With its beautiful beaches, friendly people and a relaxed way of life, it’s not surprising that Samoa has a reputation as a wonderful destination for family and couples’ holidays. However, as an island nation that’s happily situated among the tropical climate of the Pacific, there are also plenty of adventure sports, and particularly water-based sports, available to ensure that the most adventurous visitors are well catered for.
In Samoa, the ocean is your playground, with opportunities to sail catamarans or 35-foot (ten-metre) sailing yachts on day-charter tours. Dive off the boats and scuba along the stunning coral reefs below the waves or pack your snorkelling gear and you’ll spend many happy hours under water.
You can also try your hand at game-fishing adventures, regardless of whether you’re an experienced angler or an enthusiastic beginner. The waters surrounding the islands of Samoa are teeming with life, so at the very least, you’re bound to catch something delicious for your dinner.
Kayaking, surfing and paddle-boarding are also widely available, although it’s a good idea to ask the locals for recommendations, as conditions at popular spots will vary depending on the weather and the time of year. It’s possible to rent gear from adventure sports, hotels or shops in the busier city areas. If you’re on the water, you may even be lucky enough to spot sea turtles swimming near you on the edges of the coral reefs. Alternatively, you can bring your own board, and there are many surfing resorts that offer beachfront accommodation and easy access to the first waves each morning.
For a fresh thrill, head for the renowned and impossibly photogenic To Sua Ocean Trench, which is located on the southern coast, roughly a one-hour drive from Samoa’s capital city of Apia. This serene swimming spot is a truly unique spectacle, combining a natural ocean trench, dark grottos and sandy beaches, framed with lush, green vegetation. The name translates to 'big hole' in Samoan, and this is an apt name for the 30-metre-deep natural trench near Lotofaga village. You’ll have to manage a short but tricky descent down a large wooden ladder, but there’s a platform from which you can dive into the water or simply sit and soak up the sun as you drip-dry and absorb the atmosphere of this magical spot.
Samoa’s second main island, Savai’i, can be reached via a ninety-minute ferry ride from the western end of Upolu. As well as more wonderful beaches and plenty of water spots, Savai’i offers land-based thrills for those who prefer to keep their feet dry. Mount Matavanu is an active volcano that last erupted between 1905 and 1911, spewing lava and scorching its way through the rainforest for up to thirteen kilometres. Today, the mountain has fallen silent, the lava has cooled, and the lush forests have returned. A hike to the crater at the summit offers amazing views of the entire island.
The cherished sport of kilikiti, or Samoan cricket, is a fun variation on the traditional British version, played with a triangular blade-shaped bat up to a metre in length called a 'pate', that’s usually made from the wood of a hibiscus or breadfruit tree. The ball is made specially for kilikiti by using tightly wrapped rubbery fibre from the pulu vao, or Panama rubber tree. Teams can range from 10-20 players of all ages, with each having two wicket keepers, so you shouldn’t have any trouble finding a game to join.
When the sun sets, Apia offers plenty of bars and restaurants in which you can contemplate the excitement of the day that has passed and plan which new activities to undertake tomorrow: perhaps a visit to Piula Cave Pool, Togitogiga Falls or the lava tubes of Peapea Cave.
If you want to spend your nights tucked away from the touristy crowds in a more authentic form of accommodation, a traditional open fale may be just right for you. Even in the middle of the Australian winter, the temperature rarely falls below the mid-20s, so you can be assured of a comfortable night’s sleep while enjoying fresh air and the sound of waves lapping at the nearby shore of the lagoon.
However you decide to spend your days, Samoa has more than enough adventure for everyone – ask your Hoot Holidays consultant for details.
- Posted in Samoa