Espiritu Santo is one of the few Vanuatu islands outside Efate Island (home to the capital, Port Vila) that can offer a range of smaller accommodation options from cheap rustic local bungalows to expensive, luxurious villas with private plunge pools and all the mod-cons. Our local’s guide to the top 12 cottages & bungalows Espiritu Santo provides a range of options based on value for money, cleanliness, location, reviews, facilities and amenities, plus an insider’s knowledge of the best and most unique accommodation available on Santo. The bungalows and cottages are located both on the main island of Santo and on adjacent smaller islands. Most are concentrated in four main areas – Aore Island, the east coast from Suranda to Turtle Bay, Lonnoc Beach and finally Port Olry up north.

PS. If bungalows are not your thing why not check out our other blogs: Best Resorts in Espiritu Santo click HERE , Top 10 Holiday Houses on Espiritu Santo click HERE , Best AirBnBs Espiritu Santo click HERE Best Budget Accommodation Espiritu Santo click HERE Best Hotels Espiritu Santo click HERE

Top 12 Bungalows & Cottages Espiritu Santo, Vanuatu

1. Hideaway Paradise Bungalows, Hideaway Bay

Hideaway Paradise Bungalows is located on an isolated peninsula surrounded by beaches, sheltered coves, colourful reef and islands. It’s an absolutely idyllic spot 5 minutes drive south of Port Olry or about 45 min drive north of Luganville (look for the sign on the main road). There’s a range of cute bungalows to choose from including a cute little tree house and a newer overwater bungalow with a large deck that can sleep up to 4 people. Lots of great snorkelling to enjoy out front. There is a small restaurant on site which serves basic food but its probably wise to bring some of your own as well. Prices start from around 7000vt ($85 AUD) per night for two people and include breakfast. Contact  +678 535 5060  email: pascalrite4@gmail.com. If you’re after a budget version of these bungalows try Little Bay Bungalows next door (also owned by Pascal’s family) which are only around $65 night or check out our Cheap Sleeps blog HERE

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2. Turtle & Dugong Cottages, Turtle Bay

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Overlooking the gorgeous turquoise lagoon of Turtle Bay (located approx. 20 mins drive north of Luganville), these two spacious self-contained studio cottages with all the mod-cons are amazing value for money! They are part of a holiday house complex incorporating Turtle Bay Beach House and Turtle Bay Tree House and include bungalows, apartments and 2 bedroom houses. Prices start from as little as $35 pp per day and include free onsite watersports, free on site laundry, free satellite wifi, filtered water, 24 hour electricity, kick ass ceiling fans, kitchenette with fridge and access to an overwater deck, BBQ and swim platform with a giant overwater hammock. The cottages are easy walking/paddling distance to nearby resorts, islands, reef and blue holes. Guest reviews/feedback are excellent. Pros – great location, clean comfortable and value for money. Cons – close to main road, you share the property with other guests. For more information and bookings click here .

3. Freshwater Plantation Bungalow, Aore Island 

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This cute little studio cottage located on the water at Freshwater Plantation on Aore Island (just opp. Luganville) has steps leading down to its own private beach and is ideal for a couple looking for a quiet secluded getaway. Freshwater is actually a working plantation with cocoa, coffee, goats, vege gardens and a giant bat cave leading to a lookout on top of a cliff face. There’s extensive tropical gardens, lots of walks and bike riding to do, snorkelling out front and the hosts (Klaas and Vinnie) are great.  Prices start from around $150 for the beachfront bungalow (they also have a larger house available with garden views) and include a cooked or tropical fruit breakfast as well as boat transfers to and from the island.  Pros: quiet, calm secluded and cute as a button Cons: A little isolated from other tours, shops and activities.

4. Million Dollar View Bungalows, Million Dollar Point

Bungalows and cottages Espiritu SantoLocated right next to the dive/snorkelling site of Million Dollar Point and within a short distance of the SS President Coolidge wreck dive, Million Dollar View bungalows represent excellent value for money. You can choose to camp on the beach for $12 a night or rent Tutuba bungalow, a 2 bedroom self contained bungalow for around $45 a night for 2 people or Motalava bungalow for $70 a night (for up to 3 people). Both are right on the beach however the beach is nothing great and is only swimmable at low tide (you need to walk around to Million Dollar Point for the white sand but it will cost you 500vt entry fee). Best of all there is a great little restaurant on site that serves fantastic seafood!! The owners are local and Swiss and as a result the bungalows are cleaner and better looked after than many other local bungalows on the island. You can also catch a boat across to Tutuba Island from Million Dollar Point and that is well worth the experience.  Call +6785953209.

