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Chasing Waves & Waterfalls in Samoa


Fuipisia Falls / Image: Sean Condon

The Polynesian nation of Samoa is an enticing destination for those that want to add some extra adventure into a South Pacific vacation.  The two main islands of Savai’i and Upolu offer up a bunch of land and sea activities to suit people of all ilk.

Perhaps you’re inclined to spend ocean time off-shore fishing, surfing, kayaking and diving its warm water seas. Or, maybe you’re happy to hike to secluded waterfalls, mountain bike through dense rainforest trails or hire a 4WD and effectively navigate your own Samoan adventure. Either way, whichever level of adrenaline activity you choose you’re bound to enjoy limitless fun as you discover the dynamic beauty of Samoa.


Exploring Upolu


Tu Soa Ocean Trench / Image: Sean Condon
  • Tu Soa Ocean Trench – touted as one of the world’s most amazing natural watering holes. This aqua hued trench is arguably the most photographed place in all of Samoa. The 30-metre, symmetrical swimming hole is surrounded by dense tropical vegetation and located at the centre of a lava field adjacent to Lotofaga village. Since it’s connected to the nearby ocean by an underwater cave system, its continually refilling with sparkling seawater. An absolute ‘must do’ Upolu experience.


  • Turtle Power – Keen to swim with green sea turtles in their natural habitat. Well, the ideal place to do just that is in the ocean around Namu’s Island, right near the vibrant Lalomanu Beach just off the south-eastern coast of Take you’re snorkeling gear and head out at dusk or dawn – the best time to spot sea turtles in real life. Note: expect to donate a minimum fee to locals to access most beaches in Samoa if you’re not a resort guest.


Togitogiga Waterfall Upolu by David Kirkland
Togitogia Waterfall / Image: David Kirkland
  • Togitogiga Waterfall – is a truly lovely outdoor space where secluded swimming holes intersect with cascading waterfalls. Samoan legend says it was the chosen place where warriors of the past once swam. Take a picnic lunch and kick a footy around the grassed area to create a most memorable day.


Upolu_Papaseea Sliding Rocks 01
Papaseea Sliding Rocks / Image: Sean Condon
  • Papaseea Sliding Rock – Just 6km out Apia (grab a cheap taxi!) you’ll find these natural sliding rock formations within a magic jungled landscape. Skimming down the smooth river rocked slides into the cooling pools abound is a highlight for both kids and adults.


‘To Stay’

Make ‘Return to Paradise Resort & Spa’ your beachfront Upolu holiday home. The suites and facilities here are of high quality and the delicious pacific rim cuisine at the resort restaurant is superb.

Upolu_Return to Paradise Resort _Fire Twirler
Fire Twirling at Return to Paradise Resort


The Spirit of Savai’i

Savai’i Island is a scenic treasure trove. Plus, its easily accessible via a 90-minute ferry ride from Upolu. Here’s our hit list of not to be missed adventure activities during your Savai’i island stay.


  • Afu Aau Waterfall – Trip Advisor ranks this splendid waterfall as the number 1 attraction here and we sure can’t argue with that. The falls are gorgeous, relatively uncrowded and the swimming lagoon is clear, cool and ultra-refreshing for a swim. Daredevils can take a leap of faith from the rocks above into the deep-water basin below.


  • Falealupo Rainforest Reserve – gain a bird’s eye view of the lush tropical surrounds as you take a treetop canopy walk high above the ground. The suspended walkway that spans between giant, ancient Banyan trees is a visitor favourite. A small entry fee supports the local village community.


Savai'i Beach by David Kirkland
Savai’i Beach by David Kirkland
  • Diving and Kayaking – A popular dive site in Savai’i is the shipwreck of the Juno which sunk off the coast in 1881. Nowadays the wreck is the home to a bountiful display of marine species. Kayak fans take note – most of the Savai’i coastline is fringed with colourful reefs and aqua seas, ideal for a bout of adventure struck paddle fun.


  • Aganoa Beach – located alongside Tafua Rainforest Preserve this glorious stretch of beach is a favourite for surfers, kiteboarders and stand up paddle enthusiasts. It also features a sheltered lagoon – perfect for snorkeling in gentle ocean currents.


  • Alofaaga Blowholes – access to these impressive seaside blowholes is via the friendly village of Taga (south-west Savaii). Witness immense wave power in its purest form as the blowholes propel a roaring jet of water hundreds of feet up into the air.


‘To Stay’

Aganoa Lodge is a terrific base to explore the island of Savaii from. It’s a popular spot for surfers due to its proximity to great waves. Families too will adore the oceanfront lodge space as there’s plenty of activities on offer for all ages.

Swell Times at Aganoa Lodge /  Image: Sean Condon

The beauty of Samoa can truthfully be described as reminiscent to an adventure movie set.  With its spectacular coastlines and panoramic jungle landscapes setting the scene to effortlessly mimic the grandiose thrills usually found on the big screen. Visit Samoa and you’ll immediately understand exactly what I mean!

Please feel free to contact me for further info and travel tips.



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