A group of islands positioned within the South Pacific, for these of you who haven’t heard of Samoa earlier than, it’s roughly midway between Hawaii and New Zealand and the final nation earlier than the worldwide date line. Sitting simply south of the equator, guests to the Samoan Islands can anticipate sizzling temperatures all year long, with a mean temperature of round 26 levels Celsius and a monsoonal wet season that runs from November to April. Over the previous 20 years, tourism has began to extend on the island (though you’d hardly discover as a result of there are VERY few vacationers) and for any of you trying to go to someplace a bit totally different, we extremely suggest a visit to this Polynesian island. That will help you get began along with your journey plans, learn our important Samoa journey suggestions under and discover out the whole lot it is advisable know earlier than you go!

Samoa Travel Guide - Samoa Travel Tips to Know Before You Go
I visited Samoa as a visitor of the Samoa Tourism Authority in partnership with Blogilicious, nonetheless all stunning sights seen, wonderful meals eaten, conventional dances loved (and extra) stay totally my very own.

25 Samoa Journey Ideas – Your Important Samoa Journey Information

Be taught concerning the historical past of Samoa

With volcanic origins that date again over 3000 years, it wasn’t till the 18th century that Europeans first found the Polynesian island of Samoa, adopted by the American’s in the course of the 19th century, when whaling and buying and selling vessels started visiting the island. Germany additionally confirmed business curiosity in Samoa and it was a battle between America, the UK and Germany that result in the nation’s civil conflict. Germany then dominated the nation between 1900 – 1914, adopted by New Zealand throughout WWI to 1962, when after repeated efforts by the Samoan independence motion the island was lastly granted independence. Later, in 1997 the nation modified its identify from Western Samoa to Samoa, as it’s recognized at present.

Two men dressed in traditional Samoan outfits, one whose body has the male traditional tatoo

A the Samoa Cultural Village: Discover the Pa’e – the standard Samoan tattoo on the legs on the person sitting down. See under for more information.

Find out about Fa’a Samoa – The Samoan Manner

While there are many accommodations in Samoa which have a nightly tradition present as soon as per week which options conventional dancing from women and men, together with fireplace dancing – and normally a little bit of viewers participation (not the fireplace half!), probably the greatest locations to study Samoan life, traditions and beliefs is on the Samoan Cultural Village in Apia. Excursions are freed from cost (though donations are tremendously accepted) and run between 10.30-12.30 on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday (between April and October) and at 10.30am on Thursday between November and March.

Every tour incorporates a conventional ‘Ava (also called Kava) ceremony welcome, cooking demonstration (which you then have for lunch!), wooden carving, paper and material preparation plus a number of singing and dancing. And in case you are fortunate, you’ll have the consideration of witnessing a bit of the inking of a Samoan full physique tattoo. There isn’t a entrance payment however any suggestions are tremendously appreciated.

The Confidence of the Samoan Individuals is Pleasant

The Samoan individuals have a means about them. Past heat and welcoming, there’s a confidence constructed on group help and acceptance for all meaning regardless of the scale, form, weight, gender, faith – or another ‘defining’ characteristic (that there’s usually a lot emphasis on in Western Society) everybody seems assured and comfy with who they’re. The Samoan tradition just isn’t certainly one of bullying, or tearing individuals down, however lifting individuals up. And you’ll see it as you discover the island.

Samoa is Distant

In case you are planning a visit to Samoa you’re going to get used to how gosh darn distant the nation is. Positioned between New Zealand and Hawaii, and mere miles from the worldwide date line (on the opposite aspect of which is American Samoa) flights arrive all through the week from Sydney and Brisbane in Australia; Auckland in New Zealand; Nadi in Fiji, American Samoa (Pago Pago) and Tonga. That being mentioned, you’ll must plan to get your self to (or journey by way of) certainly one of these hubs earlier than you begin planning your Samoa journey. And in case you are touring from North America, most flights join by Hawaii.

Top down aerial shot of a paddleboard at the waters edge next to pink sand

There’s a couple of island

Therefore the identify the Samoan islands. Made up of two foremost islands, the bigger being Savaii Island and Upolu Island which had been shaped by a big volcano. There are additionally eight smaller islands, which embody the Apolima Strait, the Aleipata Islands and Nu’usafe’e, though solely four are inhabited.

Samoa is pronounced: Sah-Mo-Ah

And never Sam-o-a as has been utilized in Western cultures  (and the way I incorrectly pronounced it till I visited and was taught the right means!)

The distinction between Samoa and American Samoa

Regardless of being a neighboring island to Samoa, American Samoa is, in truth, a completely separate territory, owned by america and is subsequently closely influenced by its American affiliation. Probably the most fascinating factor about this for me is that it’s barely a 30 minute flight between the 2 nations – however American Samoa is an entire 24 hours behind Samoa (because of the reality they sit either side of the worldwide date line). Thoughts blowing, proper?!

