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1 206 925 3953
NA, Honiara, NA, Solomon Islands, NA, Guadalcanal
SIDE is a new operator in the Solomon Islands. This review is ofr a trip I made in 2015. I liked it so much that I am returning for Xmas 2016! Looking forward to checking out their new boat Taka.
We were greeted at the airport by a driver with a van and taken to the yacht club to await the boat’s departure. Luggage is secure there if you want to explore in town. They accept USD at the yacht club.
The staff on the boat were all fantastic. They are amenable to feedback, and even changed the meal schedule at our request.
Diving – abundances of tropical fish, super healthy coral, interesting swim-throughs and channels, some emerging in the midst of the jungle! Was disappointed that we saw only a few small sharks. I wonder if they are being overfished for the chinese market. Despite bad weather the staff managed to give us 3-4 dives every day.
The food – was plentiful and very good – mostly stirfrys. They buy the fruits and vegetables from islanders who come out to the boat in canoes to sell there produce. The staff catch fresh fish for dinners. The cook did an amazing job of accommodating special diets – on our trip we had gluten-free, vegetarian, lactose intolerant, and egg allergy.
Alcohol – they run an honor bar and you pay up with the final bill at the end of the trip. Solomon Islands beer is good. Wine selection was poor but I heard from a friend who went on the same boat in November that the selection has improved (in response to my feedback)
Accommodation: I was in a room for four people – on my own. I think it would have been crowded with four. They have just bought a new boat so this part of the review will be obsolete soon!
One of the highlights of the trip was village visits. It is the most undeveloped parts of the world that I have been to. The villages have no electricity or indoor plumbing.but best of all you can buy amazing carvings for very reasonable prices. 100-5,000 SBD
1) If you would like to buy a carving buy Solomon Island Dollars at the exchange in Honiara airport or withdraw from an atm in town before the boat departs. There are atms within two blocks of the meeting spot
2) outside of the big city there is no cell service and only Solomon Island Dollars are accepted – but the only thing to buy is carvings.
3) on departure the only place in the airport with air conditioning is the duty free store post security. There is a nice bar in there to drink one last Solomon Islands Beer (very good) There is some artwork and souvenirs to buy but not a huge selection