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Bay of Illusions Guest House

Matantas, Big Bay, Luganville, Espiritu Santo Vanuatu
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#10 of 14 B&Bs / Inns in Luganville


Matantas, Big Bay, Luganville, Espiritu Santo Vanuatu
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chantal_dunbar wrote a review Oct 2014
Surfers Paradise, Australia663 contributions166 helpful votes
I tend to try to live local whenever I get the chance in exotic places and so Big Bay was high on my agenda. It's located in the very north of Espiritu Santo and is only accessible in dry weather via one rather pot holed dirt road. Big Bay is a massive bay (of course) that has black sand beaches and is home to the Vanthe Conservation Area. This UNESCO listed jungle is home to the majority of Vanuatu's endemic bird species and has never been logged, so it remains in a virgin state. The owners of the Bay of Illusions Guesthouse (Chief Solomon and his wife Purity) were instrumental in pushing through its protected status. They're staunch conservationists who care greatly about their lands and their son is the lead guide (and man of choice) for visiting bird watchers and nature lovers. They took over four thatched bungalows on the beachfront and maintain them so that they're clean and comfortable for Western tourists. The floor is cement, the walls and roof thatched, but the bed is comfy enough and an effective mosquito net offers protection. There is no power in the village and no running water though, so only the most intrepid of tourists will be at ease. Bathing is a communial affair in the fresh water river (BYO sarong for modesty). BYO solar lighting, candles, water supply, food and plenty of bug repellent, as well as educational materials for the small school (where Purity is the teacher). Purity is happy to supply meals for you (I had delicious lobster with the Chief one night), but pls be aware that most of the rest of the village will subsisting be on a staple of bananas, coconuts and sweet potato. For bookings, you need to contact Luganville booking agent Mayumi from Wrecks to Rainforest as phones in Matantas are more often out of range than in. How many nights would I recommend? Two to three. That allows time to explore the area and get to know the locals before making the 1.5 hr car trip back to town (which BTW costs VT10,000 if you hire a 4WD that is high-set enough to make the trip.
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Date of stay: October 2014
Trip type: Travelled solo
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VanuatuEspiritu SantoLuganville
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