top of page

20 Super Fun Things to Do in Samoa

Updated: Jun 19

This is a travel guide for 20 super fun things in Samoa! Samoa is an amazing country and there are heaps of things to do there, and most of the activities below are very cheap or free!



Pink flowers and blue sea Samoa
Samoa is one of the most culturally rich and beautiful Pacific Island nations

 


About Samoa


Samoa is a set of 9 Pacific islands around 4 hours by flight north of New Zealand, and the two main islands are called Upolu and Savai’i. 


There are 2 high Seasons in Samoa (July – August & December – January). One is where the country is at its busiest with international tourists and the other is when the country is at its busiest with Samoans living overseas returning home to visit their families.


We visited in September, a month filled with clear sunny days, but not so many tourists - so we had most of the attractions to ourselves.


In this article, we will tell you all about the top 20 super fun things to do in Samoa; the unspoiled paradise of the South Pacific. For more information on how to plan your trip to Samoa, check out our post: The Ultimate Samoa Backpacking Travel Guide



samoa view with flowers ocean and blue sky
Samoa from the mountain top!

 


20 Super Fun Things to Do in Samoa


All activities are cash only and priced per person in Samoan Tala, correct as of September 2023, when ST$10 = £3.


Things to Do in Upolu


1. Giant Clam Sanctuary


The Giant Clam Sanctuary is an amazing snorkelling experience, and visiting here was one of our favourite things to do in Samoa!


In the 1980s Samoa’s Government started a program across the country to restock the overharvested clams, and here in Savaia Village - you get the opportunity to get a close look at these enormous molluscs.


It is best to visit 2 hours on either side of high tide - as the swim is easier and you're less likely to flap your fins where they shouldn't be. The Giant Clams are out of this world - you won’t believe their size, colour, and iridescences.


The entrance fee is ST$10 - and you can rent a snorkel, mask and fins for ST$25 (These aren’t fantastic quality and don’t come in a huge range of sizes, so use your own if you have them!)


The sanctuary is open from 09h00 - 18h00 Monday to Saturday, but like all things to do on this list, be prepared for a little 'island-timing'.


Make sure you bring a GoPro or waterproof camera for some great shots. Wear reef-safe sun cream or rash vests and most importantly, do not touch the clams. They are fragile – just don’t be that person!



Giant Clam Samoa
One of the many Giant Clams

 


2. To Sua Ocean Trench


To Sua Ocean Trench is one of the most popular things to do in Samoa. It was once an underground lava tunnel whose roof collapsed, leaving it open to the air!


You can climb down a ladder into the deep blue pool for a swim, where you’ll likely be out of your depth, but there are two ropes you can hold onto if you are not a confident swimmer.


You will feel the tug of the tide and sudden changes in water temperature whilst you're bobbing about on your back gazing up at the blue skies and lush forest canopy, pinching yourself because this must be a dream.


The entrance fee to To Sua Ocean Trench is ST$20 - and as is quite common in Samoa, if the entrance is not manned you are expected to pay via the Honesty Box'.


It is open from Mon-Sat 08h30 - 17h00 and Sun 12h30 - 17h00



To Sua Ocean Trench Samoa
To Sua Ocean Trench

 


This post may contain affiliate links, which means I may get a commission if you make a purchase through this website, at no cost to you. I only link to products I use and love.


3. Coastal Walk at O Le Pupu Pu’e National Park


This is a stunning out-and-back walk on the south side of Upolu where you can see the real power of the ocean against the beautiful cliffs and sea arches of Samoa.


The Le Rupu coastline has been moulded by the ocean since Mt Fito last erupted 3,000 years ago spreading lava sheets along the coast. While it is an easy walk it is over rough ropy lava rocks, with uneven ground and lots of fallen foliage from the amazing Pandanus Forest.


The first viewpoint is only a few minutes into the walk and well worth it, even if you don’t have time for the full walk. There are many more stunning viewpoints along the walk including an astonishing lava field where you can see the islands of Nu’usafe’e and Nu’utele.


