Pentecost & Maewo Islands
Traveling to Pentecost Island to witness the famous land diving ritual of Nagol (N’gol) is a rewarding experience you will never forget. Nagol is a celebration of the yam harvest and it is also regarded as a fertility rite for men, even though boys as young as age seven often participate. Every Saturday between the months of April and June, local men and boys with only a vine attached to the legs jump from a man-made tower.This man-made tower is built by locals using vines from the forest. Each vine is meticulously selected by experienced jumpers who know how important it is to get it perfect, for even as little as 10 centimeters can be the difference between a successful jump or certain death. is this ritual that the idea and invention of bungee jumping came to the bungee jumping inventor, Kiwi AJ Hackett.
Seeing the Nagol ritual in person on the island of Pentecost is an amazing experience for all senses. The very ground pulses and vibrates under the stomping and dancing of many feet from the local villages, the sounds and colors fill your ears and eyes while you breathlessly watch each jumper dive and complete the jump safely.
Arriving and Staying on Pentecost Island
There are two local bungalow hosts, Nagol and Waterfall Bungalows. Both of these accommodations provide transportation for their guests from the airport. Nagol is located in South Pentecost, in the Pangi Area while Waterfall is located in the Noda Area. Four flights from Port Villa and Santo come onto the island’s two airfields each week. Day tours and overnight stays are open from April until the end of June every year.
Activities on Pentecost
In addition to witnessing the mind boggling ritual of N’gol, there are several things you can do while spending time on Pentecost Island. Your bungalow hosts can help you arrange tours and expeditions that will allow you to fully experience the island’s culture, enjoy the people and the beauty of the land that surrounds the area. Activities such as hiking to historical sites, snorkeling, paddling outrigger canoes and village tours are some of the many options open to you during your stay.
Pentecost Island Videos
The island of Maewo is a rugged, small island that runs about 56 km along the coast. The mountainous central area and the south eastern coast are the most popular areas for visitors. Both coastlines boast the beautiful black sand beaches, bird watching paradise and many water sports and hiking opportunities. Maewo has some of the most beautiful waterfalls you will ever see. Most of the island’s local people live over on the sheltered west coast of Maewo.
Maewo is famous for magic performed by skilled sorcerers and is said to have secret societies. Many of the traditional dances that are performed are restricted by sexes–the men’s dances can only be participated in by men and the same goes for particular women’s dances. After these restricted dances are performed, the dancing grounds upon which they danced are forbidden grounds for the opposite sex for some time after the dances are over. It is important to note that visitors to the island of Maewo will have to observe and respect these traditional dances and their restrictions.
Activities on Maewo
Yachting is a particularly popular activity around the island of Maewo, especially during the season of the festivals. There are river and waterfall tours, bird watching outings, hikes and cultural village tours, all of which can be arranged by the bungalow hosts during your stay.
Getting to Maewo Island
The flights to Maewo are with Air Vanuatu directly from Port Villa. These flights are on Wednesdays and Fridays during the tourist season from April to the end of June.
Experiencing the beauty and variety of both Pentecost and Maewo Islands is something you and your loved ones will not soon forget. You can choose to visit during the height of the festival season and witness the N’gol in person or you can choose a quieter time to enjoy the getaway without crowds and noise. The area is a beautiful sight to see and an amazing experience to remember for a lifetime.