Snorkeling in the Solomon Islands
Snorkeling in the Solomon Islands
Snorkeling in the Solomon Islands introduces ocean addicts to exquisite coral reefs, crystal clear waters and stunning scenery. Over 900 islands make up this isolated country in Oceania, situated east of Papua New Guinea and to the northwest of Vanuatu in the southwest Pacific ocean. The sheer number of islands means that there is an endless amount of coastline for snorkelers to explore, and because much of it is relatively remote the marine life is incredibly pristine and unspoilt. The natives are friendly, infrastructure good, and the atmosphere relaxed, all making for a perfect destination for the keen snorkeler.
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Marine Life in the Solomon Islands
Any snorkel trip to the Solomon Islands will showcase a wide variety of beautiful marine life, in exceptional conditions. There's an incredible array of both hard and soft corals, as well as coral bommies, sparkling in the sunlight and showcasing the full range of shapes and colours. Snorkeling in the Solomon Islands exposes visitors to much of the life on show as a high percentage of it thrives in the shallows, and so when combining this with excellent visibility you are sure to be in for treat. The corals are extremely healthy and able to support huge ecosystems which include many reef fish such as Angelfish, Parrotfish, Surgeonfish and Trout. They are commonly joined by menacing reef sharks - in particular Blacktips - circling and darting in and around the reefs, and sometimes larger pelagic species. The Solomon Islands were the site of some epic World War Two battles, which resulted in the sinking of many warships, submarines and aircraft. These have developed into world class artificial reefs over the years, becoming home to the full range of reef inhabitants. They present an intriguing combination of human history and underwater nature.
Best Snorkel Sites in the Solomon Islands
Snorkel trips in the Solomon Islands often visit several different places, bringing together many different aspects of the underwater environment. The best sites in the Solomon Islands are at Mary Island, Morovo Lagoon, Florida Islands and Russel Islands. Mary Island is situated in the open ocean, with some spectacular vertical walls and drop offs. There's all manner of life here, frequented regularly by several shark species, and excellent examples of large schools of reef fish. In the shallows there are some wonderful opportunities to view colourful macro life, although it can be hard to spot - your guide will know where to look and will often point out interesting creatures that you'd maybe miss otherwise. Many snorkel tours in the Solomon Islands will spend some time at huge Morovo Lagoon which is one of the largest salt water lagoons in the world. There's a good mix of shallow and deep snorkelling spots, all with fabulous visibility. It's common to view dozens of Blacktip Reef Sharks in parts here, dispersed amongst pristine reefs and pretty tropical fish. The stunning colours of the underwater reef systems surrounding Russel Islands make for some incredible snorkeling spots. There's anything from calm, gentle and shallow coral gardens to daunting drop offs and steep walls. All the snorkel sites here are full of life, refreshingly undisturbed and as healthy as anywhere you are likely to visit. The Florida Islands are a snorkel site unique in that they contain several war time relics, including warships and planes. Visitors are able to snorkel over mangroves, reefs, and wrecks, which are all home to the likes of sharks, Rays, reef fish and colourful corals. Snorkeling in the Solomon Islands will often involve spending a lot of time at this site, giving ample opportunity to make the most of what is on offer beneath the surface.
Best Time To Snorkel In The Solomon Islands
Thankfully favourable conditions mean that Solomon Islands snorkeling is excellent throughout the year. If you are flexible enough to be able to choose a particular time, then some people say the best time to visit is between July and September, when rainfall and humidity are at their lowest, and temperatures a little more pleasant. Water temperatures are lovely, normally between 26 and 29°Celsius, and visibility is commonly in excess of 20 metres - sometimes reaching 30 metres plus. The reliable sunlight, warm temperatures, and glass like waters ensure the Solomon Islands are always an excellent choice for snorkeling.
How Do I Get To The Solomon Islands?
Snorkel tours and trips can be undertaken in a variety of different ways, with one of the best ways being via liveaboard, enabling visitors to encompass many of the best sites within the Solomon Islands in a single trip over a few days. Operators often start from the port of Honiara, returning here once the trip has finished. As the capital city, Honiara has a well connected international airport, with regular flights to and from a number of overseas locations. The most common connections are from Australia and Fiji.