If you take your time, it's about an hour’s walk. The road up is single-track and bumpy but okay for 2WD - just take it slowly. This is a free activity.



Coastal Walk at O Le Pupu Pu’e National Park Samoa
Coastal Scenes at O Le Pupu Pu’e National Park

 


4. Papase’ea Sliding Rocks


Not far from Apia, the Papase’ea Sliding Rocks is one of the most fun things to do in Samoa! These are natural waterslides formed by thousands of years of water flow. As you explore, slip, and slide look out for the beautiful Samoan Fluff flower and Black Emo Skink.


Entrance is ST$5 and opening times are Mon-Sat 08h00 - 17h30 and Sun 11h00 - 18h00.



Papase’ea Sliding Rocks Samoa
We had a blast at the Papase’ea Sliding Rocks

 

FOR TRAVEL INSURANCE for Samoa, do what I do and have. browse on Travel Supermarket and choose a cheap policy with a high Defaqto rating.


 


5. Samoa Cultural Village


By the Tourist Information Centre in Apia is the Samoan Cultural Village, where Tuesdays to Fridays at 10am they have a show that is an intriguing look into Fa’a Samoa – The Samoan Way.


The show starts with live music and the sharing of Kava - which is a local natural stimulant. Some audience members are offered to try Kava, just FYI, it is a controlled substance in the West. Don't worry though, one sip isn't enough to get you high.


Next, you weave your traditional plate from coconut leaves and move between the Fales that represent different aspects of Samoan Culture – the making of Lavalava, using a traditional open-air Umu oven, and watching the techniques of master carvers.


You then get the unique opportunity to witness the traditional ‘tatau’ (tattoo), followed by a taste of the local dish 'Tapa' - rounded off by watching the traditional Siva Afi fire dance.


I think this experience is one of the most interesting things to do in Samoa and it is well worth the ST$20 entrance fee!



Samoan Cultural Village
A little look into Fa’a Samoa – The Samoan Way.

 


6. Palolo Deep Marine Reserve


This is another super fun thing to do in central Apia, the Palolo Deep Marine Reserve is an amazing location to relax and snorkel. I strongly recommend going at high tide, once you get about 100m metres offshore the reef is stunning, with lots of very curious fish!


This is a unique site where you can see a coral wall while snorkelling. I was pleasantly surprised by how healthy the reef was after the damage I had heard about from the 2009 tsunami.


On land, there are beautiful swings and Fales to lounge about in, making this area one of the most Instagrammable spots in Samoa!


It is ST$5 for entrance and ST$10 for snorkel and mask hire. Palolo Deep Marine Reserve is open Mon-Sat 08h00 - 18h00.



 


7. Waterfall Tour


There are heaps of waterfalls all over Upolu - and you could spend a whole day chasing them!


Papapapaitai Falls is a great free lookout point on the Cross Island Road, with a stunning view of the 100m falls – once one of the most photographed waterfalls in Samoa.


Togitogiga Waterfall is a fantastic free spot for swimming on the central south coast near the Coastal Walk.


Sopo’aga Falls was one of my favourite waterfalls. It has a stunning viewpoint on the south-eastern side of the island. It is ST$5 entry, and you can explore the beautiful gardens with native plants.


Fuipisia Waterfall is a 5-minute drive north of Sopo’aga, it is one of the more expensive waterfalls at ST$20. There is a 5–10-minute walk over uneven terrain to the viewpoint.


Sauniatu Waterfall is a beautiful remote swimming spot. This is a free attraction, but please respect the Mormon church’s rules as it is their land.


(While most of Samoa’s sites can accurately be found on Google Maps, this one will take you to a very wrong location. When you see the ‘Sauniatu waterfall 6km’ sign on the East Coast Road drive until you cross the bridge and see the Mormon Elementary school, at the guard box ask for the waterfall and they will let you know where to park.)

