Ghizo Island, Solomon Islands

Named for a notorious local headhunter, laidback Ghizo Island is the heart of the Solomon Islands’ Western Province. World War II buffs recognize Gizo — the island’s main town and capital of the province — as the site where John F. Kennedy’s patrol boat sank; remains of the famous PT-109 have been found along the seabed nearby. Ghizo offers some of the world’s most exciting diving opportunities, with dozens of top-rated sites nearby — from an American tank and other WWII relics to extensive reef networks renowned for their remarkably high diversity of fish and coral species. Snorkel and swim in the warm, clear waters, go hiking in the surrounding hills, and visit some of the island’s traditional markets. The province’s woodcarvers are recognized for their amazing skill, spending months to create intricately detailed carvings in ebony and rosewood.