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Hiking Mount Yasur Volcano On Tanna Island, Vanuatu


Modified: December 27, 2023

by Tabina Coffin



Welcome to the stunning world of Tanna Island, located in the archipelago of Vanuatu. If you’re an adventure enthusiast looking for a unique and thrilling experience, then hiking Mount Yasur volcano is an absolute must. Mount Yasur, an active stratovolcano, provides an awe-inspiring spectacle with its frequent eruptions and mesmerizing lava shows.


Situated on the southeastern part of Tanna Island, Mount Yasur is one of the most accessible volcanoes in the world, offering visitors the opportunity to witness the power and beauty of nature up close. The captivating hikes around the volcano provide an exhilarating adventure, immersing you in a surreal landscape that feels like stepping onto the surface of another planet.


With its rich cultural heritage and lush tropical scenery, Tanna Island is a true paradise for explorers seeking an off-the-beaten-path destination. However, venturing up Mount Yasur requires careful planning and preparation to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience. This article will guide you through everything you need to know about hiking Mount Yasur volcano, from planning your trip to staying safe on the trails.


So, get ready to embark on an extraordinary journey as we take you on a virtual hike to the remarkable Mount Yasur volcano on Tanna Island.


Planning your trip

Before embarking on your adventure to Mount Yasur, careful planning is essential to ensure a smooth and memorable experience. Here are some key considerations to keep in mind:

  • Best time to visit: Tanna Island experiences a warm tropical climate throughout the year, but it’s advisable to visit during the dry season, which runs from May to October. This period offers clearer skies and better visibility, enhancing your chances of witnessing the volcanic activity.
  • Duration of the trip: The length of your trip to Tanna Island will depend on your personal preference and availability. However, allocating at least 3-4 days allows for ample time to explore the island, hike Mount Yasur, and immerse yourself in the local culture.
  • Accommodation: Tanna Island offers a range of accommodation options to suit every budget, from rustic beachfront bungalows to eco-lodges surrounded by lush greenery. It’s advisable to book your accommodation in advance, especially during the peak travel season.
  • Booking a tour: While it is possible to explore Tanna Island independently, booking a guided tour is highly recommended. Experienced local guides not only ensure your safety but also provide valuable insights into the history, geology, and culture of the area. They can also arrange transportation to Mount Yasur and help you navigate the trail.
  • Physical fitness and health: Hiking Mount Yasur requires a moderate level of fitness due to the steep terrain. It’s important to assess your physical abilities and consult with a healthcare professional before attempting the hike. Additionally, pack any necessary medications, sunscreen, and insect repellent to protect yourself during your adventure.
  • Packing essentials: Remember to pack suitable hiking gear, including sturdy footwear, breathable clothing, a hat, sunglasses, and a light rainproof jacket. It’s also advisable to bring a backpack with essentials such as water, snacks, a camera, and a portable charger. Additionally, don’t forget to carry a flashlight or headlamp for the hike back down after sunset.

By meticulously planning your trip to Tanna Island and considering these factors, you’ll set the stage for an unforgettable adventure, allowing you to fully immerse yourself in the natural wonders of Mount Yasur volcano.


Getting to Tanna Island

Tanna Island may be remote, but it is still accessible by air and sea. Here are the main transportation options to reach this incredible destination:

  • By air: The easiest and most convenient way to get to Tanna Island is by taking a domestic flight from the international airport in Port Vila, the capital of Vanuatu. Air Vanuatu operates regular flights to Tanna, with a flight duration of around 40 minutes. It’s advisable to book your flight in advance, especially during peak seasons.
  • By sea: If you’re looking for a more adventurous route, you can take a passenger ferry from Port Vila to Lenakel, the main town on Tanna Island. The ferry journey takes around 3 hours, and it’s a great option for those who enjoy sea travel and want to experience the scenic beauty of the South Pacific Ocean.

Once you arrive on Tanna Island, you can easily find transportation to reach Mount Yasur. Many accommodations offer shuttle services or can help arrange transportation for you. Alternatively, you can hire a taxi or rent a car to explore the island at your own pace.


It’s important to note that the transportation options to Tanna Island are subject to change, so it’s recommended to check the latest schedules and availability before your trip.


Now that you know how to reach Tanna Island, let’s dive into the next exciting chapter of your adventure – experiencing the breathtaking beauty and power of Mount Yasur.


