Nestled in the heart of the Pacific Ocean, the Solomon Islands form an archipelago of breathtaking beauty and cultural richness.
Comprising nearly 1,000 islands, this tropical paradise is a hidden gem waiting to be discovered.
The Solomon Islands boast a unique blend of traditional Melanesian culture and stunning natural landscapes, making it a must-visit destination for travelers seeking an off-the-beaten-path experience.
Stretching across the Coral Sea, the Solomon Islands are known for their diverse ecosystems, including lush rainforests, vibrant coral reefs, and pristine beaches.
This archipelago has a rich historical significance, particularly during World War II, and its capital city, Honiara, stands as a testament to the nation’s resilience and growth.
From historical landmarks that narrate tales of the past to underwater wonders that captivate the senses, the Solomon Islands offer a myriad of experiences for every type of traveler.
Whether you’re an adventure seeker, a culture enthusiast, or simply seeking a tranquil escape, this destination has something extraordinary to offer.
In the following sections, we will delve into the 16 best things to do in the Solomon Islands, exploring historical and cultural attractions, natural wonders, thrilling water activities, adventurous outdoor pursuits, serene beaches, delectable local cuisine, vibrant festivals, and sustainable tourism initiatives.
1. National Museum
Begin your exploration of the Solomon Islands’ rich history in Honiara, the capital city.
The National Museum stands as a cultural repository, offering a fascinating journey through the islands’ past.
Exhibits showcase traditional artifacts, intricate wood carvings, and displays that unravel the story of the indigenous people.
Visitors can immerse themselves in the diverse customs and traditions that have shaped the unique identity of the Solomon Islands.
2. Guadalcanal American Memorial
For a poignant tribute to World War II history, a visit to the Guadalcanal American Memorial is essential.
Honoring the sacrifices made during the Pacific War, this memorial provides a solemn reflection on the events that unfolded on Guadalcanal.
The lush surroundings complement the memorial’s significance, creating a peaceful atmosphere for remembrance and contemplation.
3. Kennedy Island
Off the coast of Gizo lies the evocative Kennedy Island, named after the legendary John F. Kennedy.
It holds a unique place in history as the rescue site of JFK and his crew during World War II.
Today, visitors can explore the island’s pristine beaches and learn about its storied past, making it a destination that seamlessly blends natural beauty with historical intrigue.
4. Gizo War Relics
Gizo, with its laid-back charm, is also home to the Gizo War Relics, a collection of remnants from the war scattered across the region.
Explore the relics that include sunken Japanese warships and aircraft, offering a tangible connection to the events that unfolded in these waters.
Dive enthusiasts will find these underwater relics particularly captivating, adding a layer of adventure to the exploration of the Solomon Islands’ wartime history.
5. Marovo Lagoon
Nestled amidst the archipelago, the Marovo Lagoon stands as a testament to the Solomon Islands’ natural beauty, offering a symphony of marine wonders and cultural richness.
Marovo Lagoon is renowned for its extraordinary underwater landscapes. Immerse yourself in the vibrant world beneath the surface as you explore pristine coral reefs teeming with colorful marine life.
The crystal-clear waters provide unparalleled visibility, making it a haven for snorkelers and divers alike.
Discover an underwater paradise with schools of tropical fish, intricate coral formations, and perhaps encounter majestic sea turtles and rays.
The shores of Marovo Lagoon are dotted with traditional villages, where the warm hospitality of the locals invites you to experience authentic island life.
Engage with the indigenous communities, witness traditional dances, and gain insight into their time-honored customs.
The juxtaposition of natural beauty and cultural authenticity in Marovo Lagoon makes it a unique destination that offers both relaxation and enrichment.
6. Tetepare Island
For nature enthusiasts and eco-conscious travelers, Tetepare Island is a haven of conservation efforts and pristine wilderness.
This largely untouched island is dedicated to preserving its natural ecosystems, making it one of the largest uninhabited islands in the Pacific.
