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Trip Planner South Pacific  /  Vanuatu  /  Espiritu Santo  /  Luganville


Caves · Landmarks · Historic Sites
Luganville is the second largest city in Vanuatu. Its population is 16.312The city is called Santo by people from Vanuatu's northern islands, who use Luganville as their big city. It is called Kanal (from French Second Canal) by rural residents of the large island of Espiritu Santo.The main street that runs through Luganville contains most of the commercial businesses. It is unusually wide as a result of the American base commander insisting that four army tanks must be able to be driven side by side along the road. Small side streets and outlying roads cater for the residential zones. The main street contains the port at one end and the markets and municipal council building at the other end. In the centre there are two main types of stores: tourist boutiques and all-in-one stores (best described as a cross between a supermarket and a hardware store).PopulationThe current population of Luganville is quite diverse. It comprises a vast majority of indigenous Ni-Vanuatu, and it also has a small population of Chinese and European descendants (English and French). Some of the locals, although residing in Luganville, come from other parts of Santo or different islands within Vanuatu.Economy and servicesLuganville has changed with the expansion of businesses and shops in the town. However, critics have claimed that Luganville has great potential and should have developed its economy further since Vanuatu gained its independence from Great Britain and France in 1980.Luganville has the second largest hospital in Vanuatu called Northern District Hospital, built before independence by the French administration. The hospital provides services to residents in Luganville and people in rural parts of Santo. Additionally, the hospital serves people in other northern islands of Vanuatu, such as Banks. Still, the hospital is often underfunded by the central Government. It often relies on aid from overseas countries, most notably France, Australia, New Zealand, and China.
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