|TOURS & ACTIVITIES|
Luke Tokar, the friendly face of our Paradise Tours can take you on a variety of tours throughout Espiritu Santo.
MILLENNIUM CAVE TREK TOUR
A relatively new tour available in Santo is this awesome walking adventure. Not for the faint hearted, this full day tour involves a lengthy bush walk and requires some degree of fitness. Definitely worth the effort, you will be amazed at the stunning scenery. Your guides will lead you through the narrow jungle paths, across creeks and cascades and over bamboo bridge to reach the Millennium cave.
This massive cave stretches 20m across and some 50m high. A bamboo will take you from the mouth of the cave down to the crystal clear pool fed by a small cascade. From here you will journey through a magical realm of sparkling stalactites and stalagmites, with fresh water pools and thousands of tiny bats and swallows, their homes made high up in the roof of the cave. Once you’ve made your way through the cave to the riverside, it’s time for a light lunch before you float down the fresh river towards home. Whilst floating down the shallow quick flowing river, take in the breath taking scenery with it’s thermal fall’s and towering rock faces, you can’t get any closer with nature than this! The tour finishes with the walk back up to the village where the tour started and a bus trip back to your Hotel.
This is a full day trip with lots of walking. A medium fitness level is required to really enjoy this energetic tour. Lunch is not provided, but picnic lunches can be pre ordered through your resort/hotel with a days notice. Pack a light bag with plenty of drinking water, lunch and towel. It is advisable you wear comfortable shoes which will get wet and possible muddy. Dive booties or old running shoes are best. Wear swimmers and comfortable cloths. Once you have had lunch, a guide will take bags or items which you don’t wish to get wet, back to the village where you will return to.
TAFANTARI WATERFALL & POOLS
For those of you wanting to rejuvenate your body, mind and soul – join us at South Santo’s newest discovery, The ‘Tafantari waterfall and pools’ set amongst wild green jungle.
On the 30 minute journey to your magical location, enjoy scenery including the South Pacific’s largest cattle farm, coconut plantations, stop to gaze at the sleeping flying fox high above and listen to local knowledge of customs and ways of life.
Once you arrive, meander along a gentle path and hear the roaring of the cascading waterfall only moments away. Feel the refreshing coolness that fills the air as you discover this natural gem.
All levels of fitness, ages and families can enjoy this tropical treasure. Laze in a natural pool, swim down the river or stand beneath the falling water for an invigorating natural massage. Come and discover our new hidden treasure!
LONNOC BEACH & BLUE HOLE TOUR
Enjoy a relaxing day at beautiful Lonnoc beach. En route to Port Olry, this beach makes a lovely picnic and swimming spot with crystal clear water and fine powder of white sand you wont want to leave. Make sure you give yourself time to stop off at the Blue Hole for refreshing swim on the way home. You will be amazed at the colour and clarity of these fresh water natural swimming pools!
WORLD WAR II HISTORY
Santo was a home to 100,000 Military personnel during the Second World War, and boasted five airfields, four hospitals and many services for the armed forces who were based here. Your scenic drive will take you to the Million Dollar Point where the American military dumped tones of equipment into the Ocean at the end of the war. This historic point is now an excellent spot for divers and snorkellers with everything from Bulldozers and trucks to ammunition and Coke bottles. History buffs will enjoy stories about Santo during the war and visit the remnant literally scattered around the Islands.
RIRI RIRI RIVER CANOE TRIP
This half-day tour is a relaxing way to experience one of Santo’s famous Blue Holes. A 30-minute bus trip from your hotel will take you to the mouth of the Riri river. Your guide will paddle a local ‘dugout’ canoe, whilst you sit back and enjoy the beautiful tropical scenery. Look out for fresh water prawns and fish, electric blue dragon flies, and remnants of an old bridge built by the American during World War II. As the river water becomes bluer, you’ll know you’re not far away from the Matevulu Blue Hole, a huge fresh water pool of iridescent blue, unique in it’s colour from the effect of limestone combining with fresh water. The clarity is amazing! Cool off with a refreshing swim, canoe back down the river where your awaiting bus will return you to your Hotel/Resort in time for lunch. Please bring hat and sunscreen, swimmers, towels and drinking water. Life jackets are provided but not compulsory.
SANTO FAMOUS SIGHT
Especially designed for those wanting a see it all, half day tour. Designed to give a comprehensive understanding of Santo’s major historical landmarks. During the tour you will visit the old French jail, the WW II petrol boat base, Million Dollar Point and see Quonset huts and an old French church Circa 1890. The tour stop’s at Vanafo Custom Village where you will see Jimmy Steven’s burial site. Drop in to a refreshing Blue Hole and Stop by the house where James A. Michener wrote ‘Tales of the Sought Pacific’ when stationed in Santo during the war. A great introduction to Santo.
VIL VIL CUSTOM VILLAGE
Visit a Traditional Custom Village. Immerse yourself in the culture and tradition of the local Ni - Vanuatu People. Your tour begins with a lazy drive through Santo’s ragged country side where you will see and experience the many uses of native flora. Be sent back in time as you explore wreckage from WW II and take a look at local cattle and coconut plantations – the back bone of the Ni - Vanuatu Economy. Once you arrive at Vil Vil Custom Village you will be welcome by chief Pulakon and his community with traditional song and dance passed down from generations to generation. Get caught up with a tribal atmosphere with the hypnotic banging of the tam tams and harmonic voices of these People.
All man, women and Pikinini (Children) have their place and role within the village. As you are taken through the different areas of the village, you will learn how imperative each role is to the success and Survival of the village. Men primarily spend their days building and maintaining the huts and Nakamal of the village. Ni - Vanuatu use leaves from the Natangora palm for roofing their homes. The leaves can last as long as 15 years and survive terrific storms and cyclones another important job for the men is cultivating Kava. A relative of the paper plant, the kava roots are ground and missed with water to create to a narcotic drink drank from a coconut shell. Traditionally used in ceremonies, kava is now widely drunk for relaxing properties, at the end of a hard days work.
The nakamal is where men and boys spend their afternoons. A hut which is taboo to women, it is the place where men prepare and drink kava, recite traditional songs and passed the skills of their ancestor to theirs son.
Women learn from an earlier age the skills required to make baskets, mats and custom dress from the bandanas plant. The long leaves are stripped and slashed into thin strips which are then sun dried. To create a variety of colours, a vegetable is crashed and its colouring boiled with the strips. Once dried, they are ready for weaving. The Vil Vil people are proud to share their heritage with you, and it is their simplistic lifestyle and inherent happiness that makes this tour so rewarding.