If you’ve never been to Espiritu Santo Vanuatu before and you’re trying to choose an AirBnB to stay in, it can be a daunting experience. Especially when the pictures all look great but don’t really give you a good idea of what the accommodation or the location is actually like. After all, it could be a cute bungalow on a dream beach but if the roosters, rats, dogs and neighbours keep you up all night then nothing will be enough to make up for the lack of peace, comfort and security.

In addition many of the photos on the AirBnB site are misleading and several of the AirBnBs are listed in locations that are nowhere near where the accommodation actually is. Others are not licensed or regulated, are not members of a local tourism organisation and have no tourism permit to legally operate. Which means if you are not happy and want a refund, you have no recourse to get your money back.

To untangle all this takes insider knowledge from a local who lives on Santo and knows the area well. So this is my attempt to shed some light on the top 15 AirBnBs Espiritu Santo 2024 based on your wants and needs. And the best way to start is by breaking it down into locations.

PS For more accommodation options why not check out our blog on the  Best Resorts in Espiritu Santo HERE or for a list of the Top 10 Holiday Houses on Espiritu Santo click HERE or for the Best AirBnBs Espiritu Santo HERE Or the Best Hotels Espiritu Santo HERE

Top 15 Air BnBs Espiritu Santo

LUGANVILLE & SURROUNDS

Staying in or near Luganville is great only if you are using it as a base for business, diving or perhaps as a jumping off point to gather supplies or to explore more remote parts of the island. It is not a pretty town, there are no beaches here, no exciting nightlife, no fancy restaurants and it can be noisy and hot in town. Here’s the best of what’s on offer in terms of AirBnbs in this area.

1. Aelan Place – probably the best value centrally located self contained apartments in town, located within walking distance of everything. At $135 – $157 a night they are not a budget stay but they are clean, comfortable and surprisingly spacious. Only drawbacks – they can be a bit hot and noisy. Great for singles or couples.

Top 15 AirBnb Espiritu Santo Aelan House

2. Catalina House – a great budget option for a family or group. Perched on a hill overlooking the town, the accommodation isn’t anything special but it’s definitely comfortable enough and the view out over the Segund Channel and Aore Island is to die for. All up there’s 5 bedrooms, so the house can sleep up to 12 guests in 3 queen sized beds and 9 single beds. It can however be a little noisy when sharing with others and there are dogs and neighbours that sometimes disrupt the peace. Rooms start from $120 a night for 2 people. Reviews are generally good.

Top 15 AirBnb Espiritu Santo Catalina House

3. Hebridian Half Board by Bernard – if you’re a foodie, you’re going to love this place! It’s a little out of town (half way to airport) and its perched on the side of a hill so it gets the cool breeze. All up there are 4 bedrooms with private bathrooms. But the real drawcard is owner/chef Bernard who is a fantastic cook and very knowledgeable on the island’s food options. For $160 a night you get a basic room but they do pick you up from the airport for free and provide breakfast and dinner as well as high speed internet. Ideal for singles or couples.

Top 15 AirBnB Espiritu Santo Hebredian house

4. Secure Island Bungalows and Suites – starting from just $66 a night, these cute little self contained units are a bargain. The are located just south of Luganville in the San Michel area.  They feature tropical gardens, high speed wifi, new appliances, new laundry facilities, flat screen TVs and they also do deals on longer term rental options. Only drawback is you need a car/bike to get around as you are not really near anything or you have to be prepared to catch local share transport (of which there are plenty).

Top 15 AirBnB espiritu santo Secure Units

AORE ISLAND

Just across the channel from Luganville, Aore Island is an oasis of calm and tranquility. A lot of expats have houses here which is why there are quite a few AirBnB listings and generally the quality of the accommodation is very good. It’s going to cost you around $12 AUD by water taxi to get across to the island and once there, you’re on your own. There’s no shops, or snack bars, only two restaurants (one at Aore Resort, the other at Freshwater Plantation), no organised tours and very little local transport. However it’s an ideal place to chill out and relax, go snorkelling, bushwalking, bike riding and kind of cut yourself off from the outside world.

