Visit Ascension Island

Visit Ascension Island

Welcome to our latest guide. Visit Ascension Island. We are known for our slightly outlandish holiday destinations, but surely this one takes the proverbial cake. This destination is so obscure that few of the Visitalot team had ever heard of such a place. And yet, despite all of this, it turns out that Ascension Island is a top-notch destination and one that everyone should go to once in their life. With that said, we have the ultimate travel guide for the island and all of the information that you will need is right here.

Ascension Island is an isolated volcanic island in the south Atlantic Ocean. It is so isolated that it is in fact 1,600 kilometres away from the African continent and 2,250 kilometres away from the coast of Brazil. Curiously enough, it is governed as part of the same territory as Saint Helena- a destination that we have covered previously on Visitalot and one that you should definitely take a look at. Because of its location, the island was an important stop for mariners and would provide somewhere safe where they could shelter from storms, restock on food and fuel and gain valuable information about the journey ahead. Alongside being a naval station, it also serves as a base for the RAF and it has a transmission tower for the BBC world service.

You Did Not Know That

This is part of the article where you share with you some fascinating facts about the place in question with the hope of stimulating your imagination and envisioning your new adventure when you visit Ascension Island.

  • Because of the rules surrounding the islands status as a country and the kind of administration it is under, if you wish to enter then you will need to get written permission from the Queen’s representative- called the Administrator.
  • The airport that is used to get onto the island is run by the US Air Force and has a few surprises. It was built specially to accommodate a space shuttle and the monitoring station on the island is used by NASA to keep track of rockets and satellites. The US Air Force gives special access to the UK government and NASA so they can use the airport as well.
  • As mentioned earlier, Ascension Island is a volcanic island and is the result of an undersea volcano that emerged from the sea millions of years ago. Scientists estimate that it may have been erupting as recently as the 16th The rock that makes up the island is so tough that the sea has done little to erode it.
  • Because the island is pretty inhospitable, very few people lived on the island until quite recently. In fact, it was entirely uninhabited until the British landed in 1815. And yet, the story goes that when sailors visited the island in 1726 were met with a tent and a diary. No one knows what happened to the owner of both of those items.
  • The island was so desolate that when Charles Darwin visited the island, him and a friend had to devise a plan in order to make it easier to live on the island. In fact, much of the greenery that is now on the island is a direct result of the actions of Darwin.

As always, these are all 100% true and we are more than happy to provide for you the sources behind the facts. Moving on, here is some background information about where Ascension Island is, how to get there and the kind of weather you can expect to experience while you are there.

Where is it and What is the Climate Like?

Visit Ascension Island

As mentioned time and time again, Ascension Island is a very small island in the south Atlantic Ocean. It is an 88 square kilometres big and is a sister island to Saint Helena- another island is the same region, both under control of the British government. However, Ascension Island is still 1,300 kilometres away from Saint Helena and is a similar distance away from any major continent and country- those being of Brazil and the continent of Africa. On the west coast of the island lies the islands only real major area of inhabitation, Georgetown. Georgetown is also the capital city of the island.

Because of this obvious remoteness, it is very hard to get to the island. Sadly, the airfield that is run by the US is currently closed to commercial traffic. There was a boat called the RMS Saint Helena that would set sail from Cape Town in South Africa and on its way to Saint Helena it would stop off at Ascension Island, however, as of the beginning of 2018 this service does not run anymore. The only way to make the journey now is to either catch a lift on a cruise ship or via a personal yacht. Cruise ships could set sail from both Africa and South America and could become a part of your trip. A personal yacht is the less accessible option but just as effective.

However, if you do manage to get to the island then you can expect some lovely temperatures. With highs of 30°C from January to around May time and lows of 22°C in the other half of the year, you will always be met with heat. The overall feel of the weather is classed as hot during the hottest months, warm during the vast majority of the year and comfortable during the colder months. Rain is a thing of the past on the island and the highest daily chance of precipitation is 4% during April.

Where to Stay and What to Do?

Another great feature of our guides is this section- where you give you a little insight into the top places to stay when you visit Ascension Island, and do when you are on the island. Read on and enjoy.

JAMS Accommodation

Jams Motel Ascension Island

The name of this motel may not be particularly inspired but do not let that put you off one of the better places to stay on the island. In fact, this is the only place to stay on the island unless you are a government official- but, it is not quite as desperate as you may think.

The accommodation takes the form of a motel and there are around 8-10 rooms in total at the motel. It is located in Two Boats Village which is only 10-minutes away from the capital Georgetown and many of the activities that you are going to want to do, it also a little higher up altitude wise so the temperature is more bearable during the hotter months of the year.  Previous guests were very happy with the room and said that the room was clean, had plenty of facilities like a TV, a comfy bed and a modern bathroom. Because of how small the motel is, the owners will personally greet you as you arrive at the island and will take you to the motel. Any information you may need from them regarding your room or the kind of activities that are available to you, are only a question away.  

One of the top sights that you have to see on Ascension Island is Green Mountain. This was the mountain that Charles Darwin chose to plant all of his greenery to try and make the island more habitable. In fact, many of the trees that grow at the top of Green Mountain will be trees that were planted by Darwin himself. Now the mountain is the chance for a great walk and a lovely view across the whole island and the vast expanse of ocean that surrounds it. You have the choice of doing the walk yourself or enquiring about a guide, both of which are valid options and it is down to your discretion.

Boatswain Bird Island is an even smaller island just off of the east coast of Ascension Island. The tiny island is administered by Georgetown. You can see it via a boat tour and the southern coast of the smaller island has some impressive natural arches and other interesting rock formations. This will often be included in larger boat tours of Ascension Island as a whole, so if you want to go, make sure that Boatswain Bird Island is included in that tour.

Clarence Bay is a lovely quite bay on the island that is perfect for taking in some of the sun that the island enjoys. It is not far from Georgetown and you can get a taxi or hire a car in order to get there. Once you are there you can expect to enjoy lovely fine sand, crystal clear waters and a calmness that you rarely see on beaches anymore. If your idea of heaven is that, then you have to visit the bay. Also, when you do visit the bay, make sure to bring a snorkel- you will not regret it.

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