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Expedition to amazing Vanuatu.

Nagol. Volcanoes and tribes

10 days

22 people

3950

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Julia Svitlova

GROUP COORDINATOR

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10 days

28.04.24 - 07.05.24

✓ one man's place

DESCRIPTION

In 2017 and 2019, we conducted a series of incredibly interesting expeditions in the amazing Pacific island nation of Vanuatu. Due to popular demand, we have prepared this program for you for spring 2024.

 

Vanuatu is truly an incredibly beautiful and unique country that every traveler should definitely visit.

The Paganels love unique places - and Vanuatu is just that. There are several reasons for this!

- The first is the Nagol ritual! It is generally considered that the idea of ​​the now popular bungee jumping originated in Europe or America, but in fact this is not the case. Real jumpers live on the island of Pentecost in the Republic of Vanuatu, located in the southern part of the Pacific Ocean.

Every spring, an unusual initiation ceremony takes place among the aborigines - Nagol.

   The young men, tied by their legs with vines, need to jump from a wooden tower, the height of which reaches from 20 to 30 meters! We WILL SEE this with our own eyes, because this is a very rare and difficult to access event.

  •  The second reason for the uniqueness of Vanuatu is the active Yasur volcano, which is one of the famous five permanently active lava lakes that do not stop boiling for a minute and where we will definitely visit.

  •  The third reason we are going to Vanuatu is the local tribes, which are diverse, unique, amazing and very friendly.

And this is all because Vanuatu was recognized as the happiest country on the planet! This is precisely the conclusion reached by analysts from the British research center New Economic Foundation (NEF), who, together with the environmental organization Friends of the Earth, compiled a rating on the happiness index for the countries of the world - Happy Planet Index (HPI).

- The fourth reason is the beautiful nature of the oceanic islands with some of the best sandy beaches that we have seen in our lives, a clean ocean, many unique caves, lakes, waterfalls and other places where we will visit.

We will see all this as part of our amazing 10-day adventure trip in April 2024. We are starting to prepare now. We envy ourselves that we will visit these unique and incredibly interesting places!

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Andrii Andreiev

Expedition leader, photographer, filmmaker

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Olga Andreieva

Expedition leader, translator, photographer

IN THE COST OF EXPEDITIONIT INCLUDES:

  • It includes  accommodation in 4* hotels and resorts;

  • six domestic one way air flights;

  • transfers along the route;

  • rental of jeeps and minibuses;

  • fuel; services of drivers, local guides and conductors;

  • payment for all dance shows according to the program;

  • rental of the necessary equipment for snorkeling on the island of Espiritu Santo. Also it includes entrance tickets to all events and excursions according to the program;

  • visits to protected natural areas according to the program;

  • meals - breakfasts;

  • permissions for photo and video shooting in the tribes;

  • services of expedition leaders of the Paganel Studio team.

EXPEDITION COST DOES NOT INCLUDE:

  • The cost does NOT include flights from your home to Port Villa (Vanuatu) and back. Meals other than those specified in the program. Tips for local guides and drivers. Supplement for single occupancy.

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IMPORTANT!

Due to the fact that our expeditions do not include international flights to the starting point of the program, we cannot be held responsible for changes in flight conditions by airlines or airport requirements. Since our travelers fly from many different countries and cities, we never participate in the purchase of air travel and limit ourselves exclusively to advisory services in the selection of flights. Air agents or airlines from which tickets were purchased are responsible for the purchase and technical support.

ITINERARY

Day 1
28.04.2024

Arrival in the capital of Vanuatu, Port Villa. Meeting at the airport. Transfer to a cozy 4* hotel.

 We change money. We get acquainted with the capital of the island state. Rest after long flights.

Day 2
29.04.2024

We wake up calmly. We brush our teeth. We have breakfast. We rent out our rooms and rush to the airport. We have a busy and eventful day today. You need to do everything in time, but first you need to arrive at the airport on time, go through check-in and fly to Tanna Island. Upon arrival, transfer to a resort nearby.

 We check in, leave our things in our rooms and go to meet the local natives in an interesting tribe living near giant banyan trees.

 Today we also have a lot of dancing on the program. We take an active part, we definitely need to dance and stomp our feet, as the islanders do.

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We take a lot of beautiful photos and videos. Then we go see some of the largest banyon trees on the Planet.

They occupy hundreds of square meters each. Just an incredible sight.

We walk and have fun for about 3-4 hours. In the evening, we return to the resort and rest. After dinner at a restaurant overlooking the Ocean, we spend a traditional Paganel acquaintance evening.

  We present expedition T-shirts and badges.

