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Whether you’re here for waterfalls or life-changing cultural experiences (or both!), adventure awaits in Maewo.

This tiny island, located 150km east of Santo and bordered by black sand beaches, is famous for its ancient secret societies and dances and multitude of waterfalls. The island boasts a small population of kind, generous people, and is riddled with custom stories and plunge pools. The Maewo locals are proud of their culture, and with so few visitors each year, welcome all with genuine enthusiasm and generosity.

Don’t Miss:
● Jump off Naone Waterfalls and into the crystal clear pools below
● Visit the Moon Cave to learn about the God of the Sea Tagaro
● Explore the rugged coastline of waterfalls and remote coastal villages
● Drink kava with village chiefs

How To Get There:
Fly direct from Sydney or Brisbane to Port Vila, before hopping on a connecting flight to Maewo. Because domestic timetables change visit www.airvanuatu.com to stay up to date. Because Maewo island is off the beaten track and new to tourism, there’s not a lot about it on the internet. It may help you to speak to the good folks at the Santo Travel Centre to help you book.

Useful Tips:
● Carry cash for the island – there are no ATMs here!
● Pack your snorkel gear – the Moon Cave is perfect for swimming in
● Watch your kava intake – it has euphoric properties

Top Attractions:
Swim in the Maewo Moon Cave and learn about the God of the Sea Tagaro. The Maewo Moon Cave, or the ‘cave of the hole of the moon’ is hidden in the west coastline of the island, closest to Nasawa village. At this breathtaking natural wonder, you’ll have the opportunity to swim through three canals that flow through the cave and hear about the God of the Sea, Tagaro, from the local community leaders.

 

It’s believed that a long time ago, the moon lived in this cave, and the light did not shine beyond the walls. The God of the Sea Tagaro saw that this was not good, so he threw the moon out to the south. Then he realised that only the people in the south had light, and the people in the north were in darkness. So he took the moon and threw it to the north. But then the people in the south didn’t have light. Tagaro took the moon back to the cave and threw it out to the west. Its light shone on all people in Maewo, and Tagaro saw that it was good.

Be sure to have your snorkeling gear at the ready and some money to pay for your entry. Your donation goes direct to the local community and is a much appreciated and rare source of income.

Experience the all-day Hanare Custom Village Tour
Home to the first high chief of Maewo, this sacred land is now used to showcase the traditional practices of Maewo culture and honour their ancestors. You’ll watch the men and women dance and participate in traditional kava ceremonies.

This incredible experience involves tables upon tables of fresh fruit and nuts, the opportunity to sit by the fire with the women and cook prawns caught fresh from the stream nearby. There’s also the chance to purchase locally made coconut oil and hand-woven bags.

Get cosy in the Mule Ocean View Guesthouse
Located on the north of Maewo Island, right on the beach, is the Mule Ocean View Guesthouse. Your hosts have a huge list of activities available - from cave diving to weaving classes – so you’ll never be without things to do. The rooms are twin-share, however are not equipped with mosquito nets, so be sure to pack some mosquito coils.

Lawai Sparkling Waterfalls and Bat Cave
The approach to this waterfall takes you through lush green vegetation and beautiful little paths. Refresh yourself with a dip or at least a splash at the Lawai Sparkling Waterfalls and look out for the bats in the bat cave!

Swim under the Naone Waterfalls and jump off if you dare!
The Naone Waterfalls are a short ride from the airport, so stop in on your way to your accommodation. You’ll be treated to a traditional welcome and a spread of refreshments. It’s a short walk on a well-trodden path, so it’s an accessible adventure for little legs.

Maewo sees the largest amount of rainfall in all of Vanuatu’s islands, so the waterfalls and plunge pools are always full of fresh water to swim in. Be sure to jump off the cascading waterfall and explore the river network beyond.

Because Maewo is off the beaten track, be mindful that your tourist bungalow will represent the ultimate quality that the community can provide and respect that this is adventure tourism in its truest form. You will be welcomed like a long lost family member and your visit will be a cherished memory to you, and your hosts.