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Pentecost Island, Vanuatu

Pentecost, which gets its name from the day on which it was first sighted by Europeans, is a mountainous, tropical island in the South Pacific republic of Vanuatu. There are no towns on Pentecost - most of the islanders live in small villages and grow their own food in small gardens. Parts of Pentecost remain relatively untouched by Western influences, and local traditions are strong. The island is the home of the nanggol (land diving) - the original bungee jump - which is known throughout the world. The ceremony, taking place between April and June, celebrates the first yam crop emerging. From tall towers constructed of saplings and branches held together with forest vines, the men leap forward and down to touch the earth below.

Visiting Pentecost

Pentecost Island is for the adventurous traveller. Don't come if you expect 5-star luxury: infrastructure and tourist facilities are basic, roads are muddy or non-existent, food is simple and traditional, and nightlife is limited to the village meeting huts in which men pound kava roots to drink as the sun goes down. However, if you are prepared to rough it a little, you will be rewarded with a real island feeling which comes from genuine cultural experiences with friendly and welcoming local people, in one of the most beautiful places on Earth.

Adventure tours to the island, including air transport from Port Vila, can be arranged through Pentecost Falls Tours. For independent travellers, family-run guest bungalows such as Noda Guesthouse provide basic accommodation.

Languages

Pentecost has five native languages, in addition to Bislama (Pidgin English), which is the lingua franca. Schools on the island teach in either English or French, which are both widely spoken.

Learn to speak Pentecost's languages


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