Day 3: Waterfalls, Swimming Holes & Beach
It’s time to check out of Apia and hit the road once again. Get another early start but not because this day will be as action-packed as Day 2, but rather because you’ll want to make it to the Piula Cave Pool before everyone else arrives (T5 entrance). This magical swimming hole is fed by water seeping from the highlands. Go for a swim in these incredibly transparent waters and put on some snorkeling gear to really get the full experience!
Adventure seekers can go off-road to the Sauniatu Waterfall, but to leave some relaxation time for later, let’s continue up the Richardson Road to the Le Mafa Pass. On a clear day, this is the ‘classic’ tropical island view you’ve envisioned.
Continue on this road which now begins to descend to the south coast. Stop at the Fuipisia Waterfall (T7 entrance) and walk to the top of this 55-meter high waterfall. Wow!
Further down the road is the last waterfall of the day and the most impressive one on the island. The Sopoaga Waterfall (T10 entrance) emerges from the jungle-like some animated movie about paradise. Cascading from one pool to another, it eventually finds its way to the river, and into your dreams.
Take a left at the fork towards the eastern side of the south coast and stop for a picnic lunch and a swim in the To-Sua Ocean Trench (T20 entrance). You cannot come to Samoa without visiting one of nature’s finest achievements. Out of a seemingly flat grassy surface, two sinkholes are connected by a lava tube and one of them is filled with aqua blue waters delivered straight from the nearby ocean. The To-Sua Ocean Trench is a regular member of lists of ‘places you must visit before you die’, so consider this an achievement unlocked.
The grounds above the trench make for an excellent picnic spot and don’t forget to walk down to the rocky pools for some more awesome views of the coastline.
The beach is a very popular place to stay in Samoa and on Wednesdays and Saturdays, you’ll be treated to a Polynesian dance and fire show at Taufua Beach Fales (donations expected).
Day 4: Relaxing On The Beach
Lalomanu Beach is arguably the best beach in Samoa and one of the best beaches in the South Pacific. It doesn’t get any better than this! While the snorkeling is nothing to write home about following the devastating effects of the 2009 tsunami, you’ll be hard-pressed to find anything as pretty as this!
Treat yourself to a day of pure relaxation, Polynesian massages, and happy hour cocktails! If you seriously want to explore yet another beach, find your way to nearby Vavau Beach (T20 entrance). It’s more secluded and also among Samoa’s best beaches.
Day 5: Going Off The Grid
Day five will be spent in nearby Namua Island. You can visit the island from Lalomanu on a day trip (T40) but I highly recommend spending the night at Namua Island Beach Fales to get the full experience. Though just across from Upolu, Namua Island feels like a world away. Spend your day snorkeling, lounging on the beach, hiking to the top of the island, and even circling it at low tide. Spend your nights counting the stars and watching the hermit crabs go to work.
If you do spend the night in Namua Island, get up bright and early and hike to the top of the island for sunrise. It’ll no doubt be one of the highlights of your visit to Samoa and maybe you’ll even spot a coconut crab along the way.