Solomon Islands Expedition
from $3345
Duration: 8 Days
The Solomon Islands may not come straight to mind when considering a cultural and tropical escape. However, with its abundance of pristine reefs and untouched beaches, village communities thriving in traditional ways of living, jungles strewn with wartime relics and a sense of relaxation everywhere you travel, this rarely visited destination may well be one of the South Pacific’s best kept secrets. Meet the villagers of Titiru as you join in on a community day, explore a local historian’s ‘museum’ of artefacts dating back to World War II, swim and snorkel off the paradisiacal Hopei and Tetepare islands and learn of the head-hunting traditions of times past at Skull Island. Spend time relaxing and absorbing the local cultures of the Solomon’s island communities as you discover a place that’s offering so much for the curious traveller.
  • Trek through the lush jungles and discover the rich underwater ecosystem and pristine reefs of the Solomon Islands with guided visits to Tetepare and Hopei islands.
  • Join locals in participating at a bung, or community day. You’ll attend a church service and sit down for a feast, learning about traditional customs and the local way of life in Titiru village.
  • Learn the history of what’s known as Kennedy Island – once a secondary wartime base for US President John F Kennedy and now a far-flung paradise of rainforests and colourful reefs.
  • Meet Barnie Paulsen – a local man who has spent years collecting memorabilia in the jungle, and visit his backyard 'museum' full of wartime relics and him full of stories to tell.
  • Get the rare opportunity to visit a site of skull trophies at Lola Island, or what’s more commonly called Skull Island, detailing the head-hunting histories of the Solomon Island’s tribal culture.
Day 1 Location: Munda
Welcome to the Solomon Islands! You will be met at Munda Airport by your group leader and will take a very quick transfer to your lodge for the evening. Relax into your accommodation, or ‘stap isi’ as the locals would say, before an important welcome meeting at 3 pm, where you will continue the introductions with your fellow travellers. Please remember to bring with you a copy of your medical insurance details for your group leader’s record. There’s a couple of important things to consider when travelling in the Solomon Islands, and your leader will fill you all in at this time. Afterwards, jump on a boat and get exploring – today you’re off for an afternoon snorkel and swim.
Day 2 Location: Munda – Titiru
Stock up on an early breakfast then get back on the water to travel by boat to your Titiru village homestay. Be ready to unplug from the world for a few days and take in the untouched wilderness of the Solomon Islands. Once arrived, take a walk through the local village, and be welcomed into this community with smiles, local dances and a church service. The Titiru community, like most Melanesian island life, places strong emphasis on community, and today, you will eat with the locals at a large community feast. Called a ‘bung’, this community event is all about coming together once a week to allow time for everyone to catch up, so relax and enjoy the festivities.
Day 3 Location: Titiru – Tetepare
This morning, head from Titiru to Tetepare Island – roughly a 1.5-hour boat ride away. Keep in mind that you’ll set off by boat when the seas are at their calmest, so be prepared for an early wake-up call! Tetepare is one of the largest uninhabited tropical islands in the world, and has remained mostly untouched throughout the years, despite decades of logging on other islands here. Today, you’ll have the chance to see this island in all its pristine beauty, keeping your eye out for endangered turtles and dugongs in their natural habitat, and searching for some of the region’s best marine life. For those who want to stretch their legs, why not embark on a rainforest walk with your group leader, discovering some of the island’s primary lowland forest. Settle in for the afternoon and evening at Tetepare Island for a couple of drinks with your group, and enjoy a beach barbecue as the sun sets over the Solomon Sea and another day in the islands.
Day 4 Location: Titiru
After breakfast, you will have the chance to explore the island for another day. Take a walk into the jungle in search of some of the local wildlife – you may be lucky enough to spot hornbills, tiny pygmy parrots or the endemic Tetepare White-eye birds. Take another swim in the nearby coral reefs and relax along the beach, then after lunch, head back to your waiting boat where you will transfer to Titiru for the rest of the evening. You’re on island time now, so sit back and relax.
Day 5 Location: Munda
This morning, enjoy breakfast and get ready for another adventure. Today’s all about chasing waterfalls, so be sure to pack some comfortable trekking sandals that you’re happy to get wet, as this trail can get a bit dicey. Your boat ride from Titiru will take around 35 minutes, then you’ll head into the jungle for a challenging yet rewarding trek to Munda Waterfall. Once you’ve made it, you’ll have some time to relax by the waterfall, perhaps with a swim or just taking in the serene sights. After a light lunch, head back into Munda and after checking back into your accommodation and possibly grabbing a bite to eat, jump back on the water and head to picturesque Hopei Island for an afternoon swim. You may even be able to stock up a cooler with some drinks to have on the island! What a way to end off another day in this haven.
Day 6 Location: Munda
This morning, meet Barnie Paulsen, who has been scouting the island of New Georgia for war memorabilia since he was a little boy. In the early days, he spent his time searching for brass and copper to sell to scrap merchants, but he later discovered an American dog tag and that, he says, forms the backbone of his private ‘museum’ of WWII relics. His backyard museum contains ammunition, machine guns, shells, knives and personal artefacts. Barnie will take you trekking through jungle and mountains littered with remnants of the war and, in the name of responsible tourism, please do not take any souvenirs of your own. On the walk you’ll see anti-aircraft gun placements, battle sites, the US aircraft and military dump and more.
Day 7 Location: Skull Island and Kennedy Island
Today, you’ll learn of some local history and dramatic community events with a guided visit to Lola Island, or what’s commonly known as Skull Island. In centuries’ past, Solomon Islander tribes would raid nearby villages during times of conflict and the conquering groups would take back the lead warrior or chief’s head as a trophy. You’ll see these skull trophies on display, which, until recently, were strictly forbidden to visit unless you held a high stature in the local village. This is the only skull island in the Solomon Islands that village elders to be visited be outsiders. Your guide will also tell you about the two gods and the legend of Nusunusu – a common sculpture featured around the Islands. Later on, you’ll travel to Kasolo Island, or Kennedy Island – a place where US President John F Kennedy nearly lost his life during WWII after his craft was wrecked by a Japanese destroyer. You’ll learn about the history of this island, as well as have time to snorkel in the nearby reefs and sparkling waters. Travel back to Munda and enjoy another stunning sunset.
Day 8 Location: Munda - Departure day
With no activities planned for today, you are free to depart at any time after breakfast, provided you comply with the lodge’s internal check-out procedures. For more information on flight schedules, arranging transfers from Munda to Honiara and onward international connections, please speak to your agent at the time of booking.
Dates
Prices
Availability
Departure Date:
16MAY2020
Return Date:
23MAY2020
3345NZD
available
Departure Date:
19SEP2020
Return Date:
26SEP2020
3345NZD
available
Last modified (date)

