Lifou, New Caledonia

The largest of the Loyalty Islands, Lifou lies some 118 miles to the northwest of New Caledonia. The island is an ancient makatea - a fossilized coral atoll raised high above sea level. Whalers were the first Westerners to visit this Melanesian paradise - though greedy traders lured by the island's aromatic sandalwood trees soon followed. Today's visitors are drawn attracted to the island's spectacular scenery, which ranges from dense tropical forest to dramatic cliffs towering above the crashing waves. Lifou's white-sand beaches are some of the finest to be found in the entire Pacific.

Lifou and the other Loyalty Islands are part of New Caledonia, which, like Tahiti, is an overseas province of France. The island is a center of traditional Melanesian culture.

Easo is an anchorage port. Guests transfer to shore via ship's tender.

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Points of Interest

  • Jokin Cliffs
  • Luengoni Beach
  • Vanilla Plantation
  • Hnathalo
  • Notre Dame de Lourdes Chapel
  • Jinek Beach
  • Vanilla House
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More about Lifou, New Caledonia Points of Interest

  • Jokin Cliffs

    Endless layers of ancient compressed coral stone make up Jokin's towering cliffs. Once the island's barrier reef walls, they offer dazzling views of Lifou's clear aquamarine water, vibrant fish population and the occasional whale.

  • Luengoni Beach

    Melt over the soft, powdery white sand, shade-friendly beach trees and brilliant blue-green water of breathtaking Luengoni Beach, a genuine slice of paradise with incredible rocky coral formations standing knee-deep in the sea.

  • Vanilla Plantation

    At Mucaweng Vanilla Plantation, which sits in a lush forest on Lifou's northern coast, learn how vanilla vines are harvested, sample vanilla-infused products and savor the scent of organic pods, which are available for purchase.

  • Hnathalo

    Marvel at St. Pierre Baptist Church, built by Catholic missionaries in 1883, and the Grand Case, New Caledonia's largest thatched chiefs' hut, and delight in customary Kanak song and dance in this traditional Melanesian village.

  • Notre Dame de Lourdes Chapel

    Perched high atop Lifou's northwestern coastal cliffs on the Easo Peninsula, this historic church was built by Catholic missionaries in 1898. After exploring the lovely chapel, soak up stunning views of Santal Bay's sparkling waters.

  • Jinek Beach

    Snorkel and dive amongst brilliant tropical sea life in the crystal-clear waters of Jinek Bay, a serene spot whose amazing occupants include pearlscale angelfish, fire clownfish, purple acropora, parrot fish and bold Picassofish.

  • Vanilla House

6 EXCURSIONS

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Melanesian Encounter

2 hours | Lifou | LIF-100
  • Notre Dame de Lourdes Chapel
  • Hnathalo

Journey through the lovely settlement of Easo, then follow tropical tree-lined roads on Lifou's northern end through enchanting villages that boast traditional houses and magnificent flowering gardens. Enjoy fresh coconut milk in village of Hnathalo, home to New Caledonia's largest chief's hut and a missionary-built church from 1883.

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Cliffs of Jokin

2 hours | Lifou | LIF-110
  • Notre Dame de Lourdes Chapel
  • Jokin Cliffs
  • Vanilla Plantation

Soak up the island's rich tropical terrain while passing through enchanting Easo Village to reach Mucaweng Vanilla Plantation for an engaging guided tour, delicious samples included. On Lifou's rugged north coast, marvel at Jokin's soaring cliffs, which overlook gorgeous, crystalline waters, and enjoy fresh coconut milk while exploring Jokin Village.

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Tropical Forest Walk & Secret Grotto

2 hours | Lifou | LIF-380

After passing through Easo, a charming seaside settlement, immerse yourself in the gorgeous leafy-green paradise of Lifou Tropical Forest during an engaging, guided nature walk highlighting the area's fascinating flora and fauna. Explore a breathtaking secret grotto by torchlight then view a demonstration of traditional hunting techniques including coconut-crab netting.

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Scenic Island Drive

2.5 hours | Lifou | LIF-105
  • Notre Dame de Lourdes Chapel

Delight in bright blooming gardens, traditional Melanesian homes and tropical foliage while passing through the charming villages of Easo, Xepeneha, Komo and We. Savor a fresh coconut drink and relax at Luecila Beach, a splendid stretch of stunning white sand and tall, breezy palms along the sparkling Baie de Chateaubriand.

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Lifou Vanilla House

2 hours | Lifou | LIF-200
  • Vanilla Plantation

Sip and savor the many pleasures of Lifou -- an unhurried refuge, a magical blue-green oasis that's a world away from life's hustle and bustle.

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GLASS BOTTOM BOAT

1 hours | Lifou | LIF-500

Witness the wonders down under from a seat aboard the Breezin glass bottom boat. Relax under the shaded canopy as you watch the brilliant seascape pass by beneath you. View pristine, untouched coral reefs teeming with colorful marine life such as turtles, starfishes, and reef sharks.

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