With its flourishing rainforests, cascading waterfalls and crystal clear waters, Samoa is a lush and lovely collection of islands in the South Pacific that boasts a selection of adventures not to be found anywhere else in the world. Here are just a few of our favourites…
To Sua Ocean Trench
To Sua Ocean Trench is a relatively secret Samoan attraction in Lotofaga village. To Sua means 'big hole' – which is essentially what To Sua Ocean Trench is. Surrounded by a beautiful garden, the trench features a long ladder on which visitors descend into a nine-metre deep pool of ocean water. This idyllic pool is perfect for both swimming and nature photography, and the area also features blowholes and a small beach.
Falealupo Rainforest Canopy Walk
The Falealupo Rainforest Canopy Walk can be a challenge for those afraid of heights, as this wooden –and sometimes claustrophobically thin bridge – dangles nine metres above the rainforest floor. However, for those brave enough to walk the bridge, this is a great way to see the rainforest from a whole new perspective.
Cape Mulinuu is located on the west coast of Samoa's largest island, Savaii. It plays host to a beach with several tide pools where you can see ocean life up close and personal.
According to local legend this is a spiritual place where the dead pass into the underworld. The area is also a rich archeological site.
Vai Sua Toto archeological site, means 'Well of Blood.' Clearly the main attraction is its macabre name, but there is no real blood in this well. A Samoan myth claims that a giant stashed his brother’s body in the well after he murdered him.
Salelaula Lava Fields
Mount Matavanu is an active volcano on the island of Savaii that hasn't erupted since 1911. A series of eruptions occurred between 1905 and 1911, decimating everything in the lava path. The path included 100-square-kilometres of landscape and six villages. One Samoan myth says that those eruptions were causes by Ti'iti'I tricking the God of Earthquakes, Mafaui'e, so that Samoans could have fire to cook their food.
Afu Aau Falls
The Afu Aau Waterfall is located in southeastern Savaii near the village of Vailoa Palauli. The waterfall pool is a popular swimming spot for locals and tourists alike, as it shallows out nicely around the edges.
The freshwater pool empties out into three other separate falls, so it is truly a picturesque scene, making it well worth the 20-minute trek through the jungle to get there.
In Savaii divers and snorkelers can choose between the peaceful lagoon and the outlying coral reef. In both locations you can see green turtles, eagle rays, clown fish and a huge variety of reef fish. In the lagoon seeing sharks is rare, but out on the reef they are an integral part of the reef ecosystem. No need to worry though, as the majority of the shark species found in Samoa are harmless to divers.
Dive Savaii offers a selection of dive adventure packages and training options. You can go diving with a guide or take a variety of diving and snorkeling courses, including one that offers a PADI (Professional Association of Diving Instructors) certification.
Swim With Turtles
In the village of Sato'alepai, the Matai'a family runs a sanctuary for native sea turtles and a hotel for guests. The family maintains two spacious pools where the turtles live and play. Guests are encouraged to get in and mix it up with the sea turtles, the true gentle giants of the deep.