Vanuatu Travel Blog (Part 2 - Espiritu Santo & Tanna)
While Port Vila is a incredible place to relax, specially if you stay in one of their incredible resorts in my personal opinion the most beautiful places to visit are in Espiritu Santo and Tanna.
There is so much to do in Santo that I wish we had more time there; wonderful beaches with warm crystal clear waters such as Champagne and Port Orly Beach, Legendary Blue Holes (Nanda, Matevulu, Riri) and driving through the Coconut Tree Farms.
On our first day in Santo we hired a car at the hotel and drove to the Million Dollar Point - place where at the end of the second war The U.S. military dumped millions dollars worth of goods off a beach. Famous for snorkelling and diving.
The highlight of the day were the Riri and Matevulu Blue Holes. We first went to the Riri Blue Hole which we all agree to be the most special of the three we visited. For the first hours we had the place literally for ourselves. If it wasn’t for the mozzies pretty much eating us alive we would spend the rest of the day there.
On our way back to the hotel we stopped at the local food Market to buy some fresh coconuts, cassava chips and get some tips on where to go and what to do.
The down side about Vanuatu is that you have to pay entry everywhere you go, so it’s better to make sure you do some research first before you end up expending money to see things it doens’t interest to you.
As you may know, I travelled to Vanuatu one month before the Ultra Marathon (Great Ocean Road, 19th of May) so I had to keep up with my training. So, we started the second day exploring the surrounds with a long run (20km for me and 10km each for Tom and Luccas).
Alix and Wayne (Tom’s Friends) joined the four os us and we went to Champagne Beach. As soon as we arrived there Luccas and I went for a walk and Luccas spotted a big local family (about 50 people) playing beach soccer and having picnic. Thanks to Luccas skills to make friends in less than 5 minutes, we ended up having a lovely day playing soccer, eating delicious local food for free, hair braiding and ocean dips.
From Champagne Beach we drove to Port Orly to watch the sunset.
Our third and last day in Santo started with another morning run followed buy a visit to Nanda Blue Hole, it is a beautiful place but comparing to the other two blue holes we went that is the less interesting one (and most expensive to enter) probably for the fact for being the most commercialised. We spent the afternoon at Alix and Wayne’s hotel which had a beach view, chasing a Dugong (we swear we saw one, even with the hotel owner affirming they never saw one there before).
From Santo we flew back to Vila and from there straight to Tanna where we managed to delay an entire flight trying to check in. Long story short, when we arrived at the airport the attendant said they had us on the list but the airplane was overweighted… After 40 minutes of negotiation and a lot of positivity from my side we manage to embarque.
*Fun Fact, in every single trip we do, something needs to happen to add a little bit more of excitement. Things like;
-Getting lost in the middle of a small city in Japan called Takayama without internet access in a raining and very cold night.
-Losing the last night train somewhere in between Austria and Switzerland and having to sleep in the train station on a -10 Degrees night.
-Level 2 Cyclone in Fiji
-Getting robed in a Road House at the Northern Territory during our Road Trip.
-To be continued…
Tanna Island - What a magical experience.
When we arrived in Tanna our Airbnb host was waiting for you at the airport. We jumped at the back of a 4x4 UTE and drove for about 2 hours on a dirt road to arrive at the Karumine Tribe part of the Imaio Community, right at the bottom of Mt Yasur Volcano.
We stayed on a Jungle Three House having the Volcano as our balcony view, living a super simple life, with no internet access or warm shower. But every single detail made it the very special and unforgettable, the very unique “Tree Toilet”, The delicious food prepared by Jeffet’s (our Airbnb host) wife, the thimbles of the volcano waking us up in the middle of the night and our jungle hiking exploring the surrounds.
Visiting Vanuatu is already a life changing experience but Tanna was something else…
Watching traditional dance, walking on the edge of an active volcano at 361 meters above sea level, climbing the volcano again and ash boarding on the way down, a relaxing afternoon in Port Resolution and a very adventurous “short cut” driving literally though the jungle on our way back to the airport. So exciting!
We had one and a half extra days left in Port Vila before flying back to Sydney. The trip has finished exactly where it has started, at the Holiday Inn Resort Vanuatu.
The beauty of life encounters! On my first Vanuatu post I talked about the boys surfing plans with Olivier the Gaston Chocolate owner. So, Olivier kept his promise and picked us up at the airport for another epic day in Vanuatu. The boys surfed, we ate and bought lots of chocolate, went to at least three different Nakamal (Kava Place) and spent the night chatting, by then Valerie (Olivier’s wife) had joined us, two really special human beings, I’m really grateful that our paths have crossed.
Valerie is a very talented photographer (https://www.valeriefernandez.net) which we had the pleasure to shoot with on the our very last hours in Vanuatu. The photos we took are not just a beautiful memory from our holiday, but also pictures that really show us how we really are as a couple, the stage of our relationship by then, and something to look back at on difficult times to remind us how connected an in love our souls are.
For more photos and facts from this Trip make sure you check my Vanuatu Highlight on Instagram @Luamarchi
Hope you like it! xx