5. Jackies Blue Hole Bungalows, Natawa

Bungalows and cottages Espiritu Santo jackies Blue Hole Ever dreamed about sleeping next to your own private blue hole? If you have then these bungalows are for you. They are located at Jackie’s Blue Hole  about 35 mins drive north of Luganville, one of the prettiest blue holes on the island. Their basic tropical bungalows can accommodate up to 4 people at a time and for only around $65 for the bungalow its a bargain as well! There’s a small cafe that serves basic meals. Call 7304630 to enquire or book. #santosbluehole Pros: You get to experience a blue hole all to yourself Cons: The mossies can be really bad and the bungalows are very basic and have no electricity (just solar no fans).

6. Island View Cottages, Aore Island

These two spacious, well built cottages run by expats are tucked away in a private and peaceful area on Aore Island (a 10 min boat ride from Luganville). Bordered by rainforest on one side and a private beach on the other, they overlook Cindy’s Reef (a well known snorkelling and diving spot), They can be rented together or separately depending on the size of your group which makes it a very flexible space for a family or a group of friends. Sea View Cottage is 1 bedroom fully self contained, while Garden View Cottage comprises 3 bedrooms with 2 bathrooms (also self contained). Both cottages feature huge outdoor covered balconies with BBQs and all the mod-cons (everything is on solar however). Prices are very reasonable given the size and quality of the cottages, starting from $150 a night for two people in Sea View Cottage or $175 a night for Garden View Cottage. Check out their website HERE for more info. Pros – flexible space, ideal for couples of families looking to relax and chill out away from the crowds Cons: Isolated, no shops, a little hard to reach (except by water taxi).

bungalows & Cottages Espiritu Santo Island View

Top 12 Bungalows & Cottages Espiritu Santo, Vanuatu

7. Pantanus (or Pandanus) Guesthouse, Malo Island

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Staying at Pantanas Guesthouse on Malo Island is a little like going back in time. It’s a taste of how Vanuatu life was like before tourism became mainstream. Getting to Malo Island (just off Santo) is not easy – you have travel about 20 mins down a dirt road from Luganville to Malo Landing (Naoneban) a river where you catch a very slow water taxi across the channel (a couple of hundred vatu if you share with locals or $30 AUD if you charter the whole boat). The crossing takes around 25 mins in good weather (don’t attempt it in bad weather!). But it is worth the effort. The guesthouse consists of 3 cute bungalows set in an amazing tropical garden just back from a small coral cove. Each bungalow caters for 2 -3 people, they are basic and small but clean. Adjacent to the bungalows is a gorgeous little dining room surrounded by flowers and trees and a separate shower hut with bathroom facilities. Hosts Vuro and Vomaleh treat you like their extended family, which means that as part of the package they provide you with linen and all meals. Malo Island itself is huge, and a great place to explore, there are coconut plantations, old missionary villages, blue holes, caves and reef. Pros – cute bungalows run by beautiful host family. Cons – not easy to get to, basic facilities, water taxi crossing dicey in bad weather. Cost is around $25-30 pp per night which is an absolute bargain, considering it also includes meals. A interesting alternative choice for bungalows & cottages Espiritu Santo style. For more information and bookings click here .

8. Hidden Cove Eco-Retreat, Natanara

bungalows & cottages espiritu santo hidden coveIf you’re looking for something completely different and money is no object then Hidden Cove might be your answer. They specalise in luxury beachfront safari tents. Choices include the 2-storey, 2 bedroom Tree Top Tent, with its entrance suspension bridge, outdoor tub and plunge pool and the Pool Villa, a large 1 bedroom tent  with a separate kitchen/dining area and bathroom pavilion. This tent also has a plunge pool and a freestanding French tub. Furnishings for all the tents are French-inspired and include four poster beds, chandeliers and marble appointed bathrooms. And while each tent has all the facilities you need to cook for yourself, the owners also offers in-house meals by appointment and breakfast each morning. As you can imagine, all this luxury comes at a price, with room rates starting from around $500 per couple per night. But the price does include free airport transfers, use of electric bikes, ocean kayaks, breakfast, daily house-keeping and snorkelling equipment. Hidden Cove is located on the east coast of Santo, about 15 min from the main town of Luganville near the Natanara area. Pros – unique concept, personalised service, unique accommodation in a beautiful tropical setting. Cons – on the expensive side when compared to other bungalow/cottage accommodation on the island, no air-con. A great spot for couples/honeymooners celebrating that special occasion

