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Samoa

A holiday in Samoa is more than just a tropical island experience. You can immerse yourself in the rich and colourful culture, meet the warm locals, explore magical waterfalls and lush tropical forests. Why not join an exciting adventure tour, or simply relax on pristine beaches. 

The warm, friendly culture and breathtaking scenery makes Samoa the perfect Pacific Island destination for your next holiday or quick break.

Samoa is made up of 12 islands, of which just 4 are inhabited. Samoa's 2 main islands are Upolu and Savai’i. The international airport is located on the island of Upolu which is the most visited island in Samoa. You can also get a ferry over to the volcanic island of Savai'i which is much less populated and is renowned for its traditional way of life. 

 

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When to visit

As a tropical Pacific Island close to the equator, Samoa’s climate is warm and humid all year round, with little variation in temperature but with distinct wet and dry seasons. Samoa’s average daytime air temperature throughout the year ranges from 24 to 30 degrees Celsius. The sea temperature is normally in the low 20s, making it perfect for swimming and snorkelling all year round.

  • Dry Season is May to October - making this the most popular time for visitors.
  • Wet Season is November to April - might not bring rain every day but a raincoat or umbrella is advised for what can be short but intense thunderstorms. Most of the wet season’s rain will fall between December to March, when storms may last for several hours.

In the country’s eastern and south-eastern regions, trade winds arrive most afternoons or early evenings for a cooling effect during the hottest part of the day. For areas sheltered from the breeze, visitors may like to adopt the popular Samoan custom of carrying a handmade fan around for relief from the hot afternoons.

 

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Helpful Information

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Currency & Banks in Samoa

It is wise to always carry cash in Samoa as not all businesses accept credit card payment.

  • Cash is also required for visiting beaches and other areas owned by villages, where you will often be asked for a customary fee. 
  • All major foreign currencies can be exchanged in Samoa. Money exchange services are based at Faleolo International Airport, in the capital city Apia, and at some major hotels and resorts.

Currency 

Samoa’s national currency is the Tala (dollar) and Sene (cent). Prices are displayed using the standard dollar symbol ($), a ST$ for Samoan Tala or WST$ (Western Samoa Tala). Tala is the only currency accepted in Samoa. 100 Sene equals one Tala.

Samoan Tala notes 

  • ST$5 $10 $20 $50 $100

Samoan sene (cents)

  • 10c, 20c, 50c, ST$1, $2
Protocols when entering a Samoan Village or Fale (house)

Visitors who are lucky enough to be invited into a Samoan village or fale (house) may wish to make themselves aware of some of the normal protocols to adhere to. If you are unsure, it is always a good idea to ask the host to guide you through this.

Some basic cultural guidelines in the home include:

  • Removing shoes before entering the fale
  • Do not stand if elders are seated
  • If seated, avoid pointing your toes at others by crossing your legs or, covering your toes with a lavalava (sarong) or mat.

Some basic cultural guidelines in the village include:

  • Always asks permission before taking photos
  • Always asks permission to enter a lagoon or bay, which a village may hold customary land rights over. Wait until a local comes along and expect to pay a small entry fee in cash.
  • Wear modest clothing - women should look to cover knees and shoulders. No swimsuits.
Health and Travel Info

Immunisations:

The World Health Organisation recommends vaccinations for Samoa that are already administered in most western countries:

Hepatitis A, hepatitis B, typhoid, yellow fever, rabies, meningitis, polio, measles, mumps and rubella (MMR), Tdap (tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis), chickenpox, shingles, pneumonia and influenza.

If you are unsure, consult your doctor.

Mosquitoes:

Dengue fever and Chikungunya may be present, and Zika virus is considered a risk. Mosquito nets and insect repellent should be used. Malaria isn't considered a problem in Samoa.

Tap Water:

It is recommend that you drink bottled water, which is easily available and affordable.

Visas:

Visitors to Samoa are currently not required to obtain an entry permit for stays of less than 60 days. Travellers must have a return or onward ticket and passports must be valid for six months or more at the time of entry into the country.

Sundays in Samoa:

In Samoa, Sunday is strictly a day for church, family and rest and most businesses will close. Travelling is permitted, but visitors should behave quietly and move slowly through villages.

All content was correct at time of publication.

Official language
Samoan
Local currency
Samoan Tala ST$
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Some popular Samoa Packages

Why we love it!

Treasured Island
Treasured Island

Situated in the heart of the South Pacific between New Zealand and Hawaii, Samoa is known as the Treasured Islands of the South Pacific – the true heart of Polynesia. Boasting crystal clear turquoise waters, stunning waterholes, lush rainforest trails and pristine reefs that abound with marine life. Samoa offers the perfect paradise for adventure travellers, families or couples looking to escape their everyday surroundings. Samoa’s untouched natural beauty and delicious food, combined with its rich traditional culture and friendly locals, makes Samoa the perfect place to visit for your first international getaway.

To-Sua Ocean Trench
To-Sua Ocean Trench

Samoa’s number one absolute must-do! Situated on the south coast of Upolu, it’s a geographical marvel that has to be seen to be believed. The world-famous natural formation creates a spectacular 30-metre deep swimming hole. It is the most photographable spot in Samoa. Take your pictures from above then climb down the steep ladder to a long platform and jump in for a refreshing one-of-a-kind swim. Take a snorkel for a look around and underwater. There are beautiful coastal views, fales to relax in, a restaurant for refreshments and a lava field with mini pools and blowholes.

Samoans
Samoans

It’s impossible not to fall in love with the laid-back fun-loving vibe of the Samoan population. They are warm, welcoming, and proud of their rich and colourful traditions which date back more than 3000 years. Fa’a Samoa - the Samoan way - is based around matai (chiefs), aiga (extended family) and the church. Many Samoans live in tight-knit villages, where family and taking care of others in your ‘tribe’ is everything. As a tourist entering this world, you instantly become another person to extend this care and generosity to.

Markets
Markets

An excellent way to see Samoans going about their business is by visiting Apia’s markets and food spots. Head to Fugalei Markets for an array of fresh fruit and vegetables on offer, drink a freshly shucked niu (coconut) and buy a huge sweet juicy pawpaw for $1! The most popular day to visit is on Sunday - umu day. Over on Savai’i, the Salelologa Market is located near the main Salelologa wharf and by the Savai'i bus terminal. The market sells fresh fruit and vegetables and baked goods alongside crafts, gifts, clothes and household items - it’s a great place to stock up for your Savai’i holiday.

Alofaaga
Alofaaga

These impressive blowholes are a real treat to see in real life. Situated in the village of Taga on south-west Savai'i the blowholes propel a roaring jet of water hundreds of feet up into the air. The blowholes have been created by lava flows making a series of tubes connecting a flat clifftop of lava rock with the ocean below. Waves break against the lower end of the tubes sending water at high pressure up through the tubes making fountains that spray every few seconds. Locals throw coconuts into the holes for visitors and these are blasted into the air for an impressive added extra!

Waterfalls
Waterfalls

Waterfalls are a matter of pride in beautiful Samoa. A few of the best on Upolu are Papapapaitai Waterfalls, Sopo’aga Falls and Togitogiga. There are two smaller waterfalls at Togitogiga which create a large swimming hole. There’s plenty of space to swim around and underneath the waterfalls. It’s a magical place for a cool dip. There's a grassy picnic area so pack your lunch and stay for half the day. Over on Savai’i is beautiful Afu Aau - a spectacular waterfall plunging into a deep swimming hole. It’s a short 10 minute walk to the falls for a delicious cool swim.