The largest of Vanuatu’s islands, Espiritu Santo is blessed with stunning white sand beaches, lush rainforest, crystal clear waters, blue holes and world-class dive sites.
Santo is from a time past, where people still come in from the jungle to trade for necessities and then fade back into the shadows, amongst the WW ll Dakotas and hangars that lie scattered in the thick tropical jungle.
The most famous remnant of the allied troops’ occupation is the wreck of the SS President Coolidge, a luxury liner used as a troop ship during WWll. Divers need an average of 13 dives in order to explore the entirety of the 200 metre long vessel lying near to the shore in waters 20-72 metres deep with munitions, military supplies and personal belongings scattered across the ocean floor.
Another underwater highlight is ‘Million Dollar Point’, where the US Navy dumped tonnes of valuable machinery and supplies after the war. ‘Chails Reef’ is a stunning reef dive located in calm waters with an amazing variety of coral and marine life from crayfish to sharks. Large chain nets ran the length of the channel to Aore Island to block submarines during the war. Since they were collapsed, the reef has been growing on them, making ‘Sub Nets’ an unusual dive site.
Whether it is a trip to Champagne Beach or a look for some of the WW II wreckage scattered in the undergrowth, there are plenty of places to explore above ground as well.
Espiritu Santo can be reached by a 45 minute flight north from Vanuatu's capital, Port Vila.
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