We highly recommend a trip to Tanna to see the amazing Mt Yasur.
We went in August (only just getting around to posting a review now – my apologies)
It was the awe inspiring to stand on the rim of the volcano and watch, hear and feel the mountain exploding right in front of you. We planned the trip to visit the volcano twice and we are very pleased we did the second night. The second time we knew what to expect and took more in. Also the first night you are so busy snapping away that the second night you tend to chill out a bit more and just enjoy it.
It is no small thing to get there. The roads are only suited to 4 wheel drive vehicles and makes travel so much slower, and expensive.
We were met at the airport without any problems and after a short stop in Lenakel we headed over the hill to the east side. The trip took two hours.
We stayed at Lava View Bungalows which we don’t regret.
No rats in sight. We saw pigs and other village animals but luckily no rats.
The huts were basic wood frames with mattress’s, blankets and a mosquito net. It was exactly what we expected for village accommodation. The main village is down the hill and the guest rooms, shower/toilet and kitchen/dining area are on an elevated site up the hill with views of the volcano 3kms away. We were the only guests that time and so it was really quiet and peaceful in amongst the trees and we enjoyed being able to sit and watch the smoke and rocks exploding out every minute or two. But Daniel or one of the others was always not far away and looking out for us.
On the Saturday night the village entertained the children with video clips of local singers using a generator. It was projected onto a sheet of corrugated iron which distorted the image somewhat but it was delightful seeing the joy and pleasure that the kids got from it.
They have recently put in a solar panel so could provide basic lighting and battery charging.
The food was basic but plenty of it. We would have loved to have had the opportunity to eat what they would normally cook themselves, but we guess that the majority of tourists would prefer the western type meals they provided – Rice with meat and vege. For breakfast they give you several doorstop slices of bread with butter and margarine. My suggestion to Lava View would be to find a way to toast it. .
We strongly suggest you take a lot more Vatu than you think you will need. We had emailed and included a request for confirmation of costs. Daniel emailed back but didn’t confirm the costs so we based the amount we took, on their website prices which at that time hadn’t been updated. The site has been updated now. This meant that we were short.
Daniel from Lava View was really good about it. We suggested that we have the guide on the mountain the first night, and we could manage without the guide for the second night but Daniel said he would give us the guide for the second night without any cost rather than take that risk. We didn’t think this was fair and we ended up only a few vatu short of the total cost including the guide for both days. We did this by declining the ladies doing their traditional dance and as we had taken plenty of bananas, nuts and crackers, we didn’t have the lunches. We definitely didn’t go hungry but it would have been nice to provide the village with the extra income by watching the ladies dance.
Anywhere you go is going to cost just to get there from Lava View. We were keen to walk down and explore the Ash fields at the base of the volcano after lunch on the second day. Robert the tour guide, suggested we go in the afternoon and the truck would pick us up on the way to the Volcano. This was a great suggestion as it saved us a long walk back.
We would love to return to Tanna and visit the volcano again but also have more time (and money) to be able to do so of the other activities available on Tanna.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Experience Real Village Life at an Eco-Friendly Bungalow, Lava View Bungalows is an integral part of Isaka Village. The gentle rhythms of authentic village life surround and welcome you. Dawn breaks to the sound of children playing, roosters crowing or the echoing music of ceremonial shells. The rumbling of Yassur, the volcano seen from your bungalow verandah, is a constant soundtrack to the day. We are a sustainable, locally based small community enterprise. We think globally and act locally: your bungalow is made of local materials, very basic and is powered by solar energy 24 hours a day but no power plug is not available. Please bring spare batteries for your camera. Meals feature fresh organic local vegetables, fruit and meat. We are committed to supporting the development of our community. Your stay helps to fund school fees and other community projects. Our deep knowledge of the culture and customs of the local area means we can customize your stay to suit your interests. At Lava View Bungalows, our family looks forward to welcoming you to our world ... a unique experience you will never forget. Note: Airport to Bungalow transportation is available. Please send email to ask any question, however, we can only check email every few days. We do not sale alcohol, and no refrigerator at our bungalow, you can bring your own drinks such as red wine and spirits if you wish to consume alcohol. We are surround by the village and forest, so there could be flies, and insects. Please bring Insect repellent. If you have any problem with height, we do not recommend you to stay at the Tree House but we also have bungalows on the ground. We built the bungalow from scratch again since the Cyclone, devastated our bungalows so it might not be the perfect but we will do our best to make you feel it's home. ... more less
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