Santa Isabel Island, located 80 km northwest of Guadalcanal, is the longest of the Solomon Islands and the largest in the group of islands in Isabel Province. Buala, a small town with no vehicles, is the provincial capital. There is very little development on the island and no roads beyond a short stretch in Buala, and the town of Kaevanga on the south coast. Villages are all traditional, with beautifully kept leaf houses and gardens. Rakata Bay in the northwest was a Japanese military base during World War II until captured by Allied forces in 1943. The island is surrounded by a fringing reef and has some of the most pristine and luxuriously rich waters and coral reefs anywhere on earth.
Kastom Villages & Dances
Kayaking in Mangroves
Places to Visit
Isabel Holidays Overview
The highest point in Santa Isabel is Mount Sasari, which is just 1220 meters high. River Marutho runs down Mount Sasari into the ocean at Hofi. Almost all the rivers or streams run down that center point. The village of Kia in the north is of especial interest, as it is built mainly on stilts over the clear lagoon waters. All transport on Santa Isabel Island is either by canoe, outboard, or dugout canoe.
The waters of Santa Isabel literally teem with fish; turtles and megapodes breed on the sand beaches, the coconut plantations are filled with parrots and eagles, and frigate birds soar with the trade winds that blow along the coast. At night the lagoon waters sparkle with phosphorescence, and crocodiles live in the many deep rivers. This is a place to explore, relax, and wonder at the unspoilt beauty of the islands that remain basically unchanged.
Accommodation is quite limited, although most areas have a "Rest House", where visitors can find a bed for the night or two.
Isabel Travel Information
An airstrip is located in Fera, which is the landing point for the Sol-Air service to Isabel. It is a 15 minute boat ride from Buala.