The Tetepare Descendants’ Association actively manages conservation projects, working to protect the island’s biodiversity, including rare and endangered species.
Explore the lush rainforest and pristine beaches, all while contributing to the sustainability initiatives that define Tetepare as a model for ecological preservation.
Tetepare Island is a sanctuary for wildlife, providing refuge for a variety of species.
Birdwatchers will be delighted by the diverse avian population, including the elusive Solomon Sea Eagle.
Take guided nature walks through the dense rainforest, where you may encounter unique flora and fauna found nowhere else on earth.
This commitment to preserving the island’s natural state creates an immersive experience for those seeking a harmonious blend of adventure and conservation.
7. Water Activities
The Solomon Islands, surrounded by crystal-clear waters and vibrant marine life, offer an aquatic playground for enthusiasts seeking thrilling adventures beneath the surface.
Top Dive Sites
Dive into the azure depths of the Solomon Islands, where a treasure trove of underwater wonders awaits.
The archipelago is renowned for its top-notch scuba diving sites, each offering a unique glimpse into the mesmerizing world beneath the waves.
- Bonegi I and II: Explore the hauntingly beautiful wreckage of World War II ships, providing a glimpse into the region’s wartime history.
- Manta Ray Drop-Off: For an awe-inspiring experience, descend along the underwater walls of this site and witness graceful manta rays gliding through the currents.
- Twin Tunnels: Delve into the intricate tunnel systems adorned with colorful corals and marine life, creating a surreal underwater landscape.
The Solomon Islands boast an unparalleled diversity of marine life, making every dive a captivating encounter with the underwater realm.
- Coral Gardens: Immerse yourself in vibrant coral gardens that house a kaleidoscope of hard and soft corals, providing a mesmerizing backdrop to your dives.
- Honiara’s Reefs: Discover an abundance of reef fish and critters in the lively coral reefs around Honiara, offering an excellent opportunity for underwater photography.
- Mbirao Island: Encounter a rich array of marine species, including turtles, sharks, and schools of tropical fish, creating an exhilarating dive experience.
For those who prefer to stay close to the surface, snorkeling in the Solomon Islands unveils a world of vibrant coral reefs, shallow lagoons, and clear waters.
- Tavanipupu Island: Explore shallow coral gardens around Tavanipupu, where the kaleidoscopic coral formations create a visual feast for snorkelers.
- Matikuri Island: Snorkel in the shallows surrounding Matikuri to witness an abundance of marine life, including colorful reef fish and inquisitive sea turtles.
Dipping beneath the surface reveals a symphony of colors as schools of tropical fish dart through the coral formations.
- Marau Sound: Snorkel in the tranquil waters of Marau Sound, where you can encounter a dazzling array of colorful fish, from clownfish to parrotfish.
- Kennedy Island Reef: Explore the vibrant underwater world near Kennedy Island, where the lively marine ecosystem includes butterflyfish, angelfish, and more.
For those with a thirst for adventure, the Solomon Islands present a playground of outdoor activities set against the backdrop of lush rainforests and pristine landscapes.
Trekking in the Rainforest
8. Kokoda Trail
Embark on a journey through the heart of the Solomon Islands’ rainforest by exploring the Kokoda Trail.
This historic trail not only offers a challenging trek but also provides a profound experience, retracing the steps of the World War II soldiers who navigated its rugged terrain.
As you hike through dense vegetation, you’ll encounter breathtaking scenery, hidden waterfalls, and the echoes of a bygone era.
9. Mount Austen
For panoramic views and a rewarding trekking experience, set your sights on Mount Austen.
As the highest point in the Guadalcanal Province, reaching the summit unveils a breathtaking vista of the surrounding islands and the Pacific Ocean.
The trek to Mount Austen is an opportunity to connect with nature, witness diverse flora and fauna, and relish the sense of accomplishment at the summit.
Navigate the pristine waters surrounding the Solomon Islands by venturing into Visale for an exhilarating kayaking experience.
