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diving -- liveaboard or local operators?

san francisco
Level Contributor
802 posts
26 reviews
diving -- liveaboard or local operators?

Weare thinking of going to the Solomons for diving but also to see the country and the people. It could be our first diving experiences outside the US. We are concerned about the quality of gear and dive guides. Currently we do not own our own gear (aside from mask and fins) and we have 30 dives each -- though this might be somewhat more by the time we go. I wonder if liveaboards would take us to as many -- or possibly more? -- good dive sites than traveling on our own? How does one evaluate this? Is it better to choose a liveaboard operator like OceanDancer, or a more local one like Bikilini(sp)? Maybe we should consider a two-part trip -- one part lliveaboard, then spend a couple weeks traveling?

So many options...I'm a bit confused.

Thanks for any thoughts.

Bill

Tucson, Arizona
Destination Expert
for Quito, Ecuador
Level Contributor
11,406 posts
101 reviews
1. Re: diving -- liveaboard or local operators?

Before you commit to a liveaboard, know that they attract a pretty hard-core clientale of divers who are looking forward to 4-5 dives every day. You also need to find out if the boats have rental gear for you (the one liveaboard I've done required you to have your own gear).

For excellent diving, good gear, and a unique village experience, look into Solomon Dive Adventures in Peava village on the Marovo Lagoon. I spent two amazing weeks with them when they first opened. Lisa is committed to training locals to become DMs rather than relying on foreigners; in fact, a young man who was just an Advanced Diver when I went, recently became a certified Dive Instructor! The village is very peaceful; there is no electricity, no cars, and the people are a delight. http://www.solomondiveadventures.com/

san francisco
Level Contributor
802 posts
26 reviews
2. Re: diving -- liveaboard or local operators?

That sounds like a wonderful idea but I cannot access that link.

Tucson, Arizona
Destination Expert
for Quito, Ecuador
Level Contributor
11,406 posts
101 reviews
3. Re: diving -- liveaboard or local operators?

I just clicked it and it worked fine. Try a cut and paste of the link? Or manually type in www.solomondiveadventures.com ?

san francisco
Level Contributor
802 posts
26 reviews
4. Re: diving -- liveaboard or local operators?

Hey az,

I was able to surf there from my desktop but not from my mobile phone and it looks really great! Thanks for posting this!!

- Bill

Solomon Islands
Level Contributor
43 posts
5. Re: diving -- liveaboard or local operators?

Hi Bill,

Hope your research is going well. Diving in Solomons is great with both great reefs as well as WWII wrecks. There locally based dive operators you will find generally are a lot cheaper in price, but still with all the high quality gear you need and all PADI certified etc. I would recomend a few options to you:

1. Tulagi Dive - honaira

This is based in the capital and easy to get to as based near the international airport. Flights operate regularly from Brisbane (australia). Good access to shore dives in Honiara as well as more adventurous offshore dives if you like. Plenty of various accommodation options.

www.tulagidive.com.sb

2. Western Province

This is where most of the main tourist resorts are in the country. Various locations to choose from:

2a/ Munda (Dive Munda)

This is a great option as you can choose from basic backpacker accommodation or lodges in Munda or stay some where like Zipolo Habu in a "modern" leaf hut. Dive Munda can pick you up from either.

www.mundadive.com

2b/ Gizo (Sanbis or Dive Gizo)

If you want a little more luxury, stay at somewhere like Sanbis in there overwater bungalows, they can then take you on there dive tours as well.

www.sanbisresort.com

For more dive information on the actual sites, see our website at www.welkamsolomons.com/todo/diving/index.html

You could even do a combination pending how long you are in the country for. Arrive honiara, couple of dives, then out to Western Province, Munda for a couple of days then either plane or boat up to Sanbis for more diving and relaxing. Good way to see some of the country as well.

Let us know if you have any more queries. I've only given a brief overview of everything but can give you more detailed information if needed. How long were you thinking of going for? Are you normally a budget traveller or like a bit more luxury?

Thanks.. Gregg

Bourke, Australia
Level Contributor
200 posts
178 reviews
6. Re: diving -- liveaboard or local operators?

Bilikiki has been doing liveaboard dives in places you cannot access any other way, for many years. It has a pretty good reputation.

7. Re: diving -- liveaboard or local operators?

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