Espiritu Santo Island
The Island of Hidden Treasures
Espiritu Santo, the largest of Vanuatu’s islands, is a little known paradise just waiting to be discovered and explored. With gorgeous white sand beaches, blue holes, caves, and world renowned diving and snorkeling, Espiritu Santo is replete with opportunities for adventure and relaxation, all in the midst of beauty and splendor.
The white sand beaches along the coastline are an unspoilt treasure. Champagne Beach, one of the more well-known sites, is a destination of azure blue waters and silky sanded shore. The beach is dotted with swaying palms and rustic huts where local village women display their sarongs for sale. On most days the beach is nearly deserted. Just a ten minute walk from Champagne is Lonnoc Beach with gently deepening water, making it a perfect spot for wading and swimming. With areas of spectacular live coral encircled by colorful and fantastic fish, Lonnoc is a must-see for snorkelers.
Perhaps the most unforgettable sites to visit on Espiritu Santo are the Blue Holes, where shockingly clear fresh water comes to the surface through layers of coral and limestone, producing a pristine blue jewel. Just up the Matevulu River, twenty minutes north of Luganville, is such an oasis. Accessed either by Jeep or kayak (via Oyster Island Resort), this clear blue hole is perfect for swimming and diving. With a large deck nearby for viewing the stunning water and a friendly hostess offering plates of fresh fruit, the Blue Hole will have you visiting again and again.
The Millenium Cave tour is a day trip full of beauty and adventure, offering a sampling of traditional village, bush walk, caving, and canyoning. The cave spans 20m across and 50m high. A river runs through the cavern amidst pools and glittering stalagmites and stalactites. After hiking and canoeing, you blissfully float down the Sarakata River past scenery of unimaginable resplendence.
Espiritu Santo, a land of grace and adventure, is the perfect vacation destination, offering up the best elements of a tropical paradise.
The SS Coolidge, a luxury liner turned military transport vessel has been sitting in the shallows off of Espiritu Santo since 1942. Perhaps the most accessible wreck of its size, the Coolidge is a diver’s paradise. Much of the ship can be easily explored, with guns, cannons, Jeeps, helmets, and chandeliers around every turn. Coral has grown around the wreck, and creatures such as reef fish, barracuda, sea turtles, and eels have made it their home.