Finish: Makili (St. Peter's statue) or return to Vila
Distance: 2.6 km/1.6 mi (one way)
Walking Time: 1-1.5 hours (one way), depending on tide
Difficulty: Medium – includes scrambling over rocks and stony coastline; if walking over the hills, trail becomes much more difficult (steep incline).
Highlights: This is an easy hike to accomplish in an afternoon, and you’ll be able to follow two different paths there and back for a variety of stunning vistas. Starting from the end of the road in Vila, you can choose to walk along the coastline (past Lampian Beach) or up over the hills (through the village of Maulako) in order to reach the sleepy fisherman’s village of Makili. Check the tide tables the evening before your hike; you want to ensure you choose the beach route at low tide, or else you will have very wet shoes upon your arrival in the village! Both paths will take just over an hour to reach Makili. Be sure to stop and ask about local handicrafts and woven baskets made by amazing women’s cooperatives. If you choose to hike through the hills on your way there or back, be sure to check out the Cave of Our Lady Mary on the way. Makili has small market on Thursday morning.
Trail Description: Along the coast: From Vila village sign, walk down the street towards the ocean and then along the coast south to Lampian Beach. Continue walking – the coast gets more rugged and rockier, so be cautious. At times you will have to climb over rock pillars and walk through water before arriving in Makili.
Through the hills: From the end of the road in Vila, turn right away from the coast, then left again when you can no longer go straight; take another right at the end of the road and begin following the main road straight and up the hill on the left. Continue upwards and follow the main path past several small farms with a beautiful view of the island, until you reach several houses along the road. Ask for Makili and the owners will point you down a small path through their backyards. Descend until you reach Makili.
Equipment: Sports sandals/good walking shoes (will get wet)/ walking pole useful (stony underfoot, rock scrambling). Water, snacks, and money to buy souvenirs. There is a small kiosk in town but often doesn’t stock water.
Guide: Recommended – you will see and learn more; guides can pre-arrange visits to wood carvers and basket weavers. Extremely difficult to walk between Lampian Beach/Makili at high tide, slippery, will get wet, and could get washed off rocks; high tide tracks exist on rock face but very steep and exposed (not recommended).
Variants: It is possible to stay overnight in the village, but it must be prearranged and will be with a local family that may have had few foreign guests stay before. Possible to take a boat back to Vila (must be prearranged).