Vavaghio Guest House: A Unique Isabel Experience 1

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Looking for a getaway which is great for surfing, fishing, snorkelling and enjoying nature?

Vavaghio Guest House is located on Vakao Island on the northern side of north-west Isabel and is a unique Isabel and Solomon experience.  The guest house is run by the Habotu family, assisted by ex-expat Gary King. They have traditional housing and facilities but with comforts such as power, tiled shower and flush toilet to make your stay comfortable.

The cuisine is a mixture of traditional dishes with some western influences.  They even have a freezer running off the solar system to keep your drinks cold!

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Fishermen find the fishing amazing, with the remoteness of the area guaranteeing good stocks of all kinds of fish, from reef-dwellers such as Maori Wrasse and Giant Trevally to pelagics such as Spanish Mackerel and all types of tuna.  The local lads can even show you how to fish with lures made from local materials.

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You can go on a crocodile “hunt”, bush-walk to waterfalls,  spear-fish, and evening bird-watch the iconic Frigate Bird that have a roosting island nearby. Dolphins are seen in the area most days and the wonderful and rare Dugong sometimes graces with his presence.

The pristine reefs and warm, clear water make the area perfect for snorkelers. You can snorkel right out in front of the Guest House or travel to any of the multitude of reefs a short boat ride away. You will see amazing corals and  fish life.  If you like the thrill of diving with sharks, these are easily found – mostly the “safe” reef varieties. Species such as hammerhead and grey can be found in deeper waters.  You may encounter foraging turtles during your time in the water or the marvellous manta ray.

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From November through to April, Vavaghio is particularly attractive to surfers who can ride the fabulous breaks with no line-up and with the back-drop of deserted islands.

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Vavaghio is the gateway to the famous Arnavon Islands and if possible a visit to this marine reserve should be incorporated into any stay at Vavaghio.  Conversely, Vavaghio makes a perfect stopover for anyone making the Arnavons their prime destination.

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Interested? Here are the details:

  • How do I get there?  Take the domestic Honiara to Suavanao Solair flight which goes on most days of the week.  Flight is about 1hour and costs SB$1,150 (at time of writing). Vavaghio Guest House will collect you from Suavanao and deliver you to Vavaghio.  Boat travel is around 1 1/2 hours, depending on sea conditions.
  • What does it costs? – Because of the reliance on boat transport and the cost of fuel, per person costs are very dependent on the size of the party and the length of the stay.  The boat transfer from Suavanao airstrip to Vavaghio is around SB$1,400 for the boat and accommodation may be around SB$550 per person per night, including all meals and drinks (except canned). Extra activities are charged at boat rates, so the larger the party the lower the per-person cost.  See the web site for more details.

So now you have the information, get out there and see for yourself – it will be an experience you will never forget!

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