The blue holes of Espiritu Santo have drawn visitors for years and for good reason. These freshwater holes are a striking shade of blue, bubbling out of clear streams that flow underground from inland mountains over 50 km away. Clear water greets you and fish swim around in the deep holes. Visiting the blue holes was a magical day trip from Luganville in southern Santo.
There are a number of blue holes dotted around Vanuatu, but the three most beautiful ones are in Santo, the northernmost island. I visited two blue holes: Nanda Blue Hole and Matevulu Blue Hole.
How to Get to the Blue Holes
From Luganville where most accommodation is, you can arrange a driver from your accommodations or hire a taxi to take you up the eastern coast of Santo to visit the blue holes. They are on the same main road, a paved highway that connects Luganville in the south to Port Orly in the north. I paid 5000 VUV ($56 CAD) for my driver to take me up to Nanda Blue Hole which is the furthest north and then back down south to Matevulu Blue Hole.
A Guide to Nanda Blue Hole
As with all the attractions (big or small) in Vanuatu, there is an entrance fee to visit the Nanda Blue Hole. Visitors are charged 1000 VUV ($11.40 CAD) to explore and swim at Nanda; your driver will not be charged anything as it seems locals don't need to pay for much around here! Bring exact cash to streamline the entrance process.
Nanda Blue Hole is a gorgeous, royal blue colour full of fish. Bring your snorkel and enjoy the depths of this water after jumping off the platforms built around the edges. Nanda offers a large shelter on the banks of the hole as well as space to change. We went early and were lucky enough to have the entire pool to ourselves!
A Guide to Matevulu Blue Hole
Matevulu Blue Hole is just 10km away from Nanda Blue Hole. Here, visitors are charged 500 VUV ($5.60 CAD). Again, your driver will not be charged entrance. You must pay in cash and it helps to have correct change as the owner, Joseph, often doesn't carry much.
Matevulu was a more aquamarine shade of blue than Nanda and a little more cluttered with debris and leaves falling from the overhead trees. However, this pool was much larger than Nanda and offered loads of places to jump in, including 2 rope swings for the daredevils!
The blue holes of Santo are beautiful, and if you've got the time and budget, there's more to explore in the region. Take your time, bring your swimsuit and snorkel and enjoy the natural wonders of this island.