5. Aore Hibiscus Retreat – this is your classic beachside island bungalow, just meters from the water and comes complete with a thatched fare on a private beach. It’s peaceful, quite and secluded and more importantly, it’s great value for money at $130 night for up to 4 people. The only drawback is its open plan living, so although it sleeps 4, it’s all in one area. You can only get there via water taxi (about 10 mins from Luganville), although initial airport and boat transfers are included. Perfect for a couple or small family.

Top 15 AirBnB espiritu santo Aore Hibiscus

6. Aore Point Private Retreat – if you’re a large family or group, this massive house is the best value option on Aore. It sleeps 8 people in 5 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, and is located on its own private beach. It has a semi-equipped kitchen (no oven, just a BBQ to bake) and features a huge covered deck. Private and peaceful with not a neighbour in sight but also quite isolated from the rest of Aore and from Luganville (only access is via water taxi). But the good news is it’s only $350 a night for up to 8 people!!

Top 15 Air BnBs Espiritu Santo

SOUTH SANTO

South Santo is isolated and beautiful. Choose here if you want to be off grid and get away from it all. There’s a nearby waterfall and islands to explore and hikes to traditional villages (but no diving or restaurants, they are all based in Luganville and/or on the east coast). Both Airbnbs recommended below are a good 25-35 minutes from town on a rough dirt road so ideally having your own hire car is the way to go.

8. Venui Plantation – this stunning location in a picturesque bay surrounded by islands is well worth a visit. Ideal for a couple or small family the 1 bedroom self contained cottage is perched on the water’s edge and the wrap around deck has great views over the islands. It’s part of a 100ha vanilla and spices farm and plantation. There’s a protected beach to snorkel and kayak from and the hosts are great. Prices start from around $180 a night for 2 people. 

Top 15 AirBnB Espiritu Santo Venui

9. Village View Family House – a basic, budget friendly 3 bedroom house located on the grounds of a Bible College. There’s some reef to snorkel on (with a safe splash area for little ones). It’s also only a 20 min walk to Tuffuntari Watefall or to the incredible Venaus river and beach. Another bonus is the Institute owns half of Tangoa Island, a small island just nearby and they can arrange a private tour (the snorkeling here is amazing). Finally, there is a catering service that runs out of Institute’s Kitchen, which can provide delicious meals, breakfast, lunch and dinner, straight to your front porch as well as a small corner store with some basics. There are, however a couple of caveats. The house is on a Christian campus, so there is no smoking, no kava and no drinking (although you can consume alcohol inside the house). And dress must be modest and conservative (so no walking around in bikinis). But for $76 a night, it’s a bargain in anyone’s terms. 

TIDES REACH/BARRIER BEACH

About 15 minutes north of Luganville on a long stretch of white sand beach is the small community of Tides Reach and Barrier Beach. It’s mostly ex-pat houses and a scattering of exclusive resorts and up market AirBnbs. Generally its quiet clean and safe in this area, although it can get windy during the months of June – Sept due to the SE trade winds.

10. Tides Reach Beach House – If you’re a family or a large group, this is by far the best choice in the area. It’s great value for money at around $460 a night for up to 6 people. The self contained holiday rental features two studio style bungalows with king beds and a large central house with a 6 bunk bed room (so it can cater for up to 10!). The beach directly out front is stunning, although the water is quite shallow for swimming (it’s a long walk out at low tide). It can also be quite windy during the trade wind season (June – September). The house is a little worn around the edges, but the gardens and space are great. The minimum stay is 3 days. Reviews on this property are excellent.

11. Lope Lope Beach Bungalows – A slightly more expensive/luxurious option but ideal for a smaller family or couple, the 2 bedroom bungalows are huge, spacious and new and the hosts are lovely. There’s a great beach out front, although it gets very shallow at low tide. Prices start from around $420 a night for two people but it includes a welcome breakfast. Plus there’s a pool! Close to blue holes and restaurants. Great reviews.

