Author: Irina Darovko
Exotic islands in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, covered with equatorial forests and savannahs, are one of the few places on the planet that have retained their original appearance.
Who and why comes to the Solomon Islands
True explorers and adventurers choose the Solomon Islands as the direction of their travel: away from the tourist megacities, there is an opportunity to plunge into the calm, relaxing atmosphere of primitive life among secluded golden beaches, jungles and hospitable islanders.
This corner of the Earth has become the most sought after for divers, whose views reveal intact coral reefs, colorful marine fauna, ships and aircraft sunk during World War II.
Local cuisine, woven from Polynesian and Melanesian traditions, will appeal to lovers of seafood, grilled meat, yams and coconut.
Notable islands and cities
The capital of the state is located in the northern part of the island of Guadalcanal and serves as the starting point for all excursions to the Solomon Islands. The beginning of the tourist route is the place of Point Cruz, where, according to legend, in honor of his discovery, the Spaniard Mendanya de Neira stuck a cross.
Of interest is the building of the National Parliament, which has a conical shape, as well as the National Museum, which contains historical and cultural artifacts. The Central Bank of the country presents an original exhibition of traditional coins, and in the botanical gardens you can get acquainted with rare species of plants and trees.
About a hundred reefs of Arnavon barely rise above sea level — sometimes only tens of centimeters, which contributes to the constant fishing. Also known as Turtle Island, Arnavon has become home to rare marine reptiles, the hawksbill, for which a natural reserve has been established.
The island of volcanoes and mountain ranges seems to be immersed in clouds and devoid of modern infrastructure. Nevertheless, it is famous for the abundance of sunken ships, and therefore divers and fans of outdoor activities come here. Hot mineral springs of the island also become a point of attraction for tourists.
The most extensive land area in the archipelago is dotted with volcanoes and thickets, but it is here that Honiara settled, and up to 40% of the country’s total population lives.
The sites of battles between the Americans and the Japanese that broke out during World War II are invariably an important tourist route. And fragments of military equipment still lie in the waters surrounding the island.
Santa Isabel Island
This 200-kilometer island is the longest and least explored in the archipelago. Due to the lack of roads on the island, residents of settlements are forced to move by sea.
The composition of Santa Isabel, in addition to Arnavon, includes the island of San Jorge, on which strange phenomena of a mystical nature are recorded. Local villages are also located here, from where you can bring a national souvenir — a fabric made of paper mulberry, dyed with orchid juice.
This island features an extensive network of smaller artificial islands built by local residents to increase land for housing and growing plants. The area is densely populated by indigenous tribes, one of which — the Kwaio group — is a relic.
The best-known Malaitan tradition is the cult of shark worship, which is especially pronounced during festivals and rituals, such as the impressive and dangerous practice of «summoning the shark» by knocking on stones and pork meat.
The resort of the Solomon Islands has all the necessary infrastructure to attract tourists interested in recreation. In addition to white-sand beaches, conditions for diving, snorkeling and fishing, here you can ride a boat, climb the Kolombangara volcano and visit a crocodile farm.
Mataniko and Tenaru waterfalls
Honiara has two picturesque waterfalls that form natural pools where you can swim. The Mataniko Falls descends into a cave that is favored by swallows and bats. And stalactites and stalagmites «grew» over the entire area of the gorge.
The largest salt lagoon in the world is located on the island of New Georgia. Thousands of coral reefs and volcanic rocks frame it along the perimeter, and the shores are inhabited by tribes with pronounced local traditions. The most famous of them is the manufacture of handicrafts from shells.
Also on the territory of the lagoon is the tourist village of World Heritage, which is popular with guests of the islands.
Rennell and Bellona atolls
The two most popular areas are known as habitats for endemic species of animals, birds and plants. They are nature reserves. Rennell Island is the highest atoll in the world. Tourists are attracted to reef dive sites, active volcanoes and the Pacific Lake Tengano, where orchids grow.
On the island of Bellona, you can see the living caves of the Hithi people and admire the local Hetakai martial art. And various souvenirs and handicrafts, such as pandanus rugs and baskets, will please every traveler.