Samoa is a tropical oasis that has long been considered the heart of Polynesia. The region has much to offer in the way of natural beauty and a well-preserved culture known as Fa’a, the Samoan Way. This was heavily influenced by missionaries in 1800’s but today you can expect many authentic experiences from oceanfront feasts with warriors and dancers (Fia Fia) to tattoo ceremonies held by local master tattooists.
Of course, this destination also lends itself to those who love to unwind and relax in a resort surrounded by beautiful landscapes, a lavish lagoon pool with a cocktail or two and beachfront accommodation.
The adventurous will find pristine beaches, jaded jungles, crystalline waterfalls and swimming holes, 4WD tracks, delicious local cuisine and friendly locals aplenty. Samoa is also a popular surf destination with plenty of quality surf breaks around the coastline you won’t have to share with many others. There are some shopping options in Samoa, but overall the islands are humble and devoid of large shopping centres and attractions. The attraction is the island itself!
A Brief Explanation of Samoa
How to Get There
Must Do In Samoa
Things To Do in Samoa
- Beachfront Villas
- Lava Fields, Craters & Caves
- Last Sunset
- Local Culture
- Blow Holes
- National Parks
- Spa Treatments
While the shores of Tahiti, Fiji, and New Caledonia may look interchangeable with Samoa, rest assured, these landscapes are incredible diverse and different!
The Samoan Islands are separated into two countries 1. Samoa, which is independent and 2. American Samoa, which is governed by the US. Both remain very traditionally Polynesian.
Samoa (not including American Samoa) is made up of two main islands, Savai'i and Upolu along with six smaller islands. Upolu is home to the capital of Samoa, Apia as well as the international airport, so this is the island you will likely first touch down onto.
LANGUAGESEnglish is spoken throughout the islands of Samoa; however, the local language is Samoan. It never hurts to learn a few words in the local lingo (plus the kids will love it!).
|That's all right||'Ua lelei||Oo-a-lelay|
|big / small||tele / la'ititi||teh-leh / lah ee-tee-tee|
|quick / slow||tope / gese||toh-peh / nge-seh|
|early / late||vave / tuai||vahveh / two-eye|
|near / far||latalata / mamao||lah-tah-lah-tah / mah-maow|
HOW TO GET THEREYou can fly internationally into Apia (APW) the capital of Samoa, or Pago Pago (PPG) the capital of American Samoa.
Samoa Airways are the national airline of Samoa, with Air New Zealand and Fiji Airlines also operating international flights into the country.
MUST DO IN SAMOAThe natural beauty of Samoa is overwhelming, that paired with an incredibly well-preserved culture made refining this list tough! Be sure to read on to things to do in Samoa for the lengthier version.
- See To Sua Trench
- Stay in a Beachfront Villa at Sinalei Reef Resort
- Visit Togitogiga Waterfall
- Explore Alofaaga Blowholes
- Discover Piula Cave Pools
- Swim with Turtles at Satoalepai wetlands sanctuary
THINGS TO DO IN SAMOAFrom culture and dining to spectacular natural landscapes, Samoa has so much to offer!
1. Go Swimming
a. Dive into To Sua Trench
This is a sight that must be seen to be believed, this trench sits 20 meters below ground level with a curtain of luscious green foliage draping the magnificent blue waters.
b. Swim in Piula Cave Pool
Venture to the theological college and you will find more than an education premise! There are two freshwater, fish-filled cave pools that are interconnected via a 3 meter underwater passage.
c. Experience the Papase’ea Sliding Rocks
Yet another natural wonder, the sliding rocks are found in Se’ese’e in the Faleata district. These natural water slides have been formed through thousands of years of running water.
2. Stay in a Beachfront Villa
Sinalei Reef Resort on Upolu is not only our favourite but was also voted Samoa’s Number 1 Luxury resort!
3. See the Lava Fields, Craters & Caves
a. Mauga Village Crater
The modern Mauga village surrounds an oddly perfect circle of a crater filled with banana palms!
b. Sale’aula Lava Fields, Savai'I
Cast your eyes upon the result of the destruction caused by the 1905 eruption of Mt Matavanu. The most fascinating sight is the LMS Church that was completely covered and preserved in lava.
c. Coastal Lava Cliff Walk, Upolu
This is the activity for those who want to see the remanents of the island’s volcanos, but don’t like enclosed spaces! Part of the national park the walk is peppered with pandanus trees and ends with an open lava field rich with endemic wildlife.
d. Dwarfs Caves, Savai’i
Named after a famous group of dwarfs that are rumoured to be living in the depths, Dwarfs Caves are a series of the subterranean tubes of cooled lava that intersect with rivers deep into the earth! Your guides will take you as far in as you please!
e. Mt Matavanu Crater, Savai’i
This adventure requires a 4WD and decent shoes! But it is well worth the effort to make your way out to this volcano that significantly shaped Samoan history.
