Espiritu Santo may be Spanish for ‘the Holy Spirit’ but visitors (and even those who have just heard of it) may be more inclined to translate its name to ‘The Adventure Capital of the World’. With its profusion of incredible scenery, the plethora of fun activities to do, and the multitude of other hidden treasures, Espiritu Santo takes the lead when it comes to the ultimate escapades. Are you eager to know more about this precious island? Then check out the information below.
A Brief History
Espiritu Santo is Vanuatu’s largest island. It was in 1853 when the outside world turned its eye on it’s sandalwood resources, and later on, it’s alluvial gold. By the year 1856, the island had 16 traders in residence, with numerous ships moored at its various anchorages at a given time. Over time, greedy characters came to the island whose acts of violence against the islanders led to the killings of countless sailors. By the early 20th century, the locals’ resentment of the European settlers gave birth to a few resistance movements, the most notable of which still exists in some isolated bush villages today: the Ronovuru movement. No need to worry though. Today, the reception of tourists and outsiders can only be described as warm and welcoming!
Some of the Main Attractions on Espiritu Santo
One of the most amazing (and must-do) activities when you visit is scuba diving. One of its most spectacular diving spots, five minutes from the launching pad, is the renowned USS President Coolidge, a luxury passenger liner/World War II troop carrier that was converted to a fantastic underwater playground/history museum when mines hit it upon its entrance to the island harbor. Prepare to feast your eyes on the ship’s hidden treasures that speak of its luxurious and patriotic history: the delicate porcelain statue of the ‘The Lady’, eye-catching chandeliers, and a mosaic tile fountain along with a collection of war memorabilia such as guns, helmets, jeeps, and cannons. The surrounding sea life also demands your attention. A few dives should give you an idea of just how majestic and enormous the Coolidge is.
Remarkable Hiking Destination
Want to see a cave full of stalactites, stalagmites, sculptured rocks, and bats? Then walk through the 50-meter high Millennium Cave! Over the course of the trek, you can also take a refreshing dip in waterfalls, admire a lush tropical rainforest while picnicking on treats, and discover the beauty of a river in a tropical gorge by swimming in its waters.
Espiritu Santo is brimming with culture. To learn the locals’ ancient lifestyle and traditions, you can head to the Custom (Kastom) village, where, if you are lucky, you can even observe important nimangki (grade-taking) ceremonies taking place. After getting your fill, you might also want to join local tours of war relics that will take you to places like the Million Dollar Point (where millions of dollars worth of war equipment can be seen) and the US Hero Park. Conclude the day’s events by dining on delectable local food.
Other Water Activities
The island has a list of other water activities you can engage in. Go on a fishing charter, and cast your line for marlin, wahoo, and mackerel. Grab a kayak, and enjoy Espiritu Santo’s famous crystal clear blue waters. For a more relaxing day, indulge on a picnic on any one of the island’s beaches like Champagne Beach and Golden Beach.
Excited to have the most fabulous vacation ever? It is well under an hours flying time from Port Vila, the capital of Vanuatu, to this island of your dreams.