Paddle through calm lagoons and mangrove-fringed waterways, immersing yourself in the serene beauty of the coastal landscapes.
Visale offers a perfect blend of adventure and tranquility, allowing kayakers to explore hidden coves and enjoy the picturesque views along the way.
11. Roviana Lagoon
Discover the enchanting waterways of Roviana Lagoon as you embark on a kayaking adventure through its meandering channels.
The lagoon, surrounded by lush greenery and traditional villages, provides a unique perspective of the Solomon Islands.
Paddle at your own pace, taking in the sights and sounds of this idyllic setting, where the gentle rhythm of the water complements the natural beauty that unfolds around every bend.
12. Munda Beach
Munda Beach, with its powdery white sand and clear waters, is a haven for those seeking relaxation.
Take leisurely strolls along the shoreline, letting the gentle waves kiss your feet.
The beach offers a serene atmosphere, providing the perfect setting for a day of sun-soaked tranquility.
Unwind with a good book, bask in the warmth of the sun, or simply enjoy the breathtaking views that stretch across the horizon.
13. Zipolo Habu Resort
For a luxurious escape on the water’s edge, indulge in the serenity of Zipolo Habu Resort.
Nestled along the coast, this resort combines natural beauty with comfortable accommodations.
Relax in beachfront bungalows, savoring the sound of the waves lapping against the shore.
Zipolo Habu Resort offers a perfect blend of seclusion and comfort, making it an ideal retreat for those seeking a touch of paradise.
14. Uepi Island Resort
Uepi Island Resort beckons with its exclusive charm, situated on a private island surrounded by turquoise waters.
The resort’s overwater bungalows provide direct access to the sea, allowing you to immerse yourself in the warm embrace of the Pacific.
Indulge in the laid-back atmosphere, where time seems to slow down, and every moment is an opportunity to savor the beauty that defines Uepi Island.
15. Sandy Beaches
Uepi Island is adorned with pristine sandy beaches, inviting you to unwind against the backdrop of lush greenery.
Whether you choose to bask in the sun, take a refreshing dip in the ocean, or explore the coastline, the sandy beaches of Uepi Island offer a retreat into nature’s embrace.
Let the rhythm of the waves and the softness of the sand create a sensory symphony that rejuvenates the spirit.
16. Tavanipupu Island
Nestled away from the beaten path, Tavanipupu Island stands as a hidden gem in the Solomon Islands, offering an exclusive retreat for those seeking ultimate tranquility.
Accessible by boat or a short flight from Honiara, Tavanipupu Island welcomes visitors with its postcard-perfect scenery.
The resort on the island, known as Tavanipupu Island Resort, provides an intimate and luxurious escape surrounded by lush greenery and pristine beaches.
The overwater bungalows offer a unique blend of comfort and seclusion, allowing guests to wake up to the gentle lapping of waves beneath their accommodations.
Tavanipupu’s underwater world is a haven for snorkelers and divers.
The coral reefs surrounding the island host a kaleidoscope of marine life, including vibrant coral formations, tropical fish, and graceful sea turtles.
Guided snorkeling tours and diving excursions provide an opportunity to explore this marine wonderland, making Tavanipupu a must-visit destination for ocean enthusiasts.
Beyond its natural beauty, Tavanipupu Island offers cultural experiences that provide insight into the traditional way of life in the Solomon Islands.
Engage with the local community, participate in traditional ceremonies, and savor authentic cuisine prepared with locally sourced ingredients.
Tavanipupu Island Resort strives to create a harmonious blend of luxury and cultural immersion, ensuring that guests leave with a deep appreciation for the rich heritage of the Solomon Islands.
Tavanipupu Island stands as a testament to the Solomon Islands’ diversity, offering a secluded escape where guests can reconnect with nature, experience genuine hospitality, and create lasting memories in a tropical paradise.
Solomon Islands Travel Tips
Traditional Solomon Islands Dishes
A staple in Solomon Islands cuisine, Kokoda is a refreshing dish that showcases the region’s bountiful seafood.
