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picxie
08-04-2007, 18:57
Does anyone know if this is a good spot if you're travelling with a non-diver?? A friend and I are going to do a trip somewhere next year and we have narrowed it down and are pretty sure Vanuatu is the place - Port Vila & Santo. However we might be travelling with a non-diver so want to make sure there will be something for them to do as well.

Krakenn
08-05-2007, 23:56
Vanuatu is a lovely spot for the diver.
When not diving you can go up the volcano or watching the tower jumps but other than that it really is just a lovely island paradise, if you like fishing there are a few game boat charters out there. - Alternatvely there is cheap booze at the duty free.

The local markets are nice to visit once.

The hotels are nice and have baby good baby sitting or kids club event for the older ones.

Kraks

MEL-DC Diver
08-06-2007, 15:07
Port Vila is really more the vacation spot a non-diver would enjoy, while ES I consider to be more diving oriented than anything else. PV has the nicer hotels and the services (and diving), but ES has the Coolidge and Million Dollar Point and a bunch of other great dives. Divide your time between the two and everyone will be happy.

Lethal_OZ
08-25-2007, 10:55
Never made the trip to Espiritu Santo to dive President Coolidge wreck which is meant to be great but did do some nice diving from Port Vila. I recomment Big Blue Scuba compared to the other operators in town, of which there are only a couple.

gtjason2000
08-25-2007, 13:02
Get the book getting stoned with savages by martin troost

gbrdiver
11-22-2007, 22:20
Santo is great...Did 2 weeks there last year, diving the Coolidge everyday - never got bored of it; never dived the same area twice - the ship is that big. I used Aquamarine dive last time and were pretty impressed with their professional attitude. I used one of the other operators on my previous visit and was not so thrilled with what I saw. The operators in ES and PV both informed me that local law only allows divers 2 dives a day...I am not sure how rigidly this is followed. PV diving is good, I used Nautilus dive with no complaints except that unless you are with a group you have zero chance of diving the spots not published on their weekly schedule. Diving around Hideaway Island was overrated IMHO.

Aussie
11-29-2007, 00:33
I have just arrived back from 8 days diving on the SS President Coolidge in Santo on the 26th Nov.
This was my second trip in 3 years but this time I flew direct into Santo from Brisbane. 3 years ago I stay for a few days on hideaway island before I flew to Santo.

The two main shops in Santo are:
http://www.aquamarinesanto.com/

Allan Power Dive Tours, Vanuatu (http://www.allan-power-santo.com/)

Diving the SS president Coolidge is an awesome experience and I would recommend to anyone. Especially for us that live in nearby countries. Santo was only 2 1/2-3 hours flight away from Brisbane. Doing easy deep dives on a wreck which is 198m long (2 football fleids) down to a depth of 70m to those that are experienced enough. I personal recommend the night dive, which your looking for Flashlight Fish and your doing this without a dive light at 30m is an experience you will never forget.

For the non diver or for the days before you flyout there are few things to do (http://www.aquamarinesanto.com/tours.html)
We were planned to do the half day trek to the Millenium Caves but were rained out. We did a short trip to one of the fresh water blue pools that dot the island. Horse riding was also done by some of my group (7000vt cost). They loved the ride and it covered some beauitful parts of the island. 3 years ago I did a whole day trip around some of the island and ended up at the champane beaches for lunch. Its a very pretty location.

If your booked in for a week in Santo which is the minium amount of time to spend diving the SS President Coolidge as its just that interesting, the non- diver will probably get a little bored. Thats unless they like to chill out and snorkel and do very little as possible. If they are a shopper......forget it wood carvings and bits of junk off the wreck (old coke bottles, anti-aircraft brass caseings).
The township of Luganville (locals call it Santo) will take a morning to walk around and it doesnt really have anything of interest.

From memory, when I was in Port Vila there were much more options for the non-diver to do. I did stay at Hideaway Island (Hideaway Island Resort & Marine Sanctuary - Vanuatu - The diving resort (http://www.hideaway.com.vu/)) which at the time had nice reef very close to the island and small boat rides away to some better reef. The reef quality isnt like GBR as the island itself is located in a bay more than into the open ocean.

The is a few duty free shops in Vila, which is basically selling the same things. There is also a French bakery in the main street which has great coffee and cake and I highly recommend it for a stop.

The active Volcano is located on the island of Tanna (Vanuatu Tourism Office - Tanna Island Vanuatu (http://www.vanuatutourism.com/vanuatu/cms/en/islands/tanna.html))
which is a short flight away by light aircraft or helicopter and does cost a bit to get to. The vine bungee jumping is on the remote island of Pentecost (Vanuatu Tourism Office - Pentecost And Maewo Islands Vanuatu (http://www.vanuatutourism.com/vanuatu/cms/en/islands/pentecost_maewo.html) ) and is also expensive to get to.


I posted some of my Santo photos in my profile if you want to have a look.

Any questions pm me

Aussie

zer0
07-11-2008, 18:37
Santo is very much diver orientated for activities. There are a couple of non diving tours available, but if you aren't diving I think you would get bored pretty quick.

Vila would be the preferred destination for the non-diver.

