Nestled half way between Hawaii and New Zealand, Samoa is considered the treasured island of the South Pacific and the heart of Polynesia. It has retained much of its 3000 year-old way of life, which makes it such an ideal place for people to visit.
Made up of 10 islands, there are myriads of perfect beaches for the sea lovers. But there is so much more here to do when not lounging on a beach.
From volcanic mountain peaks to rainforests, small villages to large cities, there is something here for everyone. Listed here are just a few popular destinations.
1. To Sua Ocean Trench
To Sua Ocean Trench is one of the most amazing things to do in Samoa. The name literally means “Giant Swimming Hole”, and it certainly lives up to that. Situated in a lava field near Fagaoneone Beach, the hole opens up to a magnificent lagoon that is 30 meters down.
A long ladder is the only access down to the warm water. Once down there, you could spend hours swimming and snorkeling in the most magical place on earth. You will feel like you and the others with you are the only ones on earth.
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2. The Robert Louis Stevenson Museum
The Robert Louis Stevenson Museum is the final home of this famous author and poet, and the place where he was buried. Even if you have read all of his many works, you will learn so many surprising things about him. Guided tours bring him to life in a fantastic way.
Once through the museum, a hike up the hill will take you to his grave site. It is an invigorating hike that will reward you with a spectacular view over the area. This is one of the best places to visit in Samoa for young and old alike.
3. Immaculate Conception of Mary Cathedral
Immaculate Conception of Mary Cathedral is an amazing piece of architecture, but the inside is what really makes this one of the top places to see in Samoa. The craftsmanship and décor so perfectly reflect the Polynesian culture and Samoan identity.
With the large rose window, sculptures, paintings and so much more, there is much that will draw you in and keep your attention for a long time. Attending a mass here is the pinnacle, and one of the most inspirational and enjoyable things you could do during your visit to Samoa.
4. Afu Aau Waterfall
Afu Aau Waterfall is one of those attractions in Samoa that you will not fully appreciate until you are there. It is so much more beautiful in person than even pictures can show. It is very serene and picturesque.
The water is so cool and refreshing that you could easily spend hours here. There are many rocks around the waterfall and pool that are perfect for diving off of into the clear water. There is no better way to cool off and have fun.
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5. Swimming with Turtles
Swimming with Turtles is one of those unique experiences that you will be thrilled with. These creatures are so graceful in the water and are used to people which makes it a real treat. They love to be fed papayas and paw paws and truly seem to enjoy the attention they get.
Even if you choose not to get into the water with them, there are benches next to the water, and the turtles will still come right up to you to be fed and fawned over. Many places let you swim with dolphins, but swimming with turtles is an even more amazing thing to do in Samoa.
6. Malietoa Monument
Malietoa Monument is located on the grounds of La Vasa resort, which itself is one of the premier places to stay in Samoa. The monument, whose name means “peace”, is dedicated to an important piece of Samoan history when the Tongans were driven from the country.
It is located on the oceanfront part of the resort surrounded by the magnificent gardens of the resort, giving it such a peaceful and serene atmosphere. It is such a picturesque location that many wedding photos include the monument. Even if not staying at the resort, a trip to see it is well worth the effort.
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7. The Samoa Cultural Village
The Samoa Cultural Village is a very fun and interactive place where you can learn some of the age-old traditions of this Polynesian society. To get a full grasp of the culture, this is the place to visit in Samoa.
You will learn the ways of the village and community life, how elders are treated as well as how the church, families and individuals all come together to make this a peaceful and loving people. When you visit any village in the country, it is expected that you will respect, observe and behave in the Fa’a Samoa – which means ‘the Samoan Way’. This is the place to come to immerse yourself in that.
8. Lalomanu Crater Walk
Lalomanu Crater Walk is an amazing thing to do in Samoa. The hike takes you through some beautiful jungle where you can see some terrific flora and fauna, and maybe catch a glimpse of some of the colorful birds.
There are several places where you can look out and get some spectacular views. Guided tours are available, and worth the small price as they can really show you the best things. Be sure the batteries in your camera are charged as you will want to take a lot of pictures!
9. Baha’i House of Worship in Tiapapata
Baha’i House of Worship in Tiapapata is a real architectural masterpiece. Magnificent gardens surround the temple where you can spend a lot of time in complete tranquility.
If you happen to stop by during their worship service, you will be very impressed and leave in a peaceful state of mind. There is a very nice cafe and art center next door that will round out your visit. Certainly one of the most rejuvenating places to visit in Samoa.
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10. Tiapapata Art Centre
Tiapapata Art Centre is the wonderful cafe and art center behind the Baha’i temple. It is one of the most exciting and tastiest places to visit in Samoa. The art center is full of fabulous art, mostly from local artists, and the chef at the cafe is an artist in her own right!
They are all very willing and happy to talk to guests and share their love of the “wild food” philosophy and how much of their own home grown food they use. The scenery surrounding this is simply magnificent. Many concerts and events are held here that you will thoroughly enjoy.
11. The Museum of Samoa
The Museum of Samoa is an amazing and surprising place where you can learn so much of how the Samoan people have come to be who they are today. Guided tours are available which are very much advised.
From explaining all of the myths and legends of the people to describing in vivid detail the struggles and revolutions they went through, you will get so much from it. The museum is in such a beautiful setting that it is used for many other things as well. Many large events and even weddings are held here. This is one of those things to do in Samoa that you will be talking about for a long time.
12. SCUBA diving around Samoa
Scuba diving Samoa is a favorite past time for many visitors. Just like most Southern Pacific island nations, diving can be spectacular, waters warm and visibility far.
Head to Upolu or other islands, and you are sure to run into one of many dive shops. There are wall dives, drifts, reefs and plenty of critters.
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13. Rainforest Runaway Ecotours
Rainforest Runaway Ecotours is a company that caters to those that want to get off the beaten path and really see what the country is like. They will take you to places to see in Samoa that most tourists don’t even know exist.
Secluded beaches, amazing waterfalls, pristine lakes, regions of the coastline or tropical rainforest that are untouched are all possibilities of what you could see. Or go snorkeling on one of the islands, or take an ATV where you will see amazing plants, wildlife and so much more. Plan a few hours or all day doing some of the most thrilling things you will ever do, and you can not go wrong.
14. Mailelani Samoa
Mailelani Samoa is a unique little shoppe that is a wonderful place to shop and indulge your senses. Mailelani in Samoan means “from Heaven”, which is a reference to the abundant blessing that the Polynesians have enjoyed over the generations with the fruits and other exotic items that they use.
The skin care products and other items that this shop sell are all organic and are amazing to use. After spending much time here getting yourself pampered and picking up gifts for others, there is a great cafe next door that will make your shopping day absolutely perfect.
As you can see, there is such a wide variety of things to do in Samoa that everyone will be having the time of their life. While the many pristine beaches are probably the main attraction, if you don’t take the time to explore more of the country you will not be doing yourself justice.
Immerse yourself in the culture and enjoy more of what they have to offer and you will find yourself wanting to come back every year.