In this Article by South Pacific travel expert Ian Osborn
Espiritu Santo Holidays Overview — Espiritu Santo Travel Details
Espiritu Santo, one of the northern islands of Vanuatu, is the largest in the country measuring almost 4,000 sq-km but with a population of only 30,000. Much of the island is completely inaccessible with high mountains ranges over 1,700 metres high and covered in dense rainforest. Santo has a significant expatriate population drawn by its rich coconut plantations which have been converted to some of the regions best cattle ranches.
Espiritu Santo Map
Reasons to Visit Espiritu Santo
- Scuba Diving Holidays - Coolidge Wreck
- Romantic Beach Holiday
- Rainforest, Hiking & Bird-watching
- Sightseeing Blue Holes & Blue Lakes
- Champagne Beach
- Luxury - Bokissa Island Resort
- Luxury - Moyyan House by the Sea
- Deluxe - Aore Island Resort
- Affordable - Coral Cays Resort
- Budget - Beachfront Resort
Best Espiritu Santo Hotels
Espiritu Santo Holidays Overview
The majority of tourists visiting Espiritu Santo do so to dive the famous SS President Coolidge, a huge US luxury passenger liner sunk by friendly mines during WWII. The wreck lies in a shallow protected bay and is easily accessible, even by novice divers, lying just off the coast of Luganville Town, the main centre for the island and location of the international and domestic airport. Luganville is a rather grubby one-street town with a few restaurants, banks and supermarkets and several good, cheap accommodations set up for scuba divers.
If you're not a diver, or have more interest than just diving, Santo has some good sightseeing. including several outstanding rainforest hikes. Casual walkers will enjoy the Millennium Cave trail but those wanting to really explore the rainforest can partake in several challenging hikes with local guides easily arranged via the tourism office in Luganville Town. There are few decent beaches around Luganville, although two small islands offshore from Luganville, Aore and Bokissa, both have lovely beach resorts.
The best beach on Santo is Champagne Beach, a 3-hr journey by road from Luganville up the east coast. This coast also features the blue holes, mysterious lakes surrounded by dense rainforest.
Espiritu Santo Travel Information
Espiritu Santo has several daily flights from Port Vila as well as direct international flights with Air Calin, two weekly from Brisbane and once a week from Sydney. Pekoa Airport is a 10-minute drive from Luganville. There's a limited bus service along the south coast and by far the easiest way to get around is by hiring a taxi. There are several good organised tour companies operating out of Luganville.