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Samoa Travel Guide

In Travel by Continental StaffLeave a Comment

An unforgettable journey to the world’s end, lush and quaint Samoa is a far cry from the tropical resorts you may know – but the country is arguably better for it.

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History and Culture | Currency

Where is Samoa?

Samoa is located in the South Pacific Ocean, in the region known as Polynesia. It is found about halfway between New Zealand and Hawaii.

When is the best time to visit Samoa?

November to April is considered the rainy season, so any time other than this is pretty ideal for tourism. May to October is great weather-wise, though some prices will be higher.

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Flights to Samoa

Getting to Samoa isn’t always cheap, with a round trip flight between Toronto and Apia costing around $2300 Canadian. Be on the lookout for deals and layovers to cut the price.

Getting around Samoa

Buses are a good way to get around the major islands; with these public transports an adventure in itself. Taxis are decent on Upolu, while hiring a car is another option. To get between Upolu and Savai’i (as well as some smaller islands), you’ll have to take ferries.

Where to go in Samoa

Savai’i | Upolu (Apia) | Other Islands

Upolu

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The smaller of Samoa’s main two islands, Upolu is nonetheless the centre of life and the one where the majority of the population lives. Here, you’ll find a snapshot of everything great about the country. While Samoa isn’t really one for stunning luxury resorts, you’ll find what resorts are available here, alongside guided tours, rainforest adventures, water sports such as diving, hiking, great beaches, and more. The east is home to some of the best beaches on the island. The south coast is Upolu’s tour de force with lagoons and pristine coastline, while the rugged interior provides a unique experience for those who value an active lifestyle.

Apia

apia white church cathedral city samoa

A different sort of escape can be found in Apia, the capital of Samoa and hub of Upolu. While the beaches and tropical escapes are found elsewhere, Apia is a bustling cultural centre with amazing food, fun nightlife, and tourist facilities to help you plan the rest of your vacation. This is an excellent first stop and window into modern Samoan life, so spend some time her before setting off for more relaxing pastures.

Savai’i

savai'i landscape water forest nature remote samoa

Savai’i is quite simply beautiful. It is a large island (the largest in Samoa) with not many people but an abundance of scenic coastline, rainforest, waterfalls, volcanic landscapes, and more. If you’re here to get away from it all, Savai’i is the place to start. The traditional villages cling to the old way while modern facilities are few and far between (with most supplies found in Salelologa, where your ferry where disembark). Still, making your way around is doable if you work at it. The north is home to some amazing lava fields while the south is a windswept and rugged coast great for surfing and photos.

Other Islands

samoa manono beach trees island water ocean

The eight small islets that make up the rest of Samoa may not cover much area, but they do present a unique and unforgettable getaway all the same. Manono is perhaps the one you can’t miss, with traditional culture alive and well alongside some good beaches and great views. Apolima is also worth a gander, though you need to have the blessing of a local family to stay here. You can forge some unique memories for yourself by leaving the two larger islands behind.

Language in Samoa

Samoan is the main language in Samoa, though you should still find many that speak English. It’s not as common in some of the smaller villages; so a few Samoan phrases couldn’t hurt.

Prices in Samoa ($)*

Prices in Samoa are, for the most part, pretty cheap. An average day should come out to around $39 Canadian, with a budget of $17 for accommodation and $13 for food.

*Cost rating on a scale of ‘$ to $$$$’, or ‘cheapest to most expensive’

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Is Samoa safe?

Before we get into safety, we have to touch on the current health issue with regards to the Zika virus. Spread by mosquitos, the sickness is usually mild and short term, resulting in fever, headaches, rashes, muscle pain, and other flu-like symptoms. That being said, pregnant women (and women considering becoming pregnant) should avoid the country for the time being. Be sure to talk to a healthcare professional before deciding to travel to Samoa.

Beyond this, Samoa is a largely safe country with normal security precautions recommended throughout by the Canadian government. That being said, petty and violent crime can occur, while assaults on women have been known to happen. Roads are paved though can be in poor condition. Use caution if driving and don’t drive at night (traffic is also on the left).

For more on travel safety, check out the Canadian Travel Advisory for Samoa.


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You can learn more about Samoan history and culture in the Country Profile as well as the Samoan tālā with our Currency Spotlight.

For more information, check out the official Samoa tourism site.

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