For the adventurous traveller yearning for a place un-spoilt by the mechanical humdrum of tourists, the Solomon Islands are the place to visit next. These islands almost make you forget the manic 21st century lifestyle you come from as the friendly inhabitants of this remote and un-spoilt island draw you into their warm world of age-old customs and unhurried simplicity. Despite this un-spoilt charm and remoteness there are still a number of Solomon Islands hotels for you to relax in.
NOTICE : EFFECTIVE DEC 28 2019 regarding measles- https://www.smartraveller.gov.au/destinations/pacific/solomon-islands
The good thing about these islands, and indeed the islanders, is that they have still not been taken over by commercial forces of heavy tourism.
The charm of the gentle people and their laidback way of life ring true and warm the heart. Add to that the unspoiled nature and the many things to see and do in Solomon Islands, with so many undiscovered points and places, and the low cost at which you can experience all this, and you will soon fall in love with the Solomon Islands. This is truly the paradise of the South Sea, promised ever so often by attractive brochures but never found.
The Solomon islanders still follow a traditional lifestyle, following their customs and living harmoniously within their environment. They are a hospitable lot, and you will be warmed by the affectionate welcome and help they offer so generously, everywhere you go from the local restaurants to the fabulous Solomon Islands resorts. This is something you will come to appreciate as you travel Solomon Islands more and more, especially when sometimes you feel you are the only tourist adventurously exploring the sparsely populated islands. And the funny part is, sometimes, that just might be true! The Solomon Islands are located towards the south east of Papua New Guinea, with Australia a mere three hours away by air. It is truly a land of immense diversity, and here you get a chance to experience a range of topological contrasts – from mountain peaks enclosed in thick forests, immense volcanoes, gushing waterfalls, thick rainforests covered in static mist, to tiny islands peeping out of the water, quiet still lagoons, and sparkling coral reefs! All this variety earns the Solomon Islands the distinction of being the most diverse group of islands in the Pacific Ocean!
The Solomons cover an area of 28,000 square km and are composed of more than 990 islands. Choiseul, Guadalcanal, Malaita, New Georgia, Santa Isabel and San Cristobal are the more important ones. Honiara, located on Guadalcanal, is the capital of the Solomon Islands and has its very own botanical gardens, museum and even a Chinatown! You will find most hotels in the Solomon Islands on Honiara. Surrounding villages and picturesque drives are easily accessible from here. There are a few organised Solomon Islands tours that are quite popular with tourists, like the World War II battlefields and megapode fields of Savo Island.
While Honiara on Guadalcanal is a must visit, Gizo and Santa Isabel are interesting too. Santa Isabel is hardly ever stirred by tourist activity, and if you do go there you may find yourself a lone adventurer in this 240 km long island! Check out our Solomon Islands map to acquaint yourself with the layout of the islands. More than 30,000 people live in Honiara. The spectacular Matanikau falls are a mere two hour walk away from Honiara town.
Informal Solomon Islands tours are organised for tourists interested in exploring the flora and fauna and culture of this area. These day trips take you to sites and tambu areas, where you can witness things like lagoon trips to custom dancing and war canoe villages. You even get the opportunity to experience the traditional way of life of the locals by spending time with them. You can indulge in exciting activities like learning to paddle and steering a dugout canoe, or climbing an extinct volcano or even fishing in sea-green waters and tasting the catch, and that too after cooking it in a traditional stone oven or motu.
Travelling outside the capital city of Honiara is not very easy. You need to grapple with rather chaotic and frustrating flights to reach from one place to another, if there are flights operating in those places. Otherwise, the alternative is a motor canoe. There are also very few Solomon Islands hotels outside Gizo and Honiara, and finding a place to stay is made much harder by the relative absence of guidebooks to help you along. But it is this lack of tourist facilities that makes the country so special.
As you move about, you will realize that the entire panorama is only for you, and you will see places that hardly any other travellers have seen. You will get a chance to make genuine contact with a population that is still innocent of outsiders, and who will be as curious about you as you will be about them. But probably the best thing is coming in contact with a culture that is still very proud of its roots and holds on proudly to its Melanesian tradition. And the people are open and friendly and willing to share with any traveller who takes the effort to experience this South Pacific paradise.
Come and experience the magic of the islands, the hospitable people are sure to overwhelm you with their friendliness. Make sure you do bring gifts along, you will find you need them to express your gratitude after experiencing the warmth here. Enjoy a totally different way of life, eat delicious food and make new friends! Learn the local language and start experiencing what the locals from the western province mean when they say ‘No Hurry’. It won’t be easy to leave!