Falefa Falls on the north-eastern coast by the Piula Cave Pools is another swimmable stop. It is ST$5 for entry, beware the owners will likely approach you asking for a fee even if you are only taking photos from the road!



Sopo’aga Falls Samoa
Sopo’aga Falls

 


8. Apia Market


The Fugalei Fresh Produce Market and Taufusi Market are in the same warehouse in central Apia. You can wander the stalls full of cheap fruits and vegetables, flowers, carvings, and souvenirs. This is a great place to buy a Lavalava and gifts for those back home.


Mornings are the best time to stroll around the market, drink a fresh coconut and enjoy the colourful atmosphere. The fresh fish market is the only thing I’d recommend going to on a Sunday morning, from 06h00-09h00 you can find a wide variety of locally caught seafood to BBQ later!



Apia Market Samoa
Apia Market

 


9. Piula Cave Pools


On the northeastern side of the island, the Piula cave pool is on the grounds of Piula Theological College in Lufilufi. This is another fantastic swimming spot with crystal-clear water and beautiful fish!


Unfortunately, you can no longer swim to the 2nd cave, and this was one of the busier sights, popular with families. Even though this was still a fun thing to do in Samoa, it was definitely giving me lido vibes rather than serene cave pool vibes!


The Piula Cave Pools are open Mon-Sat 08h00 – 16h00 and the entry fee is ST$5.



Piula Cave Pools Samoa
Piula Cave Pools - before the kids came splashing in!

 


10. Self-drive Church Tour


There are so many places of worship across both Upolu and Savai’i that are stunning pieces of architecture, even if you're not religious. They are colourful and beautifully designed and well worth at least a slow down when driving past.


Some of our favourites on Upolu were the Cathedral of Immaculate Conception (Apia), the New Fale Iupeli (midway Apia to Airport), the Basilica of St Ann (Fasito’otai) and Mashriqu’l-Adhkár Baha’i House of Worship (cross island road/Apia).


Some great ones on Savai’i include EFKS Sapapali’i (considered the Home of Christianity on the island where it was introduced by John Williams in 1830.) On the north coast, EFKS Avao where the Bible was first translated into Samoan, and Safotu Catholic Church is on the northeast coast and is made from bleached coral, stunningly white and blue.



Cathedral of Immaculate Conception Samoa
Cathedral of Immaculate Conception

 


Things to Do in Savai’i



1. Alofa’aga Blowholes


Visiting the Alofa’aga Blowholes was one of my favourite things to do in Samoa. On the southwest of Savai’i after driving down a long dirt track, you’ll come across the lava fields that formed the blowholes.


As I understand it, the lava tube formed when steam escaped as it was setting, and then wave action cut a cave under the flat, meeting the tube. As strong swells hit the coastline, pressure builds, causing plumes of water and air to fly up to 40m in the air. It's truly an amazing natural phenomenon to witness.


According to local legend, the King of Tonga sent his two sons to decide on the best position to attack Samoa, and as they approached this site a strong wave threw them from their canoes. They were washed ashore, and the two holes formed where they died. Now when westerly winds blow to Tonga you can hear the voices of the sons from the blowholes.

It is ST$5 entry, and if you wander further than the viewing platforms be prepared to get wet!


If there are locals about, they might throw in some coconuts, which is quite the spectacle! (I wouldn’t recommend doing this yourself though.)





 


2. Scuba Dive with Dive Savai’i


Dive Savai’i is the only dive resort in Samoa and is 5-star PADI-rated! We had a fantastic day diving with them.


Our first dive site was Avao Bay where I saw my largest octopus yet, as well as some amazing magic coral. Our 2nd dive started at John William V wreck - and finished up in a spectacular coral garden with lots of Green Sea Turtles.


For certified divers, it is ST$280 for a 2-dive day including all gear except mask and fins (extra ST$20).



