Pentecost Island, Vanuatu in the South Pacific

Land Diving on South Pentecost Island, Vanuatu

A Land Diver on South Pentecost Island Getting Ready to Jump in nothing but Nambas.

Welcome to South Penetecost Island

Home of Nanggol or what is more commonly known as Land Diving.

Pentecost Island is located in the small South Pacific island nation of Vanuatu. Pentecost Island is one is one of the 83 islands that make op Vanuatu.

Land Diving

A Pentecost Land Diver Plummeting towards the Ground

A Pentecost Land Diver Plummeting towards the Ground

Land Diving is a growing traveller and tourist attraction that brings in thousands of visitors a year to Pentecost.

While Day Trips from Port Vila are quite common during the Land Diving Season, one can also view the Land Diving by coming in on a cruise ship.

However, for more adventurous travelersstaying in a village at one of the five guest houses that are located on Pentecost Island is a more attractive option.

The Land Divers jump annualy from April to June.

It is said that the Land Divers Jump for a good Yam Harvest or to Celebrate the First Yam Crop of the year.

Although that may possibly be a lot of tourist fluff.

The Land Divers really jump to show that they are coming of age and becoming a man. In laymans terms, Land Divers jump to show how macho and brave they really are.

The Land Diving Tower near Lonorore Airport on South Pentecost Island.

The Land Diving Tower near Lonorore Airport on South Pentecost Island.

The Three Towers

Unknown to many, there are actually 3 Land Diving Towers on South Pentecost Island. Two of the towers are accessible by coming to shore via a cruise ship and the other is very close to Lonorore Airport. Its only about a 10 minute hike to one of the Land Diving Towers from Lonorore Airport.

The Land Diving Tradition has been going on for so long that not even the island locals or chiefs can tell you exactly how long for. Land Diving has been a tradition for many, many centuries is all we know.

Tilling the Ground below the Land Diving Tower

Tilling the Ground below the Land Diving Tower.

Land Diving is the Original Bungee Jump. Land Divers jump with only vines, there is no safety equipment begin used. The ends of the vines are shredded and tied around the jumpers ankles. The soil beneath the tower is softened and tilled to make the impact less severe when the Land Diver hits the ground.

The vines must be used during a certain time of the year to ensure that there is enough sap in them to keep them flexible, to prevent them from breaking and to save the Land Divers life.

Pentecost Nanngol or Land Diving Traditionalyl wear, Nambas

Song and Dance occur through the Land Diving 'Show' seen here wearing Nambas.

Royalties for Land Diving?

In 1995 the People of Pentecost Island with the Attorney General of Vanuatu backing them up, made an effort to get royalties from commercial Bungee Jumping companies. The Land Divers believe that their tradition was stolen.

While unclear it could possibly be AJ Hackett as he is the world leader in the commercial bungee jumping industry. In the past, AJ Hackett has used Land Diving Footage in his Bungee Jumping promotional videos.

Pentecost Island is Very Green

Vibran Green Jungle is Everywhere on Pentecost Island, Vanuatu.

Vibrant Green Jungle is Everywhere on Pentecost Island.

Vibrant, Lush and Green Jungle on Pentecost Island

The Jungle Interior on Pentecost Island is Thick, Lush and very Green.

Pentecost Island, Vanuatu

The Views on Pentecost Island are Stunning.

Coconut Trees on Pentecost Island are Very Common

Coconut Trees on Pentecost Island are Very Common.

Pentecost Island is a very green and lush island with a dense, mountain jungle interior. There is cell/mobile phone coverage on the island but as one might suspect, it is not very good.

Cows are Plentiful on Pentecost Island

Cows are Plentiful on Pentecost Island.

There are many cows and chickens roaming freely throughout the island. Many times you will see cows, chickens or both at the same time on the beaches.

Most of the beaches on Pentecost are rough and rocky limestone beaches. Some of the other Pentecost Beaches have flat round rocks and couple with course sand when touched by the foot when walking in the water.

A Rocky Beach near Lonorore Airport on South Pentecost Island, Vanuatu

A Rocky Beach near Lonorore Airport on South Pentecost Island, Vanuatu.

A Small Wooden Canoe on a Beach on Pentecost Island, Vanuatu

A Small Wooden Canoe on a Beach on Pentecost Island, Vanuatu.

