Samoa Travel

Samoa

Introduction

Samoa is an incredible country, full of natural beauty and a proud cultural heritage. It’s a archipelago composed of sixteen islands and divided into two separate countries: Western Samoa (ten islands) and American Samoa (six islands). The two countries use different currencies: the US dollar for American Samoa and the Tala (SAT) for Western Samoa.

Western Samoa is usually simply known as “Samoa”. The country is located in the South Pacific Ocean, about one-half of the way from New Zealand to Hawaii. Western Samoa is independent whereas American Samoa belongs to the USA. The main island in Western Samoa is Upolu Island and its capital is Apia. Tutuila is American Samoa’s main Island and Pago Pago, its main town. Upolu offers a broad mix of natural riches that carry on far beyond white sand beaches and blue lagoons. Well, of course there are plenty of those also, including an ample supply of exceptional fishing, diving and surfing spots all along the coast. Tutuila, the main island of American Samoa, is situated about 70 km’s eastwards of Upolu. The island is mountainious and covered with lush vegetation. Although you find beautiful landscapes , American Samoa is barely visited by tourists. Samoa is an amazing destination for your honeymoon or even your wedding. The romantic beaches, beautiful sunsets and the friendly people will make your romantic getaway unforgettable! There are many opportunities for you to plan your romantic stay on Samoa, just check out our beautiful resorts and start planning your holiday.

Rain forests cover the volcanic mountain peaks and beautiful valleys of Samoa, that lead down to a coastline of white sandy beaches. In the middle of the lush green valleys grown banyan trees, which are standing tall above the forest. Waterfalls drop down into the rivers, which twist and turn through the valleys before meeting the sea. The coastline is astounding, with the sparkling water and the glimmering white sand of the beaches. Sometimes the beaches go on for miles and sometimes there’s a sheer cliff wall that drops straight down into the ocean. Out into the ocean lies the other islands that are a part of the Samoa archipelago. Some of them are inhabited and on others there will be no-one around. The islands are surrounded by coral reef and protects them from the powerful force that is the Pacific Ocean.

And that’s not all. Besides the stunning nature you will find small villages with churches, meeting houses and open fales. The people are proud of Samoa and their cultural heritage, living in tranquility alongside all the natural beauty. Samoa is the place to relax or to be as active as you want. You can enjoy the stunning beaches and snorkel in the sea, go diving and marvel at the beautiful coral, swim next to a turtle and if you’re lucky you might even see a shark! There’s more to do on Samoa than just activities on (or under) the water. Take a walk into the magnificent rainforest and climb to the top of the volcanic peaks or visit a beautiful waterfall. You can even go caving! Catch a ferry to the uninhabited Manolo Island and experience the true island life. No cars or dogs are allowed here. Come visit Samoa and you will be blown away by all of natures wonders and its charming people.

Upolu – Western Samoa

Upolu is the main island of Western Samoa and home to the capital Apia. It’s the second largest island and the place where you will most likely begin your journey through lovely Samoa. Upolu is rugged and mountainous. The land is covered in rainforest and there are steep cliffs that drop off into the ocean. And of course don’t forget the pristine beaches!

Savai’i – Western Samoa

Savai’i is the largest island of Western Samoa. In fact, it’s the largest island in Polynesia besides New Zealand and Hawaii. The island is rough, covered in rainforest with lots of waterfalls and there are plenty of archeological sites all around the island. Take a hiking trail to discover this wonderful island and visit the lava flows.

Islands

Western Samoa
The two large islands of Upolu and Savai’i represent 99% of the Western Samoa land total area. The 1% remaining consists of eight smaller islets. The main island of Upolu is home to almost three-quarters of Samoa’s population.

Upolu
Upolu is the main island of Western Samoa as well as the most populous of the group. Apia, the Western Samoa capital is located on its north shore and is surrounded by large villages, east and west. It is easy to visit the island thanks to available coastal roads, roads connecting Apia with the South coast and buses. Nevertheless, the further you go from Apia, the more infrequent the service. Hiring a car is an option. The island has plenty of marvels to discover. It is a volcanic island with mountains rising in its interior. Eastward from Apia, the coats is tropical and rugged. It offers magnificent mountain views as well as lovely traditional villages along the rivers. The coast boasts many stunning beaches, but none is recommended for swimming. Visitors may better appreciate a dip in the fresh water of the natural Fatumea Pool at Piula. Then, the island has picturesque waterfalls such as Falefa falls. The way from those waterfalls to Utuloa Point offers some of the best accessible coastal scenery in Samoa.

Savai’i
This island is the largest and the most western in the group as well as the only volcanically active. It is also the largest Polynesian island outside of New Zealand and Hawaii and one of the most down to earth destinations in the south pacific. It is more preserved from tourism than the neighboring Upolu Island and is located 10 minutes flight from it. Among the numerous island interests are volcanic craters, lava tubes, rain forests, beaches and traditional Polynesian villages.

