It’s freezing outside! Actually, it’s below freezing. Not a fun way to try to get back into your normal routine after the holidays. You should be thinking about returning to work and sticking to your New Year’s resolutions, but all you want to do is run away. Somewhere like the South Pacific, where winter can’t find you, sounds perfect right about now.
You can’t get much farther away than the Solomon Islands. They’re northwest of Vanuatu, east of Papua New Guinea, and northeast of Australia. Which means they’re pretty remote and see few international tourists, except for some stray Aussies. The group of nearly 1,000—mostly uninhabited—islands are ruled by the British, but a civil war in the 1990s even kept them away. Before that, the Solomon Islands were known as the site of a bloody World War II battle between Japan and the United States. No wonder the country isn’t a huge tourist destination.
But it should be. The beautiful archipelago has dramatic—mostly dormant—volcanoes, rainforest-covered islands, and hidden waterfalls. The clear, aqua water is ideal for scuba diving, especially among the airplane and the shipwreck sites. And surfers have huge waves all to themselves.
You aren’t looking for huge waves, though. All you need is a warm beach, a gorgeous view, and a fruity cocktail. Tavanipupu Private Island Resort should more than fit the bill. It’s a 25-minute flight from the capital, Honiara, on an eight-seat airplane. The small island is in Marau Sound, off the southeastern coast of Guadalcanal, the main island. The resort is a former coconut plantation that Norwegians bought from the islanders for ammunition. Now it’s one of the best kept secrets in the South Pacific.
Wake up in your beach-view bungalow, which has handcrafted furniture and an outdoor shower. Watch the resort start to wake up from your verandah, where breakfast is served. Spend your mornings swimming in the lagoon, kayaking along the shore of a nearby island, and taking a nap on the beach. Choose between visiting a local village, fishing, or biking along a bush track in the afternoon. Dinner is about whatever seafood was caught earlier in the day. And despite your no-dessert-when-you’re-wearing-a-bikini rule, mango sorbet is a refreshing end to the meal.
Then follow the lanterns in the sand back to your bungalow. You can see the starry sky from an opening in your thatched roof. It’s a warm, clear night with absolutely no snow or negative temperatures in the forecast.