The Solomon Islands are a Melanesian island nation located in the Pacific Ocean between Papua New Guinea and Vanuatu. This is one of the rare places on the planet that is little-known by tourists. It includes almost a thousand volcanic islands.
The picturesque underwater world of the Solomon Islands, as well as wrecks, are of particular interest to divers. A huge number of sunken ships and crashed aircrafts lie in the waters around Guadalcanal and the islands of Tulagi and Savo. There are still some active volcanoes located on some of the islands, and you can sometimes see eruptions including under water. Diving here is quite popular, so going on a diving safari to visit local underwater attractions is not difficult. The depth range for diving near the islands varies from 25 to 40 meters.
The archipelago of more than 40 thousand sq. km is made out of about a thousand islands. Many of them have dive sites with stunning underwater views and wrecks. A popular form of recreation for divers here is diving safari that allows you to dive in many interesting places. More than 15 dive sites are awaiting you around the Florida Islands. Mari Island, also called Mborokua, provides you with the opportunity to observe marine life in its natural habitat. And the Russell Islands are the best place for those who love cave diving.
Most divers in the Solomon Islands choose the dive safaris. Because of this, the bulk of the dive shops and the infrastructure are concentrated in the port of Honiara on the island of Guadalcanal. All the safari routes start from the capital, running to the islands of Florida, Russell, to the Marovo lagoon.
The Autumn on the islands is relatively windy cool and dry. The temperature is in the range of 25 to 27 ° C, south-east trade winds blow then. The local climate generally allows you to dive throughout the whole year.
Summer comes in December, the air temperature on the islands rises to 30–32 ° С. The humidity significantly increases – up to 90%. The maximum rainfall is in December and on the windward shores it is usually 15-30% more.
March and April in the Solomon Islands belong to Summer and because of this, the air temperature does not fall below 28–30 ° C. Humidity is still very high, but May is cooler, and there is less precipitation.
When it is Summer here, Winter prevails in the Solomon Islands. It is also a bit cooler than in other months. The temperature is about 26–27 °С, the air humidity is low, with frequent storms and hurricanes.
Reefs and islands in the salty lagoon of Marovo are a must-see. Divers especially appreciate the spot Custom Caves, in the vicinity of the Russell Islands, a picturesque cave with open space inside. Bat Cave is recommended for simple dives, where you can find reef sharks and seahorses. And on the island of Savo you can see a real underwater volcano and many sunken ships.
Medical care on the islands is poorly developed, represented mainly by primitive polyclinics and the help of volunteer doctors from more developed countries. Because of this, when travelling here, it is better to worry about the necessary medicine in advance and take them with you. No vaccines are required, but most tourists recommend to vaccinate against hepatitis A, typhoid, tetanus and malaria.
The islands have an average level of security, the island’s police may not act immediately due to limited resources. The most common offenses are thefts and burglaries, so be careful and keep an eye on your personal belongings.
Not only bright tropical fish inhabit the coastal waters, but also poisonous animals that are best avoided. These are mostly sea snakes, whose poison can even be fatal. So that you do not put yourself in danger, dive only where it is allowed, especially since there are a lot of dive sites in Solomon Islands.
The national cuisine is a turbulent blend of traditions from Southeast Asia and Europe, adapted to the local flavor. As is usually the case with the island cuisine, it is dominated by seafood and coconuts. However, in an age of active communication with the Great Earth, Solomon Islands doesn't lack either meat nor alcohol. Local chefs keep their own recipes for the most curious taste combinations: for example, fish with fragrant coconut pulp. If you want something less exotic, try fish and vegetables pickled in lemon juice with spices, and for a sweet treat, traditional papaya pudding and taro plant roots with the addition of vanilla and pumpkin. Since tap water may be unsafe to drink here, it is advised to consume only bottled water.