A rich cultural history, dazzling white-sand beaches and famous former residents make this Pacific island nation a fascinating vacation destination.
Samoa is a beautiful South Pacific island nation, with tropical rainforests, plunging waterfalls, pristine beaches and traditional “fale” huts. Explore Samoa’s 10 islands to discover a diverse landscape of volcanic mountains, lava fields, dense jungle, authentic villages and long, wide stretches of secluded beach. Dive in the clear waters to see the brilliant hues of tropical coral, explore eerie lava caves, clamber up sheer volcanic rock or just laze on a sun-drenched Samoan beach with a coconut in one hand and a cup of kava in the other.
Visit Upolu, Samoa’s second largest island, to find Apia, the country’s capital. This gateway to the Samoan islands features a fantastic market, known as Maketi Fou, which sells mouth-watering tropical fruits, fresh seafood and other local produce. Nearby, find the local flea market and purchase cultural souvenirs such as kava bowls, lava-lava sarongs, jewelry and woven handicrafts. Rise early with the Samoans and enjoy a midday siesta before joining locals in a game of football or kirikiti, Samoan cricket. Afterward, refresh yourself with local beer at one of Apia’s pubs and restaurants. Consider tasting some kava. This traditional Polynesian drink has a powerful sedative effect so be sure to watch how much you sip.
Explore Upolu’s east coast for scenic Lalomanu Beach or its southern coast for the palm groves and surf breaks of Salamumu Beach. Head inland to discover Lake Lanoto’o National Park, Sopoaga Water Falls and the stunning rainforests of O Le Pupu-Pue National Park, where hiking and bird-watching trails crisscross the park.
Savai’i is the third largest island in Polynesia. Trek through its forests to cascading waterfalls, Mount Matavanu and the Saleaula Lava Fields. Erupting blowholes, white sandy beaches and serene lagoons are dotted along the Savai’i coastline. Stay in a fale, a traditional Samoan hut with a domed roof and loose blinds for privacy or a luxury beachfront resort.
Reach Samoa by plane to Faleolo International Airport or Fagali’i Airport and by boat from other Polynesian islands. Local buses and taxis are common on the main islands; however, buses do not operate on a schedule. Samoa’s dry season and most of the country’s festivals occur between May and October.