Samoa Travel Guide

Samoa Holidays – Tours & Adventures Travel Guide

PureTravel Says
“Samoa, or Savaii as it is known locally, is the third largest Polynesian Island after Tahiti and New Zealand. Samoa is an escape destination where you can savor the simple pleasures of life. Explore the most populated of the nine islands, Upolu and discover lush rainforests, waterfalls and the capital city of Apia. Discover the natural scenery, wildlife, flora and fauna that live in abundance. Once you have tasted the fresh local food and truly chilled-out, you won’t want to leave.”

Samoa Holiday Highlights

Upolu Sightseeing - Samoa is made up of nine islands and Upolu is the most populated and has the capital city of Apia. Upolu offers natural riches that go beyond the white sand beaches and blue lagoons. There are also excellent fishing, diving and surfing locations all along the coast. Try these activities on a half-day trip down to the east coast at Lalomanu Beach. Visit Le Mafa Pass for stunning views and ancient villages.

Upolu’s interior has numerous tracks and trails that lead deep through the lush rainforests to rivers and stunning waterfalls, which are perfect for swimming, picnicking and relaxing. Visit the waterfalls of Sopoaga Falls in Lotofaga village, Fuipisia Falls north of the Sopoaga Waterfalls in southeastern Upolu, a magnificent 55 meter-high jungle waterfall and Togitogiga Waterfall in the village of Saleilua near Le Pupu Pue National Park. Wonder at the Papapapai-Tia Falls and visit the setting of the 1952 movie classic Return To Paradise, starring Gary Cooper and set here in Samoa.

Explore the chilled-out capital city of Apia and the colorful Maketi Fou (food market) on Fugalei Street. Visit the flea market and buy kava bowls, lava lavas (the Samoan sarong), baskets, jewellery and authentic Samoan music. When it’s cooler you can watch Samoans playing football and kirikiti, the local version of cricket. Apia has a vibrant nightlife scene with pubs, nightclubs, cultural shows and excellent restaurants. You can sing, dance, enjoy fresh local food and party like a local.

Walking & Trekking - Go walking and trekking at Lake Lanotoo which is a rough 2.3km 4WD track, which is followed by a challenging 3-5 hour walk (return) which will take you to the stunning green water lake. The lake is full of goldfish brought here by German settlers and is also called ‘Goldfish Lake’.

Go climbing or trekking up Mt. Fito (Mount Vaaifetu in Samoan) which is 1,160 meters tall and is Upolu's highest point. Mt. Fito is in O Le Pupu-Pue National Park on the left of the Cross Island Road south from Apia.

Whilst in the area, visit O le Pupu-Pue National Park which opened in 1978 and is the first in the South Pacific. You can trek for 4 hours return and go inside the stunning Peapea lava tube cave, explore the native forest, valley streams and waterfalls. You can also trek the unique coastal trail, which is a one-hour return journey.

Wildlife – Visit the Saanapu and Sataoa mangroves which are home to mud crabs and large schools of bleeding mullet. Villagers offer 30 minute guided canoe tours of the mangroves so you can understand the rich cultural and environmental history of the conservation area.

Visit the Malua turtle feeding site and stop and feed the turtles.

RLS Botanical Garden & Museum - The Vailima Botanical Garden is 12 hectares (30acres) and protects native, introduced and naturalized species which are representative of the flora of the archipelago and the Pacific basin.

Surfing - The waves around Samoa are ideal for surfers so bring your board and check out the surfing action in the Pacific Ocean. Luatuanuu is a popular surf spot, which has great powerful protected waves and is only 10-15 minutes drive from Apia.

Snorkeling & Diving – Samoa has plenty of fish, a few turtles, the occasional shark, eels and lots of coral. Visit the Palolo Deep Marine Reserve, which is 5 minutes walk from Apia, east of Vaiala Beach which is surrounded by walls of coral and tropical fish and is perfect for snorkeling, diving and swimming. Visit Aganoa Black Sand Beach and go swimming, snorkeling and picnicking via a boat from Maninoa village.

Manono Island – Manono Island is very serene and has no vehicles or dogs. Its like a step back in time and gives visitors an insight into true Samoan village life. Take a walk around the island paradise and visit the historic grave of 99 stones and the ancient star mound whilst here.

Samoan Spas - relax and indulge yourself in a luxurious Samoan spa which can be found around the islands.

Weddings & Honeymoons - Nothing could be more romantic than a wedding in Samoa and you can have your wedding at an old church with a choir singing, a tropical garden with fragrant scents filling the air, by a freshwater pool beside a waterfall or even on a secluded beach on an uninhabited island at sunset! Samoa is incredibly romantic and the perfect setting for your honeymoon.

When To Go

Samoa has a tropical year round climate with two distinct seasons; the dry season is from May to October and the wet season is from November to April. The average daily temperature is 29C and the ocean temperature in the low 20C’s.

Top Tips

  • Carry water with you.
  • You will probably fly into Samoa and will arrive at Falelolo International Airport, 35kms from Apia on the island of Upolu.
  • Taxis and local buses are good transport options whilst on Samoa.
  • ATMs are located in and around Apia and there is one on the island of Savaii. Credit cards can be used in the machines but you are required to have a PIN number to withdraw cash.
  • The Samoa currency is the Tala (dollar) and Sene (cent): 100 Sene = ST$1 (Tala). *All major foreign currencies are exchangeable whilst in Samoa.
  • Credit cards (Visa, Mastercard, American Express, Diners & JCB) are widely accepted in the major hotels, restaurants and stores and travelers’ checks are also widely accepted at the major banks and hotels.
  • A departure tax of ST$40 applies to all travelers over 12 years of age.
  • There are a dozen medical clinics found in Apia should you need a doctor during your stay.
  • Light summer clothing is appropriate all year round and pack a light sweater for when the evenings get cooler.
  • Samoa has a strong cultural structure and Christian faith so visitors are asked not to wear bathing suits in Apia or in villages.
  • Nude and topless (for women) swimming or sunbathing is prohibited.
  • Tipping is not practiced or expected in Samoa.

Samoan Classic Travel Itineraries

  • Swim and relax at the freshwater Piula Cave Pool beneath a historic Methodist Church.
  • Chill out on the pristine Lalomanu Beach on the southeastern tip of Upolu
  • Swim at Letava Sliding Rock
  • Visit To Sua Ocean Trench in Lotofaga village and marvel at the blowholes.
  • Visit Papaseea Sliding Rock at Seesee in Faleata District for swimming and sliding fun for all the family.
  • Explore isolated Apolima Island with its collapsed volcanic cone.
  • Visit the John Williams Memorial, which marks the site of the first landing on Samoa of the pioneer missionary John Williams in 1830.


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