Tourism in Samoa

Tourism in Samoa

Samoa is an island nation in the South Pacific Ocean. It is part of the region of the Pacific known as Polynesia. Its population is around 185,000 but many more Samoans live outside the country, particularly in New Zealand, Australia and California.

Samoa is about one-half of the way between Hawaii and New Zealand. The islands have narrow coastal plains with volcanic, rocky, rugged mountains in the interior. The two main islands are Upolu and Savaii. The capital, Apia, and the international airport are on Upolu.



Things to Do in Samoa

  • National Parks. There are several national parks in both Upolu and Savaii. These offer tropical vegetation, numerous birds and some interesting lakes. Falealupo Rainforest Preserve on Savaii has a short canopy walkway and you can sleep in the trees. Lake Lanoto'o National Park on Upolu has a fascinating lake where introduced goldfish thrive and grow to amazing sizes.
  • Waterfalls. The inland areas of both Savaii and Upolu have some spectacular waterfalls, some with 100m drops. Those on Upolu are a bit more accessible. Papase'ea Sliding Rocks on Upolu have only a slight drop but the vegetation on the falls permits an interesting slide into the pool below.
  • Blowholes. Savaii has some spectacular blowholes caused by the sea forcing water up through tubes in volcanic rocks.
  • Caves. There are interesting caves on both islands.
  • Lava Fields. Parts of Savaii are covered by lava rock, following various eruptions by Mt. Matavanu.
  • Villages. Although Western-style buildings are gaining in popularity, traditional Samoan fales are still found everywhere. These are of an oval or circular shape with wooden posts holding up a domed roof. There are no walls, although blinds can be lowered to give privacy. The village is very important to Samoan culture and there are strict rules governing the way village societies function.
  • Beaches. Samoa has miles and miles of beautiful and empty beaches. There is a range of accommodation, from simple beach fales to luxurious resorts. Beaches invariably belong to the nearest village and the villages often request a small fee for their use.
  • Museums. Samoa was home to the Scottish author Robert Louis Stevenson for the last five years of his life. His home, just outside Apia, is now a museum. The Museum of Samoa in Apia is also well worth a visit.
  • Golf. Golf is very popular in Samoa. There is even a suggestion that the recent introduction of Daylight Saving Time was primarily done so that executives could get in a round of golf after work before it got dark! All courses are on Upolu. Two are close to Apia, one near the airport and a nine-hole course is found on the south coast.
  • Diving. Scuba diving is a relatively new activity in Samoa. Both Upolu and Savai'i have great dive spots, with around 900 fish species and 200 types of coral. There are dive companies operating on both islands.
  • Fishing. Samoa is a popular fishing destination. Fish in the local waters include blue and black marlin, sailfish, yellowfin, and the giant trevally. Most charter companies operate out of Apia harbour.