26 Jan 2020

Trip title

Solomon Islands Expedition

Trip code

TESI

Validity

Validity: 01 Jan 2020 to 31 Dec 2020

Introduction

The Solomon Islands may not come straight to mind when considering a cultural and tropical escape. However, with its abundance of pristine reefs and untouched beaches, village communities thriving in traditional ways of living, jungles strewn with wartime relics and a sense of relaxation everywhere you travel, this rarely visited destination may well be one of the South Pacific’s best kept secrets. Meet the villagers of Titiru as you join in on a community day, explore a local historian’s ‘museum’ of artefacts dating back to World War II, swim and snorkel off the paradisiacal Hopei and Tetepare islands and learn of the head-hunting traditions of times past at Skull Island. Spend time relaxing and absorbing the local cultures of the Solomon’s island communities as you discover a place that’s offering so much for the curious traveller.

Style

Original

Themes

Expedition

Transport

Private vehicle,Boat

Physical Rating

2

Joining point

Munda

Munda

SOLOMON ISLANDS

Finish point

Munda

Munda

SOLOMON ISLANDS

Important information

1. Please do not book a departure flight before 3 pm on Day 8 2. From the 28th of December 2019 upon entering the Solomon Islands it will be a requirement to show proof of vaccination against measles. Please ensure you bring your official vaccination record with you.

