the black island
is sometimes called the black island after the expansive
ash plain covering the interior.
to the Benbow and Marum active volcanos draws most tourists
to Ambrym. The northern route from Ranvetlam is open only
from January to September, please note. Other tracks are open
year-round. You can also walk right around the island.
you are bound to encounter Roms.
They dress in dry banana leaves and wear a tall, brightly painted conical
mask. Roms represent spirits
and villagers are terrified of them.
Carvings are a requirement for grade-taking on Ambrym. In
the kastom natsaros you
can see tall, multi-faced tam-tams and tree fern sculptures.
Some good carvings are produced commercially for the tourist
trade and export.
Ambrym has an annual cultural festival featuring Rom dancing,
grade-taking and sand drawing around mid-July every year.
The interior villages of West Ambrym also have their annual Rom dances. The fees asked
of Ambrym's population lives along the southwest and northern
coastlines. The villagers generate a meagre income from
copra, fishing and wood carvings. Living on west Ambrym
can be hard as it's a dry, rain shadow area and acid rain
from the volcanos damages gardens.
is not far from Santo or Port Vila and relatively cheap to
get to. A good travelling strategy is island hopping by plane
and/or ship between Vila and Santo.
feature the following places on Ambrym:
Cove Commercial Guesthouse
Sylline Guest House, Craig Cove
Sam's Guesthouse, Craig Cove
Sunset Bungalow and Lake Fanteng
Conservation Area, Dip Point
Hot Springs Guest House, Melvert
Bulevak Guesthouse, Baiap
Bae Luk Guesthouse, Meltungon
Black Beach Bungalows, Lonmei
Island Experience, Port Vato
John Melkrem Guesthouse, Lalinda
Lalinda PWMU Guesthouse
Savuli Community Bungalow, Toak
Roaring Sea Bungalow, Endu (new, please send in an update)
Vetmet Bungalows, Ranvetlam
Willie Salong Guesthouse, Ranvetlam
Bangwere Bungalows, Ranvetlam
Solomon Douglas Bungalows, Ranon
are more places to stay in Ambrym. In the west we've heard
about bungalows at Sesivi, Sanesup and a cheaper guesthouse
at Meltungon (1500 Vatu per night). In the southeast there
are PWMU Guesthouses in Etas, Fenafo, Toak and Ulei. Nali
Guest House (link to VTO site) is at Sameo.
Ambrym has two airfields, one in the west at Craig Cove and
one in the east at Ulei. The Craig Cove airport is regularly CLOSED because of ongoing land disputes.
Check the Air
Vanuatu website for the latest schedule and fares. Tourists
with a return Air Vanuatu international ticket are entitled
to a 20% discount on domestic flights. Exchange
Port Vila fare
Many ships between Efate and Santo sail via Ambrym. Island
hopping by ship from Ambrym to Pentecost or Epi is a good
and Tina-1 provide a regular weekly service between Vila and
Santo in both directions stopping at Epi (Lamen Bay), Ambrym
(Craig Cove, Ranon, sometimes Olal), Pentecost (many passages
along the west) and Ambae (Lolowai). Santo-Ambrym is 4200
Vatu (20 hours on a cargo boat), Ambrym-Epi is 1000 Vatu.
Brisk passes Ambrym towards Santo on Tuesday and Tina-1 on
Wednesday towards Vila. Other ships are L/C Sarafenua, M/V
Halice-1 (formerly Belama) and M/V Saratoka (southeast Ambrym).
Ambrym has no airport. Speedboats run down to Craig Cove to
meet Air Vanuatu flights. From Craig Cove a boat costs 10000
or 12000 Vatu to Ranvetlam, 12000 or 13000 Vatu to Ranon or
about 1000 or 2000 Vatu per person on a shared trip. You have
a fair chance of sharing a ride on Air Vanuatu flight days.
The journey two to three hours. An alternative is to wait
for a passing ship. Exchange Rates.
West Ambrym has public transport trucks at Meltungon, Baiap,
Port Vato and Lalinda. Services are not regular. The best
days for trucks are when the Craig Cove bank is open (Tuesday,
Friday) or there's a Air Vanuatu flight (Tuesday, Saturday).
Ambrym has a couple of trucks with irregular services.
may try to overcharge tourists, check the fares listed below.
You may end up paying a full charter. Exchange
Cove - Polibetakevar/Meltungon
Cove - Baiap
Cove - Port Vato/Lalinda
and free way to get around west Ambrym is to walk. It's not
updated: October 2014 by Stephen.