Halfway between New Zealand and Hawaii is the beautiful island nation of Samoa. The two main islands, Upolu and Savaii thrive on a warm tropical climate and are blessed with rugged mountainous terrain, lush rainforests and breathtaking beaches. This stunning South Pacific destination has maintained its pristine environment with only a smattering of resorts and hotels surrounding the shores, whilst many of the locals choose to live in traditional villages. Experience an exotic island escape in Samoa and you will be met with the perfect blend of natural beauty and unique culture.
Here are our top five activities to do in Samoa.
Grab a Bargain at the Apia Markets
The capital of Samoa, Apia is home to numerous markets worth exploring. Every day of the week, you can visit the produce markets which offer a vibrant display of exotic tropical fruits and vegetables. Be tempted by the aroma of traditional Samoan treats and enjoy a refreshing drinking coconut, known as a Niu. The local flea markets are perfect for picking up authentic Samoan handicrafts, from kava bowls and traditional wood carvings to rows of colourful sarongs, made by the locals. On Sunday mornings, you can venture to the fish market, where you will find an amazing variety of seafood, from yellow fin tuna to octopus and moral eels.
Explore the Wondrous Waterfalls
The spectacular scenery of Samoa is dotted with an array of magnificent waterfalls. Enjoy a tour or ‘waterfall crawl’ of the most beautiful falls across Upolu. The first stop will be the powerful Papapapai-Tai Falls that reach a height of 100 metres, before you move on to admire the Togitogiga Waterfall. Enjoy a picnic lunch overlooking the Sopoaga Falls, or hike to the top of the Fuipisia Falls for impressive views. Savaii also features a number of waterfalls, including the plunging Afu Aau Falls off the south coast or the safe and shallow Mu Pagoda Falls.
Admire the National Parks and Rainforests
The lush rainforests of Samoa thrive in the tropical climate and are home to a plethora of native wildlife. On Upolu, you can roam the mountainous terrain of O le Pupu-Pue National Park, while keeping an eye out for the 42 species of bird that call this forest home. There’s also the Tafua Peninsula Rainforest Preserve in the southeast, where you can walk to the top of the Tafua Crater for picturesque views across the treetops. In Savaii, venture to the Falealupo Rainforest Reserve and wander across the canopy walk that stretches 30 metres wide and 40 metres high.
Swim with the Turtles
For a unique adventure, head to the wetlands sanctuary at Savaii’s Satoalepai Village to have the opportunity to swim alongside a dozen or more green turtles. Kids will love feeding the large tarot leaves to the gentle giants or stroking their hard shells. Alternatively, you can visit the pristine shores of Namua Island and swim with the sea turtles in their natural habitat. Samoa is also the perfect destination for snorkelling and scuba diving, with colourful coral reefs home to an abundance of marine life.
Laze on the Beautiful Beaches
Perhaps the biggest drawcard to sunny Samoa is the array of unspoilt beaches featuring bright turquoise waters. One of the most famous is Lalomanu Beach on Upolu, with its endless stretch of white sand and surrounding palm trees. Enjoy the renowned three kilometre walk between Salamumu Beach and Paradise Beach, considered one of the finest beach walks in the South Pacific. Other beaches worth exploring include Namua Beach, Vavau Beach or the Aganoa Black Sand Beach. For endless ocean views, consider staying in one of the romantic over water bungalows in Samoa.