Photo by: PhillipC, Creative Commons

Epi, Vanuatu, formerly called Tasiko or Volcano Island, is located in the northernmost end of the Shepherd Islands. The island is part of the Shefa Province. Epi is actually of volcanic origin. Its highest point, Mt. Pomare is a quaternary volcano. Nearby is another (and more prominent) volcano, the Lopevi volcano. To the east you can find another volcano, albeit underwater, the East Epi Volcano.

Epi is a fascinating island, where one can feel free and literally go back to basics. Stay in a rustic lodge, relax and maybe see whales and dolphins cross the bay. Go to the nearby Lamen Bay where one can do a bunch of water activities, such as snorkelling, swimming, sailing, kayaking, waterskiing and diving. You can even see the gregarious dugong here. Interact with the natives, for they are very friendly. Drink the ‘kava’ in the dusky ‘nakamal’, chat with the young ladies as they prepare their ovens or wrap ‘laplap’ in banana leaves. See them dance and talk to each other. Or how about take a stroll along their black sandy beaches.

As for the climate, the island is tropical, getting a moderate amount of rainfall every year. Generally hot, rainy and humid throughout the year, but cools and dries down a bit during months May to July.

Vanuatu holds a rich culture, and the first human settlement here is recorded to be way back in 3,000 BC. Epi locals speak a variety of languages. In the south, Bieria is spoken. In the southwest, is Maii, Baki is spoken in the west, Bierbo is the mother tongue of the northwest, and Lewo in the east. All these languages are a part of the Austronesian languages of Vanuatu.

Epi Denissen is the king and the supreme ruler of the island.

VanAir flies from Vila to Valesdir every Mondays, Tuesdays and Saturdays. It also flies to Lamen Bay on Tuesdays and Saturdays. Other flights stop to Tongoa. The best way to get to Epi, however, is via Lamen Bay, which makes a stunning introduction to Epi and you can see the colorful reefs and turquoise waters from up above!
By ship, there are several anchorages that will land in north Epi. Some good anchorages include Mapuna Bay, Lamen Bay, Rovo Bay, Cape Foreland and Walavea.

Once you arrive to Epi, you can get around the west coast by taxi truck,. The eastern side of the islands has no roads, only walking tracks.

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