"Espiritu Santo, Vanuatu" Espiritu Santo by minstrel74

Espiritu Santo Travel Guide: 14 reviews and 34 photos

Espiritu Santo, the largest of Vanuatu's islands, lies somewhat off the normal tourist track. During my three-day visit, I saw virtually no other tourists save for a few divers in downtown Luganville and a small number of visitors arriving at the airport. Most of these were expatriates judging by their conversations. Admittedly, there are fewer obvious "attractions" here than on, say, Tanna Island or the area around Port Vila, but if you're looking to get away from the normal tourist haunts and see how the ni-Vanuatu live when no one's looking, this may be your place. Like everywhere else in Vanuatu, the scenery is spectacular, the beaches and surrounding ocean gorgeous, and the culture fascinating. There's also an element of WWII history still very much present here. Wrecks in the surrounding waters should be interesting for those who dive, but even for those who don't (like myself) there are still abandoned buildings and airstrips on land that are virtually undisturbed and little visited.

Some of the older folks on this island still remember the war and can recount fascinating first-hand tales of what occurred. My own grandfather served in the U.S. army in the Pacific during WWII, and this was a great way to start conversation with some of the locals who were children at the time.

The main reason I was drawn to Espiritu Santo can be seen in this photograph--Champagne Beach. This is one of the most incredible beaches you will ever see. No exaggeration. And if you time your visit right, you may have the whole thing to yourself. I did and consider myself very lucky. Imagine visiting Waikiki Beach in Hawaii in the middle of the day with nobody around. That gives some idea of the experience. It's a little ways up the east coast, but transport is not too difficult, at least it wasn't for me, and is certainly worth the effort.

  • Last visit to Espiritu Santo: Oct 1997
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
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Reviews (2)

Comments (5)

  • kooka3's Profile Photo
    Sep 23, 2005 at 7:27 PM

    I wish I had a chance to see Santo when I was in Vanuatu. The closest I came was watching a cargo ship from Santo come into North Pentecost. Maybe next time . . .

  • hunwagner's Profile Photo
    Jan 31, 2005 at 10:23 PM

    What a pity - Vanuatu sounds too expensive! Anyway, I hope you'll add more tips here.

  • Maria_75's Profile Photo
    Nov 26, 2004 at 2:10 PM

    Wow! Take me there now!!! :)

  • windsorgirl's Profile Photo
    Nov 21, 2004 at 8:51 AM

    I thought I was visiting Baja here on your pages...what a nice surprise! Champagne Beach looks very inviting esp now that the weather has turned cold here in Windsor! Thanks for visiting my Cape Town pages.

  • CandS's Profile Photo
    Nov 2, 2004 at 12:19 PM

    Wow, Champagne Beach is gorgeous!!!! I wish we'd gotten to Santo also... Next time for sure!!!!! Thanks for sharing...


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