To get to Villa Vailima, where the Scottish writer Robert Louis Stevenson lived with his family, and died, in 1894 (he had tuberculosis and needed warm places to live), you can start your walk in Apia market; it will take you approximately one hour, much less if you start in Vailima.
The house was constructed in 1890 by Stevenson and today is a kind of traveller’s pilgrimage, especially his tomb, further up in the peak of the hill.
Samoans loved Stevenson very much and called him Tusitalia, what means “the one who recounts tales”.
escape the hassle of town and take a trip to the rural areas where all the beautiful Beaches are at...
Visit the Paradise Beach where the classis "Return to Paradise" was shot at....
Matareva Beach....or more better....drive on down to Lalomanu and choose from the many beach fales..
relax in the waters of the islands....
i gaurantee the satisfactions..
Underneath the monastry of Piula is the Piula Cave Pool. Taking a photo of the freshwater pool is for free, but if you wish to swim in it you have to pay a fee of around 5 Tala towards the monastry. The pool is right next to the ocean shore but waters don't mix. The water is cool, calm and crystal clear. You can swim through the cave and leave it on another side.
There where only few people when I was there and it's quite pleasant. I think that spending an hour to just relax is well worth it.
Upolu's only National Park is one of the only sights in Samoa, where you don't have to pay for. There are fales available for a picnic. The main "attraction" are probably the Togitogiga Falls. A stream falls down two levels into two beautiful pools.
Accessing the pools is quite a challenge as it is very steep and there is no proper path. There are fales up on the top from where you can see the waterfalls & pools. From there we climbed down to the bottom pool; this is the easiest way to get to it. If you want to get into the first pool you'll have to climb down a steep wall of rocks and jump from there into the pool. Be careful and make sure that you see how deep it is.
The best thing was jumping from there into the bottom pool. Great fun!
The famous Scottish writer Robert Louis Stevenson, who wrote Jekyll & Hide and Treasure Island, was so fascinated by Samoa that he decided to live there and in fact he spent the major part of his life here. He's well known among the people back then and was loved by the children for his ability to tell stories. Therefore, is his Samoan name tusitala, which means storyteller. Stevenson was also involved in politics, as he was the tribal leader for his village. He stood up for the Samoan people against the colonial power(s).
The Vailima estate, where he lived, is today a museum in his honour. It is certainly one of Samoa's most magnificent remains of colonial architecture. Inside there are old artefacts of his belongings as well.
Stevenson died at Vailima and his grave is up a steep hill near to the mansion. The grave and the path up to it were built in a matter of a day by the people of 'Upolu in order to go with Samoan burial traditions.
Apia is not big and you will hardly find many big buildings there. However, most hotels are here.
In the city center at the main roundabout you'll find the parliament and the treasury as it is the capital of Samoa. These buildings were sponsored by the Chinese government and as a matter of fact they do look a little bit Communist-style. Near to the parliament is also the main market, where nearly all busses depart from.
You'll find McDonald's, the Air New Zealand Travel Centre, the flea market, cinema and other shopping facilities here. Apia is as Samoa's capital and the best place for souvenir hunting a must.
One of the BEST things about going to a tropical land is the fruit......
Although Samoa may not have the variety of fruit on hand like one sees in Hawaii or SE Asia, there are lots of things to try.... familiar and unfamiliar.
Mangoes.... lots of different kinds in season, coconuts of course,papaya, several kinds of bananas, avocado, pineapple, gauva, passionfruit, soursop (sasalapa), starfruit, star apples, rambutan, abiu, rollinia (a custard apple), jackfruit and mountain apples. There are also pomellos (giant grapefruit), lemons and limes.
Also a very strange fruit called a "Vi" fruit.... related to the mango, it is green hard and sour...... not that great but unusual.
Half way between Faleolo Int'l airport and Samoa there will be a large pond on one side of the road. Some palm trees will border it and the shore will be on the opposite. You won't see them at first because there hiding, but if you throw some bread or grass into the water chances are high that they will come to the surface. There will be about 20 free-living turtles from really huge size to baby size. They are so beautiful and the best thing is that not everyone knows that they are there.
