Pentecost Island is among the 83 islands making up the South Pacific country Vanuatu. The island covers a total area of approx 490 km2 (190 mi2) and has population around 17,000. Pentecost is located approx 190 km (120 mi) north of the capital Port Vila (Efate Island). The island was also known by the names Pentecote, Vanu Aroaroa, Araga, Raga, Whitsuntide.
Cruise ships to Pentecost Island dock (anchor) at Panngi port (on the western coast). The island has no real towns. Most islanders live in tiny rural villages and survive by growing cash crops and subsistence agriculture. Taro, which is a root vegetable suited to the wet climate of Pentecost, is the staple food. Island's houses are traditionally built from local wood and bamboo, thatched with natanggura leaves (a variety of palm). Wealthier islanders build their houses instead of using imported corrugated metal and cement.
The island is served by 2 airports - Sara (in the north) and Lonorore (southwest), with regularly scheduled weekly flights by small airplanes (landing 2-3 times per week). Lonorore was upgraded with a new tarmac airstrip in 2008-2009, capable of handling bigger aircraft and in wet conditions.
Cargo ships navigating between Luganville (Espiritu Santo) and Port Vila supply the Pentecost Island, but mainly the west coast as only few vessels call at the east coast, where the population is sparse and sea conditions are rough.
A rutted dirt road runs from island's north to the south-west, and another road links Salap located in the south-west to Ranwas which is in the south-east. However, a lot of villages are accessible only via mountain footpaths.
Pentecost receives regular calls from sailboats and yachts anchoring at the villages Panngi, Loltong and Waterfall. Panngi has a jetty where cruise liners can dock.
Pentecost Island cruise terminal
Vanuatu Islands (officially Republic of Vanuatu) is an island nation located in the South Pacific. The islands cover a total area of approx 12190 km2 (4706 mi2) and population around 290,000. Large cruise ships to Vanuatu Islands dock (anchor) either at Luganville or Champagne Bay (near Hog Harbour, in the northeast part of Espiritu Santo Island).
The archipelago is of volcanic origin and is situated some 1750 km (1090 mi) east of northern Australia, east of New Guinea, 540 km (340 mi) northeast of New Caledonia, west of Fiji and southeast of Solomon Islands.
The tourism industry in Vanuatu is a major revenue source as the archipelago is widely recognised as a premier vacation travel destination - especially for coral reef scuba diving. A unique attraction to scuba divers is the wreck of the US luxury cruise ship President Coolidge (converted troop carrier) on Espiritu Santo Island. Sunk during WW2 (1939-1945), the vessel is among the world's largest shipwrecks accessible for recreational diving.
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