Another Rocky Beach on Pentecost Island, Vanuatu

Another Rocky Beach on Pentecost Island, Vanuatu.

Small Flat and Round Rocks on some Beaches on Pentecost Island, Vanuatu

Small Flat and Round Rocks on some Beaches on Pentecost Island, Vanuatu.

Small Villages throughout Pentecost Island

Small Village Home in Waterfall Village.  Pentecost Island, Vanuatu.

A Typical Village Home found on Pentecost Island.

A Small Village Home found in the Waterfall Village.  Pentecost Island, Vanuatu.

A Small Village Home found in the Waterfall Village.

Towns or cities do not exist on Pentecost Island. There are only small villages where the people of Pentecost live.

There is also a small, somewhat more modern community located in the hills that have electricty and a small hosipital. Though it is still very minimal but it still fulfills it’s needs.

Pentecost Kava

Preparing Kava on the Beach at Waterfall Village.  Pentecost Island, Vanuatu.

Kava takes a long time to make, but only seconds to drink.

Preparing Fresh Kava to Drink.  Pentecost Island, Vanuatu.

Filtering the Kava.

As with most of Vanuatu and other Pacific Islands, including Fiji, Kava is consumed nightly just before or slightly after sunset.

On Pentecost Island Kava is not consumed by females. Alhtough some of the ladies do sneak a drink or two.

Unlike Kava, though permitted, alcohol is not common on Pentecost Island. Alcohol is hard to obtain and must be brought in from Port Vila. Some of the Chiefs on Pentecost Island do not like the Ni-Vanuatu who inhabit Pentecost to consume alcohol as it “creates problems”.

Magic on Pentecost Island

It is also said that Pentecost Island is a very “Magical” island meaning Magic is used and prevalent on the island.

Catholicism on Pentecost

The Catholic Religion is also common and quite prominent on Pentecost Island.

Before having dinner Grace is said and the meal is blessed. There may even be a song or two before and during dinner.

There is also a small university on Pentecost Island. Although most of the students who want to continue their education in Port Vila cannot as it is very expensive.

The Languages of Pentecost

There are five languages spoken on Pentecost Island including Bislama (Pidgin English). If the people of Pentecost do not speak the same language they speak to eachother in Bislama.

How to Travel to Pentecost Island

Lonorore Airport on South Pentecost Island, Vanuatu.

Lonorore Airport on South Pentecost Island, Vanuatu.

Enroute to Pentecost Island in the South Pacific.

When Flying to Pentecost Island from Port Vila you will see Many Islands.

Arriving at Lonorore Aiport on South Pentecost Island, Vanuatu.

Arriving at Lonorore Aiport on South Pentecost Island, Vanuatu.

Live Music Upon Arrival at Lonorore Airport on Pentecost Island, Vanuatu.

Live Music Upon Arrival at Lonorore Airport on Pentecost Island, Vanuatu.

The Only Runway at Lonorore Airport on Pentecost Island, Vanuatu.

The Only Runway at Lonorore Airport on Pentecost Island, Vanuatu.

They Empty Runway at Lonorore Airport on South Pentecost Island, Vanuatu.

There are no Lights on the Runway at Lonorore Airport.

Port Vila to South Pentecost via Air Vanuatu

One must first travel to Port Vila which is the capital of Vanuatu and is located on the island of Efate.

You must fly out of Port Vila’s Bauerfiled International Airport on a small airplane which is most likely a Twin Otter which seats 19 passengers and 2 pilots or a Harbin Y-12 II which can seat 17 passengers and 1 or 2 pilots.

The flight to South Pentecost Island from Port Vila is just about an hour.

 Harbin Y-12 Y-AV4 at Bauerfiled International Airport in Port Vila, Efate.  Vanuatu.

Getting Ready for Departure in a Harbin Y-12 Y-AV4 at Bauerfiled International Airport in Port Vila.

YJ-RV10 a Twin Otter Loading Up and Getting Ready for Departure at Lonorore Airport, Pentecost Island.

YJ-RV10 a Twin Otter Loading Up and Getting Ready for Departure at Lonorore Airport, Pentecost Island.

A Twin Otter Cleared for Take Off at Lonorore Airport on Pentecost Island, Vanuatu.

