A guide to Samoa, South Pacific

Paul Lines By Paul Lines, 8th Jan 2011 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL http://nut.bz/7dwwoy08/
Posted in Wikinut>Travel>Oceania>Samoa>Apia & Around

A brief visit to the sights and attractions of this beautiful South Pacific Island

Samoan History

For over three thousand years the Samoan people, their legends and myths have stood firm against the occupying forces of the European and other foreign nations to retain the independent birthright to the ten South Pacific islands that they call home, a position they finally achieved in 1962. Since then they have re-established their right to be amongst the 'superpowers of the Pacific.' Of these islands, Upolu, where the capital of Samoa, Apia is based is the most populated and Savai'i, the largest but second in terms of population.

Since independence the Samoan's have re-established their own culture onto the island lifestyle and they have acted as guardians of this tropical paradise, helping to create a tourists dream in one of the world's most beautiful locations, situated mid-way between Hawaii and New Zealand.

Natural attractions

Although many of the islands are inhabited, there are a few which allow no traffic, and therefore can only be explored by foot, and others that are uninhabited. However, every island has its own unique natural attractions, which for most will include tropical rainforests, lush vegetation, white sandy beaches as well as magnificent waterfalls, lakes, lagoons and waterfalls. All are surrounded by the clear blue see that is a stunning feature of the Pacific islands.

For example, on Upolo there is the Togitogiga Waterfalls, from which you can watch the water cascading from the vantage point of the swimming pools that they surround them or picnic on the rich grass that stretches at the base of the falls. Alternatively, there is the option of travelling to the Afu Aau falls on Savaii, which will offer a similar enchanting experience. To continue the natural water experience, the Alofaaga blowholes, near Taga, present a once in a life opportunity to watch jets of pure water rushing skywards, achieving incredible heights, are a 'must see' as well.

Back to Upolo and you will not want to miss the amazing experience of swimming in the freshwaters of the Piula cave pool, which is situated beneath the historic Methodist Church at Piula Theological College.

Then there are the beautiful white beaches, such as Lalomanu beach on Upolo, with others dotted around the islands too many to mention. The exquisite breathtaking scenery of these beaches make them ideal for a romantic stroll, watching the sun and the moon creating dancing lights upon the warm blue waters.

For those who prefer to explore the land, there is the opportunity for trekking through the forests and lowlands of the many Samoan islands, including the 'O le Pupu-Pue national park' on Upolo, accompanied by some of natures most colourful and beautiful wildlife, including birds and butterflies. Another amazing attraction is the crater at the peak of mount Matavanu, on Savaii Island, which can be reached in an SUV. Here you can stand on the lava rock and gaze in awe at the results of the power of nature. To complete this experience, a tour of the Falealupo Lava Tube trail, where people sought shelter from the wrath and fire of the volcanoes is another important stop.

Activities

Whether it is activities connected with nature, culture or souvenir shopping, Samoa has it all. Water related activities, such as snorkelling, diving and fishing are two of the activities for which these islands are renowned. Whether you wish to swim with the dolphins or snorkel and dive amongst the multicoloured schools of fish in the sea, this experience is available throughout the islands. Fishing, either from the shores or by boat will also provide hours of enjoyment. Surfing is another great sporting activity for these islands as well.

For those who want to spend more time getting to know the people and culture of Samoa, most of the major towns on the islands have local fairs and cultural attractions and, on the two main islands can be found cities and towns buzzing with life. Here, pack with restaurants, shops and fairs, the tourist can experience the culinary delights of the Samoan people or purchase their wares. These urban areas, including the capital Apia, are also ready to welcome the tourist to an exciting nightlife - Samoan style. Alternatively, you might like to visit the many historical buildings, including the home of Robert Louis Stevenson, located in the village of Vailima.

Festivals

Samoans like to party and, therefore, it is not surprising to find a number of festivals for the tourist to enjoy. One of the most important is the Tuila Festival, held in September, with canoe racing, food, fairs, dancing and singing, which also includes the crowning of Miss Samoa. There is a wide range of other festivals held throughout the year, which includes the arts and music, Samoan style and, perhaps the most popular of all the Fire Knife Festival, where competitions with lit knives are traditionally held. Thus, if the festive tourist in you is eager to go, these islands are the places to be.

Accommodation and other facilities

In terms of accommodation, the Samoan islands have the complete range. Whether your choice is luxury, a standard room, self-catering or accommodation on a shoestring, you will find a warm welcome at one of the many hotels or guesthouses and self-catering venues that will cater for your wallet. Alternatively, why not experience a real night beneath the stars and avail yourself of one of the beach fales which, with a roof but no walls, gives you instant and continuous air conditioning with the lullaby provided by the many sounds of nature.

Other information

Travel information
In Samoa, transport between the two main islands is by ferry, and boat rides are also provided to and from the other islands. Car hire is available and there are business and taxis on these islands as well. The Samoan islands are serviced internationally by Polynesian Airlines, Air Pacific and Air New Zealand, all of which fly into the Falelolo International Airport, close to Apia.

Currency
Currency is the Samoan Tala (dollar) and Sene (cent), there are a limited number of Banks, and ATM's located on Upolo and Savaii. Internet access is also available in the major cities and towns and in the better hotels.

Health
It is also important before you travel to ensure that you have, upon medical advice, been given the recommended protective injections.

Final words

This article has described just a few of the many attractions and activities available to the tourist who ventures to Samoa for their dream tropical experience. There are many more to explore. The ten islands that comprise Samoa have something that will appeal to tourists of all age groups and interests. From the natural beauty of the landscape and wildlife to the charm and culture of its peace loving people as well as an exceptional range of accommodation, land and sea adventures and other facilities, a visit to the islands of Samoa will turn a paradise postcard into a an unforgettable experience, one that the tourist will want to repeat.

Why not join me on Wikinut and earn while you write

Tags

Exotic, Holiday Destination And Luxury, Island Holidays, Islands, Samoa, South Pacific, Vacation, Vacation Spot

Meet the author

author avatar Paul Lines
Having spent a large part of my working life as a business consultant, I am now a full time freelance writer offering content for on-line and print publishers, as well as focusing on creative writing

Share this page

moderator Mark Gordon Brown moderated this page.
If you have any complaints about this content, please let us know

Comments

author avatar James R. Coffey
8th Jan 2011 (#)

Very nice job. Star worthy! Maybe add a video?

Reply to this comment

author avatar Paul Lines
9th Jan 2011 (#)

Not sure how to add a video James

Reply to this comment

author avatar Jerry Walch
9th Jan 2011 (#)

Ditto James' comments.

Reply to this comment

author avatar Denise O
9th Jan 2011 (#)

I agree with James and Jerry.
I enjoyed the read and the pictures a lot.
I just love island life. I lived in Guam from 72-77, just loved it.
I say star also!
Thank you for sharing.:)

Reply to this comment

Add a comment
Username
Can't login?
Password