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Solomon Islands

SOLOMON ISLANDS TRAVEL GUIDE

The Solomon Islands, a nation of hundreds of islands in the South Pacific, has many WWII-era sites. Guadalcanal, a province and one of the archipelago’s largest islands, honours fallen Allied soldiers at its U.S. War Memorial. Guadalcanal is also home to the nation’s capital, Honiara, whose bustling Central Market showcases the islands’ produce and traditional handicrafts.

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Capital: Honiara

Currency: Solomon Islands dollar (SBD)

Area: 28,450 sq km

Population: 652 858 (2018)

Language: Melanesian pidgin; English is the official language; 120 indigenous languages

Electricity: 240V/50Hz (Australian plug)

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BEST TIME TO VISIT SOLOMON ISLANDS

The Solomon Islands have two main seasons: the dry season and the rainy season.

  • The dry season typically runs from April to October, during which there is less rainfall and more comfortable temperatures. This is considered the best time to visit the Solomon Islands for activities such as diving, snorkeling, and exploring the islands.
  • The rainy season typically runs from November to March, during which there is more rainfall and higher humidity. While this may not be the most ideal time for outdoor activities, it can be a good time to visit if you're looking to experience the lush, tropical vegetation.

Keep in mind that the Solomon Islands is a tropical country, and temperatures and humidity are relatively high throughout the year.

 

Best Time To Go

SOLOMON ISLANDS WEATHER SYNOPSIS

The Solomon Islands have a warm, tropical climate year-round. Temperatures across the country range between 23-31°C and precipitation ranges between 3000-5000 millimetres annually, although the most intense part of the rainy season occurs during the north-westerly monsoonal winds that bring tropical cyclones across the archipelago between December-March. The El Nino Southern Oscillation (ENSO) is an important driver of climate in the Solomon Islands, heavily influencing periods of drought, the risk of floods and the frequency of tropical cyclones.

Solomon Islands

SEASONS AT A GLANCE

Most destinations have different times of the year when they’re more or less popular with tourists. 

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Peak Season

Shoulder Season

Off Peak Season

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AUGUST

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SEPTEMBER

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OCTOBER

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NOVEMBER

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BEST TIME FOR

SNOW SPORT IN SOLOMON ISLANDS

HIKING & CYCLING IN SOLOMON ISLANDS

The hiking trails of The Solomon Islands can be explored at any time of the year, however, the dry season from around May to October is generally the most pleasant.

BEACH OPTIONS IN SOLOMON ISLANDS

You'll have no trouble finding a stunning beaches in Solomon Islands. The dry months of May to October are generally most pleasant for relaxing on the beach. You can scuba dive all year round, but the seas are often rough from June to September.

SURFING IN SOLOMON ISLANDS

The surf season in the Solomon Islands runs from around mid October to April with the biggest swells rolling through in January and February. Just note that this is also the wet season!

KITESURF IN SOLOMON ISLANDS

There are long white sandy beaches for kite surfing along the main island of the Solomon Islands. The best months are from July to September, when the South Trade wind is strong. You can sometimes also get good winds in the months of June and October.

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TRAVEL SAFETY IN SOLOMON ISLANDS

Always consider the current safety risk of each destination and do not travel without travel / medical insurance. For the latest travel health notices and recommended precautions click

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Travel Safety

HEALTH RISKS IN SOLOMON ISLANDS

Be aware of possible health risks in 

Solomon Islands

Yellow fever - The yellow fever virus is found in tropical and subtropical areas of Africa and South America. The virus is spread to people by the bite of an infected mosquito. There is no medicine to treat or cure an infection. To prevent getting sick from yellow fever, use insect repellent, wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants, and get vaccinated.

Zika Virus - Zika is spread mostly by the bite of an infected Aedes species mosquito. These mosquitoes bite during the day and night. Zika can be passed from a pregnant woman to her fetus. Infection during pregnancy can cause certain birth defects. There is no vaccine or medicine for Zika.