Group leader

All Intrepid group trips are accompanied by one of our group leaders. The aim of the group leader is to take the hassle out of your travels and to help you have the best trip possible. Intrepid endeavours to provide the services of an experienced leader however, due to the seasonality of travel, rare situations may arise where your leader is new to a particular region or training other group leaders. Your leader will provide information on the places you are travelling through, offer suggestions for things to do and see, recommend great local eating venues and introduce you to our local friends. While not being guides in the traditional sense, you can expect them to have a broad general knowledge of the places visited on the trip, including historical, cultural, religious and social aspects. At Intrepid we aim to support local guides who have specialised knowledge of the regions we visit. If you were interested in delving deeper into the local culture at a specific site or location then your leader can recommend a local guide service in most of the main destinations of your trip.

Safety

Many national governments provide a regularly updated advice service on safety issues involved with international travel. We recommend that you check your government's advice for their latest travel information before departure and ensure that your travel insurance covers you for all areas your itinerary covers. Please refer to our website's safety page for links to major travel advisories and updates on safety issues affecting our trips. We strongly recommend the use of a neck wallet or money belt while travelling, for the safe-keeping of your passport, flight tickets, cash and other valuable items. Leave your valuable jewellery at home - you won't need it while travelling. Many of our hotels have safety deposit boxes, which is the most secure way of storing your valuables. A lock is recommended for securing your luggage. Your leader will accompany you on all included activities, however during your trip you'll have some free time to pursue your own interests or relax and take it easy. While your leader will assist you with the available options in a given location, please note that any optional activities you undertake are not part of your Intrepid itinerary, and Intrepid makes no representations about the safety of the activity or the standard of the operators running them. Please use your own good judgement when selecting an activity in your free time. Please also note that your Leader has the authority to amend or cancel any part of the trip itinerary if it's deemed necessary due to safety concerns. For more details on the type of conditions and safety standards you can expect on your trip, please refer to Intrepid's operational safety policy on our website. We recommend that you take a moment to read through this information before travelling, and would appreciate any feedback on how well it's being implemented in the field:

https://www.intrepidtravel.com/safety-field

Visas

Visas are the responsibility of the individual traveller. Entry requirements can change at any time, so it's important that you check for the latest information. Please visit the relevant consular website of the country or countries you’re visiting for detailed and up-to-date visa information specific to your nationality. Your consultant will also be happy to point you in the right direction with acquiring visas. Visas can take several weeks to process, so familiarise yourself with any requirements as soon as you have booked your trip to allow for processing time. Your passport details are required to complete your booking. Please ensure the name on your passport matches the name on your booking Visitor visas are available on arrival for stays of up to 90 days for the Solomon Islands. Please ensure you have at least two spare pages and your passport is valid for six months after your intended return date to your home country. Its always a good idea to check with your local consulate prior to travel.

Why we love it

Trek through the lush jungles and discover the rich underwater ecosystem and pristine reefs of the Solomon Islands with guided visits to Tetepare and Hopei islands.

Join locals in participating at a bung, or community day. You’ll attend a church service and sit down for a feast, learning about traditional customs and the local way of life in Titiru village.

Learn the history of what’s known as Kennedy Island – once a secondary wartime base for US President John F Kennedy and now a far-flung paradise of rainforests and colourful reefs.

Meet Barnie Paulsen – a local man who has spent years collecting memorabilia in the jungle, and visit his backyard 'museum' full of wartime relics and him full of stories to tell.

Get the rare opportunity to visit a site of skull trophies at Lola Island, or what’s more commonly called Skull Island, detailing the head-hunting histories of the Solomon Island’s tribal culture.