Day 3
30.04.2024

We wake up calmly, have breakfast, so that by 10 am we are completely ready for adventure. Today we take swimming trunks with swimsuits, trekking shoes and a jacket for the evening. We pay for and pick up our lunch in the form of lunch boxes, load into the jeeps and move to the other side of Tanna Island. During this trip, you will understand why 4x4 jeeps are needed so much here. First, our path lies towards the area called Port Resolution.

 There is a beautiful large bay and the beach of the same name here. It was the bay where James Cook arrived, who discovered the island in 1774 and named it “Tanna”. Cook's ship was called Resolution during that voyage, so this bay is named after him. Here we will stop for a while, swim and lie on the sand. The water is clean and pleasant. We swim and sunbathe. There we will have lunch with lunch boxes taken from the hotel.

    After lunch, we go to explore the local hot springs, then head towards the village of John Frum. The village itself, located on the seashore, is not famous.  Houses. Small central square with flags.

Local residents sitting on the rubble. However, this place is iconic and we just need to take a look. At least to take a selfie and say that I was in the very center of the “cargo cult” worship. You will learn what a cargo cult is and who John Frum is from the guides on site.

After taking a few photos of this funny cult place, we stop by another interesting place with banyan trees.

Photos and videos, and then we move on to one of the main goals of our trip on the island of Tanna - Yasur volcano. Despite its activity and frequent eruptions, Yasur is considered the most accessible volcano in the world and is often visited by tourists.

 Our jeeps deliver the Paganels to a parking lot 5 minutes from the crater itself. You can already hear something hooting and shooting there.

 As soon as it begins to get dark, a team of local rangers and I walk to the point where we can best see the shooting and gurgling lava. Volcano activity is variable and it is difficult to say what we will see exactly. But the fact that he has not been silent for many centuries is a fact.

  When it becomes completely dark, we leave the volcano. We load into the jeeps and return to the resort. Dinner. Exchange impressions from a busy day.

Day 4
01.05.2024

In the morning, we wake up early. We have breakfast at 7 am. We load into the jeeps and go to meet the local native tribes in the village of Yakel.

  It is located in a lush forest; nearby there is a waterfall (you can swim) and a river. The tribe still lives here in traditional ways.

This village was even the location for the filming of the film "Tanna" in 2015, which was nominated for an Oscar as best foreign film. We take many photographs. The places are beautiful and exotic. We have about 3 hours.

  We return to our lodge, pick up our things and head to the airport. Flight to Port Villa. Transfer to the hotel. Rest and independent time.

Day 5
02.05.2024

We wake up calmly. We have breakfast. We leave things at the reception. We load into minibuses and go on an excursion to the National Museum of Vanuatu, where we can learn many interesting things about the famous “sand paintings” of the Vanuatu tribes.

Then, we return to the hotel. We take our things and rush to the airport.

Quick check-in. Coffee on the way and now we are flying to the island of Espiritu Santo (from Spanish espíritu santo - Holy Spirit, sometimes called simply Santo) - the largest island in the state of Vanuatu.

  Upon arrival, transfer to our cozy resort. Here we will settle down for the next few days in an amazing paradise on the shores of the Ocean. We will go on various interesting forays around the island and the surrounding area from here.

 We move into our houses. We look around. We take swimwear, as well as everything for snorkeling, fortunately, the hotel has it all free and in the right range, we go swimming. Dive. Sunbathe. Study the local marine fauna at the nearby reef. We have lunch at the hotel restaurant. After lunch, women from the local tribe come to visit us and perform “water music.”

“Music of Water” is an amazing musical experiment created on one of the islands of Vanuatu. You definitely have not heard it before and you unlikely will hear it anywhere.

 You can take part in this fun event with them. Well, in the evening at dinner we will listen to bamboo music and dance.

Rest in a resort.

Day 9
03.05.2024

Today is our day of adventure and trekking. We will spend the whole day exploring the local Millennium Cave. After breakfast at the hotel, we take swimwear, T-shirts, also take a spare set of dry clothes, which we will change into after the tour, get into minibuses and go to the very heart of Santo Island.

Millennium Cave is the largest cave in Vanuatu. It is located about an hour's drive from our hotel. We are dropped off 15 minutes’ walk from the entrance, and then we go there for the whole day. There will be lunch during the tour. Trekking is quite active and not easy, but very beautiful.

  You will have to do a lot of climbing on rocks and stairs, to float along rivers and canyons, to swim in waterfalls and cave lakes. This will be the real adventure highlight of this trip.

  After lunch, very tired, dirty, wet and happy, we return to the resort. In the evening, relaxing swimming in the Ocean, dinner and relaxation.

Day 7
04.05.2024

Today we get up early. We have breakfast. We only take cameras with us and, just in case, a rain jacket and umbrellas. Minibuses take us to the airport from where we fly on small Paganel shuttle planes to the very island of Pentecost. Here another goal of our expedition to Vanuatu awaits us: the Nagol ritual!

