Fly. Bus. Walk. Boat. Walk.
Uripiv is a tiny island located off of the north coast of the island of Malekula. If you look at a map of Malekula and find the town of Lakatoro (South of the Norsup Airport), Uripiv is one of the small islands you’ll see off of the coast.
Uripiv Island Quick Facts
Population counts seem to vary, but we were told that the population is around 700 people.
There is no running water or electricity.
There are no vehicles so be prepared to walk. It takes less than an hour and a half to walk around the entire island.
In September 2018, we were there for the grand opening of a new desalination facility, guaranteeing fresh water for residents. During our time there, we were drinking rain water.
We Had a Local Connection
We did a bit of social media stalking to learn more about Vanuatu and came across a Peace Corps volunteer stationed on Uripiv. She was extremely helpful in coordinating us getting to the island. Fortunate for you, we can give you the rundown!
STEP 1: Fly
Fly to Norsup Airport on Malekula. Easy enough.
STEP 2: Bus
Take a bus (basically a small van) or hop on the back of a pickup truck to the small town of Lakatoro. The cost will be 100 Vatu per person (about .90 cents USD).
Walk to the wharf. There is a path beyond the Mama’s Market to the right of the handicraft store. This leads to a dirt road. Take a left to continue to the wharf.
Take a boat to Uripiv. People travel from Uripiv in the morning to go to the market, work, etc. They start returning to Uripiv mid-afternoon. The cost will be 100 Vatu per person (about .90 cents USD). As a warning, the boats can get pretty full…we had 16 people on our tiny boat and we found out they’ll put as many as 20+ on there. If that makes you uncomfortable, you can charter a boat for around 1,000 Vatu (about $9 USD).
STEP 5: Walk
Once you arrive to the island, walk to Nawov Fresh Wind Bungalows (click here for our blog post about the bungalows) which is on the eastern most part of the island. Why? It’s literally the only accommodation on the island!
Of course, you would already have been in touch with Jacinta and Watson, who own and operate the bungalows. It’s likely that one of them would meet you at the beach. For that matter, they can also coordinate the boats for you if you like.
Nawov Fresh Wind Bungalows
As mentioned above, this is the only option on the island. We did a complete blog post (click here) if you would like to learn more about our experience staying there for 12 days, as well as information on how to reserve your stay.
Vanuatu Quick Facts
The Republic of Vanuatu is an island nation consisting of an archipelago of 83 islands.
It is 1,300 miles from the northern most point to the southern most. This is the same length as California on the West Coast of the United States.
The population of Vanuatu is around 275,000 people. To put this in perspective, the United States state with the smallest population is Wyoming, which has twice the population of Vanuatu.
If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to reach out to us! We would be happy to assist in any way that we can.
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