“If your idea of paradise is following jungle trails around the base of a volcano to reach a village where people welcome you into thatched huts – well, you’re right.”
Discover Solomon Islands
Many people find it hard to leave the Solomon Islands. In 1965, a lone Japanese soldier in vintage combat gear was spotted in an islander’s garden. After he retreated into the jungle, pamphlets were dropped explaining that Word War II had in fact ended two decades earlier. The Japanese ambassador flew in to assist with the search, and eventually the soldier reappeared. Ostensibly the honours he received on returning to Tokyo were to ease his embarrassment at having spent so long in hiding. But the hero’s welcome may actually have been to compensate for cutting short the first bespoke vacation in the Solomon Islands.
We don’t imagine you’ll want to spend quite so long in this South Pacific archipelago, but who knows – as you watch another perfect sunset, drink in hand, from the deck of your luxury yacht, you may start feeling that it wouldn’t take much to disappear entirely from your usual world. Although, having flown well east of Papua New Guinea to a few tiny dots in a sea of blue – where have you come to, exactly?
To get around, we’d recommend a combination of small planes and a private yacht to reach the less accessible areas. From your private floating base, you can dive every morning and snorkel amidst bright coral and schools of rainbow-hued fish. Also intriguing, albeit more sobering, is the area known as Iron Bottom Sound – named for the hundreds of ships that were sunk in the naval skirmishes of 1942–1943. Indeed, the whole region area is a living museum of World War II history. We’ll connect you with historians who can explain all that transpired here – including the fierce battle for Guadalcanal, the largest of the islands, which was pivotal in the U.S. advance across the Pacific.
You’ll find additional great diving in Marovo Lagoon, with its coral gardens, drop-offs, caves, wrecks and endless supply of iridescent fish. It’s also a great spot for kayaking – or you could consider scaling 2,900ft Mount Mariu. On Tetepare Island you can help rangers tag and release sea turtles, go snorkelling with dugongs (mammal cousins of the manatees) or head out by canoe on crocodile-spotting expeditions.
Whatever catches your fancy, the Solomon Islands bring new reality to the notion of getting away from it all. You might combine some exploring here with a trek in nearby Papua New Guinea – provided you don’t slip into hiding for a couple of decades in the ultimate tax shelter.
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To discuss what interests you about this or any other destination, call us: +44 203 358 0110