Samoa Sights & Attractions

Discover the largest archaeological ruin in Polynesia and get close to pristine natural beauty while looking out for local wildlife at some of these amazing attractions in Samoa.

Samoa offers a choice of must-see attractions for newlyweds, including the following…

Return to Paradise Beach

(Upolu Island) – Hike one of the finest beach walks in the South Pacific – between Sa’anapu and Return to Paradise Beach.

The trail winds through virgin rainforest along the rugged coastline, with pathways leading to secluded coves and tiny white-sand beaches.

Relax on the beach or in one of the many natural freshwater pools that act as a natural Jacuzzi – produced by a combination of the incoming waves and the hot South Pacific sun.

Lake Lanoto'o National Park

(Upolu Island) – Take a guided hike into this 400ha jungle preserve to visit Samoa's largest lake, known locally as Goldfish Lake after the wild goldfish that were originally introduced by German settlers in the 19th century.

Along the way, try to spot rare endemic birdlife including the crimson-crowned fruit dove and the red-headed parrot finch, then cool off with a swim in the unusual pea-green coloured lake.

Uafato Rainforest Reserve

(Upolu Island) – Hike through tropical rainforest to hidden waterfalls and spot local wildlife such as flying foxes, watch the best wood carvers in Samoa, browse for traditional handicrafts and perhaps buy a souvenir to help support the local people at this showcase of Fa’a Samoa.

This living experience of Samoan culture and village life is located in a secluded bay on the east coast of Upolu Island, a 1.5-hour drive from Apia.

Robert Louis Stevenson Museum

(Upolu Island) – Explore Villa Vailima, the beautifully restored former residence of the Scottish author, Robert Louis Stevenson.

Located on the outskirts of Apia in a tropical rainforest, the house offers a slice of colonial charm and character and contains many of Stevenson’s books and letters.

A two-hour hike from Vailima will take you through pretty scenery to the grave of Stevenson, with panoramic views of the Upolu coast.


(Upolu Island) – Take a 30-minute guided kayak tour through this unique marsh and mangrove site, home to delicious mud crabs and large schools of mullet, located on Upolu's south coast.

O Le Pupu-pu'e National Park & Togitogiga National Forest

(Upolu Island) – Choose from several trails that meander through this 2900ha tropical rainforest that stretches from the ridgeline connecting Mt Le Pu'e (885m) and Mt Fito, at 1100m the highest point on Upolu, to the lava fields of O Le Pupu on the south coast.

Along the way try to spot some of the 51 species of wildlife that call this park home, such as the endangered Tongan fruit bat, or flying fox, which make good use of their one-and-a-half-metre wingspans to soar above the treetops, usually at dusk.

Admire the beautiful Togitogiga Falls, just a short walk from the entrance of the park and, after an hour’s hike, pop into the Pe'ape'a Cave (a large lava tube) to watch and listed to the nocturnal, white-rumped pe'ape'a bird (swiftlet) – the ‘clicking’ noise the birds make is clearly audible as they fly through the darkness.

Or follow a 3.5km-long trail through coastal rainforest to the rugged O Le Pupu Lava Coast, where a rock-strewn path leads along the coast to sea-pounded cliffs imprinted with the melted patterns of ancient lava flows.

Togitogiga Waterfall

(Upolu Island) – Located in the village of Saleilua, close to Le Pupu Pue National Park and surrounded by lush tropical gardens, these cascades flow into and through three separate natural rock swimming pools that have been used for centuries.

The best time for viewing the cascades and swimming is during the wet season from November to April.

Papapapai-Tia Falls

(Upolu Island) – While most of Samoa’s waterfalls are often hidden deep in mountainous jungle, this cascade is easily seen from a roadside parking area found along the south coast. Fed by mountain streams the cascade plunges 90m into a picturesque gorge.

To Sua Ocean Trench

(Upolu Island) – Swim in a pair of large 30m-deep waterholes separated by a short rocky archway and swept by ocean currents that surge in through an underwater tunnel. Easily reached by a 15m ladder and located in Lotofaga village near Vava'u.

Piula Cave Pool

(Upolu Island) – Located near the village of Falefa on the east coast, this freshwater pool links through an underwater tunnel to a second chamber, which is perfect for a refreshing swim.

Afu Aau Falls

(Savai’i Island) – Located on the way to the mysterious Pulemelei Mound, this waterfall offers an idyllic fresh-water swimming pool hidden deep in the rainforest – easily reached by foot or by 4WD.

Mt Matavanu Crater

(Savai’i Island) – Take a 4WD to the crater of Mt Matavanu, which last erupted between 1905 to 1911, sending molten lava flowing to the coast 13km away, destroying everything in its path.

Peer into the crater and enjoy panoramic views over the surrounding countryside.

Falealupo Rainforest Reserve

(Savai’i Island) – Get close to nature on the treetop canopy walkway (photo) that stretches 30m between two giant Banyan trees around 40m above the forest floor.

Explore trails that wind through this unspoiled 12,000ha low-lying tropical rainforest then watch the sunset from a nearby white-sand beach.

The reserve is located near the village of Falealupo on the remote western tip of Savai’i.

Pulemelei Mound

(Savai’i Island) – Marvel at the largest archaeological ruin in Polynesia, an ancient two-tiered pyramid built of natural basalt stones measuring 61m by 58m at its base and soaring to 12m-high.

The ancient complex contains walkways, smaller mounds and stone-lined earth umus (ovens) that are similar to the ceremonial temples (maraes) found in French Polynesia and Samoa.

The ancient mound has been dated to 1100 AD, and while archaeologists have pondered over its purpose and age, the mystery of this huge structure remains unsolved.

The Pulemelei mound (also known as Tia Seu Ancient Mound) is located on the south coast near Vailoa, in the Letolo Plantation.

Mt Silisili

(Savai’i Island) – Take a two-day round trip to visit the highest point in the Samoan archipelago. Often covered in cloud, Mt Silisili (1858m) sits in the centre of Savai’i Island.

Mt Silisili is located in the central region of Savaii. Aopo is the closest village, located about 10 km away.

Alofaaga blowholes

(Savai’i Island) – At the village of Taga, check out one of the world’s largest marine blowholes, where impressive jets of water spout up to 30m into the air.

Watch coconuts – thrown by locals into the holes – get blasted into the blue sky.

Latest update: Samoa Sights & Attractions: 13 January, 2023