Marinated raw fish, usually tuna or mahi-mahi, is “cooked” in a delicious blend of coconut milk, lime juice, and a mix of fresh vegetables.
The result is a zesty and flavorful ceviche that captures the essence of the Pacific.
Similar to Kokoda, Poisson Cru is a popular dish featuring raw fish marinated in coconut milk, lime, and a medley of vegetables.
It’s a delightful and nutritious dish that reflects the reliance on fresh, local ingredients in Solomon Islands’ cuisine.
For a taste of traditional island greens, Rourou is a must-try. It consists of taro leaves cooked in coconut milk, often flavored with spices. This hearty and nutritious dish offers a glimpse into the reliance on indigenous crops in Solomon Islands’ culinary heritage.
Popular Restaurants and Eateries
Agnes Gateway Hotel, Munda
For those exploring Munda, Agnes Gateway Hotel stands out as a culinary destination.
With a menu featuring a blend of international and Solomon Islands specialties, the restaurant offers a dining experience that complements the natural beauty of Munda.
Fresh seafood dishes and local delicacies are highlights on the menu.
Uepi Island Resort Restaurant, Uepi Island
On Uepi Island, the Uepi Island Resort Restaurant caters to guests with a menu that emphasizes fresh, locally sourced ingredients.
Dine in a tropical paradise setting, enjoying dishes that showcase the flavors of the Solomon Islands while taking in panoramic views of the surrounding azure waters.
Festivals and Events
The Solomon Islands come alive with vibrant festivals and events that celebrate the rich cultural heritage of the islands.
Attending these gatherings provides a unique opportunity to witness traditional performances, partake in local customs, and immerse oneself in the lively spirit of the community.
Solomon Islands Arts Festival
The Solomon Islands Arts Festival is a biennial event that showcases the diverse artistic talents of the nation.
Featuring traditional dance, music, and visual arts, this festival brings together artists from different regions, creating a dynamic platform for cultural exchange.
Visitors can witness captivating performances that highlight the creativity and cultural pride of the Solomon Islands.
Shell Money Festival
Celebrating the traditional currency of the islands, the Shell Money Festival pays homage to the art of crafting shell money, an ancient form of currency made from small sea snail shells.
The festival includes cultural displays, live demonstrations of shell money making, and traditional performances.
It provides a fascinating insight into the historical and cultural significance of this unique currency.
Lukim Fiji Festival
The Lukim Fiji Festival is a cross-cultural celebration that fosters ties between the Solomon Islands and Fiji.
It features a variety of cultural performances, traditional sports, and culinary delights from both nations.
This festival is not only a showcase of cultural diversity but also an opportunity for cultural exchange between the two Pacific island nations.
Best Times to Visit for Cultural Experiences
While the Solomon Islands offer cultural experiences year-round, certain times coincide with major festivals and events, providing an enhanced opportunity for visitors to immerse themselves in the local culture.
June – Solomon Islands Arts Festival
For an extraordinary cultural immersion, plan your visit around June during the Solomon Islands Arts Festival.
This biennial event brings together artists and performers from across the islands, creating a vibrant atmosphere of celebration and cultural exchange.
August – Shell Money Festival
August marks the Shell Money Festival, offering a unique chance to witness the traditional craft of shell money making.
The festival typically includes cultural displays, dances, and live demonstrations, providing a captivating experience for those interested in the historical and cultural aspects of the Solomon Islands.
Various Dates – Local Celebrations
Throughout the year, various local celebrations and events take place in different regions of the Solomon Islands.
These may include village festivals, traditional ceremonies, and community gatherings.
Check with local authorities or tourism offices to align your visit with these authentic and intimate cultural experiences.
Sustainable Tourism Initiatives
The Solomon Islands, known for their pristine ecosystems, are actively engaged in preserving their natural heritage through various local conservation efforts.
Tetepare Descendants’ Association
The Tetepare Descendants’ Association plays a crucial role in the conservation of Tetepare Island, one of the largest uninhabited islands in the Pacific.
