Espiritu Santo Things to Do
We heard about the Nanda Blue Hole from a friend that travels to Santo every year.
One of the most amazing natural wonders on Santo is the blue holes. These are deep blue freshwater holes that are carved out by the natural springs that bubble up from underground. They have to be seen to be believed.
The most magical blue hole on Espiritu Santo is the Nanda Blue Hole, it was the clearest and most blue of all the holes.
Owned by a local family, they have developed some rustic facilties that fit in with the rainforest surrounding the blue hole. This included a bar, visitors area, slide, rope swing, jetty, tables and flushable toilets.
We spent an afternoon swimming, snorkling and drinking the local beer.
The Nanda Blue Hole is about a 25 min drive north from Luganville the capital, and half way to Champagne Beach on the main coast road.
We went on a local tour to get to the Nanda Blue Hole, asking the driver to stop there during a tour to Champayne Beach. There are also taxis that will take you there.
Some of the locals also call this blue hole, Jackies Blue Hole or Jacquie's Blue Hole, I think this is the owners name.
The Nanda Blue Hole was definetely our favourite attraction on Santo.Related to:
- Diving and Snorkeling
- Jungle and Rain Forest
- National/State Park
There are a variy of dive sites around th Segond Channel, but the main draw in the USS President Coolidge. A 200m WW2 wreck that's in better condition than the Thistlegorm in the Red Sea. You can wear anything from a 3mm steamer to short and a rashy on this one as the water is around 25-30 celsius.
The operation is very slick and well rehearsed. Divers are generally picked up from their hotel by arrangement, and driven down to the dive site. Kit up in the shade and wade out to the entry point. This is a shore dive, which means no hauling of tanks back onto a rib when you're exiting - especially if you're using a twinset and stage tanks. The guide are well trained and will show you the best parts of the ship. The ship is so big that you'll generally only see the other buddy pairs on descent, ascent and stops on the sandy shallows.
There's probably no better place to gain experience in wreck diving than the Coolidge, and for all levels of training. If you have time, I would recommend booking either a PADI or TDI course whilst you're out here. The latter can help you take in more of the wreck.
P.S. Don't forget to 'kiss the lady' whilst you're down here. The dive isn't very exciting, but can't be missed if you're heading this way.Related to:
- Diving and Snorkeling
Most people visiting eastern Espiritu Santo are probably planning on visiting this beach. It is one of the most strikingly beautiful you will ever see. And for good reason. It has a wide shoreline of soft, white sand and the water is translucent blue. There's also a straight-on view of Elephant Island. The soft sand continues several meters into the water, so you can wade in without worrying about cutting up your feet on sharp coral. Up on the grass along the shoreline are a number of leaf hut shelters, which are a perfect place to get out of the hot sun for awhile. There are toilets and a small bar, unattended when I was there (maybe because it was Sunday).
For at least an hour, I had the entire place to myself. Even when others did show up, they were just a few and I still felt like I was alone except for the occasional sound of children playing in the water.
It costs 200 VT to visit for guests of the Lonnoc Beach Resort and 500 VT for everybody else.Related to:
Espiritu Santo Hotels
Espiritu Santo Off The Beaten Path
Head towards the market after 9pm, and you'll find out where everyone congregates. To the left of the main market is a row of stalls with benches set out infront. Sit down, and the cook will appear offering to whip up a meal right in front of you. The food isn't complicated (chicken'n'chips), but is what the locals eat, so is a lot cheaper than the tourist prices in the main restaurants. Watch the world go by whilst waiting for the food to cook, there's no better place to be after dark.Related to:
- Budget Travel