Malaria - Malaria is a serious and sometimes fatal disease caused by a parasite that commonly infects a certain type of mosquito which feeds on humans. People who get malaria are typically very sick with high fevers, shaking chills, and flu-like illness. Although malaria can be a deadly disease, illness and death from malaria can usually be prevented.

Dengue - Dengue is spread mostly by the bite of an infected Aedes species mosquito. These mosquitoes bite during the day and night. About one in four people infected with dengue will get sick. For people who get sick with dengue, symptoms can be mild or severe.

SOLOMON ISLANDS TRAVEL COSTS

The cost of traveling to the Solomon Islands can vary depending on a number of factors such as the time of year, the length of stay, and the specific activities and accommodations you plan to participate in.

  • Airfare to the Solomon Islands can be quite expensive, with a round-trip ticket from the United States or Australia costing several thousand dollars. However, if you plan to travel during the off-season or book your flights well in advance, you may be able to find deals on airfare.
  • Once you are in the Solomon Islands, the cost of accommodation and food can be relatively low. You can find budget-friendly options such as guesthouses and homestays for around $50-100 per night, and local meals can cost around $10-15.
  • Activities such as diving, snorkeling, and island hopping can also add to the cost of your trip. Diving and snorkeling trips can cost around $100-150, and island hopping tours can cost around $50-100.

 

Here is a sample budget for a 7-day trip to the Solomon Islands:

  • Airfare: $1,500
  • Accommodation: $700 ($100/night for 7 nights in a budget guesthouse or homestay)
  • Food: $210 ($15/day for 7 days)
  • Activities: $700 ($100/day for 7 days, including snorkeling and island hopping tours)

Total: $3,210

This budget is based on traveling on a budget, staying in budget accommodation, eating local food and participating in budget-friendly activities. Keep in mind that prices can vary depending on the time of year, and if you're looking for luxury accommodations and activities, the costs can be higher.

 

It's also important to consider other expenses such as travel insurance, transportation costs, visa fees, and personal expenses such as souvenirs. It's always good to have some extra budget for contingencies, and also to have some local currency for small expenses or tips.

Cost & Spending

SOLOMON ISLANDS TRAVEL TIPS

Here are some travel tips for the Solomon Islands:

  • Pack accordingly: The Solomon Islands is a tropical country, so pack light and comfortable clothing, a hat, sunscreen, and insect repellent. Also, pack a good pair of walking shoes, as many of the islands are only accessible by foot.
  • Research your destination: The Solomon Islands is made up of many islands, and each one has its own unique culture and customs. Research the island you plan to visit and learn about the local customs and etiquette to ensure you have a respectful and enjoyable experience.
  • Get vaccinated: Some areas of the Solomon Islands may be at risk for certain diseases such as Malaria, so it's important to get the appropriate vaccinations and take precautions to protect yourself from mosquitoes.
  • Respect the environment: The Solomon Islands is home to many beautiful and unique ecosystems. Help preserve them by practicing responsible tourism and leaving no trace.
  • Be flexible: The Solomon Islands is a remote destination, and things may not always go as planned. Be prepared for unexpected delays or changes, and have a positive attitude.
  • Learn some phrases: The official language of the Solomon Islands is English, but many locals also speak Pidgin. Learn some basic phrases to make communication easier and show respect to the locals.
  • Be prepared for a cash-based economy: Many places in the Solomon Islands do not accept credit cards, so make sure you have enough cash on hand to pay for expenses.
  • Be respectful of the local culture: The Solomon Islands is a diverse place with many different cultures. Show respect for the local customs and traditions, and avoid taking photographs of sacred sites without permission.
Travel Tips

SIGHTS & HIGHLIGHTS OF SOLOMON ISLANDS

The Solomon Islands is an archipelago nation made up of several main islands and many smaller islands, each with its own unique culture, history, and natural beauty. Here are some of the main regions of the Solomon Islands and their highlights:

  • Guadalcanal: This is the largest island of the Solomon Islands and is home to the country's capital city, Honiara. Guadalcanal is known for its World War II history and is a popular destination for diving and snorkeling. Visitors can explore the World War II Heritage Trail, which includes the US War Memorial, the Japanese War Memorial, and the Lunga Point Battlefield.
  • Malaita: This island is located to the east of Guadalcanal and is known for its traditional culture and art. Visitors can witness traditional dances, witness the making of traditional artifacts, and learn about the island's customs and traditions.
  • Makira: This island is located to the east of Malaita and is known for its beautiful beaches, dense rainforests, and diverse wildlife. Visitors can explore the Ulawa Island Cultural Centre, which showcases the island's traditional artifacts, and take a guided hike through the rainforest to spot exotic birds and other wildlife.
  • Choiseul: This island is located to the northwest of Guadalcanal and is known for its pristine beaches, crystal-clear waters, and traditional villages. Visitors can enjoy snorkeling and diving in the clear waters, and take a guided tour of the traditional villages to learn about the island's customs and traditions.
  • Isabel: Isabel island is located to the north of Choiseul, and it is known for its natural beauty and cultural heritage. Visitors can explore the Isabel War Memorial, which honors the island's role in World War II, and visit the traditional villages to learn about the island's customs and traditions.
  • Temotu: This is the easternmost province of the Solomon Islands and is known for its remote and unspoiled islands. Visitors can explore the remote islands by boat, see the traditional villages and their customs, and enjoy snorkeling and diving in the crystal-clear waters.

These are just some examples of the main regions of the Solomon Islands and their highlights. Each island has its own unique culture and attractions, so it's worth visiting multiple islands to get a sense of the country's diversity.

Highlights
What To See & Do
Travel Map

The Solomon Islands is an archipelago nation with a diverse array of cultures, history, and natural beauty. Here are some of the best things to see and do when visiting the Solomon Islands:

  • World War II Heritage Trail: The Solomon Islands played an important role in World War II and the Heritage Trail is a must-see for history buffs. It includes the US War Memorial, the Japanese War Memorial, and the Lunga Point Battlefield.
  • Snorkeling and diving: The Solomon Islands is known for its crystal-clear waters and diverse marine life. Visitors can go snorkeling and diving to see a wide variety of fish, coral, and other marine life.
  • Traditional village visits: The Solomon Islands is home to many traditional villages, each with its own unique customs and traditions. Visitors can take a guided tour to learn about the island's customs and traditions.
  • Island hopping: With many beautiful islands, Visitors can explore the Solomon Islands by taking a boat tour to visit different islands and see the natural beauty and culture of each one.
  • Surfing: The Solomon Islands is known for its great waves, and surfers can enjoy the beautiful breaks and ride the waves.
  • Fishing: The Solomon Islands is known for its great fishing opportunities and visitors can enjoy deep-sea fishing, fly-fishing and freshwater fishing.
  • Hiking: The Solomon Islands is home to many beautiful rainforests, and visitors can take a guided hike to see exotic birds and other wildlife.
  • Cultural festivals and events: The Solomon Islands has many cultural festivals and events throughout the year, such as the Solomon Islands Festival of Arts and the Malaita Cultural Show. These events are a great way to experience the island's culture and customs.
  • Relax on the beach: The Solomon Islands has many beautiful beaches, visitors can relax on the beach, swim in the clear waters, or take a sunbathing.

These are just some examples of the many things to see and do in the Solomon Islands. There are many more activities and attractions to experience, so it's worth taking the time to research the specific island or region you plan to visit and plan your itinerary accordingly.

