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Santo Questions

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Auckland Region...
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Santo Questions

Help would be appreciated on following questions - we leave next week from NZ for 10 days at Turtle Bay Lodge.

1. Is a thin wet suit needed for lengthy snorkelling at this time of year at Santo.

2. Re duty free from Vila to Santo - have read through prior posts over this subject - still unclear to me if you can take duty free in hand luggage on domestic flight from Vila to Santo.

3. Noticed on Air Vanuatu ticket information for flights from Vila to Santo that you are only allowed 10kg total checked luggage per passenger - any idea how strictly this is enforced/what overweight costs?

4. Arriving into Santo late Sunday afternoon and taking transfer out to Turtle Bay Lodge - will the supermarkets/bottle stores be open at that time of day? or will we have to go back in on Monday to grab supplies.

Any help appreciated.

Carol

Brisbane, Australia
Destination Expert
for Vanuatu, Port Vila, Espiritu Santo
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3,869 posts
25 reviews
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1. Re: Santo Questions

Hi Carol,

1. Forget the wetsuit. You won't need it (in my estimation).

2. I think this question is still unclear to the officials so ask about it specifically before you purchase, otherwise pack it if you can.

3. Luggage weight is strictly enforced. In fact they are likely to weigh you as well, so if you're skinny you'll get away with a bit more ha ha.

4. The petrol station (they also do money exchange) is open on Sunday and you can ask your driver to stop there and/or at the little store on the road heading north. For more supplies you'll need to go into the Chinese supermarket in Luganville during open hours.

Hope this helps,

Jen

Adelaide
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1,325 posts
5 reviews
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2. Re: Santo Questions

Jen has answered this beautifully. Just add a couple of things - As far as I know, the water is warm enough for swimming without wetsuits all year round. We snorkel like crazy and sometimes the water is almost too warm, but that has always been in March.

We took duty free alcohol, water etc in our carry on luggage with no problems from Vila to Santo. I think there might be an exception if it's the continuation of an international flight, actually entering the country in Santo. Otherwise, should not be a problem.

Luggage weight is enforced unfortunately, but if you have the ATR plane then you will hopefully not be weight for that flight leg. I'm NOT skinny, and was thankful not to have to step on the scales that time, just for all the other flights to outer islands.

The Unity petrol station is great for exchanging money and picking up a few supplies. Its rate isn't bad at all. Some of the chinese stores could be open Sunday afternoon too. The best stocked supermarket is LCM, I think that's the one Jen mentioned. Find out how much it will cost to get back into town from Turtle Bay. It isn't far, but can be costly depending on transport availability. The owners might make daily trips into town for supplies etc, or they might run a shuttle bus.

Enjoy Santo, it is an amazing place.

Cheers, Barbara

Casuarina, Australia
1 post
2 reviews
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3. Re: Santo Questions

Carol,

I would suggest that you take some reef shoes. The snorkelling at Turtle bay is absolutely sensational and is made a lot easier if you have reef shoes for traversing the reef to get to the snorkelling dropoff. Also we found the snorkelling best on a rising tide.

We love the place!!!!

Cheers

Ross

Bangkok, Thailand
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46 posts
21 reviews
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4. Re: Santo Questions

Yep definitely don't need the wetsuit and because they are small planes that do the hop they are definitely strict on the weight.

5. Re: Santo Questions

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