According to legend, the first extreme jumper was a woman. During a family quarrel, fleeing from a jealous tyrant husband named Tamale, she climbed a tall tree and hid. When her husband managed to find her, she fearlessly jumped down from a great height. The beauty managed to survive because she tied flexible vines to her ankles in advance, who did not allow her to break, but her husband, who rushed after her, died. Since then, the Nagol tradition began, but now only men jump, proving their fearlessness.

Preparation for Nagol takes about a month: the tribal elder, together with the men who decided to jump, build a ritual tower with special care, tying the trunks and branches of trees with vines. The tower is crowned with a wooden platform, from which the brave guys make their dizzying flights. The Nagol holiday is held only in spring: from April 15 to the first ten days of June. The reason is simple - during this period, a certain variety of vines fills with juice and becomes elastic like rubber, which is what the Melanesians use.

Even the Queen of Great Britain herself flew here to see this unique spectacle, and of course the Paganels should also see this. We fly to Pentecost in two groups. There, the first group waits for the second group, and then we all go together to the place where Nagol is held.

During the jumps, together with the few other tourists and local residents, we take a lot of photographs and shoot videos. Closer to lunch we return to the airport and fly back to Santo Island in 2 portions.

Transferring to the hotel again. Exchanging impressions from a busy day. Swimming in the Ocean. Evening snorkeling and relaxation.

Day 8
05.05.2024

Relaxing day. Today we look at those very famous beaches of the island, for which travelers and tourists from all over the planet flock here.

However, first we will explore the famous Blue Holes of Santo Island among travelers. On the island of Espiritu Santo there are 3 blue holes where tourists are taken. They are called Jackies, Matavulu, RiRi Blue Hole. The largest of them is Matavulu.

 

  Blue holes are natural pools formed by the release of groundwater through layers of limestone.

  These “holes” contain the bluest water in the world. Blue holes get their name from the dramatic contrast of the deep, dark blue water and the lighter water around them. Water temperature +25. It is fresh and perfectly invite to plunge into it in the heat. That is what we will do.

  After that, we go to Champagne - the scourge. It is one of the ten best beaches on the planet. Champagne Beach is a crescent-shaped beach made of sand next to a crystal clear lagoon surrounded by coral. Where did such an unusual name come from? An interesting phenomenon observed by the first European travelers who visited the best beach in Vanuatu is that in the shallow waters of the lagoon at low tide, the water bubbles and fizzes, like champagne.

This amazing phenomenon is the result of the emission of gas from volcanic rock formations lying at the bottom of the lagoon.

Champagne Beach is the main tourist attraction on the east coast of Espiritu Santo.

We will have lunch at a small fishing restaurant on White Songs beach. Overall, we are in for a wonderful and relaxing day. In the evening, we return to the base and our resort.

Day 9
06.05.2024

Early rise again. We have breakfast. We say goodbye to our native island of Santo Espiritu. Airport transfer. Flight to Port Villa.

  Transfer to the hotel. Due to the early arrival, we probably will not be checked in, so we leave our things at the reception, take swimsuits, load into minibuses and go to the cascades of Evergreen and Lolomita waterfalls.

   We swim there and walk. Enjoy the tropical unique nature of the island. We have lunch in the city at one of the seafood restaurants.

After lunch, we return to the hotel. We check into the rooms. We put everything in order. In the evening, we gather for a farewell dinner at one of the city’s restaurants or at our hotel.

 Dinner. Rest.

Day 10
07.05.2024

Breakfast in the hotel. We rent out our rooms. We leave our things at the reception in the storage room, and we go for a walk around the city. We buy souvenirs and magnets. Say goodbye to each other and beautiful Vanuatu. After lunch, transfer to the airport. Flight home.

We are unique

For many years, we have been traveling the world to our small planet's most remote and unusual places.  We do not use the services of domestic travel agencies.  The trips we invent and carry out are always unique and have their unique zest, charm, and adventurous spirit.

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WHY WITH PAGANEL?

Creation

The first thing that interests us is creativity in everything.  During the expeditions, we shoot a lot of videos, take pictures, write stories, draw pictures.  If you are interested in a creative approach to life and travel, then WELCOME... we are very happy to meet you!

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Interest

By joining our team, you join a kind of club-family, which already consists of several hundred people who are interested in discovering the world with us.

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Since most of the expenses for the organization of the trip are air tickets and travel documents for other types of transport, accommodation, excursions, services of local companies and guides, etc. are not refundable in case of your cancellation of the trip. We simply have no way to return it.

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Cherish Life! Love! Travel!

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