The SS President coolidge is the largest accessible wreck in the world, Wreck enthusiasts from around the world rate the collidge as a 'must do' —over the years, thousands of divers have traveled to santo with the interest to explore the Coolidge
Santo is a relatively easy option for experiencing Vanuatu's outer islands with some good attractions:
- Real primary forest, big mountains and numerous rivers.
- Excellent bird watching.
- Excellent diving, including the famous S.S. Coolidge.
- Crystal clear spring fed freshwater 'blue holes'.
Santo has Vanuatu's highest peak, Mt Tabwemasana at 1879m above sea level, and the longest river, the Jordan. Santo is a good base for exploring the northern and central islands of Vanuatu.
Below are some of the things which you can do whilst exploring Espiritu Santo.
Kayaking —many Resorts have sit on kayaks for fun travel around the shores of Segond Channel and exploring our pristine rivers. The staff of our hotels and resorts can give you information and contacts for these remarkable adventures.
Snorkelling —snorkel at Million Dollar Point where the Americans dumped massive amounts of war surplus in 1945.
Bulldozers, forklifts, shipwrecks – it has the lot including great corals and fish life. Go snorkelling with the divers if you don’t scuba dive, if there’s room on the boats you’re always welcome to visit the pristine reefs. Your accommodation provider will be able to point you in the direction of other good snorkelling areas.
Blue Holes and Beaches —Lonnoc Beach on the east coast of the island boasts magnificent views, sheltered waters all framed by powder soft sand. A great place for a swim in the crystal waters, remember to take some snorkeling gear with you! An ideal place for a picnic lunch (ask your resort to prepare one or take your own).
Around the corner from Lonnoc Beach is Champagne Beach. This is another spectacular beach with crystal blue water, and fine powdered sand. On the way to Lonnoc and Champagne Beaches is the Blue Holes, these are one of the true wonders of the world if you see nothing else while on Espiritu Santo you must see this, crystal clear fresh water comes to the surface through layers of limestone and coral producing water of jewel quality blue. Take a dip in the cool waters to refresh yourself.
Custom Life —Espiritu Santo’s ni-Vanautu (of Vanuatu) tour operators can take you too many remote villages where life is still very fundamental. See custom colourful dress, primitive lifestyle, abundant gardens. Get caught up with the rhythm of the dancers and the sound of ancient drums beating.
Watch the ladies preparing, dying and weaving their incredible clothes, mats and baskets. Join the men in the preparation and drinking our traditional drink – kava. Watch and listen as they recount their ancient folklore and draw their legends in the sand. Your Hotel or Resort staff can give you information and contacts for these remarkable adventures.
Fishing —There are a number of charter boat operators in Santo that can take you the best spots for fishing and a day on the sparkling blue ocean. The view from out at sea is picture perfect. Beautiful green tropical jungle rising up from an azure blue Pacific Ocean and the ever present promise of the strike. It is enough to keep your memories of Vanuatu alive for years to come. Espiritu Santo has fantastic game and reef fishing available with fast, safe boats to get you to where the action is. Tuna, Marlin, Wahoo, giant Travelly are a few of the species caught in our amazing waters. Most of our fishing is tag and release.
Some ni-Vanautu fishermen are happy to take you out to catch the illusive Poulet (chicken) fish. Living at depths of 200-300 metres they are amazing served lightly grilled with a good garlic sauce.
World War II —James Michener wrote 'Tales of the South Pacific' while stationed on Espiritu Santo, and Pappy Boyington joined up with the Black Sheep Squadron operating from the island.
Bomber missions operated from one of the three bomber fields through much of the war but the major fronts moved north, away from Vanuatu and the focus switched to maintenance and repair as well as a base for strategic command.
Espiritu Santo was a supply base and this meant that there was always plenty of good food and warm beer. Bloody Mary was a real person and a hero of the enlisted men. She supplied local women and cheap booze for Yankee dollars. She was Tonkinese and lived in Luganville until the 1990's. The importance of the base during the war can still be seen in the infrastructure that is left behind. Many buildings and facilities built during the war are still used today. The aircraft
Vehicle Hire —what better way to explore the sights of Santo. Go at your own pace to visit our beautiful beaches, lush forests, traditional villages and tourism sites. Some hotels and resorts have vehicles available to hire for their guests, and there a number of places where you may hire a vehicle in Santo.
Motor Scooters and mini-buses are available from Deco Stop Lodge. Replica World War Two Jeeps are available from Jeep Rental. Go Vanuatu hires a range of vehicles including cars, 4wd pickups, mini-buses, adventure buggys and motorcycles.
Two (2) other main activities in Santo is trekking and scuba diving, CLICK on the link below to explore the opportunities available for the adventurous travellers!