O U R S E R V I C E S
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Espiritu Santo is Vanuatu's largest island and is widely known for it's pristine beaches, blue holes, coconut palms and world-class dive sites.
Santo first came into contact with western voyagers in 1606, when a Spanish expedition, led by Portuguese explorer Pedro Fernandes de Querios, came ashore at Big Bay on the northern part of the island. Thinking that he had come across the Great Southern Continent, he named the island La Australia de Espiritu Santo. As it turned out he had not landed in Australia, however the name Espiritu Santo, which translates to 'holy spirit' in Spanish, stuck.
Referred to simply as Santo by locals, the 'Spirit of Santo' is well known throughout the islands and the characteristic happy vibes and enthusiasm for the island are passed on to everyone who visits; many of our visitors return to stay year after year!
The majority of Santo's infrastructure was developed during WWII when the island served as an Allied Military Base. When you visit our capital Luganville you may notice the Quonset Huts around town or how wide our main road is - wide enough to accommodate two-way tank traffic!
During Vanuatu's move to independence in the 1980's Santo was also the sight of the Nagriamel movement, colloquially known as the Coconut Rebellion. Armed predominately with bows and arrows a coup was staged, led by Jimmy Stevens of Fanafo Village, which pushed for Espiritu Santo to become an independent state known as Vemerana. Ultimately the rebellion failed and Santo became part of the new Independent Vanuatu.
Today, you can explore Santo via the sealed East Coast Road that runs from Luganville, on the islands south east corner, to Port Orly village on the island's northern tip. The east coast is home to fresh water lagoons, white sand beaches, coral reefs, easily accessible wreck dives, luxurious resorts, traditional Ni-Vanuatu bungalows, coconut plantations and grazing land for our famous Santo beef. If adventure is more your style, get off the beaten track and explore south Santo. Along the way you will find secret waterfalls, dense tropical bush, traditional villages and black sand beaches. The west coast of Santo is characterised by high mountains and thick bushland - and is home to Vanuatu's highest mountain, Mt. Tabwemasana. There are no roads on this side of the island and the people who live there still maintain a predominately traditional way of life.
Santo offers the perfect combination of luxury vacation, adventure and authentic Melanesian culture, ensuring that you can mix-and-match your experiences to create your ideal holiday
Tradition & Culture
Magic is strongest on the island with active volcanoes, and Abmrym is considered Vanuatu's corcery centre. Sorceres (man blong majik or man blong posen) are treated with respoect. Many islanders have seen too many unexplained happenigns to regard a corcerer with anything but awe.
Ambrym is also the island of sand drawing with 180 sand designs, each referrig to a specific object, legend, dance or creature. Maghe ceremonies (as grade-taking is called in Ambrym) are major customary events. Up to six men at a time take part in grade-taking, when more than 120 pigs may be slaughtered. No majo transactions occurs without the exchange of pigs. They also be paid as fines or as licence fees to copyright owner of, for example, a tamtam design.
The Rom Dance
Ambrym's most stiking traditional ceremony combines maghe elements with magic. Teh Rom dance takes palce for several weeks every August in the norht, is followed by a pig kill. The dances perform first in their home vilalge, then visit other to put on shows, wearing the extraordinary Rom Costume: tall, conical, brightly painted bananba- fibre mask and a thick cloak of banana leaves. As the Rom Dance represents a a spriti, each costume is burned after the dance in case the spirits takes it over and haunts or impersonates the dancer.
There are many excellent hikes on Santo. If nothing else you should least check out
Authentic Packages are also available depending on the theme of your travel and the number of days you wish to spend on our beautiful islands
A number of accommodations ranges from Bungalows to Guest houses and home stays were now established in West, North and South East Ambrym.
Most of them were build on local materials yet provides basic comfort with decent mattress, running shower and even morden flashing toilets. Most of them do not have dedicated phone connectivity so its is always best to make reserve rooms in advance. Since most of the accommodation are outside the telecommunication coverage area Island Experieces is established to make the connection and make travelers travel plan simpler.
Getting there & Away
Air - At least twice a day Air Vanuatu flys either via Craig Cove on the Vila/Luganvile route. Two times a week there is flight into Ulie from both Vila and Luganville and similar service to South West Bay. A twice weekly loop limks Norsup with both airports on Ambrym, Paama and Lamen Bay on Epi.
T E S T I M O N I A L S