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A Magical Island of Adventure

Espiritu Santo, known as 'Santo' by the locals is the largest island in Vanuatu, covered with high mountains and lush rainforest. Santo is rich in culture, amazing scenery and is an ideal playground for those seeking an adventure. It is also an island untouched by development which make it uniquely special.

On eastern coast you will find some of the most beautiful beaches in the world, a sea of coral abundant with colourful marine life. The crystal clear water remains warm throughout the year making it ideal for swimming, kayaking, snorkeling and diving. Santo has diving that is world class, with the magnificent wreck of the USS President Coolidge and Million Dollar Point featuring equipment sunk by the US Army after WW2. Voted as one of the worlds top ten beaches, Champagne Beach will take your breath away with its white soft sand and crystal clear blue water.

Inland from the coast, natural springs bubble up from the ground to form magical blue holes that have to be seen to be believed. The blue holes are up to 18m deep and can form rivers that run to the ocean. The Nanda Blue Hole is one of the most spectacular of these.

The mountains on Santo are covered in lush rainforest, caves and rivers that flow down to the coast. They make an ideal setting for hiking treks, caving, waterfall climbing and river adventures.

 
 

Hanging with the Friendly Locals

Vanuatu LocalsSanto locals are one of the most happiest people in the Pacific and love sharing their island paradise with tourist. Many people live in traditional self sufficient villages scattered all over the island. There are also a lot of Australians and Kiwis living on Santo, I guess they came as a tourist, built a house and decided to stay in paradise.

The small capital Luganville is home to various shops, restaurants, hotels and an international airport with flights to Brisbane or Vanuatu's capital, Port Vila.

The locals make a living by working in the tourist trade, local shops, hotels, crop farming, producing copra for extracting coconut oil, kava making and fishing industries.

Most of the locals on Santo are Christians, however traditional customs still play a large part in their lives, regardless of their religion. The chief still remains the leader in most villages.

Upon meeting a local it is highly likely you will be greeted with a big smile and they will want to know all about where you are from.

Boutique Accommodation for all Budgets

Espiritu Santo HotelsYou wont find any major hotel chains on Santo, instead you will find a range of small boutique style resorts that are high on hospitality in a tropical paradise setting.

The east coast of Santo consists of several upmarket resorts that feature all the comforts of home set in an amazing beach setting. These include Turtle Bay Lodge, Oyster Island Resort, Moyan House By the Sea, Lope Lope Adventure Lodge and Barrier Beach House.

Around Champagne Beach there are several low cost beach bungalows perfect for those on a budget, but still want to wake up on the beach. These include Lonnoc Beach Bungalows and Little Paradise Bungalows.

Luganville offers a range of hotels ideal for those visiting for only a few days that need a base to go on tours exploring the island. Some of the most popular include The Espiritu, Village de Santo and Hotel Santo.

For those that want a more secluded resort, the islands around Luganville offer upmarket escapes including Aore Island Resort, Bokissa Private Island Resort and the exclusive Ratua Private Island.

To find which Santo hotel is perfect for you take a look through the reviews on TripAdvsor.


Traveling to Santo

Air VanuatuSanto-Pekoa International Airport is located near Luganville on Santo. Air Vanuatu offer direct flights from Brisbane several times a week and also from Vanuatu's capital, Port Vila several times daily.

Connecting flights via Port Vila are available from Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, New Caledonia and the Solomon Islands.

There are several cruise ships that visit Santo including P&O Cruises, Carnival Cruises, Holland America Line and Hapag-Lloyd Cruises departing from Australia or New Zealand.

 


Transport on Santo

Tour Bus SantoThe most common method of transport on Santo is via Taxi, which are readily available at a reasonable price. To make things easy for visitors, there are set prices for traveling to all locations on Santo. Ask your driver or hotel for a copy of the pricing schedule.

If you want to spend most of the day traveling to multiple destinations on Santo, then the Tour operators are great value. They will take you either on a set tour or to locations you suggest. Try to get at least four people in your group which will usually lower the price. Tour operators include Paradise Tours, Santo Discovery Tours, Santo Heritage Tours, Santo Safari Tours and Wrecks to Rainforest.

There is also a public bus service on Santo that the locals use, but routes are limited.

Car hire and scooter hire are available and recommended for those that like to do it on their own.


Things You Must Do on Santo

champagne beach      Port Orly     Mount Hope Tour     Santo Village Tour

Places to See
- Nanda Blue Hole and all the other blue holes.
- Champagne Beach
- Lonnoc Beach & Port Olry
- Shop in Luganville

Things to Do
- Millennium Cave Tour
- Snorkel at Million Dollar Point
- Dive at the USS President Coolidge
- Take the Mount Hope Waterfall Tour
- Take a village tour
- Visit a Copra kiln to see how coconut oil is produced
- Drop into a village kava bar after the locals finish work
- Visit other resorts for dinner - they often hold special fun nights on weekends for everyone.


Further Information

Espiritu Santo Tourism Association

Espiritu Santo Chamber of Commerce

 

 


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