10 Best Places to Visit in Samoa

Talofa lava, welcome to Samoa and the genuine South seas! Samoa offers its visitors beautiful beaches, exciting nature and authentic Polynesian culture. Here you can experience pure white beaches, Samoan traditions and amazing food cooked in earth ovens. Divide your time between the two islands of Upolu and Savai'i, both with stunning waterfalls, lush rainforest and perfect beaches lined with palm trees.

Very often, the most underrated places seem to be the best ones. Samoa is one of those locations that you don’t think of first when it comes to traveling, but it’s genuinely a fantastic travel destination. Those looking for a tropical paradise can find everything in this Pacific Ocean gem. It’s a natural beauty, and the authentic lifestyle of the locals attracts more and more visitors each year, which is why you should consider it your next holiday destination.

To those crystal clear waters and golden sands, there are waterfalls, jungle, volcanoes, lava fields and the great attraction of traveling to Samoa are the traditions and lifestyle (Fa'a Samoa) that are preserved much more authentic than in other neighboring islands. In addition, it is the second cheapest destination in the Pacific after Fiji.

If your motivation for traveling to Samoa is only beaches, there are other much cheaper places in Southeast Asia. But if you are also interested in the culture of Polynesia and be part, even for a few days, of one of those remote corners where mass tourism did not arrive, then start planning.

Upolu is the most populated and modern island, where Apia (capital) has Faleolo International Airport and Lalomanu is the most tourist beach. At the western end is the Mulifanua port, from where ferries leave for Savai'i. Salelologa is the port and town where practically all the services are (markets, ATMs, bus terminal, hotels).

There is also a dock where boats go to Manono and another point (it can not be called pier) for Apolima. Manono is easy to get from Upolu but gives the feeling of being lost in the middle of the ocean. Between Pago Pago, the capital of neighboring American Samoa (US territory), and Apia, there are ferries.

And if you want to go to one of the most remote destinations in the world, twice a month there are boats to Tokelau, an archipelago of 1500 inhabitants that administratively depends on New Zealand, but culturally much closer to Samoa.

It is a hard trip of 24 to 32 hours when the wind is in favor, which explains the isolation of these islands. The place that handles all the information related to the ferry to Tokelau is the Tokelau Apia Liaison Office, which is close to the Clock Tower of Apia. The only way to have an estimated date before traveling is to write from the Government of Tokelau page, if they respond, but once in Apia you will be able to have more data.

But, how to plan your visit and the locations you should see? Consider this as your guide to what’s best on the island – the best places to visit in Samoa.

It is definitely a trip only for those who are very convinced. Samoa is synonymous with Fale when it comes to lodging. These typical beach constructions are wooden huts with straw roof and mosquito net, ranging from the most basic ones with a mattress on the floor and winding curtains instead of walls.

A cheap hotel in Apia is around USD 15 to 20, and a simple fale on the beach is at T 70-100 per person including breakfast and dinner (cheaper in Savai'i). Eating at the stalls of the markets will cost between T 5 and 10 per meal. The local beer, Vailima, costs between T3 and 4.

Why should Samoa be your next holiday destination?

There are many popular destinations in the Pacific Ocean – Tahiti, Bora Bora, Solomon Islands, etc. But what is it about Samoa that’s so unique that makes it a top choice for your next holiday? Here are the main reasons to visit Samoa as soon as possible:

Breathtaking waterfalls – the symbol of paradise, nature, and peace, waterfalls are island’s gems. Looking for them is a unique experience and should be on your bucket list.

You can sleep on the beach – the ultimate way to experience a tropical beach is to stay there all day and night. Huts on the beach allow you to sleep there and enjoy a fresh tropical breeze.

Swimming with turtles – Samoa’s coral reefs are a perfect place to practice your diving skills and spend some quality time with turtles and other sea creatures.

Fantastic food – Samoa’s food is prepared uniquely. It’s wrapped in banana leaves and simmered under the ground.

One-of-a-kind society and culture – the Samoan culture is more than 3000 years old, and its traditions are preserved for such a long time. These traditions reflect in the way locals live, their homes, and how they communicate.

Best Places to Visit in Samoa

Even though Samoa is not the biggest island, there are plenty of things to do here. Here are the best places to visit in Samoa and have an unforgettable travel experience.

1. Piula Cave Pool

The island is famous for its natural pools, and Piula is one of them. You can find it by going north on the Upolu Island – drive 16 miles from Apia until you see signs for the Piula Theological College. This pool is a result of volcanic activity, and it’s undoubtedly one of the most popular swimming holes in the country. Taking a dip in this body of water will refresh your body and mind and give you a unique tropical experience.

2. Apia market

The capital of Samoa is the location of a couple of exciting flea markets. However, the old Apia market should be one to visit. It’s located on a waterfall and is a great place to shop for traditional products and souvenirs. The Fugalei market is the right place for those into local foods, and it’s a great way to experience the culture without needing a lot of money for your travel.

3. To Sua Ocean Trench

Another swimming hole that will take your breath away for sure is To Sua. This body of water is 30-meter deep, filled with crystal clear water that gets a deep green color from its surroundings – the lush jungle. It’s a glorious natural gem hidden from sight but can be reached by wooden ladders. After climbing down, you can see in person the spot you’ve probably seen in pictures or desktop wallpapers many times.

4. Robert Louis Stevenson Museum

It's no wonder why the famous Scottish novelist decided to spend his final years in Samoa. Its tranquility and beauty were so inspiring – which is another reason why you should visit Apia. You can explore this impressive museum on your own or on a guided tour and learn more about the famous author’s life.

5. Namua

This hidden paradise is undoubtedly one of the best places to visit in Samoa. It takes a short boat ride to reach this natural wonderland, so be sure to schedule it for a day trip in Samoa. Here you will not see many tourists. The dream of the South Pacific's Samoa!

6. Immaculate Conception Cathedral

This Catholic cathedral in Apia is one of the social centers for the locals. It’s the perfect mixture of old Samoan traditions and Western culture, so be sure to visit this piece of great architecture.

7. Falealupo

This lovely village on Savai’I Island perfectly represents a stress-free Samoa lifestyle. It’s the best place to visit in Samoa because you can indeed have a rest here and see some of the most magnificent sunsets in your life. It’s also the place to visit the spectacular Falaelpupo Rainforest Preserve – home to rich wildlife and beautiful sights.

8. Le Pupu Puye National Park

This place is one of the must-visit locations for hikers and nature-lovers. It's the oldest national park in Samoa, and it includes hiking trails with some breathtaking views. Hiking is one of the ways to be fit during vacation as it’s important to exercise while traveling – laying in the sun all day long doesn’t need to be your only activity here! Samoa’s top locations allow you to relax and stay active and healthy.

9. Papapapaitai Falls

This 100m waterfall is one of the tallest waterfalls on the island. It is a place of amazing views and forest trails, so be sure to add it to your itinerary.

10. Lalomanu Beach

Last but not least, spend your last day in Samoa on a tropical beach. This is one of the most popular beaches in Samoa, and there are some significant reasons for it. It’s located on the south coast of Upolu, along with some other great beaches in the area. Lalomanu Beach is not only one of the best places to visit in Samoa, but it’s often found on the lists of best beaches in the world, so don’t forget to visit it while you’re here.

Meta: Plan your next vacation with the list of the best places to visit in Samoa, and make sure you’ve got the best traveling experience in this Pacific Ocean gem.


Kalyan Panja