The Solomon Islands are an island group in the Pacific composed of 992 islands, and a hidden paradise and a haven for divers and adventure seekers. Its nearest neighbours are Papua New Guinea and the island of Vanuatu. The Solomon Islands are still unspoiled, almost untouched and undeveloped, where you can experience island life like what it’s supposed to be, unhurried, laid-back and idyllic. The Solomons’ diverse marine life, its flora and fauna and its people are part of the country’s appeal.
Little is known about the country’s ancient history but it is believed that it was settled by humans as early as 3000 BC. The first European to see the Solomons was Alvaro de Mendana, a Spanish explorer who had sighted the island in 1568. The British was the last to occupy and rule the Solomons, which gained its independence in 1978. Although English is the official language in the islands, only about one percent of the 523,000 inhabitants speak English. The rest speak Melanesian Pijin and some 120 dialects.
Do not be surprised if you meet a native from the Solomons with blond hair. This is natural and not a result of intermarriage with Europeans. This is a unique genetic trait.
The capital city is Honiara, which is located in Guadalcanal, the largest of the islands. Other prominent islands are New Georgia, Malaita, Choiseul, Santa Isabel and San Cristobal. Being in the tropics, it only has two seasons, wet and dry. The weather is cool in the islands from June until August while storms and frequent rainfall occur from November until the month of April.
Still, the Solomons tout that they have perfect weather for 300 days in a year, days where you can laze under the palm trees, gently swaying with the breeze while you lay in a hammock and sipping something cool and fresh. Or you can swim, dive, surf or snorkel in the crystal clear aquamarine waters of the Pacific that surround the islands. You can also go kayaking or try your luck catching some fish.
Discover what surprises you’ll be faced with when you tour the islands. There are volcanoes to climb and waterfalls to explore. With the number of islands, you can go island hopping, go bicycling or stretch your muscles by walking. There is a golf course as well.
But the best things are still to be discovered. The highest peak is Mount Makarakomburu, found in Guadalcanal. It also has an active volcano, Kavachi, which is submerged underwater near Vangunu Island. It is one of the most active in the Pacific. In the island of New Georgia is Marovo Lagoon, the largest salt water lagoon in the world. It’s a favorite destination for dive enthusiasts. Most of the islands within the lagoon are uninhabited.
Rennell Island on the other hand is the world’s second largest raised coral atoll and the location of Lake Tegano, South Pacific’s largest lake and a World Heritage Site. The flora and fauna that inhabit the lake and its surrounds are fascinating as most of them are endemic, including the sea krait (sea snake) called “Laticauda crockeri.” A highly important nesting area of the Hawksbill turtles is located at Arnarvon Island.
The Solomon Islands is an ideal destination for groups to share in the adventure and the fun that’s uniquely different. The captivating group of islands is a place to relax and recharge, a place where the sound of the waves and breeze can lull you to sleep and where you will have a taste of the freshest produce, from the land and the sea.