Vanuatu holiday resorts and visitors guide

 

Santo Island

Having fun on Espiritu Santo - Vanuatu's largest island

The largest island in the Vanuatu group of islands is called Espiritu Santo, also known simply as Santo. Like all of the 83 islands in the archipelago, lush vegetation covered the land, and it is surrounded by amazing beaches of soft sand. Santo is a gorgeous island that is popular with vacationers of every stripe. It is the divers, however, that seem really to love what Santo has to offer.

Espiritu Santo Island has an interesting history, which has turned it into one of the best dive spots there is in Vanuatu. Although the island was found in the 17th century, there was very little outside impact on it until World War II. The war had a profound impact on the island as over 100,000 allied troops were stationed here. Amid the jungles of the island, you can still find the remnants of crashed B17 bombers and there are many more remnants beneath the water.

Transport ship wreck from WWII
World War II ship and plane wrecks are popular diving spots on Espiritu Santo island

Diving Sites on Santo

The most famous diving site is that of the SS President Coolidge. Divers from all around the world come to dive at the wreck site. It is touted as the most intact sunken ship in the world, and it is truly an amazing sight. Because of the location of the ship, both amateur and more experienced divers are able to enjoy the wreck.

Other great dive sites off the island exist as well. These include Million Dollar Point, and the wrecks of the USS Tucker (a destroyer) and the Henry Bonneaud, in addition to the beautiful coral reefs. You can choose from a number of different dive centers on Espiritu Santo. The oldest and most well known is the Allan Power Dive Tours.

Snorkeling

If you don’t have the skills and equipment to dive, don’t worry. Snorkeling is a very popular activity on Espiritu Santo, just as it is on all of the islands. Most of the resorts have snorkeling gear available for those who need it. The water is clear, and there are few places in the world with better visibility.

Island sailing at sunset
Sailing tours and sunset cruises are readily available to Espiritu Santo island visitors in Luganville

Sailing

You might want to stay above the water rather explore below, and you can do this by taking a sailing tour. You can learn to sail with the help of an experienced crew, or you can just sit back, relax, and take in the sights. A number of these also offer sunset cruises.

Hiking

Get to know the flora and fauna of the island by taking a hike through the rainforest interior. You can take a tour with a guide that can give you information to you the different kinds of plants and animals, as well as give you a little bit about the history of the island.

Shopping

One can find a number of unique souvenirs at many of the shops and markets throughout Luganville, the largest town on the island. You can also find some good local food at the markets, and the prices can’t be beat.

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