Saleaula Lava Field

Holiday Travel Guide

Visit this geological phenomenon on Savai’i Island and discover the remains of villages buried during a volcanic eruption over a century ago. 

Stroll across the eerie black landscape of the Saleaula Lava Field and visit the remains of buried villages. Imagine what it must have been like for the locals when they saw their homes swallowed up by the pahoehoe lava. Despite this sad history, the lava field has become one of Samoa’s major tourist attractions, offering opportunities for geologists and photographers alike. It is hard not to be impressed when you see the effects of the terrifying force of nature.

The Saleaula Lava Field was created in 1905 when the nearby Mount Matavanu erupted. A second eruption poured yet more lava onto the field, covering an area of over 100 square kilometres (40 square miles). Five villages were buried, although thankfully the lava was slow-moving so there were few fatalities.

When you step onto the lava field, the first thing you will take in is the bleak, empty landscape. Look closer and you will start to notice the whirling patterns in the volcanic rock and the fissures and cracks that formed as the lava dried. It is like seeing the ripples in the surface of a lake. Note the plants that have started to grow on the fertile ground. The bright green of the leaves makes for a stunning contrast with the jet-black rocks.

Visit the remains of the two churches that were engulfed by the lava flow. You can still make out the arched windows and the peaked roof, but the insides of the churches are filled with layers of black rock. Visit the so-called “Virgin’s Grave”, a rectangular hole cut out of the lava with a grave underneath. Stroll to the edge of the cliffs for a view of the ocean. It takes around 30 minutes to cross the lava field.

The Saleaula Lava Field is located on the northern coast of Savai’i Island near Maunga village. Regular ferries and flights run from Upolu to Savai’i. Hire a car, take a taxi or make use of the island’s public buses to get there. There is a small fee for admission.

15 Cheap Hotels Near Saleaula Lava Field

Savaii Lagoon Resort
Savaii Lagoon Resort
3.5 out of 5
Main Coast Road, Fagamalo
The price is NZ$195 per night from 22 Oct. to 22 Oct.
Nestled on the beach, this Fagamalo hotel is 2 mi (3.2 km) from Lava Church Ruins and 2.1 mi (3.4 km) from Saleaula Lava Field. Paia Dwarfs Cave and Peapea Cave ...
4.1/5 Very Good! (33 reviews)
"The aircon in our room over our bed didn’t work and the fans when it’s was too hot was disappointed. They never changed our sheet once was there for 4 days. We got 4 towels on the first day and one the third day we only got two towels. No fresh towels everyday."

Reviewed on 11 Jan. 2020

Savaii Lagoon Resort
Bayview Resort
Bayview Resort
3 out of 5
Sale'aula Lava Field, Apia, Savaii Island, Sale'aula
Nestled on the beach, this Sale'aula hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Lava Church Ruins and Saleaula Lava Field. Paia Dwarfs Cave is 7.6 mi (12.3 km) ...
3.3/5 (12 reviews)
"Nice hotel near the beach is the only thing that is good. Inexperience staff with minimum English. Not happy with the lack of responsibility taken when checking in. Need to update their policies re-check in."

Reviewed on 23 May 2018

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Bayview Resort
Le Lagoto Resort & Spa
Le Lagoto Resort & Spa
4 out of 5
Fagamalo, Savai'i, Fagamalo
Nestled on the beach, this Fagamalo resort is 2 mi (3.3 km) from Lava Church Ruins and 2.1 mi (3.5 km) from Saleaula Lava Field. Paia Dwarfs Cave and Peapea ...
4.5/5 Wonderful! (58 reviews)
"Absolutely beautiful resort!! Highly recommend! Seti is an absolute gem - makes the whole experience 10 times Better!"

Reviewed on 7 Mar. 2020

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Le Lagoto Resort & Spa
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.

Saleaula Lava Field

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Top Saleaula Lava Field Hotel & Accommodation Deals

Jet Over Hotel
Jet Over Hotel
3 out of 5
Main Road, Salelologa
The price is NZ$121 per night from 22 Oct. to 22 Oct.
Jet Over Hotel
Bayview Resort
Bayview Resort
3 out of 5
Sale'aula Lava Field, Apia, Savaii Island, Sale'aula
Bayview Resort
Savaii Lagoon Resort
Savaii Lagoon Resort
3.5 out of 5
Main Coast Road, Fagamalo
The price is NZ$195 per night from 22 Oct. to 22 Oct.
Savaii Lagoon Resort
Le Lagoto Resort & Spa
Le Lagoto Resort & Spa
4 out of 5
Fagamalo, Savai'i, Fagamalo
Le Lagoto Resort & Spa
Tailua Beach Fale
Tailua Beach Fale
2.5 out of 5
Manase, Manase
Tailua Beach Fale
Stevenson's at Manase
Stevenson's at Manase
3 out of 5
Savai, Manase
The price is NZ$191 per night from 22 Oct. to 22 Oct.
Stevenson's at Manase
Vacations Beach Fale
Vacations Beach Fale
2.5 out of 5
North Coast Road, Manase
Vacations Beach Fale
Amoa Resort Savaii
Amoa Resort Savaii
3.5 out of 5
Siufaga, Savaii, Tuasivi
The price is NZ$246 per night from 22 Oct. to 22 Oct.
Amoa Resort Savaii
The Savaiian Hotel
The Savaiian Hotel
3.5 out of 5
Savaii, Lolomalava
The Savaiian Hotel
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.