Samoa is among the most underrated locations of the South Pacific, however one we guess will make its strategy to the highest of your bucket checklist by the top of this text.
Samoa’s coast is lined with beautiful sandy seashores, adopted by volcanic cliffs. The crystal clear sea is teeming with vibrant coral and an abundance of unique reef fish and sea turtles. There are jungle-covered volcanoes and generally it feels such as you’re in Jurassic Park and also you marvel when T-rex will make an look. You’ll see palm timber in every single place stuffed with coconuts which are small however oh-so-sweet. And there’s the waterfalls, so many and a number of the most stunning waterfalls we’ve ever seen. Samoa is a real tropical paradise, however even when stress-free on the seashore isn’t your factor, there are many issues to do and see to maintain you entertained.
Prime issues to do on Upolu Island
Upolu, the primary Island, is the place nearly all of the Samoans dwell and it’s additionally the place your airplane will land. Apia, the capital and the one metropolis in Samoa can also be discovered on this island. The southern a part of the island is lined with luxurious resorts and whereas tourism in Samoa isn’t almost as developed as within the surrounding Pacific islands, it’s turning into evident that this space will ultimately flip right into a vacationer sizzling spot.
1. To Sua Ocean Trench
To Sua interprets to ‘Large Swimming Gap’ which was shaped by a cave-in of an historical lava tube system that connects to the ocean. It’s this swimming gap that introduced our consideration to Samoa, and we’re certain we’re not the one ones whose consideration it caught. To Sua Ocean Trench is the preferred and most iconic attraction in Samoa and one you shouldn’t miss out on.
The ocean water is available in by way of an underwater cave and it’s heat and stuffed with fish. You’ll really feel the present gently rocking you backward and forward and after rainfall you’ll hear rainwater dripping down the edges. It’s paradise.
Prime tip: Even at excessive tide the water just isn’t very deep so be very cautious when leaping in.
Entrance payment: 20 WST
2. Lalomanu Seaside
Lalomanu Seaside has been voted one of many high 10 seashore locations on the earth by Lonely Planet. Whereas this seashore is commonly thought of essentially the most stunning seashore in Samoa, it nonetheless feels surprisingly pristine and doesn’t get crowded in any respect.
Lalomanu is completely beautiful with its infinite stretch of white sand lined with palm timber and vibrant fales. That is the right spot to look at the solar go down whereas listening to the turquoise water gently breaking on the shore.
Prime tip: As a consequence of its place, you may see each dawn and sundown on Lalomanu Seaside.
The place to remain: spending at the very least one night time in seashore fales is a should. Taufua Seaside Fales are improbable and have essentially the most wonderful views.
3. Large Clams Sanctuary
How massive can a clam get? Ten centimeters? Half a meter? Seems they will develop as much as 1.2 meters in size! Loopy, proper? These massive boys are tremendous fairly too and you could find them in vibrant shades of inexperienced, yellow, crimson and blue.
Large clams are solely discovered within the heat waters of the Pacific and Indian ocean and in Samoa you may see them up shut in a sanctuary simply off the coast. There are a whole lot of them and it’s an odd feeling swimming previous them as they slam shut.
Prime tip: It’s most secure to go to the sanctuary at excessive tide.
Entrance payment: 10 WST
The place to remain: Return to Paradise Resort gives the consolation of a full dimension resort with out the painful worth.
4. Fia Fia Night time
Fia Fia means gathering or celebration and Fia Fia nights are organised in all greater resorts or fales and most of them enable exterior company to hitch in. Fia Fia nights characteristic a historically cooked meal (umu) often consisting of a variety of taro (the ugly brother of a potato), adopted by a dance & fireplace present. These fia fia nights might be a variety of enjoyable and an effective way to get acquainted with the Samoan tradition.
Prime tip: If in case you have the chance to attend the Fia Fia night time at Return to Paradise Resort you’re in for a deal with! These guys have been successful awards (sure, there’s a Fia Fia competitors) for extra years than they will rely.
5. Cultural Village in Apia
The Cultural Village in Apia is the lunch model of a fia fia night time nevertheless it additionally offers much more perception into the cultural and historic background. You’ll begin the go to by weaving your individual plate, they’ll present you the way an umu (earth oven) is made, you then’ll get an introduction to Samoan arts and crafts and end it off with an up and shut show of conventional Samoan tattooing earlier than consuming the simply cooked umu.
