The Unspoiled Solomon Islands
So near and yet... A group of Pacific islands north-east from Australia, just close enough to Papua New Guinea to fly over and borrow a cup of sugar, and just a three-hour flight from Brisbane, the Solomon Islands beckon the adventurous traveler who doesn’t need to be coddled.
The Solomon Islands is a sovereign nation of six major islands and over 900 smaller islands in the South Pacific. The islands have many WWII-era sites. Guadalcanal, a province and one of the archipelago’s largest islands, honors fallen Allied soldiers at its U.S. War Memorial. Guadalcanal is also home to the nation’s capital, Honiara. The capital city has a bustling Central Market that is famous for the islands’ produce and traditional handicrafts.
Solomon Islanders share a diverse history and cultural background. The population is mostly of Melanesian descent but is also made up of Polynesians, Micronesians, Chinese and Europeans. There are approximately 550,000 people living in the Solomons and about 70,000 live in the capital city. The islands have been settled since at least some time between 30,000 and 28,800 BCE, with later waves of migrants, notably the Lapita people, mixing and producing the modern indigenous Solomon Islanders population.
Located in the Coral Triangle, the Solomon Islands are known for their diverse aquatic life, ranging from macro to pelagic life. In fact, roughly 75% of the ocean’s coral species are found in the Coral Triangle. As an emerging tourist destination, Solomon’s reefs are untouched, and the waters generally aren't overcrowded with divers.
Leru Cut is one of Solomon’s most famous dive sites, known for its canyon that sits high above the water and dives deep into the ocean. Ideal diving time is between 11 am and 2 pm as the sun trickles into the cut and illuminates the underwater vegetation, making this a stunning stop for photographers. Divers can search for hidden nudibranchs and octopi or swim over to the nearby wall teeming with sharks, turtles, and schools of triggerfish. The cut can only be accessed by liveaboard and is located in the Eastern Russell Islands.
The history of World War II is apparent in Solomon’s waters, with wrecks and artifacts resting on the sandy bottom. Six months of warfare took place in the Pacific, resulting in nearly 70 ships and almost 700 planes being destroyed. Currently, these wrecks live on as habitats for marine life and as sites for divers to explore. In Wickham Lagoon, there are multiple unidentified Japanese cargo vessels. In the Florida Islands, there are several Japanese and US aircraft wrecks. Hai Island’s site, White Beach, named after a US military code, has a reef constructed of trucks, tractors, bulldozers, and ammo. The artificial reef is now home to jawfish, archerfish, harlequin shrimp, and more. This site is ideal for wreck fanatics, history buffs, and macro lovers.
Off the coast of the Florida Islands are several exciting dives like the northern wall, sandy channel, and two abandoned wrecks with countless glassfish, anthias, and damsels. There is a coral garden with giant clams, peacock mantis shrimp dens, and cuttlefish on the eastern side. The Devil’s Highway is close to the shore and is home to giant manta rays. Near this manta haven is a shallow reef where visitors often drift as they experience the pelagic life feed and swim. Divers looking for a thrill can visit Mary Island and feel the rumbles from the underwater volcano. Barracuda, jacks, and sharks are often spotted at this site.
Visitors can choose from a selection of resorts and liveaboard for their Solomon diving adventures. The Solomon Islands are ideal for divers looking for a quiet, pristine experience, with countless caves, wrecks, and reefs to explore. We recommend the Bilikiki liveaboard for an amazing dive adventure in the Solomon Islands.
Six Awesome Liveaboard Destinations
Liveaboards provide a one-of-a-kind experience for travelers looking to fully submerge themselves into a diving adventure. Guests are able to spend a week (or more!) filling their days with diving and their nights watching the sunset across the open water. Liveaboards can provide all of the same luxuries as a typical on land resort such as spa treatments, snorkeling, gourmet meals, and excursions. Here are our picks of some of the six best destinations for a liveaboard vacation.
1) Galápagos Islands - Ecuador
The Galapagos Islands are scattered across the equator and have warm weather year-round. While diving in the Pacific waters surrounding the islands is great all year, December to May is the warmest season with the calmest waters and highest visibility. Divers during this season most often see hammerhead sharks and manta rays. July to November is ideal for more advanced divers hoping for more intense, choppier waters. Although the ocean is generally a bit colder during this season, it is known for nutrient-rich water that attracts all kinds of sea life, specifically whale sharks. Diving in the Galapagos is done on liveaboards from tenders or Zodiacs, and guests are able to have a unique experience living out on the open waters.
2) Socorro Island - Mexico
Socorro Island is the largest island in the Revillagigedo Archipelago and is famous for its vibrant wildlife, both on and off the shore. The volcanic island does not have an airport, making it a popular spot for liveaboards. The diving season lasts from November to May as that is when the water is at its calmest. Throughout this season, divers often get to see hammerhead sharks, manta rays, whale sharks, and humpback whales. From January to March, there are even frequent sightings of bottlenose dolphins. In addition to these, sightings of silky sharks, Galapagos sharks, whitetip reef sharks, and silvertip sharks are possible as well. Getting to the Socorros requires an open ocean crossing about 22 hours from Cabo San Lucas, Baja California.