Manono
Manono is a small and charming island, located only four kilometers from Upolu. Enjoying tranquility and peace, this small haven has around 889 inhabitants (2006) living in the only four existing fishing villages. Most of the accommodations on the island are traditional fales and there are no cars on the island at all. Manono offers great tracks including a coastal track passing stunning beaches which are great for snorkeling as well as inland tracks leading to very interesting archeological sites. The highest point of Manono, Tulimanuiva houses an ancient star mound on its top. This island is just a paradise for nature, birds lovers and for serenity seekers. It is an ideal place for those desiring to meet local people and to interact with them. The only place to stay on the island is Vaotuua Beach Fale, located on a small seclude beach facing Upolu. From the village of Apai on the west coast, there are three islands just offshore. Two of them are great for snorkeling and the largest island the larger island being the collapsed volcanic crater of Apolima.

Apolima
This lovely and calm island (5km2) is the fourth largest of the western archipelago. It has only one village of 150 inhabitants, within a fascinating collapsed volcanic cone and is located in the strait between Upolu and Savai’i. There is no accommodation available on the island.

Fanuatapu
Located off the east coast of Upolu, this small island is completely uninhabited. It consists of a volcanic tuff ring and is popular for day trips.

Namua
Uninhabited as well and situated off Upolu Island, this small reef-surrounded island has beautiful beach fales accommodation to offer.

Nu’ulopa
This very small and completely uninhabited island is located in the strait between Upolu and Savaii. It is a small forested rocky outcrop with coconut palms and a conservation area for flying foxes. The surrounding sea is a conservation area for turtles. Nu’ulopa is generally used as a cemetery for the high chiefs (matai) of Manono.

Nu’ulua
This 25 hectare uninhabited, volcanic tuff ring is located off the east coast of Upolu and is a conservation habitat for endemic native birdlife.

Nu’usafe’e
This uninhabited tiny rocky islet is located off the south east coast of Upolu near the village of Poutasi.

Nu’utele
This uninhabited volcanic tuff ring is a conservation area for native birdlife, which can be viewed from the popular Lalomanu beach. The four small uninhabited islands Nu’utele, Nu’ulua, Namua and Fanuatapu comprise the Aleipata Islands.

American Samoa

 

 

Tutuila
Located 70 km eastward of Upolu, Tutuila is the main island of the American Samoa. Covered with lush vegetation, this very mountainous island is really preserved from tourism and has plenty of wonders to explore. It has taxis and car rental companies as well as hotels, motels and lodges. Among the various interests of the island are the Museum of American Samoa which housed the United Sate Navy Commissary during World War 2 and the Tutuila National Park located over the mountains from Pago Pago, and on the Manu’a Islands of Ta’u and Ofu. Tropical rainforest, world class diving areas, scenic hiking trails and Manu’a’s historic sites make this national park a paradise for nature lovers. Pago Pago is the capital of American Samoa. It has a picturesque fishing harbor surrounded by mountains that plunge straight into the sea.

Aunu’u
Located south east of Tutuila, 15 minutes by ferry, this small and quiet island is easily accessible from Pago Pago and one day is enough to explore it. It offers beautiful sceneries perfect for a walk.

Ta’u
This rectangular island is the largest in Manu’a Group as well as the easternmost of the Samoan islands.

Ofu-Olosega
This volcanic doublet comprises Ofu and Olosega in the Manu’a Group of islands. Tourism is not really developed on the island, accommodations and activities are very basic. A 3 or 4 day stay is ideal to fully discover the island! It offers natural activities such as snorkeling, hiking, swimming . The ocean area of the South pacific is filled with colorful fishes and coral, the beaches on Ofu-Olosega are uninhabited and mountains are perfect for a walk and give great views on the island and ocean!

Rose Atoll
Known as Motu o Manu, this tiny island is a conservation habitat for native birdlife, marine life, green turtle and endangered hawksbill turtle and is completely uninhabited. It is also the southernmost point of the United States. Its waters houses very specific kinds of fishes and the island contains the largest populations of giant clams, nesting seabirds and rare reef fish in all of American Samoa. It is a marine life sanctuary: in the last 15 years, almost 270 fish species have been recorded! The waters are also appreciated by special endangered whale species

Swains Island
This circular island enclosing a freshwater lagoon was named for a whaling captain. This atoll is culturally part of Tolekau. Owned by the Jennings family, Swains Island used to be a copra plantation and is still encircled by coconut trees. It is inhabited by 4-30 people.

Climate

Samoa’s climate is tropical. There is a rainy and a dry season and a slight difference in temperature associated with these. Another effect of being in the tropics is that the days and nights are of almost equal length, so if you want to get the most out the day you should really be an early riser. Occasionally Samoa is affected by a cyclone, most recently in 1993 the damage from that cyclone still being visible in some of the more remote areas such as Falealupo on Savai’i. The islands are volcanic and there is an active volcano on Savai’i. The region does have occasional small tremors.

Average Temperature
Summer: 87F maximum (31°C) 75F minimum (24°C)
Winter: 84F maximum (29°C) 73F minimum (23°C)

Average Water Temperature
Summer: 86F maximum (30°C) 84F minimum (29°C)
Winter: 82F maximum (28°C) 80F minimum (27°C)

Dry/Cool Season
May – November

Wet/Humid Season
December – April

Additional Information

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