Volcano Treks Overview
The twin volcanic peaks of Mount Marum and Mount Benbow are located in the center of Ambrym Island, and both have active lava lakes located inside their craters.
Important things to know about our volcano treks:
We always use the same path from the village to the volcanos, however, even though the distance is always the same, the time it actually takes to reach the crater will vary on your fitness level, number of breaks, size of the group, and the weather. The terrain is a mix of rocky trails, narrow dirt and ash paths, riverbeds, and includes steep climbs.
Here are the distances you will need to know:
- Trek from the Port Vatu village to the volcano base campsite: 4-5 hours. Note: The base campsite is for both volcanos.
- Trek from the campsite to either crater takes between 1.5 hours and 2 hours one-way. Depending on how long you spend near the craters, a round-trip visit to the volcanos from the campsite can take anywhere from 4-10 hours.
- Trek from the campsite back to the Port Vatu village takes a little less time than the trek there since it is mostly downhill. However, it will still be a minimum of 4 hours.
- 1 day: Up and back in one day | While all the trekking options require good physical fitness, the one-day option requires trekkers to be extremely physically fit and healthy. There will be approximately 10-12 hours of trekking with time in the middle to eat and see the volcano.
- 2 day, 1 nights: Spending at least one night allows more time at the crater, usually 4 hours. On day one, you will trek from the village to the campsite in the morning, and trek from the campsite to the crater and back to the campsite in the afternoon. The next day, you will have the option to either go back to the crater and then trek home, or just trek from the campsite back to the village. The campsite is 1 1/2 hours walk from the craters, on the border of the trees and the ash plain.
- 3 day, 2 nights: Spend the whole second day at the craters, from different angles. If the second day is cloudy, an extra night lets you try again the 3rd day. If time allows, a trip to Benbow crater may also be taken.
- 4 days, 3 nights: This option allows the maximum time to explore both Mt. Marum crater and Mt. Benbow crater.
Choosing and Planning Your Trek
The dry season is May to November, making August to January the most ideal time to visit. During the rest of the year, you can still visit and trek the volcano, but your chance of seeing the the lava lake in the crater is lower because of cloudy conditions. Remember, because of the ash, there are rain and clouds at the top of the volcano year-round. The longer you stay at the campsite, the better your chances of guaranteeing yourself a clear view of the lava lake. It’s all up to nature.