Deco Stop Lodge - Vanuatu


Take the opportunity to explore our beautiful island, learn some of it's history, or experience it's unique traditional culture.

Featured Tours

Santo Highlights Tour  
Champagne Beach

Children at Fanafo custom village

Blue hole

This fabulous tour starts at Fanafo custom village, the home and final resting place of Jimmy Stevens, Santo’s one time rebel leader. In 1991, Vanuatu’s first Prime Minister, Father Walter Lini, had Stevens’ released. He returned to his family home in Fanafo and lived a somewhat quiet life until his death in 1994.

“You will get to see how and where the rebels met, and meet the direct descendents of Jimmy Stevens.”

Prior to Independence, Vanuatu was ruled by France and Britain in a condominium government. Many on Espiritu Santo resented the foreign rule and by the late 70s, a rebellious movement lead by Jimmy Stevens was formed. The rebels sought to have Santo excluded from the condominium and be allowed self-rule. Fanafo was the rebel’s base and Jimmy Stevens lived there until his capture by the French and British authorities. After spending 11 years in jail, Jimmy Stevens’ health deteriorated.

Heading further north of Fanafo, you will visit beautiful Champagne Beach, a truly stunning South Pacific beach with its fine white sand and crystal clear waters. On the drive back to town you will stop off at the famous Blue Hole for a refreshing swim. You’ll be amazed at the colour and clarity of this freshwater swimming.

TIP: Bring your snorkel and mask for a closer look.

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World War II History Tour   remnants from world war II are found all over espiritu santo

Santo was a home to 100,000 military personnel during the II World War, and boasted five airfields, four hospitals and many services for the armed forces that were based here. Your scenic drive will take you to Million Dollar Point, where the American Military dumped tonnes of equipment in to the ocean at the end of the war. This historic point is now an excellent spot for divers & 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 remnants literally scattered around the island. You will experience the eerie feeling of walking through a once bustling hospital site that now boasts the feeling of a botanical garden tended by a local family, You will also visit the house site of the famous Lt James a Michener who was based here, author of the famous Tales of the South Pacific and an incredible military hospital base with a million dollar view.

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Millennium Cave Tour  
millenium cave

sarakata river

Millenium cave tour

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 guide will lead you through narrow jungle paths, across creeks and cascades and over bamboo bridges to reach the Millennium Cave. This massive cave stretches 20m across and some 50m high.

A bamboo ladder will take you from the mouth of the cave down to a crystal clear pool fed by a small cascade. From here you will journey through a magical realm of sparkling stalactites and stalagmites, with freshwater 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 water river towards home. Whilst floating down the shallow quick flowing river, take in the breathtaking scenery with its thermal falls’ and towering rock faces. You can’t get any closer with nature than this!

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. It is advisable you wear comfortable shoes which will get wet and possibly muddy. Dive booties or old running shoes are best. Once you have had lunch, a guide will take any bags or items which you don’t wish to get wet, back to village where you will return to. The tour finishes with a walk back up to the village where the tour started and a bus trip back to your hotel. Pack a light bag with plenty of drinking water, lunch and a towel.

TIP: Wear swimmers and comfortable clothes.

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Champagne Beach & Blue Hole Tour  
riri river bluehole

Enjoy a relaxing day at beautiful Champagne beach. Enroute to Port Orly, this beach makes a lovely picnic and swimming spot with crystal clear waters and fine powder white sand you won’t want to leave. Make sure you give yourself enough time to stop off at the Blue Hole for a refreshing swim to wash of the salt and sand on the way home. You will be amazed at the colour and clarity of this freshwater natural swimming pool! 

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Pekoa Bay – Beach Chill-Out  

The perfect choice for those who just want a relaxing day on the beach. Just a 30-minute drive from Luganville township to this beautiful beach setting. A picturesque bay with aquamarine waters, Pekoa Bay is the perfect place to swim and sunbake. Don’t be surprised if you have the beach all to yourselves! Why not take a picnic lunch or a BBQ lunch can be arranged at your request. 

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Riri Riri River “Dugout” Canoe Adventure  
canoe up the riri riri river

A 30-minute bus trip from your hotel will take you to the mouth of Riri Riri River. Your guide will paddle a local ‘dugout’ canoe, whilst you sit back and enjoy the beautiful tropical scenery. Look out for freshwater prawns and fish, electric blue dragon flies, and remnants of an old bridge built by the Americans 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 freshwater pool of iridescent blue, unique in its colour from the effect of limestone combining with freshwater. The clarity is amazing! Cool off with a refreshing swim - bring your mask and snorkel for a closer look below. After your swim, canoe back down the river, where your awaiting bus will return you to your hotel/resort in time for lunch. Lifejackets are supplied but not compulsory.

TIP: Bring a hat and sunscreen, swimmers, towel, water shoes or dive booties and drinking water.

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Vil Vil Custom Village  
Dancing at Vil Vil custom village

Making kava at Vil Vil custom village

Dancing at Vil Vil custom village

This half-day tour is a relaxing way to experience one of Santo’s famous blue holes. Visit a Traditional Custom Village. Immerse yourself in the culture and traditions of the local Ni-Vanuatu people.

Your tour begins with a lazy drive through the rugged countryside of Santo, where you will see and experience the many uses of the nativeflora; be sent back in time as you explore wreckage from World War II and take a look at local cattle farms and coconut plantations – the backbone of the Ni-Vanuatu economy.

Once you arrive at Vil Vil Custom Village you will be welcomed by the Chief and his community with traditional songs and dances depicting rituals and traditions passed down from generation to generation. Get caught up in the tribal atmosphere, with the hypnotic banging of the tam tams and harmonic voices of these proud people. All men, women and piccaninnies (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 their success and the survival of the village.

The 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 leaf, which can last as long as 15 years and survive terrific storms and cyclones, is made from the local Natangora tree.

Another important job for the men is the cultivating and preparation of Kava. A relative of the pepper plant, the kava roots are ground and mixed with water to create a narcotic drink sculled from a coconut shell. Traditionally used in ceremonies, Kava is now widely drunk for its relaxing properties, at the end of a hard days work. The Nakamal is where the men and boys spend their afternoons. A hut which is taboo to women, it is the place where men prepare and drink the kava, recite traditional songs and pass on the skills of their ancestors to their sons.

The Women learn from an early age the skills required to make baskets, mats and custom dress from the Pandanus plant. The long leaves are stripped and slashed into thin strips, which are then sun dried. To create the variety of colours used to decorate when weaving, a vegetable is crushed and its colouring boiled with the strips. Once dried, they are ready for weaving.

The Vil Vil Village people are proud to share their heritage with you, and it is their simplistic lifestyle and inherent happiness which makes this tour so rewarding.

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Deco Stop Lodge - Vanuatu
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