This fall is right in the middle of Upolu, in the rainforest. You will have to look out for a sign on the Inter-Island-Road. You will arrive at someone's house and you have to pay a little fee (5-7 Tala). Then you are allowed to walk a path through thick rain forest. And then it seems to appear from nowhere, but in front of you is a steep slope and on the other side is this magnificent waterfall. It's pretty amazing. This is the highest waterfall in Samoa, I think.
Samoans are the most religious people in the South Pacific and they take their Sundays ver seriously. On Sunday morning they all dress up in white dresses and go to church. During that time it is better to stay in the hotel and not on the street or at the beach. If you are in a resort going to the beach is acceptable.
When on the road from the airport to Apia you can see about 90 churches. Every village has got it's own and style and size differ often.
Papase'ea Sliding Rocks is a bunch of waterfalls in the midst of Samoa's rain forest. From Apia, it's a ten minute drive and I think it costs only 10 Tala by taxi. So that'd be probably the best way to get there, unless you don't have a car. At the entrance you have to pay a little fee, but make sure that there is enough water running on that stream because during the dry season there will be hardly any water and sliding is not possible. After paying you have to walk down some hundred metres of stairs. Pretty exhausting, but it's worth it.
There are 3 slides. The first one is about 6 metres high and is quite steep. The mossy surface, however, ensures a safe and respectively smooth slide. The next slide is quite small, but water falls down into a horse-shoe-shaped deep pool and from there you go onto the last slide a bit longer but more bumpier ride.
All were great fun and we didn't get harmed. Nonetheless, you should be careful when going back up because it's sometimes very slippery.
This is one of the most beautiful beaches Samoa has to offer. The beach got its name from the movie "Return To Paradise" starring Clark Gable from the 1950s. This beach belongs to the village of Lefaga and when entering the beach you have to pay a little fee according to the size of your vehicle. It is not much but it helps the village that wouldn't get any money from the tourism industry otherwise.
The beach is very clean and there are fale and toilets right next to the beach, so this would be a nice spot to spent an afternoon.
You should be careful when trying to swim there, as it's full of corals and the risk of injury is quite high. There is quite good snorkeling, however.
There are many beatifull waterfalls in Samoa. Rent a car for a day and drive around the Island of Upolu and see them in a day. Some are nice places to have a cooling swim, while others are just for the scenic view.
Have a look at my Upolu waterfalls travelogue for details and pictures .
One of Upolu's most important wetland areas are located around the villages of Sataoa and Sa'anapu. In an effort to preserve the area it has been declared a conservation area with support from UNESCO.
The local conservation comitee maintains a nature trail trough the mangroves and arranges an 1 - 2 hour tour with a walk into the lush mangrove forrest followed by a trip in a small outrigger canoe.
This is a very special experience that you should not miss and well worth its price of 30 Talla.
Have a look at my Sataoa Mangroves travelogue for pictures and more.
Apia is B-O-r-I-N-g. If you read just the capiatl letters, what's that spell? BOIN. it means nothing. I have too much time on my hands. In Apia you'll have so much time, you'll be smart to move on fast. if you think the Baha'i temple would be a nice way to pass a couple of hours, I have news for you- Maybe.
it's a nice ride up the mountain- take a bus weakling- only 1 tala and nice people go up that way. In 20 minutes I met the two people next to me and Gik was invited to stay with a family.
The temple has some interesting info in the info for those of us who have no idea what a bahai temple is all about. But the best part is the grounds- very pretty, very well maintained. I great place for a nap. We chose to take a few photos and leave however. Back to the pool at the hotel.
Siumu, Apia, Samoa
Good for: Business
South Coast, Maninoa Village, PO Box 3684, Apia, Upolu, Samoa
Good for: Business
This hotel has a relatively interesting history which I encourage you to read if you happen to stay...more