Posted by on 22 Sep 2022
Discover an enchanting paradise in the South Pacific when you go to Samoa. This tropical country has rich natural sites, such as waterfalls, gorges, volcanic caves and flourishing rainforests. You’ll never run out of things to discover in the country, especially once you explore Samoa’s two most famous islands, Upolu and Savai’i.
A visit to this country is a holiday well-spent. We’ve listed the best Samoa destinations to include in your itinerary.
10 Must-visit Samoa Destinations
Samoa Cultural Village
Robert Louis Stevenson Museum
Immaculate Conception Cathedral
To Sua Ocean Trench
Saleaula Lava Fields
Falealupo Rainforest Reserve
Paia Dwarfs Cave
Nothing spells cultural immersion than visiting the Samoa Cultural Village. Discover age-old traditions as hosts welcome you warmly during your visit.
This popular destination located at the heart of Apia on Beach Road teaches Fa’a Samoa or the Samoan way of life. It is open daily for bookings for interactive meetings. See displays and demos of different traditional Samoan crafts firsthand, such as wood engraving, siapo cloth making and palm frond weaving.
Part of the tour includes a live demonstration of the tatau or tattoo. The process uses carved sections of bones or boar tusks before they are dipped in ink and tapped on the skin. Visitors can enter the fale and watch but are not allowed to take photos as a sign of respect to the Master Tattooist or Tufuga.
Bibliophiles are in for a treat at the Robert Louis Stevenson Museum. The exhibit is in Upolu, where the famous Scottish author known for writing the classics “Treasure Island,” “Kidnapped,” and “A Child’s Garden of Verses” lived for five years until his final moments. The museum has been restored to its former glory and contains some of Stevenson’s works and family memorabilia.
The pyramidal Pulemelei Mound is Polynesia’s largest ancient structure in the Samoan Islands. It has a 60 by 65-metre base and is 12 metres tall. It is also called the Tia Seu Ancient Mound and still remains a mystery for many experts.
Archaeologists estimate that the Pulemelei Mound was built around 1100 to 1400 AD. Its function still continues to baffle experts, with some saying that it was a watchtower or lookout platform, a burial monument or a location for religious ceremonies.
Despite being an essential pillar for the Samoan people and continuing to attract many tourists, the structure was eventually swallowed and reclaimed by the jungle. As a result, this Samoan destination is already overgrown with foliage and difficult to go to.
Put the Immaculate Conception Cathedral on your list of things to see in Samoa. The cathedral is located just over the harbour in downtown Apia and was built in 1884. It was only made for 400 to 500 people at first, but after the modern reconstruction of the old Mulivai Catholic Cathedral site, it now has a capacity for over 2,000 church-goers and visitors.
The architecture of the cathedral blends Samoan culture and Catholicism to create a solemn atmosphere with its unique timber ceilings, lead lights and remarkable stained-glass windows. You will also find exquisite paintings, shiny marble floors and a carved wooden roof with a painted dome that will leave you in awe.
Another destination to include in your itinerary is Papapapaitai Falls. It’s a quick stroll from Lake Lanoto’o National Park in Upolu. This waterscape is one of the most outstanding natural sceneries in the South Pacific and is one of the most photographed falls in Samoa. It rises to over 100 metres and cascades into a deep gorge, adding to the country’s incomparable beauty.
Set on the edge of a tropical rainforest, the To Sua Ocean Trench is a 30-metre deep trench in the Samoan islands. Its name means “giant swimming hole” and is an idyllic waterscape filled with crystal-clear saltwater and surrounded by lush native gardens.
The water hole was formed by a lava tube system connected to the ocean floor, which slowly eroded over time until it became the trench that it is today. You can access the Sua Ocean Trench by climbing down a wooden ladder where a long platform sits. If you’re the bold and adventurous type, you can give the trench a go and dive right into its turquoise waters.
Saleaula Lava Fields is another exciting place to visit in Samoa. The geological phenomenon on Savai’i Island has an incredible history: Mt. Matavanu erupted in 1905, spewed over 100 square kilometres of lava and buried five villages. However, despite this tragic past, it eventually became a popular Samoa destination among geologists and photographers.
You can see the ruins of the engulfed churches and still make out the half-buried arched windows and peaked roofs. You can also visit the Virgin’s Grave, a rectangular hole cut out of lava with a grave underneath. According to the locals, the lava flowed around the grave of a High Chief’s daughter who died of tuberculosis, and she was so pure that her final resting place was left untouched.
There is a vast pulchritude of awe-inspiring rainforests across the country’s many regions. The tropical climate made the forest perfect for geckos, flying foxes and seabirds to thrive.
Located northwest on an island of Western Samoa, the Falealupo Rainforest Reserve is known for its fertile soil, lush treetops, thriving wildlife and vegetation and waterscapes.
The primary attraction in this reserved rainforest is the Canopy Aerial Walkway, a 30-metre bridge suspended 40 metres in the air. It connects the plethora of banyan trees and gives you scenic views of the rest of the forest.
Situated on the scenic coastline near the Taga Village in Savai’i, the Alofaaga Blowholes are a sight to behold. You get to see jets of roaring water propel hundreds of feet into the air.
The blowholes are volcanic plug openings that have decayed over time. Water gets trapped in the lava tubes as waves hit the coastal shelf. When the accompanying pressure becomes too strong, the water spews and creates geysers that create loud puffing sounds as the seawater gushes out. You might also chance upon locals hurling coconuts into the blowholes, which are then blasted into the coast like cannonballs.
Not far from the village of Manase is one of the most intriguing things to see in Samoa. Going into the Paia Dwarfs Caves through the subterranean lava tubes feels as if you’re going into the centre of the Earth. The Paia Dwarfs Cave takes its name from the legendary group of dwarves, which still inhabit its depths according to local belief. In fact, they still leave occasional footprints for travellers to see.
Create Lifetime Memories in Samoa
Samoa is one of the more unique places to go to for your next vacation. This tropical paradise will surely not disappoint with its scenic sites, warm culture, rich heritage and breathtaking views. Discover different things to do in Samoa, as every adventure will be one for the books and leave you wanting more.
Choose from our Samoa holiday packages and explore its many natural wonders.