Old Ranvetlam nasara, Ambrym, Vanuatu
Ash plain, Ambrym, Vanuatu
Eroded flanks of Mount Marum, Ambrym, Vanuatu
Wet bush walking on Mount Tovuo, Ambrym, Vanuatu
Orchid on Mount Tovuo, Ambrym, Vanuatu
Lake Fanteng, Ambrym, Vanuatu
Acacia flower, Ambrym, Vanuatu
Dip Point, Ambrym, Vanuatu
Ranvetlam bush, Ambrym, Vanuatu
Wakon black sand beach, Ambrym, Vanuatu
Sand drawing, Ambrym, Vanuatu
Is that you, John Wayne? No, it's the Rev. George Fleming, d. 1905 at Port Vato, Ambrym, Vanuatu
Pikininis on the beach at Lalinda, Ambrym, Vanuatu
Solomon Douglas Bungalows Vetmet Bungalows Bangwere Bungalows Black Beach Bungalows John Melkrem Guesthouse Savuli Guesthouse Polibetakevar Guesthouse Terter Hot Springs Guest House Craig Cove: 3 bungalows Bulevak Guesthouse Lalinda PWMU Guesthouse Island Experience Bungalow Walking Ambrym Walking Ambrym Willie Salong Guesthouse Wakon Sunset Bungalow Lake Fanteng Conservation Area Bae Luk Guesthouse VTO web page Nali Guest House  

Ambrym, the black island
Ambrym is sometimes called the black island after the expansive ash plain covering the interior.

Trekking 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.

Mid-year 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.

North 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 will vary.

Most 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.

Ambrym 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.

Bungalows
We feature the following places on Ambrym:

Craig Cove
Craig Cove Commercial Guesthouse
Sylline Guest House, Craig Cove
Sam's Guesthouse, Craig Cove

West Ambrym
Wakon Sunset Bungalow and Lake Fanteng Conservation Area, Dip Point
Terter Hot Springs Guest House, Melvert
Bulevak Guesthouse, Baiap
Polibetakevar Guesthouse
Bae Luk Guesthouse, Meltungon
Black Beach Bungalows, Lonmei
Island Experience, Port Vato
John Melkrem Guesthouse, Lalinda
Lalinda PWMU Guesthouse

Southeast Ambrym
Savuli Community Bungalow, Toak

Roaring Sea Bungalow, Endu (new, please send in an update)

North Ambrym
Vetmet Bungalows, Ranvetlam
Willie Salong Guesthouse, Ranvetlam
Bangwere Bungalows, Ranvetlam
Solomon Douglas Bungalows, Ranon

There 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.

Air Transport
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 Rates.

Airport Return
Santo fare
(Vatu)
Return
Port Vila fare
(Vatu)
Flights per week
Craig Cove 16490 21058 3
Ulei 19033 20045 1

Sea Transport
Many ships between Efate and Santo sail via Ambrym. Island hopping by ship from Ambrym to Pentecost or Epi is a good idea.

Brisk 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).

North 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.

Land Transport
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).

Southeast Ambrym has a couple of trucks with irregular services.

Drivers may try to overcharge tourists, check the fares listed below. You may end up paying a full charter. Exchange Rates.

Truck journey
Charter (Vatu)
Shared (Vatu)
Craig Cove - Polibetakevar/Meltungon
2000
500
Craig Cove - Baiap
1500
500
Craig Cove - Port Vato/Lalinda
5000
1000
Toak - Endu
4000
Ranon - Fanbetatoto
4000

An effective and free way to get around west Ambrym is to walk. It's not that hard.

Last updated: October 2014 by Stephen.

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