Arriving at Mount Yasur

As you approach Mount Yasur, the anticipation builds, and the sight of the volcano becomes more prominent against the backdrop of Tanna Island’s stunning landscape. Here’s what you can expect upon arrival:


Upon reaching the entrance gate of Mount Yasur, you will need to pay an entrance fee, which goes towards the maintenance and conservation of the area. The fee is typically reasonable and helps support the local community.


Before you start your hike, it’s important to listen to the safety briefing provided by the park rangers. They will provide essential information about the current volcano conditions, highlighting any potential risks or restrictions.


After the briefing, you will begin your trek to the crater rim. The hike is moderately challenging, with a combination of rocky terrain and steep slopes along the way. As you ascend, you’ll be surrounded by a rugged, barren landscape, which contrasts with the vibrant greenery that thrives further down the volcano.


As you approach the crater rim, the smell of sulfur becomes more intense, giving you a taste of the volcanic activity that lies ahead. When you reach the top, you’ll be greeted by a breathtaking spectacle – the mesmerizing sight of the active volcano, with its billowing plumes of smoke and occasional eruptions.


The view from the crater rim is simply awe-inspiring. You’ll have the opportunity to witness the molten lava swirling and spewing out from the depths of the volcano, creating a display of fiery colors against the darkened sky. The rumbling sound and the heat radiating from the crater only add to the surreal experience.


It’s important to respect the safety boundaries set by the park authorities and stay within the designated viewing areas. Volcanic activity can be unpredictable, and getting too close to the edge of the crater can be dangerous.


Take your time to soak in the incredible sights and sounds, and be sure to capture these magical moments with your camera. The experience of standing at the edge of an active volcano is truly unforgettable and will leave you with memories to last a lifetime.


Now that you have arrived at Mount Yasur, it’s time to prepare for the hike and ensure your safety throughout the adventure.


Preparing for the hike

Before embarking on your hike up Mount Yasur, it’s crucial to make some necessary preparations to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience. Here are some essential tips to help you get ready:

  • Wear appropriate attire: Dress in sturdy, comfortable clothing that allows for easy movement. It’s recommended to wear long pants and sleeves to protect your skin from sharp rocks and potential scratches. Additionally, wear closed-toe shoes with good traction to navigate the uneven terrain.
  • Stay hydrated: Bring enough water to keep yourself hydrated throughout the hike. The climb can be strenuous, and the tropical climate can make you sweat more. It’s advisable to carry a reusable water bottle and refill it whenever necessary.
  • Protect yourself from the elements: Apply sunscreen before starting your hike to protect your skin from the sun’s harmful rays. Additionally, wear a wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses to shield your face and eyes from direct sunlight.
  • Bring essential supplies: Pack some snacks or energy bars to keep your energy levels up during the hike. It’s also recommended to carry a small first aid kit with basic supplies such as band-aids, antiseptic ointment, and pain relievers.
  • Be mindful of the weather: Check the weather forecast before you start your hike. Mount Yasur can be shrouded in clouds, so choosing a clear day will provide better visibility and increase the chances of witnessing the volcanic activity.
  • Manage your expectations: It’s important to remember that volcanic activity can vary, and the intensity of Mount Yasur’s eruptions can change from day to day. Keep in mind that you might not witness massive eruptions every time, but even the smallest of volcanic displays are awe-inspiring.

Before setting off on the hike, make sure to inform someone about your plans and estimated time of return. This way, if you encounter any unexpected difficulties or delays, help can be sent if needed.


By taking these necessary precautions and preparing effectively for the hike, you’ll be ready to embark on your adventure up Mount Yasur volcano while ensuring your safety and comfort throughout the experience.


Trail description

The trail up Mount Yasur offers an exhilarating and immersive experience, taking you through a diverse and rugged landscape. Here’s a description of the trail you can expect to encounter:


The hike begins from the base of Mount Yasur, where you’ll follow a well-defined path that gradually ascends towards the crater rim. The trail is marked with signs and is generally easy to follow, but it can be steep and challenging at times, requiring a moderate level of fitness.


As you start climbing, you’ll notice the vegetation becoming sparser, giving way to a more barren and rocky terrain. The loose volcanic ash underfoot can make the footing a bit unstable, so take care with each step.


