We're a couple in the early 30s, who love the sea and we’re just back from an amazing time in Charapoana. The families who run the place could not have been more helpful or any kinder. They really make you feel like a family guest, not like a tourist. You get to learn about the local customs and share their way of life…a priceless souvenir.
The number of things you can do is endless: swim, snorkel, bush walk to fresh water cave, visit waterfalls, swim with mantas rays (if you're lucky and they are there)...our favourite was canoeing and "stand-up-paddle" with one of their traditional canoes. Swimming across the passage towards Uepi was magical: there is a point where we counted up to 14 reef sharks (black tip and grey), all within 5 meters of the surface. No worries at all, they are totally harmless.
Lani was cooking three delicious meals a day. Everything was fresh as it can be. The fish we ate was usually caught within half an hour before being on the table. The lime juice and sweet potato wedges were just the perfect snack.
Ray (Lani’s husband) is an artist with wood and can carve anything you want. He cut-out 2 beautiful cooking tools for us in just one day. If we had though about that in advance, we could have got many more things! If you want any wooded souvenirs, just have a chat to Ray and he’ll make the just for you!
Because of the limited telecommunications in the area, if you want to contact them it’s best to reach Dive Gizo or the Gizo Hotel (+677 60199) who will them contact Charapoana for you. Otherwise, you can just rock up from Seghe airport with a 40 minute boat ride and show up. That’s exactly what we did and it worked out marvellously.
The accommodation, food and activities are really affordable so you can enjoy yourself to the max without concerns, unlike some other upmarket waterfront resort-type places in the Solomons.
One piece of advise, when having dinner, light up one of those incense things. That will keep mosquitoes away. Also, because there’s no power (unless you sneak into Uepi resort across the water or they turn on the generator), make sure you fully charge your cameras before going there.
If you’ve read this far, I really hope you can make it to Charapoana and you have a great time, such as we did!