A Twin Otter Cleared for Take Off at Lonorore Airport on Pentecost Island.

Lonorore Airport

Flying into South Pentecost Island, where the Land Divers jump you will be arriving at Loronore Airport. You will be arriving during the day time as there are no lights on the Runway.

Flights in and out of Loronore Airport are extremely limited so it is very important that you do not miss your flight and to confirm the time of departure, if you can, as well.

Your Pentecost guest family will most likely have a cell phone that you can use if you do not have a cell phone, or cell phone coverage.

Driving Around Pentecost

Riding in that back of a Toyota Hilux on Pentecost Island, Vanuatu.

Getting Ready for the Ride Back to Lonorore Airport.

Small Roads and Big Trucks on Pentecost Island, Vanuatu.

There's Not a lot of Room on the Roads on Pentecost Island.

Driving Through Deep Water on the way to Waterfall Village.  Pentecost Island, Vanuatu.

Driving Through Deep Water on the way to Waterfall Village.

Driving through Rivers on Pentecost Island, Vanuatu.

Driving through Rivers on Pentecost Island, Vanuatu.

Driving Past Cows on Pentecost Island, Vanuatu.

Driving Past Cows Drinking Water on Pentecost.

Driving on a Small Dirt Road on Pentecost Island, Vanuatu.

Driving on a Small Dirt Road on Pentecost Island, Vanuatu.

Driving Across Rivers on Pentecost Island, Vanuatu.

Driving Across Rivers on South Pentecost Island, Vanuatu.

Driving Past a Fire on South Pentecost Island, Vanuatu.

Driving Past a Fire on South Pentecost Island near Lonorore Airport.

Rugged Dirt Roads

There are no paved roads on Pentecost, with the exception of the small community mission. Traveling by truck is very bumpy and must be done with a 4×4, as you drive through rivers, streams and several large rutts and holes to get to your hosting village.

Most of the time you will be sitting in the back of the truck as the front of the truck is small and fills up very fast.

Be prepared to rough it a little as there are no 5 Star Resorts on Pentecost Island. Which is great as you get to experience what Vanuatu Life is really like. Not Boss White man Life like at the resorts.

The guest houses are basic but more then enough for what any traveler needs.

The People of Pentecost Island are very happy, very friendly and are extremely hospitable.

Saying Goodbye is Never Easy.  Noda Guest House on Pentecost Island, Vanuatu.

Saying Goodbye is Never Easy. Noda Guest House on Pentecost Island, Vanuatu.

Where to Stay on Pentecost Island?

  • Noda Guest House in the Waterfall Village
  • Banggaware Bungalows
  • Langgo Guesthouse
  • Laone Guesthouse
  • Rushing River Lodge

More Pentecost Island Photography

The Waterfall at Waterfall Village.  Pentecost Island, Vanuatu.

A Magical Waterfall at Waterfall Village.

Looking into the South Pacific from Pentecost Island, Vanuatu.

Looking into the South Pacific from Pentecost Island.

A Golden Sunset on Pentecost Island, Vanuatu.

A Golden Sunset on Pentecost Island, Vanuatu.

Crystal Clear Waters on Pentecost Island in the South Pacific, Vanuatu.

Crystal Clear Water on Pentecost Island.

Young Boys Rowing a Carved Wooden Canoe.  Pentecost Island, Vanuatu.

Young Boys Rowing a Carved Wooden Canoe.

A Little Boy Waits at Lonorore Airport.  Pentecost Island, Vanuatu.

A Little Boy waits with his Family at the Airport.

Future Pentecost Land Divers?

Future Land Divers?

A Very Personal Thank You

Thank you to Chief Isaiah of Waterfall Village and the more then Beautiful People of Pentecost Island. Thank you to the very brave Land Divers for putting on a terrific show and not getting injured.

I hope that if or when you travel to Pentecost Island that your experience will be as magical as mine.

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  1. Pentecost Island Land Diving: A Young Boy Prepares for Manhood and his First Jump - June 15, 2012

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  2. White Man Wearing Nambas in Port Vila Bauerfield International Airport, Vanuatu - June 17, 2012

    [...] This White Man very proudly displays his Nambas that were hand made and given to him by one of the Chiefs on Pentecost Island. [...]

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