The first of the Pacific islands to gain independence, Samoa has a vibrant and unique culture that makes it a truly unforgettable holiday experience. Not as famous as its neighbours Fiji or Vanuatu amongst travelers, Samoa is perhaps a little off the beaten track. You won't find extravagant resorts or skyscrapers here, but instead a warm and welcoming people going about their daily lives in an island paradise. Here are some secrets of Samoa to give you inspiration for your trip.
1. Piula Cave Pool
Roughly 45 minutes drive from the capital city of Apia, on the island of Upolu, diving into the crystal waters of Piula Cave pool is the perfect way to wash away any stress from home. The site actually consists of two pools joined by an underwater tunnel, which braver swimmers can travel along, accompanied by hosts of native fish and other aquatic animals.
2. Alofaaga Blowholes
Situated in Taga village on the island of Savai'i, the Alofaaga blowholes are another unmissable experience inSamoa. At Taga, the waves that make Samoa a popular surf spot are funneled through underwater lava tubes and pushed metres into the air. Locals like to add to the experience by throwing coconuts into the blowholes and watching them shoot up into the sky. Just beware of their return to earth!
For the most impressive experience, come at high tide - but be prepared to get wet!
Another popular place to witness the blowholes in action, is Pa Sopo'ia Cave. Legend has it that the cave is an ancient passage way along which ancestor spirits travel on their way to afterlife. A local guide is the best way to understand the cultural significance of this place.
3. To Sua Ocean Trench
To Sua Ocean Trench has to be seen to be believed. Located in the middle of a lava field close to the village of Lotofaga, despite its size it can be easy to miss as you travel along the south coast of Upolu.
Once you do set eyes on its emerald waters, you'll be down the access ladder in a flash, to find yourself swimming in a volcanic crater surrounded by natural vegetation.
4. Papase'ea Sliding Rocks
Barely 15 minutes drive from Apia, are the Papase'ea Sliding Rocks. This natural water park is a great day out for families looking to cool off in the heat of the day. Divided into two sections, one for kids and the other for adults, you can easily spend a day sliding and swimming around the rock formations.
Whilst you can swim all year round, the rocks are a popular option during the wet season (November to April), when the extra rain simply adds to the fun!
5. Togitogiga Waterfall
If you plan to ignore the advice of TLC and intend to go chasing waterfalls, Samoa is the place to do it.
One of the most famous options is Togitogiga waterfall, in the village of Saleilua. In the past this place was known as a relaxation spot for Samoa's great warriors, but today the tumbling falls, flourishing tropical gardens and beautiful swimming hole is a great location for a picnic, or to play sports on the recreation area.
Again, the additional rain that comes with the wet season makes the views at Togitogiga even more spectacular.
6. Palolo Deep Marine Reserve
Even in the heart of Samoa's capital city you can find extraordinary natural beauty. The last of our Samoa holiday tips is the underwater wonderland of the Palolo Deep Marine Reserve. You can hire snorkel or scuba gear, and dive amongst abundant coral and tropical fish species in an experience guaranteed to take your breath away.
It's recommended to time your visit for high tide, as swimming when water levels are lower can result in cuts from the sharp coral, and increase the likelihood of damage to the fragile underwater ecosystem.
This list barely scratches the surface of what Samoa has to offer visitors. With surfing, hiking, and animal encounters to name just a few other activities you're guaranteed to want to come back to tick everything off! For more information on all things Samoa, get in touch with the team at Hoots Holidays today.
- Posted in Samoa