Everything you need to know about a holiday to Samoa

If you love the South Pacific as much as I do, you’re probably wondering about venturing a little further afield.

Samoa is one of the countries I would love to visit. Appealing and yet still a little mysterious, right?

Read on for some fresh travel tips on this emerging destination.

Do I need a visa?

In a word: nope. You don’t need a visa. How easy is that?!

Do I need to be COVID-19 vaccinated and have a pre-departure RAT?

Happily, again, nope. Acting Prime Minister Hon. Tuala Tevaga Ponifasio announced on 22nd September that the pre-departure requirement for a supervised COVID-19 RAT for travellers bound for Samoa has been removed.

How do I get there?

Qantas’ Northern Winter schedule from November (2022) to March (2023) will see an increase in direct weekly flights between Australia’s eastern seaboard and Samoa’s gateway Faleolo International Airport, with additional services scheduled for both weekdays and weekends.

Virgin and Fiji Airways fly to Apia. At the time of publication, an adult could fly Sydney – Apia direct for around $600. The flight is approximately six hours.

Where do I stay?

Taumeasina Island Resort, Upolu 
Located just 45 minutes from the Faleolo International Airport and five minutes from Samoa’s capital city, Apia, is the island nation’s newly renovated four-and-a-half star private island luxury resort.

Saletoga Sands Resort & Spa, Upolu 
Located on the eastern side of Upolu you will find the four-star luxury resort of Saletoga Sands with villas that are just steps from the ocean.

What is there to do?

Slide down natural water slides
Slide, splash and enjoy the natural aquatic playground that is the Papase’ea Sliding Rocks. Brave Mother Nature’s waterslides and slide down these naturally formed rock slides, worn down by thousands of years of running water, into the blessedly cool waterholes beneath. The sliding rocks are divided into two – one for kids and one for adults. The longest slide is five metres long, but there are a couple of smaller ones at the bottom of the stairs.

Photo credit: Samoa Tourism Authority (STA)

Quad bike through the lush jungle
For the ultimate adventure seekers, jumping on a quad bike to explore the picturesque bushlands of Leauva’a’s lush plantations should be on the top of your list. Samoa’s locally owned ATV Quad Tours are the way to go.

Photo credit: Samoa Tourism Authority (STA)

Swin in the To-Sua Ocean Trench, Upolu
The To-Sua Ocean Trench is one of the world’s most spectacular natural swimming pools. The stunning 30-metre deep trench is accessible from a rustic ladder which leads you into a crystal clear grove that is perfect for relaxing and swimming.

Stock up on island style at Savalalo Flea Market, Upolu
Find a special Samoan handicraft or monument to remember your travels at the Savalalo Flea Market. This outdoor bazaar features an abundance of traditional, locally-made gifts to choose from. Shop for ava bowls, woven pandanus mats, hand crafted wood carvings and lavalavas (sarongs) printed in every colour imaginable.

Photo credit: Samoa Tourism Authority (STA)

Shake your booty at Fiafia Night, Upolu and Savai’i
Sit back, relax and enjoy a night of traditional celebration at one of Samoa’s many FiaFia Nights, held across the island nation. Since the first Samoan people arrived on these islands more than 3,000 years ago, traditional dancing, singing and cooking styles have been passed down from generation to generation.

Where do I eat?

Mika’s Restaurant at Coconuts Beach Club, Upolu
No trip would be complete without tasting the local cuisine, and Mika’s Restaurant is the perfect place to try out some traditional Samoan favourites. Mika’s offers dining under the stars on the sand and on the open-air Palm Terrace.

Roadside food stalls
Run by local families, roadside stalls are convenient and fun way to grab a tasty snack. You’ll find anything from tropical fruit and veggies, to hot BBQ meals and even fresh caught fish at these stalls. Make sure you bring cash.

Photo credit: Samoa Tourism Authority (STA)

What’s the exchange rate like?

At the time of publication, 1 Australian Dollar = 1.8019 Samoa Tala. According to this website, Australia is 2.9 times more expensive than Samoa.

Can I drive there?

Yes, but you need a temporary driver’s licence. The easiest way to do this is hire a car with a rental company that offers this service – more info here.

Have you got any good tips for travelling to Samoa? Care to share them in the comments?

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