Things to see
This is just a summary of what to see. Consult Apia, Savaii and Upolu for more detailed information.
- National Parks. There are several national parks in both Upolu and Savaii. These offer tropical vegetation, numerous birds and some interesting lakes. Falealupo Rainforest Preserve on Savaii has a short canopy walkway and you can sleep in the trees. Lake Lanoto'o National Park on Upolu has a fascinating lake where introduced goldfish thrive and grow to amazing sizes.
- Waterfalls. The inland areas of both Savaii and Upolu have some spectacular waterfalls, some with 100m drops. Those on Upolu are a bit more accessible. Papase'ea Sliding Rocks on Upolu have only a slight drop but the vegetation on the falls permits an interesting slide into the pool below.
- Blowholes. Savaii has some spectacular blowholes caused by the sea forcing water up through tubes in volcanic rocks.
- Caves. There are interesting caves on both islands.
- Lava Fields. Parts of Savaii are covered by lava rock, following various eruptions by Mt. Matavanu.
- Villages. Although Western-style buildings are gaining in popularity, traditional Samoan fales are still found everywhere. These are of an oval or circular shape with wooden posts holding up a domed roof. There are no walls, although blinds can be lowered to give privacy. The village is very important to Samoan culture and there are strict rules governing the way village societies function.
- Beaches. Samoa has miles and miles of beautiful and empty beaches. There is a range of accommodation, from simple beach fales to luxurious resorts. Beaches invariably belong to the nearest village and the villages often request a small fee for their use.
- Museums. Samoa was home to the Scottish author Robert Louis Stevenson for the last five years of his life. His home, just outside Apia, is now a museum. The Museum of Samoa in Apia is also well worth a visit.
- Kilikiti. This is the local version of cricket and is very popular in Samoan villages among both men and women. The principle of the game is the same as cricket but the rules vary considerably and there seems to be considerable flexibility in their interpretation. The most obvious differences are the bat and the fact that balls are bowled from each end alternately rather than employing the six-ball overs of cricket. Kilikiti is played on concrete pitches on village greens, and is accompanied by lots of noise and considerable enthusiasm.