Dive Savai’i Samoa
Down in the deep with Dive Savai’i

 


3. Afu Aau Waterfall


I know what you must be thinking, more waterfalls? But the Afu Aau waterfall was my favourite waterfall in all of Samoa! Not only does it have a tranquil other-worldly swimming spot, but you can clamber up behind the falls for a great view and get your adrenalin going with some jumps off of the rocks!


Afu Au is open Mon-Sat 08h00 - 17h00 and entry is ST$10.



Afu Aau Waterfall Samoa
Afu Aau Waterfall was super fun!

 


4. Saleaula Lava Fields


The Saleaula lava fields are a great place to see a bit of history in Samoa.


Mt Matavanu erupted from 1905-1911, burying 5 villages, and you can take a 45-minute walk over the lava flats and see the unusual patterns that formed as it set.


You'll also see LMS Church - where the lava is part way up the walls - and see the virgin’s grave that was spared as the lava flowed around it.


It is ST$10 entry and open Mon-Sat 08h30 - 17h00.



Saleaula Lava Fields Samoa
Saleaula Lava Fields

 


5. Falealupo Canopy Walk, Moso’s Footprint and House of Rock


The Falealupo Canopy Walk is on the northwest coast of Savai’i - and is one of the coolest things to do in Samoa! It sits 10m above the ground, and you can walk between the trees and climb up to a great view of the rainforest from a 230-year-old Bayan tree.


This is one of the more expensive activities in Samoa but still does not break the bank, costing ST$20.


Your entrance fee includes seeing Moso’s Footprint and House of Rock. Moso’s Footprint is believed to be where the giant Moso put his right foot as he stepped from Samoa to Fiji, and the House of Rock is a lava tube that looks like at one point it could’ve been a house, and it's a symbol of female empowerment! Read the story behind it, it's class!


This site is far from the ferry so it’s not ideal for a day trip, but if you are spending some time in Savai’i, it’s definitely worth a visit.



 


6. Pa Sopo’ia Cave


Pa Sopo’ia Cave is very close to the Alofa’aga Blowholes and is good as an extra stop, but you must ask one of the locals to show you the way.


The cave is believed to be an ancient pathway that spirits travel to reach Fafa o Sauali’I at Cape Mulinuu - which is the final meeting place before leaving for the spirit world.



 


7. Mount Matavanu Crater


Mt Matavanu erupted from 1905 to 1911 (creating the Saleaula Lava Fields) leaving behind a massive crater, and another super fun thing to do in Samoa is to hike to this site.


The walk to Mount Matavanu Crater starts from Safotu village and takes around 2-3 hours. Part way up you’ll come across the eccentric Da Craterman who will take your ST$20 entrance fee. (There is also an option to drive, 4WDs only)) Be prepared for some spectacular views!



 


8. La’auolola cave, Pe’ape’a cave and Paia Dwarfs cave


These are the lava tubes in this conservation area that are worth a visit. After a 15-minute walk through a stunning Mahogany forest you enter La’auoleola cave - 5km deep makes it the longest cave in Samoa!


You'll need to arrange to go with a guide from the local village, who will charge something in the range of ST$5-30 for each cave. Listen for the clicking of the famous White Rumpled Swiftlets - a bird that uses echolocation.


Pe’ape’a Cave is more family-friendly - you can only get about 50m in before it's too tight to squeeze yourself any further (again, you'll need a guide).


Paia Dwarfs cave is the most spectacular but also the most inaccessible. According to locals, you can see the footprints of the dwarfs that inhabit the cave. This one also requires a guide, good shoes, water, and a torch, be prepared to get wet and spend a lot of the day exploring here.



 



9. Historical Sites – Cape Mulinuu


If you take a drive to Cape Mulinuu you will come to some historical sites that hold great significance in Samoan legend and culture.


The first site is Mauga Fetu Star Mound - rocks placed into a star shape with grooves once used for grinding tools.


