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  • Solomon Islands

    Solomon Islands travel guide

    Overview

    Blessed with sun-soaked, coconut palm-fringed beaches andcrystalline waters, the remote and unspoiled archipelago of nearlya thousand islands and atolls of the Solomon Islands is becoming anincreasingly popular eco-tourism destination, offering world-classsnorkeling, scuba diving, fishing, and surfing.

    Much of the country's economy is still based on subsistencefishing and, although the Solomon Islands deserves to be a worldbeater of a tourist destination. An unfortunate lack ofinfrastructure and amenities has kept the growth of the country'stourism sector in check. This is great news for those seeking abeach holiday in a tropical paradise but who don't want to goanywhere where the effects of mass tourism are alreadywidespread.

    Sprinkled across the South Pacific, these Melanesian islandshave seen a lot of history. It is believed that Papuan-speakingsettlers arrived around 30,000 BC, while the first European todiscover these gems was Álvaro de Mendaña de Neira, a Spanishnavigator who set out from Peru in 1893. During WWII, the SolomonIslands saw some fierce battles between the Japanese and the Alliedforces, including the Battle of Guadalcanal, and the shipwreckgraveyards beneath the turquoise waters bear testament to this.

    Explore some of the world's most diverse aquamarine life, whilelandlubbers can marvel at the islands' unique animals and plants,majestic volcanoes, and the world's rarest orchid. History buffswill love the WWII historical sites such as Iron Bottom Sound,where the remnants of sunken vessels lie in their watery graves.Popular islands and groups within the archipelago includeGuadalcanal, Santa Cruz, and Choiseul. The capital city of Honiaraon Guadalcanal has a number of interesting historical sites and abustling Central Market for souvenir shopping, along with severalrestaurants and nightclubs.

    Phrase Book

    English Pronounciation

    The Solomon Islands' climate is tropical, with little variationin temperature or humidity throughout the year. There are twodistinct seasons: a drier season (May to November), and a monsoonseason (December to April) where heavy rainfall is common and thereis a threat of tropical storms. The most comfortable time to visitthe Solomon Islands is between June and September, though the besttime for surfing in the Solomon Islands is between October andApril.

    Language:

    English is the official language.

    Electricity:

    Electrical current in the Solomon Islands is 230volts, 50Hz. The most commonly-used plug is the three-prongAustralian plug.

    Entry Requirements:

    A passport valid for six months from arrival is required. A visais required, and can be obtained on arrival for a maximum stay ofthree months.

    A passport valid for six months from arrival is required. A visais required, and can be obtained on arrival for a maximum stay ofthree months.

    A passport valid for six months from arrival is required. A visais required, and can be obtained on arrival for a maximum stay ofthree months.

    A passport valid for six months from arrival is required. A visais required, and can be obtained on arrival for a maximum stay ofthree months.

    A passport valid for six months after arrival is required. Avisa is required.

    A passport valid for six months from arrival is required. A visais required, and can be obtained on arrival for a maximum stay ofthree months.

    A passport valid for six months from arrival is required. A visais required, and can be obtained on arrival for a maximum stay ofthree months.

    A passport valid for six months from arrival is required. A visais required, and can be obtained on arrival for a maximum stay ofthree months.

    Passport/Visa Note:Visa:

    Visitors are required to hold return or onward tickets and proofof sufficient funds. It is highly recommended that passports haveat least six months validity remaining after your intended date ofdeparture from your travel destination. Immigration officials oftenapply different rules to those stated by travel agents and officialsources.

    Travel Health:

    A yellow fever vaccination is required for travellers to theSolomon Islands arriving from an infected area. Immunisationagainst hepatitis A and hepatitis B is recommended, and theterritory has in the past few years been subject to outbreaks ofdengue fever and rubella.

    A Measles-mumps-rubella vaccine is recommended for alltravellers born after 1956, as is a typhoid vaccine (exceptshort-term business travellers or cruise ship passengers). Tapwater should not be drunk unless it has been boiled, filtered orchemically disinfected.

    Medical facilities are very limited so pack a personal medicalkit and bring adequate supplies of all medications. Should a doctorbe needed, the main facility is the Central Hospital and NationalReferral Hospital in Honiara. Comprehensive medical insurance isrecommended for travellers.

    Local Customs:

    Local culture in the Solomon Islands is relaxed but traditional.While informal dress (including shorts) is acceptable, you shouldavoid wearing beachwear off the beach. Always show respect forolder people, especially in rural areas. Girls are not to showfriendliness to strangers of the opposite sex when accompanied bytheir relatives. If invited into a local's home, the guest will beexpected to eat first.

    Duty Free:

    Travellers to the Solomon Islands age 18 and older may importthe following goods duty-free: 200 cigarettes/250g cigars ortobacco, two litres liquor, other goods valued to SBD400. Offensiveweapons, pictures, and literature is prohibited, and firearms andammunition require a police permit obtained prior to arrival.

    Useful Contacts:

    Solomon Islands Embassies:

    Solomon Islands High Commission, New York, United States: (212)599 6192

    Solomon Consulate, Auckland, New Zealand: +64 9 255 5535

    Foreign Embassies in Solomon Islands :

    New Zealand High Comission, Honiara, Solomon Islands: +677 21502

    Solomon Islands Emergency Numbers :
    Solomon Islands