Sleeping Mountain from VANAIR plane, Mota Lava, Vanuatu
Mullet, Reef Islands, Vanuatu
Church on Ra, Banks Islands, Vanuatu
Coral flats and Ra at low tide, Banks Islands, Vanuatu
Kids and canoe, Ra, Banks Islands, Vanuatu
Looking north from Ra, Banks Islands, Vanuatu
New canoe, Banks Islands, Vanuatu
Creek on Mota Lava, Banks Islands, Vanuatu
Reef Islands, Vanuatu
Bat Cave, Mota Lava, Banks Islands, Vanuatu
Dori Lagoon Bungalows Gateway Bungalows Nisa Bungalows John Mark's Point Bungalows Paradise Bungalows John Ralph Bungalows Reef Islands Happiness Bungalows

Mota Lava and Ra, escape to the Banks Islands
Distant from "modern" Vanuatu, Mota Lava and Ra islands are a pleasant island escape. These islands are relatively small and most attractions are easy to walk to:
- White sand beaches and coral reefs around west Mota Lava and Ra.
- Climb the massive rocks on Ra.
- Climb the Sleeping Mountain on Mota Lava. It's a short but steep climb, rewarded by magnificent views.
- Walk around Mota Lava (about 2.5 hours along the truck road and about 3.5 hours through the bush on the other side).

- Go fishing.

From Mota Lava you can travel to neighbouring islands by speedboat:
- Mota Lava is the place to organise an expedition to the uninhabited Reef Islands.
- The volcano on Vanua Lava is not far from Mota Lava.

Airfares to Mota Lava are expensive from Port Vila and cheaper from Santo. To economise, a good plan is to visit both Mota Lava and another island in the Banks and Torres on the same trip.

Bungalows
There are lots of island bungalows concentrated around west Mota Lava and Ra and few tourists.
Gateway Bungalows, Mota Lava
Happiness Bungalows, Mota Lava
Nisa Sunset Bungalows, Mota Lava
John Mark Bungalows, Mota Lava
Dori Lagoon Bungalows, Ra
Paradise Bungalows, Ra
John Ralph's Bungalows, Ra

Unfortunately, there are fire ants on Mota Lava, but not many. There were no fire ants on Ra in 2005.

Mobile phone communications arrived to Mota Lava in 2009 or 2010. The TVL (Smile) tower is on Mota Lava and Digicel is at Sola, Vanua Lava. The old fixed-line telephone system has been abandoned. We've updated contacts in June 2011.

Air Transport
With Air Vanuatu flights on Fridays and Mondays, it is possible to visit Mota Lava just for the weekend. An adult return fare to Mota Lava is 44345 Vatu from Port Vila or 22070 Vatu from Santo (May 2006). Tourists with a return Air Vanuatu ticket are entitled to a 20% discount. Exchange Rates.

The airport on Mota Lava is about 12 km away, on the eastern end of the island. In 2009 the road was upgraded and were were two or three trucks on the island in 2011. A charter costs at least 2000 Vatu from the airport to the western end of Mota Lava, one way. Walking takes two and a half hours. When you arrive at the airport you can usually share a ride.

Leaving Mota Lava, plan to be at the airport early. What happens is the pilot radios ahead from Santo and may decide to change the routing.

Sea Transport
Ships to the Banks and Torres Islands are scarce and not a practical option for tourists. When a ship does come, it may spend some days rounding the islands, offloading cargo and picking up copra.

Speedboats between Mota Lava and Sola on Vanua Lava are frequent, almost daily. The 20km journey costs around 10000 Vatu for the whole boat or about 600 Vatu per person, shared. It may be a rough ride if the trade winds are blowing.

Boat transfers from the airport to the western end of Mota Lava are 2000 Vatu.

Services
The village on Ra has a few basic stores. Ngerenigman village on Mota Lava has more stores and a medical clinic.
If you need access to electricity, a few locals have generators or solar power systems.

Last Updated: October 2012 by Steve and Pip.

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