As you ascend higher, the air becomes filled with the strong scent of sulfur, and the sound of rumbling from the volcano grows louder. The trail provides several viewpoints along the way, allowing you to catch your breath and take in the incredible panoramic views of the surrounding landscape.


Once you reach the crater rim, you’ll be rewarded with a breathtaking sight. The rim offers an unobstructed view of the volcano’s active crater, allowing you to witness the raw power of nature as the lava explodes and cascades down into the depths below.


Depending on the volcanic activity, you may even witness the occasional small eruptions and spewing of lava from the crater. These eruptions can send plumes of smoke and ash into the air, creating an awe-inspiring spectacle.


Remember to adhere to the safety guidelines provided by the park authorities and stay within the designated viewing areas. The volcanic activity can be unpredictable, so it’s important to exercise caution and respect the inherent dangers of being close to an active volcano.


After taking in the mesmerizing views, you will begin your descent back down the trail. Hiking downhill can be challenging due to the loose volcanic ash, so proceed slowly and be mindful of your footing.


Overall, the trail up Mount Yasur offers a memorable and unique hiking experience. The combination of stunning views, otherworldly landscapes, and the raw power of an active volcano make this journey truly extraordinary.


Now that you have a sense of what to expect on the trail, it’s essential to prioritize safety and take necessary precautions during your hike.


Safety precautions

Hiking Mount Yasur volcano is an adventure that comes with its own set of risks and considerations. By following these safety precautions, you can ensure a safe and enjoyable experience:

  • Listen to the park rangers: Pay attention to the safety briefings provided by the park rangers at the entrance of Mount Yasur. They have valuable knowledge about the current conditions and any potential hazards.
  • Respect safety boundaries: Stay within the designated viewing areas and respect any restricted zones. These boundaries are in place for your safety, as volcanic activity can be unpredictable and hazardous.
  • Be aware of weather conditions: Check the weather forecast before starting your hike. Inclement weather, such as heavy rain or strong winds, can affect the safety of the trail and the visibility of the volcanic activity.
  • Wear appropriate clothing and footwear: Dress in suitable attire, including long pants and sleeves, to protect your skin from sharp rocks and potential scratches. Wear closed-toe shoes with good traction to navigate the uneven and rocky terrain.
  • Stay hydrated and fueled: Carry enough water to keep yourself hydrated during the hike. Pack snacks or energy bars to maintain your energy levels throughout the journey.
  • Stay on the trail: Stick to the marked trail and avoid venturing off the designated path. Straying from the trail can lead to unintended hazards and may damage the fragile ecosystem.
  • Watch your step: Take care with each step, especially on the loose volcanic ash. The footing can be unstable, so proceed cautiously and use trekking poles or walking sticks for added stability if desired.
  • Pack essential supplies: Carry a small first aid kit with basic supplies and any necessary medications. Additionally, bring a flashlight or headlamp for the hike back down after sunset.
  • Inform someone about your plans: Before you start your hike, let someone know about your plans, including your intended route and estimated time of return. This way, if any issues arise, help can be sent if needed.
  • Follow local customs and regulations: Respect the local culture and adhere to any regulations in place. Tanna Island has a rich cultural heritage, and it’s important to be mindful of the customs and traditions of the local communities you encounter.

By prioritizing safety and following these precautions, you can minimize risks and ensure a safe and memorable adventure up Mount Yasur volcano.


Wildlife and flora

While the main highlight of hiking Mount Yasur is undoubtedly the volcanic activity, the surrounding landscape is also home to fascinating wildlife and unique flora. Here’s a glimpse of the incredible biodiversity you may encounter during your hike:




The vegetation around Mount Yasur is diverse, showcasing the resilience of plant life in volcanic environments. As you ascend the volcano, you’ll notice a transition from lush tropical rainforest to more sparse vegetation dominated by hardy plants and grasses that can withstand the harsh conditions. Keep an eye out for ferns, orchids, and mosses that cling to the rocks, adding splashes of green to the otherwise barren terrain.




Tanna Island is a haven for wildlife enthusiasts. While hiking Mount Yasur, you may come across a variety of bird species, including the Tanna fruit dove and the Tanna ground-dove, both endemic to the island. The vibrant-colored Rainbow Lorikeets and kagus, a unique flightless bird, are also common sights.


Other notable wildlife species that inhabit the area include bats, reptiles such as geckos and skinks, and a range of insect species. If you’re lucky, you may even spot the endangered Tanna tree boa, a non-venomous snake found only on Tanna Island.