4. Watch the World’s Last Sunset
As the last country on the international date line, this is the last place in the world the sun falls, and most nights, it is quite simply spectacular.
5. Experience the Local Culture
a. Witness a Traditional Tattoo Ceremony
This cultural rite of passage is still performed by master tattooists and is quite the sight if you are lucky enough to be on the island while one takes place!
b. Enjoy a Fia Fia Night
Check in with your resort when you arrive to see a Fia Fia night is happening, this traditional event is comprised of a feast of Samoan food with entertainment galore including warriors, dancers, musicians and story tellers.
c. Visit Maketi Fou
The local 24-hour markets are abuzz with life all hours of the day, from locals enjoying games of mu (Samoan checkers) on the roadside to busy merchants and shoppers looking for everything from groceries and lunch to souvenirs and keep sakes.
6. Be Blown Away with the Alofaaga Blowholes
You’ll find these impressive jets of water in the village of Taga on the South West of Savai'i with the powerful waves sending water over a hundred meters in the air!
7. Visit a Waterfall
a. Afu Aau, Savai’i
Imagine this: a roaring waterfall plunging from the depths of the rainforest down a sheer cliff face in to a deep fresh water swimming hole. As if created to please it’s visitors the edges of the swimming hole are shallow to allow easy entry for those unwilling to jump!
b. Togitogiga Waterfall, Upolu
One of the most popular waterfalls in Samoa, Togitogiga is a shorter, cascading fall finishing in a swimming hole with changing rooms and restrooms nearby.
c. Fuipisia Waterfall
A spectacular 55 meter high jungle waterfall, Fuipisia is a sight not to be missed for those who love the rainforest.
8. National Park / Rainforest
a. Falealupo Canopy Walk
Get a new perspective on the rainforest with a journey across a 24 meter jerry built bridge strung between two massive trees 10 meters high.
The beaches in Samoa are incredibly beautiful, the sand is typically white with powder blue waters lapping the shores. Most of the popular beaches have entry fees that go towards the villages who maintain them (approximately $15 AUD).
a. Lalomanu Beach
This is your traditional palm tree lined, white sand beach with pristine azure waters. You can relax under a fale (traditional hut, with open sides and a thatched roof) so escape the sun and enjoy a drink!
b. Lefaga Beach
Your traditionally incredible beach, with plenty of extra landscape including a dramatic headland and rocky outcrops. You can take a picnic or dine at the beachfront restaurant.
c. Tafa Tafa Beach
Absolutely pristine, this beach is a favourite for swimming, relaxing under fales and enjoying the ambience of paradise.
d. Manase Beach
You’ll find this hidden gem on the north coast of Savai’I, it is a smaller strip of beach, so the perfect place to relax especially if you are lucky enough to have the beach to yourself.
10. Spa Treatments
Samoan Taulasea (traditional healers) have been practising therapies passed down through generations that are now used in spa treatments making them both a relaxing and cultural experience! You’ll find most of the spa’s in the resorts on the island.
Sinalei Reef Resort, voted Samoa’s number 1 luxury resort. This is modern, rustic luxury at its finest with a range of ocean view and ocean front villas, an amazing variety of restaurants including a pool bar in the lavish pool, this resort is sure to please.
Aga Reef Resort provides an excellent taste of Samoa with plenty of creature comforts. Choose between a waterfront villa or ocean view room and enjoy the well cultivated menu items.
Whether you want to spend your time relaxing, swimming, and unwinding or adventuring through the long list of must do’s on the archipelago, we can find you the perfect accommodation to suit, call your personalised consultant on 1300 886 779.
If you feel like Samoa has captured your heart or just peaked your interest talk to us on 1300 886 779 or browse your Samoan Holiday options now.
Our Top Picks For Apia
Sinalei Reef Resort and Spa
Set across 44 elegantly groomed acres of lush vegetation, Sinalei Resort creates an atmosphere of modern-rustic luxury combined with raw untouched beauty.
Situated on the peninsula in Apia Harbour, Amanaki is the capital’s newest hotel - where Samoan hospitality extends to giving you the best deal on superior accommodation.