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The travel ABCs of Samoa: U is for Upolu

Don't unpack your suitcase yet, as it's time to understand the unbelievably cool 'U' letter in our travel ABCs of Samoa series. We have traversed through 'T', visiting the To Sua Ocean Trench, and before that, we stopped for a detour to fill up our stomachs on 'S' with traditional Samoan food. Now it's time to uncover U.

U is for...

Upolu 

Even though Upolu is Samoa's second-largest island, it is, in fact, the most populated, according to Lonely Planet. The landscape of this island is woven with threads of golden beaches with soft sand, stitched beside coral reef systems in the crystal blue waters, all connected with earth that once bubbled with lava beneath the surface.

Indeed, taking a coastal walk along Upolu will show you the signs of lava from centuries ago, as you step along charcoal-black lava cliffs. There are cracks running through that are hallmarks of the lava that once flowed through these rocks.

The white spray of the waves crashing against the rocks during your walk is a lovely blend of monochrome, sure to make for a stunning picture. That's exactly how one TripAdvisor reviewer felt about the coastal walk, saying there were "amazing photo opportunities and you get to see some fantastic sights." Be sure to take your camera!

Afterward, step onto the white sands of Tafa Tafa Beach. Dip into the ocean if you would like to swim and snorkel alongside brightly-coloured tropical fish in the pleasantly warm waters. Best of all, there's the option to rest in the shade of fales built along the shore. Some of these even have curtains added for the ultimate nap-time bliss.

The capital city of Samoa, Apia, is also on this island. More than 38,000 of Samoa's 194,000 inhabitants live here, according to Samoa Travel. Be sure to explore this capital city, especially its markets!