Solomon Islands is located in the South Pacific Ocean, east of Papua New Guinea. The nation is an archipelago, with hundreds of islands spread out over an area of 28,000 square kilometers. The distance between the two furthermost islands on the east and west of the country is close to 1500 kilometers. Honiara is the capital city of Solomon Islands, located in the Guadalcanal province. The country has active volcanoes, coral atolls and two eco-regions within its territory. You can find hundreds of tropical trees and colorful flowers throughout the country. The region has been populated by people since 30,000 B.C.
Solomon Islands People and Culture
Although the population consists mainly of native Melanesians, most of the country’s population has been converted to Christianity over the years. Anglicans are a majority, followed by Roman Catholics, Baptists, Seventh Day Adventists and other sects of Protestants. There are small tribal populations that have stuck to their indigenous beliefs as well.
English is the official language however very few people in the country actually speak it. Melanesian pidgin is a widely spoken language, alongside with 120 other languages spoken by various tribes around the country.
Things To Do In Solomon Islands
There are loads of things to do in Solomon Islands. There are active volcanoes, WWII wreaks, ancient villages to explore and people of various cultures to interact with as you travel across the country.
Being an archipelago, all the popular activities are in and around the ocean. There are many coral atolls in the region, making it a perfect place for snorkeling. Hundreds of sites are scattered all over the longest lagoon in the world, where you can snorkel and take in the beauty of the corals. If you want something more adventurous, you can scuba dive to wrecks and watch rays in their natural habitat. You can also go kayaking or take a lazy swim near the coast.
Food and Restaurants in Solomon Islands
The cuisine of Solomon Islands is as varied as the people and the culture of the country. There are influences from all over Asia that can be seen in the local cuisines, along with western influences as well which have been infused into the culture over the last few centuries, since the first Europeans set foot in the region.
You can also have traditional Filipino, Japanese, Chinese, French and other international cuisines in cafes and restaurants all over the country. Given the location of the country, you can also get some of the freshest seafood you have ever had, from fish, prawns, shrimp, crabs and many other varieties to tease your palate.
Shopping & Leisure in Solomon Islands
There are not many nightclubs in the country, although you will find a lot of happening places to party. Locals are a vibrant bunch and on most of the bigger islands, they will welcome you to join their parties and gatherings, where you can have local food and beverages and dance away the evening with the locals.
Solomon Islands is an ecotourism hotspot. It is not a typical tropical beach resort type of a destination. Because of this, there are not a lot of touristy markets and shopping areas in the country. The capital city of Honiara has a few shops and markets where you can shop for local goods.
Transportation in Solomon Islands
There are many ways of getting to the country with flights being the fastest and most popular mode of transport for travelers. You can fly and to and from anywhere in the world to the Solomon Islands, except Fiji, which suspended connections due to a dispute. The international airport is located just 8 kilometers outside the capital city of Honiara.
You can also take cruise ships to the Islands. However, these cruises are part of packages and are not be used as a one way transport to the country. There are canoes and boats that can be hired to travel from Papua New Guinea to Solomon Islands, although safety concerns are high in these services.
Citizens of all other countries need a passport and a visa to enter Solomon Islands. Citizens of many countries can get visa on arrival, while others need to apply in advance. Check in advance to know what you are eligible for and plan accordingly.
The climate is mostly the same through the year. It is very humid with temperatures averaging 27 degree Celsius. Check the temperatures in the region that you plan to visit as there are a few places which experience extreme temperatures at times. November to April is where it rains more than usual while June to August is relatively cooler. The cooler season is also when most travelers visit the country.