Hearing about the Solomon Islands snorkeling scene was an exciting discovery since I love being under the water as much as I love being above the water. In fact, you could say that I’m in my element when I’m submerged in water . I tend to get lost under the ocean’s surface, especially when the world of wonder, color and beauty presents itself through the untouched world of coral, reef, fish and the unknown.
The Solomon Islands isn’t that well known to most travelers and yet for divers and snorkelers, it holds a gold mine of stunning coral, vegetation and unique marine life.
Solomon Islands Snorkeling
I’ve been snorkeling in the Caribbean and Mexico more than anywhere else in recent years and have found the coral to be dead or at a minimum, severely damaged through the abundance of tourism and traffic.
The Solomon Islands, which falls smack in the middle of the South Pacific, not too far from Fiji, Papua New Guinea and Australia, has an abundance of untouched crystal clear waters ripe for snorkeling and diving. It is a must “bucket list” destination for anyone who loves untouched reef and clean, warm aqua blue waters.
Snorkeling in the Solomons
Because the Solomon Islands makes up an archipelago of 992 tropical islands and atolls, there are plenty of spots for snorkeling. And, their water is precious. We had an opportunity to visit over the summer and spent as much time under the water as we did on land or on a boat.
While some of the best snorkeling and diving sites in the Solomon Islands are at Mary Island, Morovo Lagoon, Florida Islands and Russel Islands, we were told the real hot spots are Morovo Lagoon which is one of the largest salt water lagoons in the world and the diving off Munda.
The Wilderness Lodge touts incredible snorkeling off Bulo Island, which is apparently a short boat ride from Peava, known for its coral gardens, swim-throughs and walls with overhanging tropical rainforests. There’s also hidden skull shrines and like most spots in the Solomons, you’ll see plenty of parrot fish wherever you go.
Other wildlife and birds to see here include hawksbill turtles and hornbills. Additionally, Malemale Island is only five minutes from the lodge which boasts plenty of unique fish as well.
We spent most of our time snorkeling off a variety of islands we reached by banana boat from Munda and in Marau Sound in the very Eastern part of the Solomon Islands. Be sure to watch our video about our trip to Skull Island from Munda. Above and below are examples of some of the “magic” we saw during our trip.
An Oceania 7 Natural Wonder
The Solomons are located within a wider area known as the Coral Triangle. Here, the waters have been nominated as one of Oceania’s 7 natural wonders and described as the ‘Amazon of the Ocean’ because of the huge diversity of corals and tropical marine you can find here.
And, how’s this for impressive? The islands here have nearly 500 species of hard and soft corals as well as plenty of titan trigger fish, green and orange neon slugs, jacks, barracuda, rays and grey reef sharks. It makes up spawning grounds and migratory routes for 1,000 reef fish species, dolphins, rays, sharks, and six of the world’s seven species of marine turtles, among others.
Divers also know the Solomons for the number of wrecks you can see under the sea, particularly ones from World War II. You can easily spot aircraft, ships and submarines during a wreck dive here. The Solomon Islands Tourism site has a wealth of information on wreck diving as well as other things to do for nature lovers.
The Solomons for Diving
If you’ve got that PADI license and are eager to explore new diving spots, the Solomons is a great addition to your destination list. World War II remains are the main thing to explore here. Think: American oil tankers, navy destroyers, New Zealand mine sweepers and Japanese seaplanes to name a few.
Honiara, which is the capital and where you’ll fly into is home to amazing waters as well. You don’t have to travel far from Honiara to get to Iron Bottom Sound which has some incredible wreck diving and a side note to non-divers: some wrecks are shallow enough that you can see them with a snorkeling mask and fins only.
Below are some magical shots from Belinda and her team at Dive Munda who we had a chance to hang with when we stayed at the Agnes Hotel (a good spot to hang your hat if you want to dive with them, as its right on-site).
Dive Munda is an award-winning SSI Instructor Training Centre committed to sustainable dive eco-tourism. For more information on their dives and how to sync up with them, visit their website.
Other Useful Articles on the Solomon Islands
- The Tavanipupu Resort & Spa
- The Solomon Islands Art Scene
- Under the Sea in the Solomon Islands Snorkeling
- Traveling to Skull Island from Munda
- Your Ultimate Solomon Islands Travel Guide
Note: The trip to the Solomon Islands was made in conjunction with and the support of the Solomon Islands Tourism Board although all opinions expressed are entirely our own.