"DISCOVER THE SPIRIT OF SANTO"

Sanma Province is made up of the islands Espiritu Santo and Malo, and includes a number of smaller surrounding islands that a sit just off shore, such as Aore, Tutuba, Turtle and Ratua islands. 

Known for it's stunning diving, blue holes and white sandy beaches, Sanma Province is the perfect destination for your next holiday. Whether you are looking for a romantic escape, an off-the beaten track adventure, relaxing spell by pristine beaches or family-friendly getaway, we guarantee that there is something here for everyone!

Getting here is stress free as Espiritu Santo's Pekoa International Airport, located just outside Luganville, receives daily flights from Port Vila and direct weekly flights from Brisbane Australia via Air Vanuatu. Sanma Province is also the gateway to the northern outer-islands of Vanuatu. Our airport has direct flights to TorbaPenama and Malampa provinces, making it easy for you to explore! 

 
 
 

Santo is Vanuatu's largest island and is widely known for it's picture perfect beaches, blue holes, coconut palms and unbeatable dive sites.

Espiritu 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 through out 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 swimming holes, white sand beaches, coral reefs, easily accessible wreck dive sites, 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, treks through dense bush, traditional Santo village life and black sand beaches. The west coast of Santo is characterized by high mountains and thick bushland - the west coast 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!

 
 
 

Stay - Santo

Play - Santo

 

Located just across Segond Canal from Luganville town, Aore Island is the perfect place for day trip or as a base for your Santo holiday. Technically part of Espiritu Santo, Aore offers all the best elements of a small island tropical getaway with easy access to the mainland, which is just a short boat ride away!

Thanks to the surrounding islands, the sheltered waters that surround Aore offer the perfect conditions for thriving marine life and amazing snorkeling that you can explore straight from the beach. There are a number of attractions and resorts located on Aore, which can be accessed by boat, vehicle or bicycle. The road will take you by small villages, holiday homes, coconut, cacao and coffee plantations and paddocks of grazing cattle - not to mention beautiful coast line. 

Aore island has a long history as a coffee growing area and during WWII served as the US military's R&R facility. While you can no longer see any of the 30 cinemas that once stood here, you will come across some of the old ammunition bunker as you explore the island. 

 
 
 

Stay - Aore

Play - Aore

 

Malo is the second island of Sanma Province and sits to the south of Santo, just behind Aore island. Though just a short banana boat ride away, Malo feels miles away and offers a unique cultural experience not found on any of Sanma's other islands. 

During your stay walk around the villages, visit the large blue hole or see some of the mama's local handicrafts. If you wish, you can see a traditional kastom performance that includes a number of dances and songs that are unique to the different villages around Malo.

With few tourists venturing across to Malo it's most likely that you will get this hidden gem all to yourself!

 
 
 

Stay - Malo

Play - Malo