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Solomon Islands

By Scuba Diving Partner | Created On May 30, 2015
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Solomon Islands

With neighbors like Fiji, Australia and Papua New Guinea, you might think the Solomon Islands would have some pretty good diving. And you'd be right. The Solomon Islands are a group of 922 volcanic islands and coral islets spread across 1,000 miles of the tropical Pacific, about 1,250 miles northeast and across the Coral Sea from Queensland, Australia. There are six major islands--Guadalcanal, Malaita, New Georgia, Santa Isabel, Makira and Choiseul. As impressive as the Solomons Islands may be in terms of topside beauty and cultural attractions, the real attraction lies along the shallow coral reefs and shipwrecks.

There are now two prime areas of departure for the live-aboards of the Solomons, Honiara for the Russell and Florida Islands, and Gizo for tours to Choiseul and the Shortland Islands.

There are also shipwrecks from World War II, particularly around Guadalcanal, as well as a few merchant ships that now serve as prolific artificial reefs. The live-aboards tend not to spend much time on the Guadalcanal wrecks, but there are several day-dive operators who serve this market. For those interested in wreck diving, plan on a couple of days at the front or back end of a live-aboard tour and base out of a hotel in Honiara.

Water Temperature: The water temperature is in the 82 to 85 degrees range year-round. Note however that the live-aboards commonly do as many as four dives per day, so even in water this warm, thermal protection is advisable.

Visibility: Under most sea conditions, visibility ranges from 40 to 120 feet, but there is great variability from site to site.

Reef profiles: Reefs generally start close to the surface and drop off gradually so you can do your deeper dive first, yet still find ample compelling reef life at shallow depths for safe, interesting off-gassing. This multi-level diving is perfect for computer-assisted dive profiles.

Passports and Visas: Passports are required for entry into the Solomon Islands. A visitor's permit will be issued on arrival for citizens of the United States and most Commonwealth and European countries. A return or ongoing ticket must be presented as well.


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