Fire Dancer in Samoa

Fa’afafine – The Third Gender in Samoa

Fa’afafine are people who find themselves assigned male at start however embody each masculine and female gender traits. They establish as having a 3rd gender which is one which has a acknowledged function in society and is a necessary a part of Samoan tradition. It’s an id distinctive to Polynesia, and typical ‘Western’ descriptions (Homosexual, Transsexual, Transgender and so forth) don’t match with Samoan cultural beliefs and as such usually are not used.

Fa’afafine are majoritively accepted as an integral half to Samoan society and are recognized for his or her exhausting work and dedication to the household; nonetheless some denominations of the Catholic Church and a few elder leaders usually are not as accepting.

Samoa is a Christian Nation

Inside the Cathedral in Samoa

Christianity has been one of many few western influences that has been accepted into Fa’a Samoa, and as of June 2017, the structure had even been amended to replicate that Samoa is a Christian – moderately than a secular state, because of the religions dominance.
Right now the motto on Samoa’s crest reads, Fa’avae I Le Atua Samoa – ‘Samoa is based on God’, and located in each village are church buildings of varied denominations. Samoans are religious Christians and Sunday in Samoa is a day of worship and time to spend with household the place no bodily work is finished.

The significance of Tatau (Tattoo)

Conventional full physique tattoos have been ingrained in Samoan tradition for hundreds of years, and it’s each an art-form and a ritual that’s nonetheless closely practiced at present.
For males, the Pe’a covers the physique from waist to knees and is extraordinarily painful. Tattooing is carried out by a tufuga ta tatau (grasp tattooists), utilizing a set of handmade instruments items of bone, turtle shell and wooden. It’s ritualistic, and no pictures or video are permitted as it’s believed that spirits are current in the course of the inking. It may possibly take wherever from a few weeks to a few years to finish, and those that full the design are afforded respect and the title Soga’imiti and put on their Pe’a as a mark of braveness.

For girls, the Malu covers the legs from slightly below the knee to the higher thighs slightly below the buttocks, and is often finer and extra delicate in design in comparison with the Pe’a. It’s not thought of to be as cultural vital because the Pe’a however thought of a logo of dedication to the Samoan means of the life.

Lady making paper in a traditional way in Samoa

Samoa is tiny

The entire land space of the Samoan Islands is a teeny tiny 2,842 km2. Which makes exploring tremendous simple and it’s doable to cowl a number of floor every day do you have to want to take action.

The first language is…

Though each English and Samoan are the official languages of Samoa, you can see that extra individuals on the island converse Samoan.

Trade your money

The forex in Samoa is the Samoan Tala (WST) and should you haven’t already exchanged your money earlier than your arrival you are able to do this at both the airport or within the metropolis’s capital. There are forex change desks earlier than and after passport management on arrival, and after you have collected your baggage there’s a money machine within the arrivals corridor should you choose to withdraw money direct (as I do).

Samoan Flag painted on a brick wall

The capital metropolis is Apia

Positioned to the north of Upolu is the nation’s capital of Apia. Located on the coast, town’s harbor is of explicit curiosity in case you are within the nation’s historical past. It’s also 25km from Faleolo Worldwide Airport and town additionally makes for an excellent cease off level while you first arrive in Samoa earlier than heading off to discover the remainder of the island(s).

One of the best time to go to is…

Though Samoa is sizzling all year long, it’s thought of that the right time to go to the island is between July and September throughout a interval of aid between the extreme humidity and the wet season that begins shortly after in November.

Keep cool

As now we have already talked about, Samoa stays sizzling all year long and very humid for almost all of that. Which is why it’s necessary you pack appropriately with loads of mild garments. Solar cream is a should and be sure to take a bottle of water with you on a time out.

Test should you want a visa to go to

Relying on the place your passport was issued, entry necessities will fluctuate. Sometimes, in case you are visiting Samoa for 60 days or much less, you aren’t required to get a visa to go to the nation for tourism functions. Nonetheless, you’ll need to have a return or onward ticket and a passport that’s legitimate for no less than the subsequent six months on arrival. Test with your house international locations journey advisory physique (USA / UK / AUS) for specifics.

Seabreeze resort Samoa

Robert Louis Stevenson is a Nationwide Treasure

Robert Louis Stevenson is a Sottish creator well-known for writings corresponding to Treasure Island, and (the Unusual Case of) Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde. Selecting to settle in Samoa because of the tropical local weather which assisted along with his sickness, he was recognized to the Samoans as the person with nice ‘manas. Attributable to his many constructive interactions with the area people he grew to become very fashionable and when he handed away on December 3, 1894 (aged 44), he was buried at Mount Vaea at an exquisite spot over wanting the ocean.

Really helpful vaccinations

It’s best to examine along with your physician earlier than you journey however there are usually no particular beneficial vaccinations for Samoa exterior of routine vaccinations corresponding to Measles, Mumps and Rubella (MMR) and Rabies, together with Hepatitis A and Typhoid for many vacationers, plus, Yellow Fever and Hepatitis B for some vacationers.

