Before booking my trip to the Solomon Islands I knew basically nothing except that some of my Aunties friends lived there and showed me some awesome photos of a beach or two.
I researched the shit out of flights and airlines that travel between Pacific Island countries and after 2 weeks solid I found an itinerary where I could fly from Australia to New Caledonia to Vanuatu to Solomon Islands all for under $1000.
So when the time came near to actually touch down in the Solomons I started to actually research a bit more about the country and this was also when people started to tell my travel buddy to cancel the trip and boycott the country altogether..
I am SO, SO glad I went and can prove them all wrong!
Below are my best travel tips for the Solomon Islands 🙂 Please note I did only travel to Honiara and Florida Islands so I cannot give an opinion on the whole country, but believe I saw enough to write this post.
The Solomons are one of the least visited countries in the world. This doesn’t make it unsafe.. This makes it so untouched and so different to the “normal” tourist location that it may feel its unsafe just because of the atmosphere. There are political issues, there are drug & alcohol related issues, there is theft and basically any problem you experience in any city in any country.
Myself and my friend were 2 “white” girls traveling the Solomons alone and we had zero issues from anyone. I’ve had more problems in my own country and more in the “safer” countries of Central America! This is not to say that everyone is as lucky as us – a girl was raped in a hotel across the street from us the day we arrived. But after all of the “advice” we were given I expected to be just bombarded and terrorised everywhere I went and it didn’t happen once.
My only advice would be to consider this just the same as you would any city with issues and have your wits about you. We absolutely bumped into some drunken dudes we completely ignored, we saw some shady looking characters hanging out at the entrances to beaches that we wouldn’t dare approach and we avoided certain areas or streets at night.
So; just have your wits about you, don’t dress like you are going to a beach or a nightclub and avoid situations you feel uncomfortable with.
WHERE TO GO
The Solomon Islands is known for its incredible diving, snorkelling and untouched paradise islands. We had just 5 days so we explored Honiara and the mainland for 2.5 days and spent 2.5 days at Nugu Beach Resort on the Florida Islands (Nggella Islands.) Due to our limited timeframe and budget we chose to go there rather than fly to one of the other islands. This was incredible!! Read my blog about the Solomon Islands.
If you have time in Honiara head down to Solomon Motors (on the main strip) and hire a scooter for the day and head West. There is only one road and it will lead you through the most incredible villages and beaches where the locals treat you as royalty! We went as far as Visale Beach which took around 1.5 hours each way and there are plenty of beaches to stop at 🙂
In Honiara stay at Ofi’s Place Airbnb hosted by Kelly – For travellers on a budget this place is perfect with the most amazing hosts who will make you feel at home and help you with whatever travel advice you need 🙂
In Honiara eat at; Ofis for Pizza (Wednesday through Sunday for dinner), Taj Mahal Indian (in the city), Kokonut Cafe for lunch (had the best fish of my life there!) & the roadside BBQ’s to the West of the city around 15 minutes drive – the “mamas” have the BEST fried chicken served with rice & veggies for just $7. YUM!
If you only have a few days in the Solomons, but don’t want to spend it in Honiara then get out to Nugu Beach Resort for total relaxation or Raiders Dive Resort if you prefer the diving side of things with a touch more luxury.
Both are accessed by boat from Honiara and around 2 hours depending on the weather.
To book Raiders: https://raidershotel.com
How to book Nugu Beach Resort: Kelly our lovely Airbnb host arranged our Nugu trip so if you stay with her ask her to help you 🙂 Or you can call +677 747 7657 – They generally don’t need too much notice so you could probably arrange it when you’re there. Just allow enough time for them to get supplies such as food for your stay.
WHEN TO GO
We were in the Solomons during their “winter” which is basically their more bearable, cooler months. And it was hot as f***! And that’s coming from someone who lives in a tropical climate. If you are planning to visit in their hottest months you should probably book somewhere that has air-conditioning and possibly reconsider traveling when its more bearable.
- For girls dress modestly when visiting public places
- Wifi is scarce so make sure to tell your friends you could possibly be out of action
- Bartering is not a common practice, but know your price and stick to it. If you are told by a local that the bus is $3SBD, give the driver $3SBD
- Don’t drink the water, buy bottled water. I brushed my teeth with the water, but didn’t actually drink it and I was fine 🙂
- Be open! Don’t go to the Solomon’s being afraid and uptight. The locals are some of the friendliest I’ve ever met in the world and will help you in any situation plus give you endless amounts of smiles 🙂
*All in AUD and published in August 2016
- Honiara accommodation: Cost of a double room with fan & shared bathroom in Airbnb approx $70 per night/Average Hotel with Air Con $200 per night /5 star hotel $430 per night / Basic Twin at Nugu Beach Resort $50
- Average meal in a restaurant $15-$20 / Roadside BBQ $8 / Beer in a restaurant $5
- Cigarettes 25 pack $7
- 15 minute mini van “local bus” ride .50c
- Scooter Hire for 1 day $25
Flights and boats to the other islands are where your costs will increase dramatically. We paid $250 return for a banana boat to Nugu Beach Resort for 2 people. However, if you’re sharing it is less and I believe there are sometimes also cheaper water taxis.
If you have any questions Email Me 🙂 I’d be happy to help!