I'm an Auckland Based freelance writer & occasional photographer living in the Waitakere Ranges.
Published February 15th 2017
Boasting warm weather year-round, Samoa has long been a sought-after tourist destination for visitors from Asia-Pacific and further afield. Great things to do in Samoa abound, but here's a list of five must-see activities and destinations to make your holiday planning a little easier.
1.Toa Sua Ocean Trench
By Neil - originally posted to Flickr as The "Toe Sua Ocean Trench", CC BY 2.0, commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=9406547
No Samoa tourism guide would be complete without a mention of this famed ocean trench. A beautiful deep-sea pool surrounded by greenery, Toa Sua is the stuff of holiday dreams, its crystal-clear waters making for incredible photographs. Situated in Lalomanu, the trench is accessible via a short walk across the grounds, and if you're brave enough to descend a tall ladder down to the water's surface then a swim can be enjoyed too.
Samoa is a country renowned for its natural beauty and unique geological formations, and Toa Sua is top of the list when it comes to these environmental phenomena. Even if you're already planning on visiting the other major spots – Alofaaga blowholes, perhaps, or the Piula Cave pool – it's still well worth trekking to Toa Sua. (Hint: whilst you're in Lalomanu, also consider a brief or extended venture down to Lalomanu Beach; it's often cited as Samoa's best).
2.Papase'ea Sliding Rocks
By Neil - originally posted to Flickr as Papase'ea Sliding Rocks, CC BY 2.0, commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=9406568
Many will also be familiar with this particular Apia attraction, known locally as the Papase'ea sliding rocks. These 'rocks' are in fact various waterfalls that lead straight down to swimming-holes, propelling those who slide down them into cool sea water. An especial favourite with waterslide-loving kids, Papase'ea is an unmissable stop if you're intending on taking a Samoa holiday with family.
3.Robert Louis Stevenson Museum
By CloudSurfer at the English language Wikipedia, CC BY-SA 3.0, commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=3495767
Continuing the theme of things to do in Apia is the RLS Museum, located on Robert Louis Stevenson's former estate. Stevenson, a Scottish writer who settled in Samoa near the end of the 19th century, originally laid claim to a plantation, but today his mansion and grounds have been transformed into a destination for the public. First wander through the main house - perhaps lingering in Stevenson's incredibly well-stocked library – before walking over to the writer's resting-place, which is located right beside his estate. A 30 or 50 minute walk (depending on your preferred difficulty) will take you right to Stevenson's tomb in the Mount Vaea National Reserve, and you'll come across a bevy of beautiful Apia views and even the odd swimming-hole as you stroll there.
4.Samoa Cultural Village
By Teinesavaii - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0,commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=7972110
Another to add to your list of activities in Apia is the Samoa Cultural Village. There truly is no better way to meet the wonderful people of Samoa and to experience their lively culture than by fitting a village visit into your schedule. Open every day from 9am-5:30pm, the village offers one-to-one or one-to-group sessions with visitors during the mid-day hours, allowing tourists a sense of the woodwork, weaving, dance and music that the island peoples have been creating for centuries. Traditional Samoan food is also available for the sampling, and if your thing is people-watching, the cultural village is the perfect place to pull up a chair and absorb the customs and arts of Samoa.
5.The sunset in Falealupo
By Teinesavaii - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=9418082
A fitting end to your Samoa travel experience is an outing to Falealupo Village. Fondly referred to as the last village in the world to see the sun go down each day, the gorgeous vistas that Falealupo provides will stay with you longer after you've left the island. If it's possible, arrange a fale on the Falealupo seafront to round out your Samoa accommodation bookings. If you're not too dumbstruck by the view, it's the perfect setting in which to reflect on the Samoa attractions that your trip has featured thus far.