After a short trail, you’ll see a sign ‘Ana O Vaatausilli’ – the site where a young man entered the cave for 3 nights before emerging as a giant to avenge the death of his nephew by his enemies.


Vaisuatoto Well is next, which waters once ran red until locals undertook repair work and the water disappeared. You can read all about the legend of Taotunu at this site.


The final site is Fafa O Sauali’i - one of the best places to watch the sunset in Samoa. As the sun sinks, a golden path appears which is believed to be the pathway of the spirits - so sit back and enjoy!


Bonus Stop: on your way to Cape Mulinuu are the picturesque ruins of Falealuo’s Historic Catholic Church - destroyed in 1990 by Cyclone Ofa.



Cape Mulinuu Samoa
Erin at Cape Mulinuu

 


10. Multi-Day Hike of Mt Silisili


From the village of Aopo you can arrange a 2–3-day hike to the summit of Mt Silisili at 1858 metres – the highest point on all Samoan islands. This is a very long challenging hike with stunning views at multiple points, including Mata o Le Afi (a volcano that erupted in 1902) and the lush rainforest of the Aopo Conservation Area.


The trail is very difficult to follow in some places and a guide is essential and required by law. It is advised to stay in Aopo the night before to get an early start, often guides will let you stay with them or help arrange a homestay with other villagers. If you don't have camping gear, your guide will help you to rent some.


You should provide the food and supplies for the guide as well as a small gift for the family you stay with the night before. Prepare for colder climates at the top, this may be the only time in Samoa you want a jacket!


You can expect to pay ST$150 for the guide for the whole trip, you can normally arrange this hike with a resort or directly at the village of Aopo a few days before.



 


Must Do Bonus Activity - Fiafia Night


Fiafia means ‘happy get together’ - and it's a night filled with traditional dancing, singing, music and food. You dine on a delicious buffet and watch Samoan women perform the beautiful Siva dance.


Then the men present an energetic Fa’ataupati and Siva Afi (fire dance). Finally, you can get up yourself and join in for the Taualaga final dance and learn some Samoan moves. This is an essential part of your trip to Samoa, make sure you add it to your itinerary!


This can be arranged through any resort in Samoa, even if you're not staying there, and they are normally held on Thursday, Fridays, and Saturdays.



Fiafia Night Samoa
Fiafia Night Performance

 


September Travel – Teuila Festival


If you are travelling to Samoa during the first week of September don’t miss the Teuila Festival - which is about celebrating everything to do with Samoan and Polynesian culture.


The Teuila festival is named after Samoa’s national plant which you can’t miss during this celebration. You can find the itinerary online closer to the time, but it includes competitions of the traditional forms of dance: Siva, Fa’ataupati, and Siva Afi (fire dance) with competitors from all over Samoa.


These dances are truly spectacular to watch and made the Teuila festival the highlight of our trip. The festival also hosts the Miss Samoa Pageant, whose winner goes on to represent Samoa to the world. Each night there are numerous food and craft stalls where you can get a taste of Samoa and buy souvenirs.


Entrance is free and it takes place in Apia by the Tourist Information Centre and Cultural Village.



happy tourist blue ocean palm trees Samoa
Me living my Pacific island dream!

 


Thank you for reading my post filled with 20 Super Fun Things to Do in Samoa! If you want more details on any of the attractions, please hit the comments!


It is also important to remember that almost all land in Samoa is privately owned, you can't really be free with your wild wee! Most of these things to do in Samoa have free toilets, but if they don't, be considerate/discrete.


If you'd like to know more about visiting Samoa, check out my previous post: The Ultimate Backpacking Travel Guide to Samoa.


Where are you headed after Samoa? If you're looking for inspiration, check out the I Dream of Mangoes destinations page for Aus, NZ & the Pacific.



Britani Bryce

GUEST WRITER

NZ & Pacific Expert


smiling girl in red hat and grey jumper



Disclosure:
I Dream of Mangoes is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites. That being said, I only link to products I use and love.

Comentarios


bottom of page