Pentecost Island, Vanuatu
Pentecost Island is known by many names — Pentecôte in French and Pentikos in Bislama, Vanuatu’s official language. Island tribes refer to it as Araga or Raga, while some archaic sources label it as Vanu Aroaroa and Whitsuntide. You will call this lush, mountainous island spectacular for both its unspoiled natural beauty and unique cultural traditions. Pentecost is world renowned for its land diving ritual, which inspired the modern sport of bungee jumping. Each Saturday between April and June, local men and boys climb a jungle-timbered tower that reaches upward of 100 feet high, only to make a death-defying plunge with just a vine attached to their ankles. Villagers dance and stomp their feet beneath the tower as they anxiously watch during the ceremony, performed to assure a good yam harvest. You can go snorkeling, take a rainforest hike to stunning waterfalls, paddle an outrigger canoe, or visit a few local villages to learn about their traditional lifestyle. Pentecost is home to some of Vanuatu’s finest wood carvers, and your visit offers an excellent opportunity to take home an intricately carved mask, statue or slit drum.