10 Things to do in Espiritu Santo with Kids
Million Dollar Point
Seven decades ago, the US Army dumped millions of dollars of equipment not far from the shoreline at what is today known as, Million Dollar Point. Both older kids and adults will be enthralled snorkelling over bright coloured fish swimming around barely submerged tractors and other machinery.
Young kids can still enjoy Million Dollar Point as well. There is plenty of sand to play in and grass to picnic on. When the tide is low, they can stroll around ‘discovering’ the items in the sand. Shoes are a must here! See my blog post on Million Dollar Point – Better Value Than Expected
Million Dollar Point has a 500VT entry fee per adult (young kids are free) and is located ten minutes down a dirt road from the main town of Luganville.
The local produce market in Luganville is a fantastic place to stock up on fruit and vegetables….including peanuts and coconuts!. The produce comes fresh from the farm that morning. It’s open seven days a week until just after lunch and there is plenty of green grass for the kids to run around on. Close by is the Sarakata River and the remains of the steel sea walls built during WWII.
Freshwater Plantation – Aore Island
Freshwater Plantation is located on Aore Island and is accessed by a short five minute boat trip departing from St Michel Jetty on the outskirts of Luganville. It is worth a visit just to have lunch at the upmarket Plantation House restaurant. However, if you take the time to explore the surrounds, or go on the ‘plantation ramble’ tour, you won’t regret it! Check out my experience with the kids here: Organic Chocolate Bliss in Vanuatu
The lush green gardens are a delight and you will stroll through crops of organic cacao and coffee, learning about some of the unique plants on the island that were used by the soldiers in WWII to fight infections and heal open wounds. The ancient giant banyan tree and herb and vegetable garden are equally impressive. Kids won’t be bored due to the bat cave, complete with suspension bridge and the opportunity to feed and cuddle the baby animals on the farm.
After your tour and lunch, you can go for a quick dip near the wharf (or jump off the floating platform) before heading back over to Santo. Don’t forget to try the chocolate bliss balls made from organically grown ingredients on site before you leave.
Contact Klaas on (+678) 37366 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org for information and bookings
Santo Horse Adventures
Santo Horse Adventures is primarily, a horse rescue facility. Megan has personally rescued and rehabilitated all of the horses herself and the ride is a unique experience from the moment you arrive at the rustic western style ranch. The trail ride takes you through tropical rain forest, lush green jungle, a pretty freshwater creek mangrove tunnel and out for a swim in the aqua blue waters of Lope Lope Beach.
The horses are suitable for both first time and experienced riders and kids will need to be over 6 years of age to do the trail ride. Pony rides are available for younger children.
Santo Horse Adventures is located about 10 minutes from Luganville heading down the east coast road. Contact Megan-Jane Lockyer for bookings on mobile (00678) 777 4700 or email: email@example.com
Nanda Blue Hole
Nanda Blue Hole is a stunning freshwater blue hole. Both kids and adults will enjoy swimming in the cool jewel coloured waters here. There are quite a few fish around the edges of the crystal clear water hole, so if you have a snorkel; it’s worth bringing it along. At 13 metres deep, young kids that aren’t yet confident swimmers will need floaties. There is a boardwalk to picnic on, platforms to jump off, modern toilets, a café and a gift shop. All of this is surrounded by beautifully kept gardens.
Nanda Blue Hole has a 10,000VT per adult entry fee (young kids are free) and is located on the coconut lined east coast road, heading towards Port Olry from Luganville.
Riri Blue Hole
Riri Blue hole is another stunning fresh water blue hole. Due to how unique both blue holes are, it’s definitely worth a visit to both. Riri Blue hole is not as clear but is still a beautiful shade of blue. It is surrounded by lush green jungle in its natural state, complete with hanging vines and wildlife. There is a jumping platform and swing rope if you dare. If you’re lucky, there might be some local kids willing to show you how it’s done.
Riri Blue Hole has a 5,000VT per adult entry free (young kids are free) and is also located on the pretty east coast road, heading towards Port Olry from Luganville.
If you are not staying in the bungalows here, you can make a day of it and visit the lovely sandy floor restaurant at Lonnoc Beach Bungalows as well as do some swimming and snorkelling right out front of the restaurant. This beach is great for little kids as the water is sheltered and calm, with plenty of sand to play with. The kayaks are free to use if staying here however, day visitors will need to hire them.
Lonnoc Beach is located around an hours drive from Luganville on the East Coast Road. If you reach Port Olry and the road turns gravel, you have missed the turn off. Just back track 10 minutes and you will see a sign pointing down a dirt road for both Lonnoc Beach and Champagne Beach.
The cruise ships dock regularly at this pretty curved beach and if you visit on a cruise ship day, you will most likely see the vibrant market that greets the disembarking passengers. If you visit on any other day, you may be sharing the beach with one or two others and possibly a stray cow or pig.
There is a 500VT entry fee per adult (young kids are free) and it is located a further 500m down a dirt road from Lonnoc Beach. There green grass, stunning aqua blue water and white sand should be enough to keep the kids occupied.
This is by far, the most picturesque beach in Santo and due to the fantastic snorkelling in the calm waters, is great for all ages. If you are not staying in the area, you can set up for the day at Chez Louis Restaurant and swing in the hammock whilst watching the kids play in the aqua waters and white sand. When the tide is low, you can wade across to the neighbouring islands for even more snorkelling. Once you arrive, you won’t want to leave. Don’t say I didn’t warn you!
Hire a car and ride in the back
Do as the locals do, and travel in the back of the ute whilst exploring the island together. Ok, this isn’t entirely safe. However, this is how the locals travel and is fun for both older kids and adults. Pull over at any of the beaches that is frequented by local kids, and you will have some instant friends to practice flipping in the water with.
Cars can be hired through either of the following:
Freshwater Planation: Phone +678 37366 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
The Espiritu Hotel & Car Rentals: Phone +678 37539 or email email@example.com
Want to learn about more awesome places for your next family getaway?
For more blog posts and information on my travels through Espiritu Santo in Vanuatu, please check out this page: Vanuatu
For information on all of my destinations, check out his page: My travel destinations
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