Easo, Lifou, New Caledonia
Cliffs of Jokin
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Take in the island's rich tropical terrain while passing through enchanting Easo village. This seaside settlement boasts splendid bay views and traditional homes with bountiful, flowering gardens.
Watch for the historic chapel Notre Dame de Lourdes, built in 1898 by Catholic missionaries atop the area's dramatic tree-covered cliffs.
Continue along through a cool, tropical forest to the Mucaweng Vanilla Plantation -- a working vanilla farm with more than 1,000 plants. Enjoy a guided tour of the beautiful plantation, which owner Felix Bolé launched in 1983 with cuttings from Lifou's first English missionaries. While exploring this idyllic setting, which includes robust ferns resting on raised coral 'pillars' and vanilla vines draped over the branches of trees, learn how vanilla is harvested and how vanilla-infused products are produced.
Savor the enticing aroma of organic vanilla pods and delight in sampling vanilla-flavored coffee or tea. You can also purchase some vanilla pods or products to take home as a delicious memento.
Back on the road, travel to the towering Cliffs of Jokin. Once the walls of the island's barrier reef, the breathtaking, 120-foot cliffs consist of layers of ancient fossilized coral built up over time. Snap photos from the soaring cliff tops, which overlook crystal-clear aquamarine water teeming with vibrant sea life -- easy to spot from above. Whales are often spotted frolicking in the distance.
Enjoy time to explore Jokin Village, on Lifou's rugged northern coast. Savor a taste of fresh coconut milk and don't miss the impressive, round meeting hut topped by an intricate thatched roof.
The relaxing return trip back to Easo leads along tropical, tree-lined roads. On the pier, comb through the local stands for souvenirs, handicrafts and artwork that capture the magic of this enchanting South Pacific port.
Wear light clothing and comfortable walking shoes; bring a hat and sunscreen. Modest attire is required for visiting local villages; knees, shoulders and midriffs must be covered; short shorts and swimwear are not allowed. It is important to ask permission before taking an individual's photograph. The bus is neither air-conditioned nor equipped with a PA system. Local escorts and students will act as guides. Your guide will do his/her best to speak English, but please keep in mind that the limited tourism infrastructure here is part of Lifou's charm, and bear with any language difficulties he/she may encounter. Restroom facilities will be rustic.