There aren’t loads of things to do in Samoa, making it all the more relaxing. With beach time there’s definitely enough to fill a week or two, depending on how busy you want to be.
When I was looking up the coolest things to do in Samoa, I found the To Sua Trench and all the beaches and that was about it. Samoa isn’t a popular holiday destination (yet) and so a lot of the activities are naturally made.
When you’re looking for what to do in Samoa you’ll find plenty of natural suggestions, rather than manmade structures set up to take your Samoan Tala off you. And that’s all part of the beauty.
I spent a week in Samoa, and here are most coolest things to do in Samoa of them all.
1. Chill on Lalomanu Beach
As one of the top 10 beaches in the world (so say Lonely Planet) you know Lalomanu Beach is going to be one of the best you’ve seen. With white sands, azure waters and a wonderfully placed mountain (Moana style), this is the place to get your pics.
In fact some of my favourite of the whole trip were taken under this palm tree.
If you’re looking for a budget place to stay in Samoa, then these beach huts are a great shout too. Simply roll down the sides when you’re ready to sleep and you can enjoy nodding off to the sound of the waves.
There’s a great little restaurant on Lalomanu Beach, in one of the Falas. Serving a great fishy themed menu, as most of the menus on Samoa are, you can enjoy your surroundings with a nice, cold beer too.
Definitely put Lalomanu Beach on your list of essential things to do in Samoa.
You could spend all day here, and I recommend you do!
2. Visit the Sopo’aga Waterfalls
The Sopo’aga Waterfalls are more of a photography spot than a place to go and swim. In fact, you can’t actually swim down there. It was a moody skies kinda morning when we went, with a spot of rain too, which I think made for all the better photos. It was the only rain we had during our week in Samoa – pretty good for a lush, tropical island.
I’d suggest about 30 minutes here. Make sure to admire the Falls as well as taking your pictures!
3. Swim at the To Sua Ocean Trench
The To Sua Ocean Trench is the most iconic thing to do in Samoa. As the name suggests, it’s a huge trench in the ground surrounded by beautiful lush greenery. It’s one of the most stunning sites I’ve ever seen and I’m not exaggerating.
There’s a stairway and then a ladder going down into the water. You need to be pretty agile to get down there, and definitely to get back up again.
You can jump off the platform, or go down the next ladder if you prefer.
Honestly, it was amazing.
We took our pics, of course, and then swam through to the other cave through the underpass.
There’s lots more to the To Sua Trench than just the trench, but unfortunately we didn’t have enough time to look round all the rock pools, lava fields and white sand beaches.
I’d say you need to allocate at least half a day here, if not a whole day. There’s lots to do at the To Sua Trench!
4. Go for lunch at the Seabreeze Resort
The Seabreeze Resort is absolutely lush. If you’ve got the cash, then I’d definitely recommend staying here. And if not, then just go for lunch or dinner, like we did.
They’re adults only, have a beach and a pool, a fantastic restaurant and the owners are lovely. It was an absolute paradise.
The Seabreeze Resort was also hands down the best service I received in Samoa. Loved it there.
Oh, absolutely, definitely try the cajun sashimi by the way. Delicious.
Keep enough time for a three-course lunch here, with extra time to enjoy the facilities too. Let’s have a few more pictures of those, shall we?
5. Go for a swim on Vavau Beach
If you need a nice beach near Seabreeze – to swim off the feast – then Vavau Beach is a definite yes.
There was no one on it when I went, and, as you’ll realise is standard in Samoa – there were palm trees, white sands, and tonal blue waters.
You do need to pay the villagers to go here, so when you drive past the entrance don’t just think they’re sitting there for fun. And this is the case for all the activities in Samoa actually. For Samoans if the ‘attraction’ is on their land, then they’re at perfect liberty to charge to see it and take all profits.
Spend as long as you like here. But just to note, there are no other facilities apart from the beach.
6. Learn about Samoan culture at the Samoa Cultural Village
The Samoa Cultural Village was set up a few years ago to show off the culture of Samoa. The clue is in the title. It’s one of the most popular things to do on Samoa.