9. Tabwemasana Eco-Lodge, Kerepua 

If you’re after an adventure and want to explore Santo’s wild west coast or summit Vanuatu’s highest mountain, then the Tabwemasana Eco-Lodge at Kerepua Village might be the perfect base for you. It’s built and owned by the local community and is located at the base of Mount Tabwemasana, one of the highest mountains in the Pacific. At 1,879 metres, Tabwemasana towers above the surrounding mountains and provides fantastic views toward the Coral Sea in the east. But be warned, this place is not easy to get to! You will need to first travel to Tasiriki, south of Santo by 4WD transport truck (2.5- 3 hours), then by small boat from Tasiriki to Kerepua village (3 – 4hrs by boat depending on weather conditions). The Eco-Lodge sleeps up to 10 people, and has 2 Double beds and 6 Single beds. Electricity is solar and hydro powered by a nearby river source. Price is 3,500vt per person per night including all meals which are prepared, cooked, and served by the women in the community. Tours and activities include a village walk in Kerepua, weaving, a guided tour of the Conservation park, a half day bush trek and local garden tours. Price for Boat Transfer is 12,000vt per trip one way. Transport from Luganville to Tasiriki is 15,000Vt one way, and 30,000Vt for return. For more info check out their Facebook page HERE

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10. Bamboo Bungalows, Lonnoc Beach

There are dozens of bungalows scattered along Lonnoc Beach, but probably the best of them in terms of location and build are Bamboo Bungalows run by Daniel Vacor and his wife Georgina (look for the sign saying Lonnoc Beach Eco-Lodge and the bungalows are on the right of the restaurant as you face the water). There are two spacious, absolute beach front bungalows in total, perched facing the white sandy beach and fringed by palms and shady trees. Each bungalow can fit around 4 people in a double bed and bunk beds there is also a large covered balcony to chill out on.  The ensuite bathrooms are island style, there are no screens, fans or electricity (except for some solar lights) but mosquitos nets are provided for comfort. The bungalows are around $100 a night for two people (you can also camp nearby for $15 a night). The restaurant next door serves a variety of basic food although breakfast is included in the price, Daniels father bakes fresh bread everyday which he produces in a locally made oven to provide bread to the local villagers of Hog Harbour. Shopping for simple staples can be bought from Georgina’s local store or you can take a trip to Luganville with Daniel for other shopping items. Contact them on Facebook HERE
Pros – great location, a choice of accommodation options, walking access to Champagne Beach. Cons – fairly isolated and service/quality can be hit and miss.

Bungalows & cottages espiritu santo bamboo bungalows

11. Mahogany Treehouse, Port Olry

There are a couple of different tree houses on offer in the sleepy fishing village of Port Olry (about a 45 min drive north of Luganville) but this is by far the best of them. It’s also the most expensive at nearly $150 a night (12,000vt), which is a little overpriced given what you get for your money (the bungalow itself is very basic). However if the idea of staying in a treehouse with a balcony overlooking a stunning beach floats your boat then this splurge might be worth it. The bungalow has one double and one single bed, plus a private, modern hot solar shower and toilet facilities. There’s also a second smaller beachfront bungalow for around $100 and there is an option to camp on the beach for around $20 a night. Be aware however, that reviews suggest mosquitoes are a major issue here (so bring coils and repellant), as well as roosters kicking off at dawn, and noise from the nearby neighborhood (so bring earplugs). The property itself is called Port Olry Harbour Beach (Seafood Restuarant) and the owner Quiros speaks both English and French. The small restaurant and bar on site serves basic food, which is a little on the expensive side. So it may pay to bring your own if staying for a longer period. A shop can be found in the nearby village, along with a butcher. And of course there is always fresh fish being caught by the local fishermen. Pros: great location, amazing views Cons: mossies, noise. Ph. 761 0397 Email: harbourbeachportolry@gmail.com

12. Santo Sunset Beach Villa, Suranda

This one bedroom beachfront villa-style bungalow with a unique laid back island vibe is special for a few reasons – one, it’s located in beautiful Suranda Bay on a super private 200m long beach renown for being a dugong and stingray habitat, two it’s a cut above many other “eco-style” bungalows both in its decor, layout and solar powered facilities and three, it’s only 10-15 mins from Luganville but feels a million miles away. BUT it is on the expensive side compared to other similar bungalows in Santo – in this case you are paying for the location as much as the accommodation. Prices start from around $300 a night for two people. Ideal for honeymooners or couples looking for a romantic escape. There’s a large fully equipped kitchen and a spacious outdoor deck perfect for watching sunsets on.  Oh and did we mention the dream bathroom and the luxury queen-size bed with ‘tempur’ mattress. Free wifi and free watersports gear is also included in the price. Pros – amazing location on a dream beach Cons – water can be very hot in summer, shallow at low tide, no kids allowed, and its isolated from the main road.

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