Is this trip right for you

While we’ve put a lot of research and work into creating this trip, it’s a new adventure for Intrepid, and sometimes things don’t go exactly to plan. When we head to new destinations, we usually find there are more pleasant surprises in store than unpleasant ones, but either way, it’s important to be open and flexible. This is expedition travel after all! The joining point for this expedition, Munda, is easily accessed with a flight from the capital, Honiara, on Solomon Airlines (approximately 1 hour). As the Solomon Islands is small, there are limited flights in and out each day and prices can fluctuate quite dramatically, so it is recommended to book your flights as far in advance as possible to ensure the best connection. Please speak to your booking agent for more information.

Health

MALARIA & MOSQUITO BORNE DISEASES: Malaria is a risk throughout Solomon Islands. We encourage you to take prophylaxis against malaria where necessary and to take measures to avoid mosquito bites, including using insect repellent at all times, wearing long, loose-fitting, light coloured clothing and using a mosquito net at night. For further details please consult your travel health doctor. Solomon Islands has previously experienced outbreaks of rotavirus that have caused deaths. Rotavirus transmission can be prevented. Wash hands thoroughly for ten seconds using soap and water and dry with a clean towel: Other infectious diseases Water-borne, food-borne, parasitic and other infectious diseases (including hepatitis, tuberculosis, filariasis and sexually transmitted infections) are prevalent, with more serious outbreaks occurring from time to time. Boil all drinking water or drink bottled water. Avoid ice cubes. Avoid uncooked and undercooked food. Measles Vaccination: Please note from the 28th of December 2019 upon entering the Solomon Islands it will be a requirement to show proof of vaccination against measles. Please ensure you bring your official vaccination record with you.

Money matters

SPENDING MONEY: When it comes to spending money on the trip, every traveller is a little different. You know your spending habits better than we do, so please budget a sensible amount for things like meals not included, drinks, shopping, optional activities and laundry. It's always better to bring a little more than you think you'll need. Also make sure you've read your trip details thoroughly so you know what's included in the trip price and what isn't. This should make budgeting a little easier. You'll find this info in the Inclusions section of your Essential Trip Information (that's this document). CONTINGENCY FUNDS We try to plan for every eventuality, but there are still some things beyond our control. Please make sure you have access to an extra US$500 for emergencies (e.g. severe weather, natural disasters, civil unrest) or other events that result in unavoidable changes to the itinerary (e.g. transport strikes or cancellations, airport closures). Sometimes these things necessitate last minute changes to enable our trips to continue to run, and as a result there may be some extra costs involved. The recommended amount is listed in USD for the relatability of universal travellers, however the local currency is needed in the countries you are visiting.

A couple of rules

Everyone has the right to feel safe when they travel. We don’t tolerate any form of violence (verbal or physical) or sexual harassment, either between customers or involving our leaders, partners or local people. Sexual relationships between a tour leader and a customer are strictly forbidden. Use or possession of illegal drugs will not be tolerated on our trips. If you choose to consume alcohol while travelling, we encourage responsible drinking, and expect that you’ll abide by the local laws regarding alcohol consumption. The sex tourism industry is known to exploit vulnerable people and have negative consequences on communities, including undermining the development of sustainable tourism. For this reason, patronising sex workers will not be tolerated on our trips. By travelling with us you are agreeing to adhere to these rules. Your group leader has the right to remove any member of the group for breaking any of these rules, with no right of refund. If you feel that someone is behaving inappropriately while travelling with us, please inform your tour leader or local guide immediately. Alternatively, contact us on the emergency contact number detailed in the Problems and Emergency Contact section of this Essential Trip Information.

Feedback

Can’t stop thinking about your adventure? Tell us all about it! We read each piece of feedback carefully and use it to make improvements for travellers like you. Share your experience with us at: http://www.intrepidtravel.com/feedback/

Emergency contact

While we always endeavour to provide the best possible holiday experience, due to the nature of travel and the areas we visit sometimes things can and do go wrong. Should any issue occur while you are on your trip, it is imperative that you discuss this with your group leader or our local representative straight away so that they can do their best to rectify the problem and save any potential negative impact on the rest of your trip. We recognise that there may be times when your group leader/local partner may not be able to resolve a situation to your satisfaction - if this is the case, please ask the leader to speak to their direct manager. You may also choose to provide details in your online feedback, which we ask you to complete within 30 days of the end of your trip. But we do ask you to be aware that it is very difficult for us to provide any practical help after the trip is complete. Intrepid’s Local Operator: ‭+675 7100 9934‬; +675 73885036

