"An Independent Traveler's Paradise" Top 5 Page for this destination Solomon Islands by brewjohnson
Solomon Islands Travel Guide: 50 reviews and 108 photos
The Solomons are a truly rare destination. Nature lovers, history buffs, and culture geeks alike can find enough to keep them occupied for years. Forest shrouded volcanoes give way to pristine beaches and tropical lagoons that lead to magnificent coral reefs, World War II relics can be found in plain sight both on land and in the sea (sometimes in people's front yards), and local cultures are so diverse that on a small island you may find several different tribes who speak entirely different languages.
The Solomons are like no other destination in the Pacific. There are few creature comforts and travel can be difficult: flights and ferries are frequently delayed, canceled or modified (pilots have been known to skip stops or leave early on a whim, leaving unsuspecting tourists standing on the runway); information on destinations, lodging, transportation (basically everything), can be extremely difficult to come by (even the national tourist office in Honiara could provide us with very few answers); and ethnic violence has broken out too frequently over the past 10 years, which has required a joint Aussie-Kiwi peacekeeping mission to be deployed in the Solomons.
With that being said, this is one of the most fascinating places I've ever visited and I can't wait to put up with all the problems to go back and experience what this incredible group of islands has to offer.
As an added bonus, the Solomons receive very few tourists each year and most of the tourists who do make it here are on package dive tours. So, if you get away from the popular dive resorts/areas, you probably will see few (if any) other tourists.
Most travelers to the Solomons are divers. The diving is some of the best in the world - very few places have a comparable combination of fish life, pristine coral reefs, and wrecks. However, diving isn't the only water sport of note. Anglers and surfers have abundant opportunities as well.
The Solomons are littered with historical artifacts. Some of the most intense land fighting of all of World War II took place on Guadalcanal, JFK had to swim to safety off of Gizo when his PT boat was struck by a Japanese freighter, and so many American and Japanese naval vessels were sunk in the straight between Guadalcanal, Savo Island, and Florida Island that it is now known as "Ironbottom Sound". Abandoned tanks, anti-aircraft guns, sunken warships and downed planes can be found throughout the country. WWII buffs will be fascinated by the battlegrounds and familiar names from the past, as well as the fact that most airstrips used by Solomon Airlines were built by the American and Japanese militaries during the war.
The history and culture of the indigenous tribes is fascinating as well. While missionaries and Christianity have destroyed many of the indigenous traditions and religions, custom villages, shark cults, and witch doctors can still be found and according to some accounts, headhunters were active as recently as 40 years ago.
As long as you are OK with roughing it a little and don't get too annoyed if making (and sticking to) travel arrangements is difficult, and you've always dreamed of being marooned on a tropical island, the Solomon Islands is the place for you. If you need a five (or four... or maybe even 3) star resort and reliable flights... stick to Tahiti.
- Pros:Roaring volcanoes, pristine reefs, WWII artificats, headhunter shrines... and no crowds
- Cons:Very basic facilities, can be hard to get around
- In a nutshell:An ecotraveling, history buff, scuba-diver's paradise!
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