Reg
09-20-2008, 17:16
I have just arrived back from 8 days diving on the SS President Coolidge in Santo on the 26th Nov.
This was my second trip in 3 years but this time I flew direct into Santo from Brisbane. 3 years ago I stay for a few days on hideaway island before I flew to Santo.

The two main shops in Santo are:
Dive the SS President Coolidge in Vanuatu with Aquamarine (http://www.aquamarinesanto.com/)

Allan Power Dive Tours, Vanuatu (http://www.allan-power-santo.com/)

Diving the SS president Coolidge is an awesome experience and I would recommend to anyone. Especially for us that live in nearby countries. Santo was only 2 1/2-3 hours flight away from Brisbane. Doing easy deep dives on a wreck which is 198m long (2 football fleids) down to a depth of 70m to those that are experienced enough. I personal recommend the night dive, which your looking for Flashlight Fish and your doing this without a dive light at 30m is an experience you will never forget.

For the non diver or for the days before you flyout there are few things to do (Non-Diving Activities & Tours, Espiritu Santo, Vanuatu (http://www.aquamarinesanto.com/tours.html))
We were planned to do the half day trek to the Millenium Caves but were rained out. We did a short trip to one of the fresh water blue pools that dot the island. Horse riding was also done by some of my group (7000vt cost). They loved the ride and it covered some beauitful parts of the island. 3 years ago I did a whole day trip around some of the island and ended up at the champane beaches for lunch. Its a very pretty location.

If your booked in for a week in Santo which is the minium amount of time to spend diving the SS President Coolidge as its just that interesting, the non- diver will probably get a little bored. Thats unless they like to chill out and snorkel and do very little as possible. If they are a shopper......forget it wood carvings and bits of junk off the wreck (old coke bottles, anti-aircraft brass caseings).
The township of Luganville (locals call it Santo) will take a morning to walk around and it doesnt really have anything of interest.

From memory, when I was in Port Vila there were much more options for the non-diver to do. I did stay at Hideaway Island (Hideaway Island Resort & Marine Sanctuary - Vanuatu - The diving resort (http://www.hideaway.com.vu/)) which at the time had nice reef very close to the island and small boat rides away to some better reef. The reef quality isnt like GBR as the island itself is located in a bay more than into the open ocean.

The is a few duty free shops in Vila, which is basically selling the same things. There is also a French bakery in the main street which has great coffee and cake and I highly recommend it for a stop.

The active Volcano is located on the island of Tanna (Vanuatu Tourism Office - Tanna Island Vanuatu (http://www.vanuatutourism.com/vanuatu/cms/en/islands/tanna.html))
which is a short flight away by light aircraft or helicopter and does cost a bit to get to. The vine bungee jumping is on the remote island of Pentecost (Vanuatu Tourism Office - Pentecost And Maewo Islands Vanuatu (http://www.vanuatutourism.com/vanuatu/cms/en/islands/pentecost_maewo.html) ) and is also expensive to get to.


I posted some of my Santo photos in my profile if you want to have a look.

Any questions pm me

Aussie

What gear did you use for the 70m Coolidge dive?

Aussie
09-21-2008, 20:01
I brought all my own gear from home over except for tanks and weights. They do a dive down to the stern which is around the 65m mark. Most of divers do it on air but I wouldn't recommend it as you will be Narced off your head at that depth. Its a short dive with lots of deco in the end and its mainly just for people going for their personal deepest dive. If your comfortable with the depth have a look but do it at the end of your trip as you will be more accustomised with the Depth and Narcosis by then.

Regards Mark

Reg
01-09-2009, 17:03
Did you book locally or on arrival. I'm trying to determine if its cheaper to book with a dive travel agent or sort or book directly with operators.

beenerachi
01-12-2009, 03:06
For those who are only going to Port Vila, I'm going to reccomend Nautilus. They were outstanding! Excellent enthusiastic dive leaders and good shop. www.nautilus.com.vu (http://www.nautilus.com.vu/) Dives were spectacular! One of the best wreck dives too, right in Port Vila! (of course, probably won't compare to the Coolidge, but only had a weekend there for work.) I've done some very interesting wrecks through Papua New Guinea and the Solomons, but you won't go wrong just staying in Port Vila.

Stay at the hotel near the shop, don't go to Le Meridien...it's far from town, expensive, roaches, poor service, over priced.....

I switched to the Sebel and much better, next to a nice fish place with nice microbrew and good food.

apexspong
10-12-2011, 04:46
Finally, an issue that I am passionate about. I have looked for information of this caliber for the last several hours. Your site is greatly appreciated.
________________________________________
vanuatu resorts (http://www.apex-garden.com)

oddbod
10-12-2011, 08:17
went for a week last year with non-diving wife and stayed at aoreresort.com (http://www.aoreresort.com/)The significant other found plenty to do, she is very outgoing though, joined a tour to the Blue holes and champagne beach with another group at the resort checked out the local village/school (take lots of books and pencils) and just wandered around Santo a bit. On the last day we did the Millenium Cave Trek, recommended it as a way to spend your 24 hour no fly time:smiley29: