Volcanoes are a fascinating thing – a fascination that, of course, might make some people want to get closer and others stay as far away as possible at all costs. For those who want nothing to do with them, this article is not for you. But for everyone else, there’s just one question: how close would you be willing to get?
On the remote Pacific island of Vanuatu, a volcano named The Son of Benbow has created a lava lake. Which it’s no surprise that people immediately dedicated themselves to exploring as closely as possible. And you can do more than just see it up close: you can even camp next to it.
Romantic? We think so!
The campsite is elevated more than 100 feet above the boiling lava below. In order to get there, campers will be guided by experts and kept at the closest safe distance. There’s only one plane that gets to this island, keeping it quite elusive. But if you do resolve to be one of the few on that VistaJet, flight, the island makes it well worth your time in other ways as well, with ocean diving, a variety of water sports, boats galavanting from beach to beach and epic road trips in between. Many of these activities are hosted and guided by the native Ni-Vanuatu people, who will also host people to try their food and witness their native storytelling, song, and dance.
Vanuatu’s name is made of the Austronesian word vanua (“land” or “home”) and the word tu (“stand”). The Y-shaped archipelago was created over time by volcanic activity, and today 82 relatively small, geologically newer islands make up the total 4,700 square kilometers (1,800 sq mi) of land (not including the water in between, which brings it to 12,274 square kilometers [4,739 sq mi]). It was first discovered by a Portuguese explorer in the year 1606.