Espiritu Santo Island
Vanuatu is known as a divers’ Mecca, offering many great diving opportunities including access to the remains of the ocean liner SS President Coolidge. The ship sunk not far from the Espiritu Santo shore during WWII, making it the world’s largest easily accessible shipwreck. If you want to have a unique Vanuatu diving experience, then travel to Espirito Santo.
Luganville, the principal city of Espiritu Santo, is often referred to as the northern capital of Vanuatu. The opening of the new airport has been a boom to tourism on Espiritu Santo Island.
Santo, and in particular Luganville, was natural as tourism center. During WW2, it served as staging point for thousands of US troops and the infrastructure was set in place. Interesting fact was that at the conclusion of hostilities, the Allies offer of war surplus was unclaimed and they dumped millions of dollars of machinery and goods into the ocean at the place that became known as “Million Dollar Point”, which developed into a great place for snorkelling. And the sinking of the troop carrier President Coolidge also resulted in the ability to dive the world’s largest accessible shipwreck.
Luganville’s principal avenue runs along the seawall and is known as Main St. or Blvd Higginson.
Lining the street are a collection of shops, WW2 relics, restaurants and the colorful market near the Sarakata Bridge to Aore Island.
Two upmarket properties are the Aore Resort located on Aore Island just off-shore from Luganville and The Bokissa Eco Island Resort on an adjacent islet.
Beside the snorkelling and diving, adventure activities include horseback riding, river kayaking and rainforest trekking. If you have the time and inclination, you can undertake a multi-day hike to places like the stunning Millennium Cave or the limestone forest in the Vatthe Conservation area. There are also a number of day tours available to scenic and cultural points around the island.