Now Reading
Vanuatu’s Santo Island Is A Haven Of Blue Holes, Hidden Rivers & Dazzling Beaches

Vanuatu’s Santo Island Is A Haven Of Blue Holes, Hidden Rivers & Dazzling Beaches

Do you catch yourself sitting at work, daydreaming of chucking the out-of-office on for a week or two, and jetting off to a tropical paradise? Quit daydreaming and submit your leave form, baby! Because this dreamy-as-hell destination is just the ticket.

Espiritu Santo – Or Santo, as it’s better known – is the largest of Vanuatu’s 83 islands and is a quick two-and-a-bit hours’ flying time from Brisbane.

The coconut palm-littered shores, lush jungle, and pristine waters of Santo are just begging to be explored. To help you get all the way back to nature, here are three things you’ve got to tick off your Santo Island bucket list.

Next-Level-Beautiful Blue Holes


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Menno’s world trip (@mennorietdijk) on

Vanuatu’s Blue Holes are kind of a big deal, and the ones bordering Santo Island are next-level. The island has heaps of them along the Champagne Coast on its eastern side – including the mesmerising Matevulu Blue Hole, famed for its insane turquoise colour.

You’ll find the entrance to Matevulu directly opposite the Oyster Island Resort on Santo. After a cruisy 30-minute paddle up the river, you’ll arrive at the totally magical swimming spot. There’s a rope swing at the same spot, should you want to spend some time gliding through the air as well as the water. The river is filtered by limestone, creating water so pure, clear, and luminous that it appears completely other-worldly. It’s the kind of scene where you’d expect a mermaid to appear at any time.

Thanks to Vanuatu’s beautiful tropical climate, the weather is generally good all year-round, with temperatures sitting pretty between 18 and 28 degrees Celsius – perfect swimming weather. So, once at Matevulu Blue Hole, all that’s left to do is kick back, relax, enjoy paradise and soak up the waters until your fingers look like prunes.

Kayaking Along A Lush And Lazy River


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Ross Antill (@rossantill) on

We’re sorry, but you haven’t kayaked until you’ve paddled along Santo Island’s Riri River.

Besides being arguably the greatest mode of transport, kayaking along Riri River will give you the perfect chance to completely immerse yourself in Vanuatu’s lush greenery and incredible wildlife.

Second to swimming, it’s the greatest way to experience Santo Island’s incredible Blue Holes. Look on in awe as the waters slowly change colour to an insane blue as you approach the magical sight. Seriously, nothing can prepare you for this natural phenomenon. Let the guys at Island Time Kayaking take care of the planning so you can throw yourself right into the hidden river systems, blue holes, and exploring nearby islands.

Dazzling & Totally Drool-Worthy Beaches

Alright, we get it, you’re not jetting off to Vanuatu to mess around, you’re heading there for the serious stuff – bring on the beaches.

Santo Island’s Champagne Beach – so named for the unique “fizz” that appears along the shoreline at low tide (it’s caused by gas escaping the region’s volcanic rocks and is, sadly, not actual champagne) – has been voted among the world’s best many times, and for good reason.

This postcard-perfect beach offers a super laid-back and secluded atmosphere with pristine, palm-fringed beaches and crystal-clear waters.

It’s also just up the road from Port Orly Beach, where you can chow down on epic fresh seafood, should you be feeling a bit snacky, or bunk in to a treehouse over the water. It doesn’t get any better than that.

(Lead image courtesy of Tourism Vanuatu)

Vanuatu’s island gems are under five hours flying time from Sydney and Melbourne. Learn more about Vanuatu’s unique experiences at

Scroll To Top