For many thousands of years, the Solomon Islands were the final frontier of humanity in its push to inhabit the earth. After the first people settled in the Solomon Islands, more than 20,000 years passed before a second wave of settlers pushed eastward into the Pacific.
Until recently, the Solomon Islands were a remote earthly paradise. Rich volcanic soils provided for plenty on land, while the coral reefs surrounding most of the islands made for bountiful seas.
When the Spanish navigator Álvaro de Mendaña de Neira visited the islands in 1568, he had no doubt that he had stumbled across the fabulous islands of King Solomon, even though many other places in Asia were claimed to be the source of King’s Solomon legendary wealth. The country’s name bears witness to de Neira’s unshakable conviction to this day.
It is not hard for modern travelers to understand the Spanish explorer’s certainty: improbably clear blue seas embrace dramatic volcanic islands or the gentle shores of coral islands; emerald rainforests, huge lagoons, and stunning coral reefs hold infinite allure for lovers of the tropics.