It’s important to remember that the flora and fauna around Mount Yasur are part of a delicate ecosystem. Avoid disturbing or harming any wildlife or plants you encounter. Take only photographs and leave no trace behind.


As you hike, you’ll witness the contrast between the rugged, volcanic landscape and the vibrant biodiversity that manages to thrive in these challenging conditions, further enhancing the uniqueness of the experience.


Now that we’ve explored the wildlife and flora, let’s delve into some essential hiking tips to make the most out of your Mount Yasur adventure.


Hiking tips

Embarking on a hike up Mount Yasur volcano is a thrilling adventure. To ensure a successful and enjoyable experience, here are some helpful hiking tips:

  • Start early: Begin your hike early in the day to avoid the midday heat and maximize your time on the volcano. This will also increase your chances of witnessing the volcanic activity during daylight hours.
  • Take breaks: Pace yourself and take regular breaks to rest and hydrate. Enjoy the beautiful scenery and allow yourself time to fully appreciate the unique surroundings.
  • Observe and listen: Take the time to observe the volcanic activity and listen to the rumblings and explosions. It’s a truly mesmerizing experience that immerses you in the raw power of nature.
  • Bring a camera: Capture the breathtaking moments of your hike with a camera or smartphone. Take photographs or record videos to document your adventure and preserve the memories of this incredible journey.
  • Respect the environment: Be a responsible hiker and respect the natural environment of Mount Yasur. Do not litter, stay on the designated paths, and avoid touching or damaging any flora or fauna you encounter.
  • Stay on designated paths: The trail up Mount Yasur is well-marked, so stick to the designated paths and avoid venturing off-course. Straying from the trail can be dangerous and may have a negative impact on the fragile ecosystem.
  • Pack essentials: Pack a small backpack with essentials such as water, snacks, sunscreen, insect repellent, a hat, sunglasses, a rainproof jacket, a flashlight or headlamp, and a small first aid kit. Be prepared for the changing weather and any unforeseen circumstances.
  • Respect local culture: Tanna Island has a rich cultural heritage, so make an effort to learn about the customs and traditions of the local communities. Respect their beliefs, and seek permission if you wish to take photographs of people or cultural sites.
  • Enjoy the journey: Above all, savor each moment of your hike. Immerse yourself in the unique sights, sounds, and sensations of Mount Yasur, and appreciate the privilege of being able to experience the incredible power of an active volcano.

By following these tips, you can make the most of your hike up Mount Yasur volcano and create memories that will last a lifetime.


As we conclude our journey through the hiking tips, it’s time to reflect on the extraordinary experience of exploring Mount Yasur and the captivating beauty of Tanna Island.



Hiking Mount Yasur volcano on Tanna Island is an exhilarating adventure that offers a glimpse into the raw power and beauty of nature. As you ascend the volcano, you’ll be captivated by the enchanting landscapes, the rumbling sounds, and the mesmerizing sight of an active volcano that defies imagination.


Throughout your journey, remember to prioritize safety, respect the environment, and embrace the cultural heritage of Tanna Island. Follow the guidance of park rangers, stay on designated paths, and be mindful of the unpredictable nature of volcanic activity.


From the moment you arrive on Tanna Island, you’ll be enchanted by its tropical beauty, warm hospitality, and the fascinating wildlife that calls this island home. Make the most of your trip by exploring the unique flora, observing the vibrant birdlife, and discovering the rich cultural traditions of the local communities.


As you hike the trail up Mount Yasur, you’ll find yourself immersed in a surreal landscape that feels like a journey to another world. The barren terrain, juxtaposed with bursts of greenery, serves as a powerful reminder of the resilience of life in the face of adversity.


Embrace every step of your hike, savoring the awe-inspiring views, and capturing the incredible moments with your camera. Let the experience of standing at the edge of an active volcano etch itself into your memory, leaving a lasting impression that fills you with a sense of wonder and gratitude.


As you descend from Mount Yasur and leave Tanna Island, take with you not only the memories of this extraordinary adventure but also the lessons learned from this encounter with the forces of nature. Cherish the beauty of our world and strive to protect and preserve it for future generations.


Inspired by the magnificence of Mount Yasur, may your future adventures be filled with the same sense of awe, discovery, and appreciation for the wonders that lie beyond.