Through sustainable management practices, the association strives to protect the island’s unique biodiversity, ensuring the delicate balance of its ecosystems is maintained for future generations.
Marovo Conservation Foundation
Focused on the iconic Marovo Lagoon, the Marovo Conservation Foundation works towards sustainable resource management and marine conservation.
Through community engagement and education, the foundation aims to safeguard the delicate coral reefs and marine life, promoting responsible tourism practices within the region.
Responsible Tourism Practices
Embracing responsible tourism is essential for preserving the Solomon Islands’ natural beauty and cultural heritage.
Support Local Communities
Choose accommodations, tours, and services that actively involve and benefit local communities.
By supporting local businesses, you contribute to the well-being of indigenous populations and encourage sustainable economic development.
Respect the Environment
Practice Leave No Trace principles during your travels.
Respect natural habitats, follow designated trails, and avoid disturbing wildlife.
Minimize your ecological footprint by being mindful of waste and energy consumption.
Show respect for local customs and traditions.
Seek permission before taking photographs, and be aware of cultural norms.
Engage with locals in a respectful manner, fostering positive cultural exchanges.
Visa and Entry Requirements
Check the visa requirements before traveling to the Solomon Islands.
Depending on your nationality, you may need to obtain a visa in advance.
Ensure your passport has sufficient validity beyond your planned departure date.
Consult a healthcare professional for advice on vaccinations and health precautions before traveling.
It’s advisable to carry basic medical supplies and insect repellent, especially if venturing into remote areas.
While the Solomon Islands are generally safe, exercise standard safety precautions.
Be cautious with valuables, stay informed about local conditions, and adhere to any advisories.
Respect local customs to ensure a secure and enjoyable experience.
Best Time to Visit
Dry Season (April to October)
The dry season is ideal for outdoor activities and cultural festivals.
Clear skies and calm seas make it an excellent time for diving, snorkeling, and exploring the islands.
Wet Season (November to March)
While the wet season brings lush green landscapes, it also sees increased rainfall.
Some areas may experience cyclones during this period.
Travelers should be prepared for occasional heavy rains and possible disruptions.
As we conclude our exploration of the Solomon Islands, we invite you to delve into the diverse wonders that define this Pacific jewel.
From the historical echoes of Guadalcanal to the vibrant marine life in Marovo Lagoon, the islands offer a symphony of experiences.
Whether you seek adventure through trekking or tranquil moments on sandy beaches, the Solomon Islands beckon with unparalleled beauty.
Embrace the warmth of local communities, savor the unique flavors of traditional cuisine, and witness the cultural vibrancy during festivals.
Beyond the allure of coral reefs and lush rainforests, the islands’ commitment to sustainable tourism enhances the journey.
With every step, the Solomon Islands weave a tapestry of memories, inviting you to explore, appreciate, and connect with the essence of this enchanting destination.
Pack your curiosity, respect for nature, and a spirit of adventure – the Solomon Islands await, promising an unforgettable encounter with the Pacific’s untamed beauty.
FAQ’s About the Solomon Islands
Which Country Owns the Solomon Islands?
The Solomon Islands is a sovereign country that gained independence from the United Kingdom in 1978. It is a self-governing nation located in the Pacific region.
What is Solomon Islands Known For?
The Solomon Islands are renowned for their breathtaking natural beauty, which includes pristine beaches, lush rainforests, and vibrant coral reefs.
The islands also hold historical significance, particularly related to World War II, and are celebrated for the warm hospitality of the local communities.
What Language is Spoken in the Solomon Islands?
English serves as the official language of the Solomon Islands and is widely spoken throughout the archipelago.
Additionally, the islands boast a rich linguistic diversity with numerous indigenous languages reflecting the cultural tapestry of the region.
What is Solomon Islands Currency?
The official currency of the Solomon Islands is the Solomon Islands Dollar (SBD).
It is the primary medium of exchange for transactions within the country.