A relatively undiscovered group of islands sitting in the South Pacific just east of Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands are a strategically-located series of islands that sit between the Coral Sea, the Solomon Sea, and the South Pacific. A British protectorate until 1978, the country has since won its independence, although there are a number of civil wars and other tensions between the various ethnic groups as to who really controls what. Up until 1930 the islanders still practiced cannibalism and head-hunting, which gives the islands an ethereal feel that simply cannot be found anywhere else on Earth.
The Solomon Islands are considered the best place on the planet to experience the ultimate Melanesian experience, as well as for snorkeling and diving. There are plenty of coral reefs and underwater volcanoes bubbling away, and guided shark tours can give you an up-close-and-personal view of all sorts of sea life. There are also plenty of sunken World War II wrecks, and the shallow lagoons make for perfect days of just lazing around in the water with nothing on your agenda but pure indulgence.
Malaria is an issue when traveling to the Solomon Islands, so be sure to take plenty of pills along with you. Accommodations are colorful at best, and visitors looking for a resort-style vacation should probably look elsewhere. This is more of an island adventure getaway than a luxury-style Caribbean destination. The islands are a maze of untouched beauty that has not yet been claimed by industrialized mass tourism, and now is the perfect time to experience the cultural and tropical feel of this South Pacific paradise.
Visitors should take the time to visit Lola Island and its pristine diving conditions, or the wildlife around Lake Te’Nggano, listed as a World Heritage site. The coral reefs of the Central Province area are a must-see, and staying in the villages in Malaita can give you a tribal feel that will soon have you wondering if perhaps you couldn’t just leave it all behind and live out the rest of your days as one of the tribesmen.