Caves conjure visions of tight squeezes, claustrophobia and dark, scary spaces. Not on Maewo in Vanuatu, where Moon Cave is spacious and lit with rays of sunlight that strike the water and create an iridescent yet eerie glow. Swimming here on a hot day is a must and so is engaging your guide to explain its cultural stories.
Serving as an important site to the community, Moon Cave helps locals share their story of creation and, in particular, the ways it’s influenced by the direction the sun and moon take as they travel across the sky. Hearing this new cosmological perspective will undoubtedly make you look up and wonder. Moon Cave also features ancient cave writings and an impressive amount of stalactites.
Maewo is off the beaten track, so if you’re seeking an authentic Pacific Island adventure, this is going to fit the bill. Don’t expect everything to be perfect though – part of the adventure is the rustic experience.
Get off the grid and ease into island time – it’s real and, rather than being measured in minutes, it’s all about chats and connections. Be sure to visit villages and ask about the gardens. Most people live here in tune to nature’s rhythms and, yes, that means seasonal home-grown fruit and vegetables dug directly from the garden to your plate each night.
Get in touch with Air Vanuatu to get your ticket to Maewo from capital Port Vila. You may be able to book your accommodation through the airline, too. Otherwise contact Santo Travel Centre. Your bungalow owner will organise your trip to the cave and a guide, as well as any other island excursions.
Book a tour to the Moon Cave wherever you are staying on Maewo Island. Transport and a two-hour tour costs about US$80.