Prime tip: The Cultural Village is freed from cost however we encourage you to tip generously.
The place to remain: Taumeasina Island resort is the final word luxurious resort on a personal island linked by a bridge to Apia. For a extra inexpensive possibility take a look at Olivias Lodging.
6. Palolo Deep Reserve
After we first heard of Palolo Deep we didn’t anticipate a lot, in any case it’s positioned proper subsequent to the port so how good can it presumably be with all that boat visitors and air pollution? Effectively, it seems it’s freaking wonderful!
About 100 meters from the shore you’ll see a pole and that’s the place you’ll need to go. The swim begins within the shallows the place you’ll solely discover useless corals, however as you make your means additional away from the coast, you’ll be seeing increasingly more fish and small clusters of coral will probably be getting greater and larger with each stroke you make. Then, as you attain the pole one thing wonderful occurs. The ocean ground all of the sudden and steeply drops down and a complete new underwater world opens up in entrance of your eyes! The corals develop into extra vibrant and the fish extra various. There are large colleges of tiny yellow fish opening up a passage as you swim by way of, in addition to greater and extra colourful reef fish. We’ve seen swordfish on the brink of catch lunch and puffer fish blowing up in entrance of our eyes. Palolo Deep is a snorkeling paradise!
Prime tip: Take your flippers with you because it’s fairly a swim and the present can get actually sturdy.
Entrance payment: 5 WST
Prime issues to do on Savai’i Island
Savai’i is the larger and extra pristine island of Samoa. Though greater in dimension, not many individuals dwell right here and solely about 20% of tourists ever cross over. What can I say… 80% of tourists are severely lacking out!
Savai’i is sometimes called the ‘actual’ Samoa. It’s wilder and in our opinion it’s much more stunning than Upolu. 2-Three days can be the right period of time to see the highlights in Savai’i however for us, it could have been straightforward to spend per week simply in Manase, shifting between our terrace and the seashore, looking for the right mix of solar and shade solely to interrupt it up with the occasional swim amidst wild sea turtles. So if this appears like one thing you wish to do extra of, go forward and add a couple of days to your Samoa itinerary.
7. Alofaaga Blowholes
Over 100 years in the past Mt. Matavanu erupted, overlaying massive components of Savai’i with lava and creating a number of the most breathtaking and surreal landscapes.
Alofaaga Blowholes are a major instance of the facility of Mom Nature. When the waves are available, water pushes by way of the lava tubes and blows up into the air over 30 meters excessive. This can be a spectacular sight which is able to make you are feeling extremely small and humble.
Prime Tip: Go to the blowholes at excessive tide to see them at their full energy.
Entrance payment: 5 WST
8. Falealupo Seaside
Falealupo is a small village on the westernmost level of Savai’i. Asphalt roads didn’t make it this far but and it looks as if time stopped on this little nook of the Earth.
Falealupo Seaside is essentially the most stunning seashore on Savai’i with it’s pinkish sand and palm timber leaning over water. That is the one place in Samoa with an unobstructed view of the sundown so you may see the solar drop into the ocean. Falealupo Seaside can also be stunning underwater with it’s humorous coral clusters and colourful reef fish.
The place to remain: Se’eti Seaside Fales has the yummiest meals within the space.
9. Swim with wild sea turtles
Simply in entrance of the village of Manase you will see essentially the most stunning reef in all of Savai’i and on the sting of this reef you’ll discover sea turtles munchin on the ocean grass. They’re very punctual creatures and cling round there every single day at excessive tide.
Prime tip: Don’t go to “Swimming with turtles” since they maintain them in captivity. As an alternative, seize your snorkel and discover them within the wild simply in entrance of Stevenson’s Resort or Tanu Seaside fales.
The place to remain: Tanu Seaside Fales for a price range possibility or Stevenson’s for inexpensive luxurious.
10. Afu Aua Waterfall
We’re avid waterfall chasers and we’re comfortable to report that Afu Aua is among the finest falls we’ve ever visited! This 30m waterfall created a giant plunge pool surrounded by rocks and jungle which is ideal for a refreshing swim. The water is simply chilly sufficient to provide you that refreshing kick after a stroll within the Samoan solar, but in addition heat sufficient you can spend hours floating round and leaping off the rocks.