Pack mosquito repellent and aid

Like many nation’s with excessive humidity, mosquitos are current, which is why it’s necessary to pack each mosquito repellent and aid, simply in case you might be unlucky sufficient to get bitten by these pesky critters. Nonetheless, regardless of the presence of mosquitoes, there’s NO danger of contracting Malaria, though there’s at the moment a danger of Zika (in mid-2019) and as such pregnant girls or {couples} attempting for a child could want to seek the advice of their journey physician earlier than visiting.

The easiest way to get round is…

Local Bus in Samoa

On your personal comfort, one of the simplest ways to discover Samoa is by automotive, which you’ll lease from the airport. Instead, you too can get a taxi or use the islands bus service. Nonetheless, that is recognized to be considerably intermittent – however most locals are glad that can assist you if you wish to give it a attempt! Journeys price a few Tala per particular person.

Actions to maintain you entertained in Samoa

To Sua Ocean Trench Samoa from above

Over time Samoa’s pure magnificence has begun to draw increasingly vacationers (however not so many that you simply received’t really feel like virtually the one vacationers there!) From pure wonders such because the To Sua Ocean Trench, Sopo’aga Waterfall, Lava Fields and Papase’ea Sliding Rocks to the pristine, limitless seashores and historic websites, and a few ah-maz-ing seafood, it’s a fantastic place to discover and chill out. Check out our full information to the high 25 issues to do in Samoa and begin getting excited on the prospects.

Attempt the native delicacies

Tuna Sashimi in focus next to soy sauce and wasabi in the background

Being an island, recent fish and seafood characteristic closely as a part of the Samoan weight loss plan and you can see an enormous array of native delights on all native restaurant menus. In actual fact, the whole lot you attempt on the island is extraordinarily recent, together with all of the fruit and veg, notably the coconuts!

By an area sim card

With each cellphone sign and web restricted on Samoa, it is strongly recommended that you simply purchase an area sim while you arrive on the airport. There are two suppliers that shall be pushing for your corporation – Digicell and BlueSky and every provide vacationer/customer playing cards and may be topped up at numerous spots across the nation – BUT we discovered that Digicell was not solely most cost-effective (you may get 6GB of knowledge with a 7 day expiry for 20 Tala ($7.50USD / $11AUD / £6GBP)) – they usually had the perfect protection. The women within the store on the airport can even get all of it arrange and energetic in your cellphone so you understand it’s working earlier than you allow the airport!

To purchase your Digicell sim card, flip proper as you exit the arrivals corridor and stroll roughly 5-10m. The store is dressed is crimson and they’re going to probably have the biggest queue exterior, however it’s undoubtedly value ready for.

*NOTE* While a number of accommodations have wifi obtainable, it isn’t all the time complimentary. In the event you want entry to the world broad internet, we extremely suggest getting a sim card on the airport!

Be taught just a few phrases in Samoan

  • Talofa (Tah-lo-far) – Hiya
  • Tofa (Toh-far) – Goodbye
  • Fa’amolemole (Fa-ah-moh-le-moh-le) – Please
  • Fa’afetai (Fa-ah-feh-tie) – Thanks
  • Ioe (Ee-oh-e) – Sure
  • Leai (Le-ai) – No

Guide a fale

Fales at Lalomanu Beach Samoa

A fale is the standard phrase used to explain lodging in Samoa. Historically these are thatched huts on the seaside that are completely wonderful to expertise and nice worth for cash. Nonetheless, throughout peak seasons it’s extremely beneficial that you simply e-book any of the seaside fales upfront to keep away from disappointment. And for different strategies on the place to remain, or to take a peek at a number of the most luxurious resorts in Samoa, check out our full Samoa Lodging Information and discover out the place to remain in paradise!

What issues price in Samoa

Creamy cocktail in Samoa

Prices under are present as of June 2019, and are approximations as totally different bars, eating places, and resorts will cost barely totally different charges.
  • Smooth Drink: 2.50 Tala
  • Bottled Water: 2-Three Tala
  • Espresso: 5-7 Tala
  • Native Beer: 9-12 Tala
  • Glass of Wine: 15-19 Tala
  • Cocktail: 15-20 Tala
  • Gentle Meal: 25-50 Tala per particular person
  • Three Course Meal: 90-120 Tala


We hope that with our journey information to Samoa, it has enabled you to realize a reasonably broad understanding of what to anticipate on the island, overlaying the whole lot from the language to locations to go to. If Samoa is an island you might have visited earlier than and have any extra suggestions you suppose we must always add to our information, tell us within the feedback under.

And should you preferred this information or know of anybody that’s at the moment planning a visit to this island paradise, please share this submit with them by way of Fb, Flipboard, Twitter or Pinterest.

Samoa Travel Tips - What To Know Before You Go


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