Most weekdays there’ll be a three-hour show which includes insights into how they cook, how they dance, the importance of tattooing, their wood carving traditions and weaving too. This is a great afternoon out and I’d totally recommend it.
Samoan people pride themselves on the fact that they’re a working culture. Go to the Cultural Village Show and it’s not just a show put on for tourists, but an actual representation of how life is in Samoa.
One of the most interesting stations at the Cultural Village Show was the tattoo one. The word tattoo comes from tatu, which Samoans believed originated in Samoa – and this is where tattoos come from.
Having a half body tattoo is a sign of braveness, maturity and toughness in Samoa. And it’s something men and women put a lot of thought into.
Men have tattoos from their waist to their knees – some of them totally blacked out. Women have their thighs done.
Deciding to get their tatu is a huge part of a Samoans life, and not something everyone goes through. It’s incredibly painful.
We watched as a guy had his 12th session, the final one. The rag was drenched in blood, in black blood as the tattoo formed. No photos are allowed, unless you’re a close member of the family. He lay on the ground with four men around him – one at his head holding his hand. It seemed very sweet and supportive.
A group of New Zealand Samoans had come from a school and as our time watching the tattoo go ahead came to an end the group of 20ish kids sang to him – a supportive song. He was tearing up – this was a huge moment in his life.
It was a beautiful moment to be part of something that meant so much to him.
The cultural village was a also a good way to see how traditional food in Samoa in cooked and consumed.
The next station was the food. In Samoa the men cook. I never really got to the bottom of whether they cook all the time, or they just cook the traditional Umu in the same way men often do BBQs in England, yet women cook year round.
They piled up the rocks, set out the banana leaves and lit the underneath on fire. We were told to come back in 40 minutes for dinner to be served.
7. Shop at the Fugalei Fresh Produce Market
Go to the Fugalei Fresh Produce Market in Apia. It’s easy to find in the centre, it’s huge. You’ll find all kinds of vegetables and fruit, some taro chips and cocoa too. It’s fascinating to look round.
Just to note that the stall holders don’t really like having photos taken – quite rightly so in my opinion.
8. Pick up a souvenir at the Flea Market in Apia
The Flea Market in Apia has dresses, tops, flowers for your hair (lost mine a few hours later), hooks, bags and jewellery. The perfect spot to pick up a souvenir or two.
It’s well worth a look around, but it is kind of the same thing over and over so you don’t really need too long here – depends how much you like to shop!
9. Slide at the Papase’ea Sliding Rocks
The waterfalls at the Papase’ea Sliding Rocks aren’t the most impressive, but the smaller size means you can get involved and slide down them yourself (if you dare).
Unfortunately I weeded out of doing the big one after seeing how ridged it was, and just had a token go at one of the smaller ones. It’s not lifeguarded, obviously, and anything can happen with the changing water levels so I decided to not. As did the rest of my group.
Whether you decided to get involved or not, the Papase’ea Sliding Rocks are still a beautiful part of Samoa to visit.
There are 100 steps to get down to the Papase’ea Sliding Rocks, just to warn you.
I’d recommend spending an hour or two here. Depends whether you want to actually go in or not.
10. Morning Mass at the Catholic Church Mulivai
I went to join the rest of the island in some serious Sunday worship at the Catholic Church Mulivai in the centre of Apia.
Much of Samoa is Christian, of some sort.
The Catholic Church Mulivai was lovely inside – especially in the breezy spot where we stood at the back. I was there for the singing – the Samoan language, sung by people who actually knew how to sing, was just a lovely way to start the day.
11. Get the ferry from Upolu to Savai’i
Head over to Savai’i and you have a whole new adventure playground to enjoy!
Savai’i is known as the more adventurous island with lush mountains to enjoy, and a crazier topography to make the most of.
The ferry is all part of the excitement of a holiday to Samoa though. You can get a VIP ticket for 100 Tala (£30), which gives you access to a room inside with air con, or sit on the outside for 30 Tala (£9) Despite having VIP I found it was much better to sit outside. On the way there it’d been Independence Day and there was barely a space to sit so I made the most of the VIP status then, but on the way back I sat in the sun admiring the view and listening to music.