Top 15 AirBnBs espiritu santo

MATEVULU

Surrounded by islands, rivers and blue holes, Matevulu is a picture perfect location for an AirBnB location. It’s close to Turtle Bay (5 min drive away) where there is a restaurant and a dive centre.

12. Matevulu Lodge – a laid back collection of bungalows, some old some new, at very reasonable prices. ideal for couples, the Lodge has its own private beach and extensive grounds and gardens. Breakfast is included in the price and there is a communal kitchen to self cater. Gaelle the host is great and the place is clean and comfortable. Great reviews. Prices start from around $140 a night for two people.

Top 15 AirBnBs Espiritu santo

TURTLE BAY

The ultimate kayaking and snorkelling destination on the island, Turtle Bay is a protected lagoon surrounded by half a dozen islands, reef, beaches, rivers and blue holes. Its a 25 min drive north of Luganville. There’s a scattering of expat owned houses here as well as two small resorts, both offering diving tours to the nearby islands. Turtle Bay is halfway to everything – Champagne, Lonnoc and Port Olry Beaches to the north, Mt Hope Waterfall to the west and Luganville to the south. It’s the perfect base to explore Santo from. Best of all there’s some great value for money AIrBnB’s here!

13. Turtle Bay Beach House/Turtle Bay Tree House – these two self contained holiday houses are run by the same host and feature cute cottages, spacious apartments and a 2 bedroom, 2 bathroom beach house right on the water. They can be rented together or separately which means they’re ideal for couples as well as larger groups. Prices start from as little as $115 a night for 2 people or $430 night for up to 8 people (whole house) and include free kayaks, free satellite internet, free on site laundry, filtered water as well as many resort style amenities like an overwater deck and a giant overwater hammock!  Both houses feature large covered decks and are walking/paddling distance to 3 blue holes as well as to resorts with restaurant, dive centres and pool. Book direct and save even more! Click here.

aerial of turtle bay showing Turtle Bay Lodge espiritu santo

VELIT BAY

About 15 minutes north of Turtle Bay lies another incredibly beautiful bay called Velit Bay. The whole area is privately owned but you can access it by booking into Lataro Island.

14. Lataro Island Villas – This unique AirBnB is located on it’s own tropical island about a 10 minute boat ride from the mainland. There’s two villas in total and they are a little on the expensive side at $250 a night but its worth the splurge. The bungalows are huge, the snorkelling and kayaking is out of this world, the views are to die for and the island is pure magic to explore. Make sure to be entirely self sufficient as you’re on your own out here – there are no shops, restaurants etc (although the managers live on site).

LONNOC BEACH/CHAMPAGNE BEACH

This beautiful area is protected from the SE trade winds and has amazing beaches and some good reef for snorkelling. There’s a scattering of local bungalows. all based on Lonnoc Beach, a short 5-10 minute walk from Champagne Beach. The bungalows are all very basic, off grid and vary dramatically in terms of their cleanliness, maintenance and facilities. Some offer food some don’t and none have ceiling fans or electricity so it can be very hot at night in summer. But the location is truly amazing!

15. Towoc Beach Bungalows – this seem to be the pick of the bungalows (although the two beachside bungalows at Lonnoc Eco Beach Bungalows and the Bamboo Bungalow are also good). Janeth the owner has a restaurant and bar on site that serves breakfast lunch and tea. She also owns the restaurant on Champagne Beach too. The bungalows are basic at best and a little overpriced for what they offer compared to other locations but the real bonus is this is the only accommodation in the area that offers free unlimited access to Champagne Beach (normally $12 pp entry fee). Beware there are chickens and dogs and roosters and the bungalows can be very hot! It’s around $85/night for 2 people.  Note* For more information on the best bungalow-style accommodation on Espiritu Santo click here.

Top 15 AirBnBs Espiritu Santo

And there you have it, my top 15 AirBnB picks for Espiritu Santo!