millennium cave tour
Santo Island's #1 Adventure tour and winner of the 2014 Vanuatu Tourism Award- Judges Award
Described as “one of the best experiences in Vanuatu”, “it’s off the Richter scale in terms of adventure!” and “a ‘must do’ that really is a ‘MUST DO’!” on trip advisor, Millennium caves is an adventure you don’t want to miss out on!
This full day adventure begins with a 45 minute off-road drive from Luganville into the bush to Nambel village in central south Santo. After a 20 minute walk you will arrive at Vunaspef village where you will be briefed by your tour guide and given a life jacket and torch before you continue on.
The trip is truly amazing and is divided into four parts – trekking, caving, canyoning and swimming.
From Vunaspef you will continue walking into the bush along narrow tracks, bamboo bridges and ladders until you reach the rest point just before you descend to the river. At this point your guides will paint your face with traditional symbols from local clay, which will ensure your safe passage through the river and cave.
As you continue on you will climb down into the cave. The cave has a high ceiling and is home to many nesting swallows and some bats, which you see by torchlight as you walk through. The river runs the entire way through the cave and is cool and refreshing as you climb over rocks and wade through the cavern.
Once you exit the cave, the river opens out into a beautiful rest spot surrounded by lush green jungle. Stop on the river bank for lunch and cool off the in the small swimming hole near the waterfall at the entrance.
From here you will enter the canyoning portion of the trip. Test your agility as you climb over and under boulders with the help of strategic hand and foot holds. Your guides will be with you every step of the way as make your way down river.
Relax after all the hard work and float down the Sarakata river and take in the breathe taking scenery with jungle overhanging shear rock faces. Take time to stand under the waterfall or jump from surrounding rock platforms if you haven’t got your fill of adventure just yet!
After a last climb out of the river you will return to Vunaspef village where tropical fruit, tea and coffee are waiting for you. Local handicrafts are also available for purchase.
Please note that this tour is a moderate to difficult grade and requires all participants to be relatively fit to complete. Due to the remote nature of the tour it is not a possibility to pull out of the tour part way through. This tour is not suitable for any children under the age of 12 years.
All guests must bring a packed lunch (you will get hungry!), wear clothes that can be worn in the water and suitable gripped footwear such as reef shoes or adventure sandles. Insect repellent and sun protection is also recommended. All bags and non-waterproof electronics may be left at Vanuspef for safe keeping.
For those wishing to experience more of village life then why not stay in Vunaspef village overnight. You could even take the Wild Food Tour the next morning.
Millennium Caves is a community run operation and proceeds are reinvested directly into the community and General Manager, Samuel Andikar, thanks you for your support:
"I would like to thank you all for your strong support ... So far, we have a total of 56 employees(which) includes 35 tour guides/porters recruited from 8 communities, 16 mama's, 3 office staff and 2 drivers
We support communities and have so far built 3 kindergartens and 1 Primary school named "Millennium Cave Primary School", plus we have been able to build a water supply system to the school and the people in surrounding villages for the use of the water during the dry season."