Prime tip: Don’t get tempted to leap in on the first waterfall. As an alternative stroll as much as the top of the trail and dive in underneath the third and largest waterfall, so definitely worth the wait!
Entrance payment: 10 WST
How lengthy to remain in Samoa
Samoa consists of two predominant islands and some smaller surrounding islands. The primary islands are known as Upolu and Sava’i, and are each equally beautiful however utterly completely different. Most vacationers will solely go to Upolu and spend 5-7 days suntanning in a resort, however if you wish to discover each islands (which it is best to!) we suggest you put aside 8-10 days in Samoa. This can enable you not solely to see all the key factors of curiosity but in addition offer you a while to unwind and work on that tan. We spent almost Three weeks in Samoa and beloved each second of it.
Attending to Samoa
Faleolo Worldwide Airport is the one worldwide airport within the nation and it’s positioned on Upolu Island, 40 kilometres west of the capital Apia. There are common flights from New Zealand, Australia and a number of the surrounding Pacific Islands. Whereas ready in your baggage you’ll probably be welcomed by an acoustic band carrying flower necklaces and enjoying conventional Samoan music. Talofa, and welcome to stunning Samoa!
Samoa is small and roads are few. Each islands have one predominant street that follows the shoreline, and on Upolu there are a few extra roads crossing the island, so navigating is relatively straightforward. The roads are nonetheless in poor situation, and the velocity restrict is low, so even when distances are brief, it might probably take you significantly longer than anticipated to get from A to B. These are the out there choices for transport:
Public Bus: The buses in Samoa are an expertise in itself and one we can’t suggest sufficient, however solely if you’re not in a rush. Other than a few bus terminals there are not any official bus stops so it’s a must to wave them down by the aspect of the street. Whereas timetables do exist, the buses are nearly by no means on time, they usually cease at supermarkets, take detours and generally even break down. However taking an previous and colourful bus is one thing you shouldn’t miss out on in Samoa as it’s a true cultural expertise and we promise you’ll have enjoyable so long as you retain an open thoughts. The buses don’t have any aircon and a few don’t even have glass home windows, they get crammed and the music is loud, however the conversations are nice and the grins are actual.
Taxi: There’s no Uber service in Samoa and taxi meters appear to be optionally available and infrequently tempered with. At all times haggle and agree on a worth earlier than getting right into a taxi. As a basic rule of thumb, any trip inside Apia is about 5 WST, the trip from Apia to the airport is 50 – 60 WST.
Rental Automobile: Renting a automotive might be the perfect and most dependable means of getting round in Samoa. We’ve seen rental choices as little as 80 WST per day within the outskirts of Apia.
Ferry: The ferry connects each islands and departs each two hours between 6 am and Four pm from Monday to Saturday, and twice a day on Sunday. Tickets might be bought simply earlier than departure and you’ll take your rental automotive over with the ferry. The ferry terminal on Upolu is conveniently positioned simply 5 minutes from the airport.
We’ve met a number of travellers (additionally solo feminine) who opted to hitchhike their means round Samoa. They felt secure doing so and didn’t have points getting a trip. Samoans are very pleasant and hospitable, most of them will gladly offer you a trip and inform you all kinds of tales on the way in which. It’s also doable to hire a scooter however we’d solely suggest it for brief journeys because the street circumstances are poor.
In our opinion, Samoa is a real gem of the Pacific and a spot we’d return to in a heartbeat. It gives the right mixture of soppy sandy seashores, jungle coated mountains, beautiful waterfalls, sort folks, island vibes, attention-grabbing traditions and mesmerising underwater life.
So, are you satisfied, did Samoa make it in your bucket checklist but?
In regards to the authors: Tom and Zi are the creatives behind Craving Journey. They met whereas solo travelling by way of SEA and fell in love. As soon as that journey was over they each had to return dwelling – to the alternative sides of the world, however they couldn’t stand the gap in order that they discovered a strategy to make it work. They give up their jobs, packed up their luggage, offered what didn’t match into stated luggage and hit the street to journey full time. By their weblog and Instagram account they purpose to carry you all of the insights on a lifetime of journey, exploration and journey.