Vacation in Samoa
Combine a traditional South Seas culture with undiscovered beaches, rugged mountains, azure waters and you’ve described Samoa. In addition, a variety of beautiful, affordable resorts make a vacation in Samoa very appealing to travellers the world over.
Located halfway between Hawaii and New Zealand, Samoa is made up of ten islands, of which Upolu is the most populated. It is on Upolu where you'll find Faleolo International Airport and the capital Apia, the starting point of your Samoa vacation.
Even though is it located in the Southern Hemisphere, due to its proximity to the equator, there is no seasonal difference between summer and winter. There are, however, a chance rainy season (December to March) and dryer season (May to August), with only a slight difference in their temperatures.
The first settlers to Samoa’s shores came roughly 3,000 years ago. Samoans, Fijians and Tongans ruled supreme in the South Pacific through the intermarriage of royal families, which maintain ties to the present day. Europeans traders first appeared in the late 1700’s and by 1900, the islands were divided between German and American interests. New Zealand took over the German occupied islands during WW1 and on the 1st of January 1962, Western Samoa had the distinction of becoming the first Pacific island nation to gain it’s total independence. In 1997, the “Western” part was dropped and the islands officially became Samoa.
Traditional Samoan way, or fa’a Samoa, is a strong influence in Samoan life. Samoans have managed to maintain their language, historical customs and social and political systems despite centuries of European influence.
Upola, the main island and home to the 75% of the population, offers beautiful beaches, traditional villages with their distinctive white churches, and lush rainforests with countless waterfalls.
There are a number of hotels and resorts that can accommodate you on your Samoa vacation. On the upscale side, there are Le Manumea Hotel (near Vallima), Sinalei Reef Resort & Spa, and the Amankai Hotel. Perhaps the most famous address in Apia is that of Aggie Grey’s Hotel and Bungalow opened by the late Aggie in 1933 and the newer Aggie Grey’s Lagoon Beach Resort & Spa. Other properties are the Tanoa Tusitala Hotel, Hotel Elisa, Insel Fehmam Hotel, Sabrina’s Lodge, Samoa Marina and Vaasa Hotel.
Savai’I Island offers a wilder experience. While it’s the third largest Polynesian island, it’s mostly uninhabited, offering travellers more tropical terrain to explore with less signs of modern life. Savai’I is known for its’ verdant scenery, archeological sites and traditional lifestyle. Secluded beaches, lush rainforests, unique blowholes and lava fields are among standout natural features. Savai’i is easy to explore with a well-maintained road encircling the island. You can stand on Cape Mulinuu, just astride the dateline, and be the last person on a given day to see the sun set. Siufaga Beach Resort is located on Savai’i amid a multitude of incredible backdrops is ideal for swimming, snorkeling, game fishing, relaxing and much more.
If you’re looking for a unique experience to add to your Samoa vacation, travel to the wetland sanctuary at Savaii’s Satoalepai village and swim with green turtles.
Experienced surfers seeking a wave-inspired adrenaline rush will get their kicks in Samoa. Both Savai’i and Upolu are dotted with grunty surf breaks and get good swells year-round. Scuba diving is still a very new tourist activity in Samoa, which gives divers a virtually untouched territory to tap into.
When it comes time to relax from all those activities, Samoans are blessed with a myriad of therapeutic plants, and the traditional healers, the taulasea, have long used their juice, bark, leaves, roots and various other parts to help soothe your body and treat all sorts of ailments.
Beyond the beaches out into the blue lagoons are scattered the rest of the islands that make up the Samoa archipelago, some inhabited, others with only natures wildlife, protected by the fringing coral reef that keep the powerful forces of the Pacific Ocean at bay.
And amongst all this natural beauty and picturesque valleys and coastline you will find nu’u or villages with their churches, meeting houses and open fale (homes and accommodations) encircling the malae or village green.
Day trips to some of the smaller islands would be a suggested part of your Samoa vacation. Apolima Island is the fourth largest island and is located between the two main islands on the rim of an extinct volcano. There is one village located here of approximately 150 people. Fanuatapu Island is uninhabited and is a popular spot for day-trippers. Manono Island is the third most populated island, even though small in size but very traditional. You reach the island by boat from Manono-uta.
Namua Island located within the reef off Upolu Island has some accommodations on a gorgeous beach. The uninhabited island of Nu’ulopa Island lies off the western side of Manono Island. This well known spot among locals is great for day excursions and picnics. The small, uninhabited island of Nu’ulua is located off the eastern tip of Upolu.
Tourism is growing in Samoa but unlike its Pacific neighbors of Fiji and Tahiti, it now accounts for approximately 25% of the country’s GDP, with over 100,000 visitors annually. Take advantage of the unspoiled beauty, the uncrowded beaches and all that a vacation in Samoa can offer.