3) Raja Ampat - Indonesia
Located off the coast of Bird’s Head Peninsula in West Papua, Raja Ampat is an Indonesian archipelago that is known for its extensive biodiversity. The islands form part of the Coral Triangle — an area known as a home to 76% of known coral species. In Raja Ampat’s waters, there is countless marine life and stunning coral reefs to see. The most popular sights include manta rays, reef sharks, walking sharks, turtles, nudibranchs, and so much more. Diving in Raja Ampat is ideal from October to April as it has the driest weather with calm seas that make for smooth liveaboard sailing. The clear waters consistently have a visibility of 80-100 ft all year long, which is perfect for spotting even the smallest of critters.
4) Tubbataha Reef - Philippines
Tubbataha Reef is a protected marine park in the Philippines’ Sula Sea. It is known for being a nesting ground for green sea turtles and is made up of a northern atoll, southern atoll, and the Jessie Beazley Reef. Visitors can only explore the clear waters from a liveaboard as it is located over 10 hours away from land. The diving season takes place from mid-March to mid-June as that is when the water is at its calmest and clearest with a visibility of up to 114 feet. The reef is known for its vast biodiversity as it is reported to have over 1,200 species — 181 of which are threatened.
5) Solomon Islands - Oceania Pacific
Diving in the Solomon Islands is perfect for visitors hoping for a more private, secluded experience with untouched reefs. There are nearly a thousand islands in the archipelago, and almost all of them are uninhabited. The water temperature is consistently in the low to high 80s, making it comfortable to dive in year-round. However, January through April is monsoon season, which brings the greatest amounts of wind and rain that could disrupt diving. What makes the Solomon Islands so unique is that their waters hold a time capsule that sends divers back to World War II with its numerous plane and shipwrecks at various depths. In addition to these one-of-a-kind wrecks, divers can also explore reefs, walls, slopes, pinnacles, and more. Visitors can choose to spend their time in the Solomon Islands on a liveaboard or from a resort on land.
6) Chuuk Lagoon - Micronesia
Chuuk Lagoon is a mountainous island that was once a former Japanese naval base during the second world war. The island’s history has been kept alive in its own waters with its array of sunken treasure, submerged ships teeming with marine life, and even human remains. Divers in the Lagoon’s Pacific waters get to explore part of this history, and often even find artifacts such as ammunition or guns. The wrecks vary in their depth, making them accessible for just about any level of diver. The temperature is consistently warm year-round; however, December to April is ideal due to the lack of rainfall and wind during this season.
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World Wide Dive & Sail
Now booking the new Solomons PNG Master Liveaboard
Contact us for Booking details, availability and pricing
Solomon PNG Master is a custom designed diving vessel with 12 cabins accommodating up to 20 guests and a crew of 12 including your dive team, skipper, boat crew and chefs. Inside she boasts a huge lounge and dining area with DVDs, large TVs and a dedicated camera area for our photographer guests. Spend time sharing your photos from your adventure, reading a book from our library or just hanging out in air conditioned comfort.
The Solomon Islands comprise 992 islands, of which only 147 are inhabited. Situated to the southeast of Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands are one of the most peaceful and beautiful areas of the Pacific. They also have some of the most pristine dive sites in the world. These are filled with innumerable unspoiled hard and soft corals because of the remote location and the limited number of divers. Indulge yourself exclusively in diving with pilot whales, various kinds of sharks, mantas and huge shoals of fish, right down to the macro wonders such as pygmy sea horses, nudibranchs and ghost pipefish. The marine diversity of the Solomon Islands is hard to beat!
MV Solomon Star Liveaboard
Solomon Islands Dive Expeditions
The Solomon Islands have some of the most pristine dive sites in the world. Unspoiled because of the remote location, there are not many divers to put pressure on the reef and fish. Divers experience caverns, wide-angle reefs, large sea fans, soft corals, lots of macro. There is an incredible diversity of hard corals. In fact, the diversity of the Solomon's is hard to beat.
The Solomon Star is a 22 meter Catamaran live-aboard dive vessel. She is spacious inside and out and has been specifically designed with divers in mind. Each cabin has en-suite toilets and showers for your comfort. All rooms are also fully air-conditioned. Solomon Star has an extensive open dive deck with excellent storage capacity for extended passages and for storing delicate equipment. The majority of the dives are done directly off the deck rather than off skiffs meaning we can offer more dives and longer dives than any other operator. As a steel hulled catamaran she is the most stable and maneuverable vessel in the Solomon Islands, ideal for making crossings in all types of weather.
Current rates for 7 night charters: Quad Share $2415; Standard Twin Share $3045; Premium Twin Share $3115. All rates in USD. Contact us for discount pricing on this liveaboard.
Rates include: airport transfers, on-board accommodation, meals and snacks, unlimited diving, weights and belt, tanks and air fills. Additional on board costs include reef tax, bar drinks, nitrox, gear hire, gratuities and personal purchases.