Solomon Islands
What To Eat

WHAT TO EAT IN SOLOMON ISLANDS

WHAT TO EAT IN SOLOMON ISLANDS

The Solomon Islands is a melting pot of cultures, and its cuisine reflects its diverse heritage. Here are some traditional foods to try when visiting the Solomon Islands:

 

  • Kastom (traditional) dishes: The Solomon Islands have a rich tradition of kastom (traditional) dishes that are often made with fresh fish, coconut milk, and root vegetables. Some popular kastom dishes include: Palusami - A dish made from taro leaves wrapped around a mixture of coconut milk, onion, and meat or fish. Lap-lap - A dish made from grated taro or yam that is mixed with coconut milk and then wrapped in banana leaves and cooked over an open fire. Taro - A staple food in the Solomon Islands, Taro is a root vegetable that is often boiled or steamed and served with meat or fish.
  • Seafood: The Solomon Islands is surrounded by the ocean and seafood is a staple in many of the island's dishes. Fresh fish, crab, prawns, and lobster can be found in many local restaurants.
  • Cassava: Cassava is a root vegetable that is commonly used in Solomon Islands dishes. It's often boiled or roasted and served as a side dish or mixed into a stew.
  • Rice: Rice is a staple food in Solomon Islands, it's often served with meat or fish and a variety of vegetables.
  • Fresh fruits: The Solomon Islands has many tropical fruits that are delicious and nutritious. Some of the most popular fruits include coconut, mango, papaya, and pineapple.
  • Fried or grilled meat: Fried or grilled meat is also a staple food in the Solomon Islands, Chicken, pork and beef are often served with rice and vegetables.
  • Betel nut: Betel nut is a popular traditional stimulant that is often chewed in Solomon Islands. It is made from the nut of the Areca tree and is wrapped in a betel leaf.
  • Local beer and spirits: The Solomon Islands has a few local beers and spirits that are worth trying. Some of the most popular local drinks include: SolBrew, the Solomon Islands' leading beer brand, and War Club, a local spirit made from sugarcane.

These are just a few examples of the many delicious foods to try when visiting the Solomon Islands. Be sure to try different dishes and ask locals for recommendations to get the most out of your culinary experience.

LGBTQ IN SOLOMON ISLANDS

Solomon Islands

WHERE TO STAY IN SOLOMON ISLANDS

For your first visit to the Solomon Islands, choosing the right base is essential to experience the country's pristine beaches, diverse marine life, and vibrant culture. Here's a breakdown of top areas and accommodations:


Where To Stay In Honiara:

Honiara is the capital city and serves as a gateway to the Solomon Islands, offering cultural attractions like the National Museum and bustling markets.

  • Budget Accommodation: Consider staying at the King Solomon Hotel for affordable rooms and a central location near Honiara's sights.

  • Mid-range Accommodation: The Heritage Park Hotel provides comfortable accommodations with modern amenities and easy access to the city center.

  • Luxury Accommodation: Opt for the luxurious ambiance of the Coral Sea Resort & Casino, featuring upscale rooms, a casino, and waterfront views.

Best Value Tip: Look for accommodation deals and promotions during the offseason (November to April) for better rates.


Where To Stay In Gizo:

Gizo is a laid-back town located on Ghizo Island, known for its stunning coral reefs, diving spots, and World War II history.

  • Budget Accommodation: Consider staying at Sanalae Island Resort for affordable beachfront bungalows and a relaxed atmosphere.

  • Mid-range Accommodation: The Gizo Hotel offers comfortable accommodations with ocean views and easy access to dive sites and local attractions.

  • Luxury Accommodation: Opt for the luxurious ambiance of Fatboys Resort, featuring upscale overwater bungalows, a restaurant, and a dive shop.

Best Value Tip: Book accommodation with diving packages or tour bundles for better value for money.


Where To Stay In Munda:

Munda is a remote town on New Georgia Island, renowned for its World War II relics, unspoiled reefs, and stunning natural beauty.

  • Budget Accommodation: Consider staying at Agnes Gateway Hotel for affordable rooms and a waterfront location near dive sites and historical sites.

  • Mid-range Accommodation: The Titiru Eco Lodge offers comfortable accommodations with a focus on sustainability and easy access to Munda's attractions.

  • Luxury Accommodation: Opt for the luxurious ambiance of Zipolo Habu Resort, featuring upscale beachfront villas, a spa, and guided tours.

Best Value Tip: Visit Munda during the dry season (April to October) for ideal weather conditions and better visibility for diving and snorkeling.


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