Responsible travel

Our Responsible Travel Policy outlines our commitment to preserving the environment, supporting local communities, protecting the vulnerable and giving back to the places we travel. All our trip leaders, suppliers and staff are trained on these principles, and are core to us delivering sustainable, experience-rich travel. Explore the different parts of our Responsible Travel Policy by visiting: https://www.intrepidtravel.com/responsible-travel

The Intrepid Foundation

Help us change thousands of lives by creating meaningful work and supporting skills training in communities around the world. The Intrepid Foundation is the not-for-profit for Intrepid Group. We work with local organisations around the world to improve the livelihoods of vulnerable individuals and communities through sustainable travel experiences. With our travellers’ help, we’ve contributed more than AU $6 million to over 100 community organisations since 2002. Did you know that tourism is one of the biggest contributors to the global economy, making up 1 out of every 10 jobs? That’s why we support local projects that create meaningful jobs and give people the skills they need to work in the destinations we take you to. And it’s why we exist – to make it easy for travellers to give back to the communities and places they’ve been in an effective and meaningful way. All donations to The Intrepid Foundation are matched by Intrepid Group dollar for dollar (up to AU$10,000 per donor and AU$500,000 in total each financial year, excluding emergency appeals). And because Intrepid Group covers all administration costs, every cent goes directly to the projects. Donating is simple and secure. Please ask your leader for information about the projects we support through The Intrepid Foundation or visit our website: http://www.theintrepidfoundation.org/

Travel insurance

Travel insurance is compulsory for all our trips. We require that, at a minimum, you are covered for medical expenses including emergency repatriation. We strongly recommend that the policy also covers personal liability, cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage and personal effects. When travelling on a trip, you won't be permitted to join the group until evidence of travel insurance and the insurance company's 24 hour emergency contact number has been seen by your leader. If you have credit card insurance your group leader will require details of the participating insurer/underwriter, the level of coverage, policy number and emergency contact number rather than the bank's name and credit card details. Please contact your bank for these details prior to arriving in-country. http://www.intrepidtravel.com/insurance.php

Your fellow travellers

As you travel on a group trip you will be exposed to all the pleasures and maybe some of the frustrations of travelling in a group. Your fellow travellers will probably come from all corners of the world and likely a range of age groups too. We ask you to be understanding of the various needs and preferences of your group - patience with your fellow travellers is sometimes required for the benefit of everyone's travel experience. Remember too that you have responsibilities to the group. If you are requested to be at a place at a certain time, ensure that you don't keep the rest of the group waiting. We have found time and time again that the very best trips we operate are those where the dynamics within the group work well - this takes just a little effort on your part. Due to privacy reasons we are unable to provide you with contact details and any personal information about your fellow travellers booked on your trip prior to departure. SINGLE TRAVELLERS: Our group trips are designed for shared accommodation and don't involve a compulsory single supplement. Single travellers share with people of the same gender in accommodation ranging from twin to multishare. Some of our itineraries have accommodation booked on a mixed gender share basis and where applicable this will be specified in our Essential Trip Information. On a selection of our trips, you have the option to pay a single supplement to ensure that you have your own accommodation (where available). Please note that this only applies to accommodation during the tour - pre-trip and post-trip accommodation will be booked on a single room basis.

Itinerary disclaimer

ITINERARY CHANGES: Our itineraries are updated regularly throughout the year based on customer feedback and to reflect the current situation in each destination. The information included in this Essential Trip Information may therefore differ from when you first booked your trip. It is important that you print and review a final copy prior to travel so that you have the latest updates. Due to weather, local conditions, transport schedules, public holidays or other factors, further changes may be necessary to your itinerary once in country. The order and timing of included activities in each location may also vary seasonally to ensure our travellers have the best experience. Your tour leader will keep you up to date with any changes once on tour.

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