghol ceremony is held annually on Pentecost
usually in April and May, so it's best to book in advance.
The island is the birthplace of
bungee jumping. The sport originated with a local custom called the naghol, referred to by outsiders as land dive. The men of the southern half of the
island would gather every year between April and June to jump from tall tower secured by vines around their ankles.
This practice goes on today, though it is now witnessed by tourists on a regular basis; fees apply for the
performance. This has also become a source of revenue for the islanders and one of Vanuatu's popular tourist
The island boasts two small airfields and is serviced by local
air companies and private charters. Flying into the island is the most popular way to arrive, though boats
routinely put in, as well. Most villagers on the coast have access to motorboat, which can be used for travel
around the island, as well as to neighboring islands and islets.
For travel on the island, 4x4 vehicles are almost required. Coastal
roads are easier to navigate and can be accessed with bicycles and motorcycles; however, the inland portions
require the use of an off road vehicle much of the year. In addition, the most popular mode of transport is
walking; you'll find the majority of islanders prefer to walk, or do not own another form of transport.
There are several "guesthouses" on the island, and at least one
hotel/resort offering bungalows. However, do not travel to the island expecting luxury accommodations. This island
is the ideal place for exploring and adventuring, and those prepared to experience the outdoors will reap the