Guadalcanal, South Pacific Cruise Port

Discovered by a Spanish expedition in 1568, the cruise port of Guadalcanal in the South Pacific was named by explorer Pedro de Ortega Valencia after his hometown in Andalusia. While the natives call it Isatabu, the average traveler may automatically think of Guadalcanal Diary, a book and movie about war correspondent Richard Tregaskis and his time here during World War II. Located north of Australia, this was the site of the war's 1942-1943 campaign that pitted the Americans against the Japanese, as the latter attempted to expand their presence in the South Pacific. After the Americans secured Guadalcanal, the city of Honiara became the British Solomon Islands Protectorate's new capital. A fantastic mix of mountains and rainforests, the fauna includes a centipede that was bit of a torment to WWII Marines. For both history and natural beauty, here are some of our favorite experiences while cruising to Guadalcanal, South Pacific:
 
  • History buffs won't want to miss the Guadalcanal American Memorial, which was dedicated in August 1992 as a tribute to the allied soldiers who lost their lives here during WWII. Situated so it overlooks the Pacific Ocean, the monument is built in the shape of a pylon with its fascia oriented towards the directions where the battles were fought. Accompanying marble plaques give details of the five battles fought.
     
  • The National Art Gallery is in Honiara's Old Government House, and here you can find art with historical significance. Afterward, take a walk through the gallery's Botanical Gardens which contains a herbarium, orchids, and the Watapamu village (which is indicative of a typical village on the island).
     
  • With the Guadalcanal's multiple beaches come opportunities to snorkel and dive. Bonegi Beach, west of Honiara, not only has amazing marine life, but also sunken battleships and aircraft. Keep an eye out for coral reefs, giant clams, and rare shells along with the lion fish, hammerhead sharks, and barracuda.
     
  • The Honiara Central Market is a feast for the eyes and taste buds. There’s plenty of fresh produce and fish, and travelers don’t have to haggle over prices. There are also locally-made crafts available.
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