Vanuatu (Republic of Vanuatu)

Languages: Bislama, English, French

Currencies: VUV · Vanuatu vatu (Vt)

Capitol: Port Vila

Continents: Oceania

More useful information

Area: 12,189km2

Population: 307,150

Traffic/driving side: right

Landlocked country: No

Independent country: Yes

United Nations member: Yes

IDD Prefix: +678

Timezones: UTC+11:00

Last updated on May 6, 2024

Vanuatu was my big dream for years. It all started with a tv programme by famous Polish traveler and writer about Vanuatu remote tribe villages. The archipelago is a land of untouched beauty and strong cultural traditions. Last cannibalism was traced in late 1970s across north islands of Vanuatu. The more I read about this country, the more I wanted to go. My desire escalated once I discovered the volcanic origin of the islands and opportunity for hiking Mount Yasur Volcano, which is one of the biggest highlights in the whole Pacific region.

Yasur is one of the most accessible active volcanoes in the world, making it a popular destination for hikers and adventure seekers. It is located on Tanna Island, one of the many islands that make up the archipelago of Vanuatu. 

Traveling across the islands brought me unforgattable experiences, landscapes and memories. 

Where is Mount Yasur Volcano located?

Vanuatu is an archipelago, which is a part of Melanesia. The country consists of 83 islands, which are volcanic and coral in origin. 

Most of the islands are inhabited. The main island is Efatu, with Port Vila – the capital city and international Bauerfield International Airport.

Mount Yasur is located in Tanna Island, located south-west direction from the main Efate Island. Tanna Island can be reached on a 45-60 minute flight from Port Vila (Efate Island). There is one flight daily only (previously there were two flights a day) and usually the flights are full, so you need to plan and book in advance.

Most famous Vanuatu islands are: Malakula, Espirito Santo, Ambrym, Maewo, Santa Maria and Tanna (with Mount Yasur). 

Hiking Mount Yasur Volcano in Vanuatu – the most accessible active crater in the world.

How to get to Vanuatu?

The most common way to get to Vanuatu is by plane, due to distant location of the islands in the Pacific Ocean. They lie about 1800 kilometres east of Australia and 800 kilometres from Fiji.

Vanuatu can be reached with a direct flight from Australia (Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne), New Caledonia and Fiji Islands.

Highly recommended to check my Full travel guide to New Caldonia – the world’s largest lagoon!

I flu from New Caledonia but on the way back I booked a direct flight from Port Vila to Brisbane with Virgin Australia (which is only 3 hours flight). There are few airline operators: Qantas, Fiji Airways, Virgin Australia, thus it is best to search for best option and price on If booked in advance, prices start from $100. 

You might like: Best things to do in Bondi Beach Sydney.

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How to get to Tanna Island and Mount Yasur?

Air Vanuatu operates across Vanuatu islands. However, every time I wanted to book a flight on the operator website, the payment could not be processed 😉 That’s why I recommend to conveniently book all your flights on TRIP.COM – the prices are exactly same. I used for all my tickets and it worked perfectly.

Where to stay in Tanna Island?

Mount Yasur is magic, and so is the view from one and only place to stay Castle Tree House and Bungalow. 

This place is completely different to any other bungalows on the island. Mike – the host and his wife along with 5 beautiful children are absolutely lovely! I remember reading reviews about the place and I knew this is where I want to stay. 

Getting there is a bit of a challenge, but the owner collects all guests from the airport and brings to Castle Tree House in his 4WD Toyota. There is no other transportation on the island, there are no roads, so get ready for a 2 hour off-road drive through dense jungle and 3 rivers. You’ll be probably asked to get off the car in muddy sections, so Mike can drive through the rough terrain. One of the rivers is 30 metres wide with very strong current.. hard to imagine how skilled driver is Mike. We called him King Mike 😉

There are few other bugalows near Mount Yasur Entrance but without volcano view – trust me you don’t want to miss the biggest highlight of the stay.

Castle Tree House and Bungalows.

The bungalows are very basic, don’t expect anything fancy, they are perfect! A bamboo bungalow is equipped with a bed, moskito net and lovely terrace with palm tree with coco nuts, surrounded by a pure jungle with unreal view of the smoking Yasur Volcano. You’re going to bed with incredible volcano fizz, looking at the red sky aura from lava reflection. If you prefer to stay on the hights, you can live one of the most incredible experiences and stay in the tree bungalow, hanging 10 or even 15 metres above the ground.

You will experience tiny ground shaking /even few times a day/ – Vanuatu has a very high level of seismic activity. There are over 2000 seismic activities registered every year. 

Mike’s wife cooks for all guests, as there are no shops or other places to cater. Once you land in White Grass Airport in Tanna, located near Lenakel-the largest town on the island, it is your last chance to do some shopping.

If you prefer more luxury accommodation there are two brilliant resorts located short distance from the airport and main town of the island:

Getting to Mount Yasur.

You will need to book a tour to go hiking Mount Yasur Volcano. Mike – the host of Castle Tree House and Bungalows, will be able to drive you to the volcano /stopping at the entrance/. They offer most of the popular tours across the island. 

In March there were only 5 jeeps driving to the volcano. It’s a 15 minute drive taking you to the bottom of the crater. 

Yasur Volcano Entry.

Entrance fee to Yasur Volcano is 8000 Vatu per person. You need to register before entering. The guide will explain basic hiking rules and share advice on how to behave in the event of erruption. It is signifacnt advice, as Mount Yasur explosions are so loud, it is very easy to panic. 

Mount Yasur Volcano activity is constantly monitored. Yasur activity level was 2 on the day of the tour. The scale is from 0-5 and tours are only allowed with 0,1 and 2 levels. The tour will not go ahead if the level is between 3-5. 

Hiking Mount Yasur Volcano.

Hiking Mount Yasur volcano usually starts at 4pm. Your jeep will park at the bottom of the volcano, in the middle of lava field where only human activity evidence is wooden toilet 😉

The group is strictly guided by volcano staff, you’ll be taking steps toward volcano and walk along the giant crater to the main viewing point.

It is quite windy at the top, it’s better to wear a rainproof jacket and long trousers. The volcano ash can be disturbing, but it all depends on the activity level on the day. 

At the top of Mount Yasur.

You’ll be able to see the crater of the volcano and lava holes at the bottom. If you’re lucky, you may even get to witness a huge eruption. There is a tiny barrier but never venture too close to the edge of the crater, it’s very steep, and always be aware of your surroundings. 

You will spend at least 2.5 hours at the top, waiting for the twighlight to witness incredible red aura of the crater, ash clouds and rumbling noises, right at your foot! Standing at the foot of such a powerful active volcano is a surreal experience. 

Is hiking Mount Yasur safe?

First, it’s important to understand that Mount Yasur is an active volcano. While it is closely monitored by local authorities, there is always a possibility of a sudden eruption or other volcanic activity.

In fact, the volcano has been erupting continuously for hundreds of years, with occasional periods of increased activity. 

The tour is fully guided from the entrance and back. There are exclusion zones, which you should never ignore. While it may be tempting to explore the volcano’s slopes, it’s important to stay within designated hiking areas, protected by barriers.

On the way back to jeep cars it got really windy. The guides were very helpful and maintained all the group till everyone got in the car. 

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Sassari Sardinia

Hey - I'm Eva!

Hiker, adventurous traveler and the author of this blog. My biggest joy is mountaineering and writing reportage travel stories here on this blog, to help you create a unique travel experience. Traveling is freedom, allows you seeing the world truly, meet communities, grow. Taste it!