With its fantastic white sand beaches and boasting a warm climate throughout the year, Samoa has fast become a top travel destination for visitors from Asia-Pacific and further abroad. There are plenty of unforgettable things to do in Samoa, but to make your holiday planning a little easier, here’s 6 of our top picks.
Samoa Cultural Village
One of the top Apia attractions is the Samoa Cultural Village found on Beach Road behind the Samoa Tourism Authority’s information office. The village is open daily from 9am-5pm, and the interactive sessions which take place on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays from 10.30am -12.30pm offer the visitor a unique insight into Samoan culture and traditional life. They include workshops on native tatau, music, and dance, siapo cloth making and weaving, traditional tattooing and woodworking. You will have the chance to learn how to make paper from tree bark and to appreciate paintings and artworks using this natural medium. You can even try your hand at peeling coconuts to make a delicious coconut cream, and other traditional Samoa activities. You can participate in an ‘ava, (kava) ceremony and enjoy a traditional lunch cooked on the umu, a hot-stone oven. Entry is free but you are invited to leave a donation, and there is a store offering local products at very reasonable prices.
The Vanya Taule’alo Gallery
The Vanya Taule’alo Gallery is located about a 5-minute drive from the centre of Apia on Mulival Lane. The gallery is quite small, but offers an unrivalled selection of local crafts, which make perfect gifts or keepsakes. The gallery showcases paintings, prints, jewellery, woodcarvings and other handicrafts made by native Pacific Island and Samoan artists. The products are of top quality and just next door the Legends cafe is a peaceful place to enjoy a coffee or a snack. No wonder that a visit here is one of the most popular things to do in Apia, Samoa.
Baha’i House of Worship
Situated on a hill looking over Apia, the Baha’i House of Worship, Tiapapata was designed as a “place of spiritual gathering and of the manifestation of divine mysteries”. It is open daily to people of all religions, nationalities, and beliefs, and the interesting architecture and the beautifully maintained and manicured 15-acres of gardens offer a quiet and relaxing place to escape the bustle of the city.
On a clear day, you can get some great photos of the Papapapaitai Falls from the vantage point while driving on the Cross Island Road. The spectacular sight of the water plunging over the impressive 100-m drop is definitely worth stopping to see. The Falls are best viewed after a rain when the volume of water is truly breathtaking. These are the second highest falls of the island and a photo stop here is a must if you’re staying in Apia, as the Falls are located only a short 25min drive away. For the valiant, it is possible to descend down through the dense tropical vegetation to get a closer look at the falls, although it is not possible to get all the way down to the river.
Toa Sua Ocean Trench
A stunning deep-sea pool surrounded by lush tropical forest, Toa Sua’s crystal-clear waters make for incredible photographs. Located in Lalomanu, the trench is accessible via a short walk, and if you descend down to the water’s surface via a tall ladder, then a refreshing swim can be enjoyed too.
Samoa is famed for its natural beauty and unique geological formations, and Toa Sua is among the nation’s most famous locations. Even if you’re already planning on visiting the other major spots such as the Alofaaga blowholes or the Piula Cave Pool – it’s still well worth trekking to Toa Sua. (Hint: whilst you’re in Lalomanu, also consider a brief or extended venture down to Lalomanu Beach; it’s often cited as Samoa’s best).
Tafa Tafa Beach
One of the best-kept secrets of fabulous things to do in Samoa is a visit to the beautiful Tafa Tafa Beach. Located on the main South Coast Road, this white sand beach is a great place to enjoy a day of safe bathing and peace. There are clean toilets and changing rooms and BBQ facilities. The Australian owner of a classic driftwood bar has a small boat in which he takes surfers out to the surfing breaks along the reef. There are traditional Samoan fales along the beach and it’s a wonderful place to spend a truly relaxing night or two and enjoy the superb natural beauty of the area.