There are a number of blue holes located on the island of Espiritu Santo, however one of the most popular is the Nanda Blue Hole, also known as Jacquie’s Blue Hole. A popular natural attraction, these awe-inspiring pools are naturally-formed swimming holes that contain almost iridescent blue water. Nicknamed after the friendly family land owners who allow these amazing natural attractions to be enjoyed by all, these blue holes are created by fresh water springs that rise through the limestone, cutting a deep hole.
Surrounded by lush green forest, the contrast between the vegetation and the blue holes has to be seen to be believed. Specifically designed for day visits, the blue holes also feature a wooden water slide, platform with rope swing, boardwalk, picnic area, large covered bungalow and even a bar offering beer and soft drinks. Entry to the blue hole costs approximately AUD$5 per person and includes a free coconut drink.
The western half of Espiritu Santo island features high expanses of volcanic mountain ranges while the eastern half features flatter terrain with limestone-topped volcanic rock. When it rains, water run-off from the mountains flows underground into limestone caves in the east, corroding the rock and creating underground streams. Some water resurfaces to form small ponds while, closer to the coast, the water springs up creating these deep circular ponds.
The water owes its natural blue colour to the colour spectrum’s absorption of red. The more pure and deeper the water, the bluer it will appear to be. As the water is filtered underground, the more pure it becomes. This combined with how deep these blue holes can be, works together to create the beautiful luminous colour of the blue holes. The holes are also an important source of fresh water for the local people and provide habitats for a range of plant and animal species including some unique only to the blue hole. These include the incredibly rare Clibanarius fonticola freshwater hermit crab which isn’t found anywhere else in the world.