Hidden treasure: Espiritu Santo

Espiritu Santo is the largest island of Vanuatu, an archipelago of 83 volcanic islands in the Pacific Ocean, Melanesia region. The first European to arrive on the north side, was the Portuguese explorer Pedro Fernández de Quirós in 1605.

Espiritu Santo has a tropical climate, beautiful white sand beaches (Lonnoc Bay, Golden Beach and Champagne Beach), high mountains and lush rainforest.

Above all, it is a popular tourist destination for divers thanks to excellent diving and snorkelling spots, reefs and underwater caves around the entire island. Firstly, it is possible to dive the SS President Coolidge, one of the largest and most accessible shipwrecks in the world. Secondly it is possible to swim in the blue holes where crystal clear water comes to the surface. Moreover, turtles, manta rays and reef sharks are regular visitors to the reefs.

The island also offers different sports like: kayaking, horseback riding and trekking expeditions. Visitors can also buy the local coffee, visiting the Freshwater Plantation farm, with a walk through the plantation. For instance, they discover the process and can taste cocoa beans. Furthermore, the Aore Island Coffee organises guided tour behind the creation of organic coffee.

 The capital Luganville has various shops, restaurants, hotels and the local Mama’s market, a waterfront covered market, selling home made souvenirs and food produce. The locals work in shops, hotels and in the fishing industries. Visitors can learn about the culture by visiting the villages of the island where life is still very authentic.

Info: http://vanuatu.travel/index.php

Photo credit: ©Vanuatu Tourism Office. Photographer David Kirkland