It was lush.
We took the Lady Samoa III ferry from Mulifanua Wharf on Upolu to Salelologa Wharf in Sava’ii. You can take your car on, or you can go as a foot passenger.
It take around an hour and of course you have to be at the ferry port in good time before.
12. Have fun at the Alofa’aga Blowholes
I loved the Alofa’aga Blowholes – definitely one of the most fun things to do in Samoa.
We arrived and everyone there was laughing and enjoying themselves as the blowholes blasted up. I had to join them. Who knew water blasting through the ground was so much fun? Well, children.
The Alofa’aga Blowholes are actually formed from the lava flow which has formed into rock and created a series of tubes for the water to blow up into. Waves breaking under the tubes send water at high pressure up, creating fountains that spray every few seconds.
13. Learn about the Saleaula Lava Fields
Saleaula is one of several villages destroyed during the Mt Matavanu volcanic eruption from 1905 to 1911. We went to see the ruined church, where the lava had taken over back in the day.
The volcano is still active, and as we were merrily wandering along we were told that it’d probably go off again soon.
14. Lunch at the Le Lagoto Beach Resort
If you want somewhere nice and relaxed for lunch, with good food and decent priced cocktails, then Le Lagoto Beach Resort is a great shout.
I thoroughly enjoyed my choco ice cream cocktail – it was pure pleasure sat down at the beach front.
I had mahi mahi and rice for lunch, and that was great too. The beach loungers here were lush and I could totally spend the day enjoying the sun, the palm trees and the beachfront.
As you can tell, I enjoyed my time there!
15. Venture over the Falealupo Canopy Walk
The trees here are ancient and super impressive – I mean, it’s a cool place to visit just for that. The biggest one was like something from an Enid Blyton novel, it was beautiful.
So, basically, the Falealupo Canopy Walk – you climb up the first tree, walk across the bridge, and then even higher up the next tree. Up there you’ll see the treetops and out to sea. If you’re scared of heights it’s an adrenaline buzz, but if not, then it’s just a worthy view.
Coolest things to do in Samoa, in short
- 1. Chill on Lalomanu Beach
- 2. Visit the Sopo’aga Waterfalls
- 3. Swim at the To Sua Ocean Trench
- 4. Go for lunch at the Seabreeze Resort
- 5. Go for a swim on Vavau Beach
- 6. Learn about Samoan culture at the Samoa Cultural Village
- 7. Shop at the Fugalei Fresh Produce Market
- 8. Pick up a souvenir at the Flea Market in Apia
- 9. Slide at the Papase’ea Sliding Rocks
- 10. Morning Mass at the Catholic Church Mulivai
- 11. Get the ferry from Upolu to Savai’i
- 12. Have fun at the Alofa’aga Blowholes
- 13. Learn about the Saleaula Lava Fields
- 14. Lunch at the Le Lagoto Beach Resort
- 15. Venture over the Falealupo Canopy Walk
How to Book a Trip to Samoa
I was a guest of the Samoan Tourist board, so these are approximate estimations from my week in Samoa.
Flights: Skyscanner is my favourite search engine for booking flights. You can expect to pay around £1200 for a flight from London to Samoa.
2 nights at the Aga Reef Resort – £283 for 2 people in a double room with sea view, so £140.
2 nights at Taumeasina Resort – £347 for 2 people in a king room with a sea view, so £170.
2 nights at Stevenson’s Resort – £156 for 2 people in a beach front fale, so £75.
1 night at Sheraton Resort – £214 for 2 people in a deluxe room with ocean view, so £105.
Food and drink
7 dinners – our meals were around £20 each, for two courses, so you could halve this for lunch, so £70.
7 lunches – see above, so £140 for one.
Breakfast was always included in the room rate.
£295 for the week
And then you need to include any extra snacks, souvenirs and petrol.
At a minimum, my trip to Samoa costs £2,250, per week.
I’d recommend splitting up the flight with a few days in Sydney too.
I loved my three days in Sydney, and actually found it good value.
That way you can easily pick up your Virgin Australia flight.