Guide to Espiritu Santo, Vanuatu – South Pacific paradise on the rise


The largest of Vanuatu’s 83 islands, Espiritu Santo is often overshadowed by her famous neighbors – namely Fiji and New Caledonia. It’s no reflection on the ni-Vanuatu people who warmly welcome visitors to their sun-kissed shores. Ssshhh, Santo is kind of a secret! Skyscanner Australia peeked at Santo’s South Pacific charms, a destination promising to headline 2018 holiday wish lists.

What’s with the strange name?

First things first, let’s deal with the unwieldly name. Espiritu Santo is actually a shortened version of the archipelago’s original name La Austrialia del Espiritu Santo. This mouthful hails from a Spanish Portuguese expedition tasked with finding the legendary Great Southern Land about 400-odd years ago. Mistaking Espiritu Santo for the mythical terra australis incognita, Captain Querios named the archipelago in recognition of the Spanish King’s descent from the Royal House of Austria.

So, with the history lesson dispensed with, let’s just call this dreamy plot of paradise Santo like everyone else does. Not to be confused with the big guy in the red suit scrambling down chimneys in your neighborhood soon.

Why go to Santo?

It’s a good question. Divers, snorkelers, swimmers, beachgoers, culture fiends and foodies listen up.

Like any self-respecting Pacific Island paradise, Santo has stacked the deck with enough beaches to make a sun-starved Melburnian weep. Champagne Beach please take a bow. Not just for your celebratory name that conjures up visions of balmy tropical decadence. You my friend are the real deal. White sand, tick. Aquamarine water, tick. Coconut palms swooshing in the breeze. Yep, by the plantation load. Bonus points for a sparkling spring that bubbles up into the bay. Hence the name. Seriously. But you’d be forgiven if you stashed a bottle of bubbles in your beach bag – beachgoing is thirsty work! Read more.