After finding out our next destination is unbelievably expensive our final night was quite sedate because it involved sourcing some food and wine to take with us, but here are a few things we’ve learned so far about Santo.
Taxi fare from the airport, basically it’s a flat fair, no bargaining and it’s 1000 vatu each way (about $11 Australian.)
Meals are gonna cost anywhere between $10 – $30 Australian
Beer was around 400 vatu ($4 – $5 Australian)
Paradise Tours charge 6000 vatu ($66 Australian) for a car, driver and entrance fees for Champagne Beach, The Blue Hole and Million Dollar Point, there is an entrance fee for attractions. Car hire is expensive unless there are a few of you to share the cost, so for hassle free and a bit of saving we used a tour operator.
Millennium Caves, we went with Millennium Cave Tours (Samuel Andikar firstname.lastname@example.org http://www.millenniumcavetour.weebly.com) it cost 5000 vatu, it included transport entrance fees, guides and light refreshments in the village. We didn’t book through the hotel so wasn’t informed that you need to take lunch, so remember to pack a sandwich! Because our trip was a wash out the company happily refunded 3000 vatu. Sam the owner is a real nice guy and works organizing the tours to provide for his home village.
We stayed at The Espiritu, it cost about $116 per night, we booked via our travel agent (the Village Travel, Wilston) with Expedia. It’s comfortable, clean and friendly. Breakfast is included and consists of toast, cereal, jam etc. Raymond is the manager and is very helpful, always adds that little extra to the trip. Free wifi is available. If you dive, there is Aquamarine in the reception and Allan Power across the road.
Santo is a quiet place, Club Aqua is friendly, Eva who works behind the bar is lovely and the kitchen staff where more than happy to provide me with a vegetarian option for dinner. Charlie located in Hotel Santo is a good guy to chat to while you have a beer. We didn’t venture much from the Main Street, it’s quiet at night.
Mozzie repellant and sun screen are a must, even cloudy days are a recipe for sun burn.
The Blue Hole and Champagne beach are a must on the to do list, absolutely breathtakingly beautiful.
When it rains it rains, but guess that’s what you get for visiting during the rainy season, but it didn’t stop us getting out and about.
Our next stop is the Island of Tanna, our accommodation is remote so no blogs till I get back to Australia on Monday! But should be good, the air conditioning is a fan, Mozzie net and a hut with an active volcano just up the road is where we are headed.