When I arrived in Samoa I already knew where I wanted to head first. The island of Savai’i. Everyone who had visited before me had told me to spend the majority of my time on this island, so I decided to head there first to see what all the fuss was about.
Boy were they not wrong! Savai’i was like all my preconceptions of “paradise” all rolled into one amazing island experience. Read more to find out…
A Complete Guide To Savai’i Samoa
I spent about 10 days in Samoa and ended up spending about a week of that time on Savai’i. I probably would have stayed longer if I could, but I figured I better check out the main island as well. Most of the time I managed to use the colourful bus system on the island. Check out my guide to taking Samoan buses here. Only once did I need to take a taxi, when I had a more off the beaten track destination. It was also on Savai’i that I got to try an authentic umu, courtesy of a Peace Corp Volunteer and the local chief of one of the villages. So what else is there to Savai’i…
Savai’i Attractions – What to do in Savai’i
Let’s start with water based activities, since that is one of the main features of this beautiful island.
Afu Aau Waterfall – This waterfall is easily accessible from the main town of Salelologa. I took the bus and just asked a local where to get off. There will be a person near the entrance to the walking path collecting a small fee for entrance. There is a nice swimming hole here and it is great place for a picnic and a swim. When I visited the waterfall was only a trickle due to some pretty dry weather leading up to my visit.
Alofaaga Blowholes – These impressive blowholes don’t let you forget the power of the sea. They are located in the south west corner of the island near the village of Taga.
Beaches – There is no shortage of great beaches here, but my favourite (and the ones with the best tourism infrastructure) are Manase beach and Lano beach. I had fantastic experiences at both beaches, but I personally found Lano beach to be the more beautiful one. (Lano beach is pictured in the feature image)
Surfing – The only real place you can get decent surfing is at Aganoa Beach.
Swimming with turtles – Near Manase beach there is a large salt water pool which has been sealed off and which is home to several large sea turtles. For a small fee you can swim with them as well. These curious creatures were eager to check us out and seemed to enjoy swimming around us.
There are also some hiking opportunities on the island of Savai’i
Lava flows – I didn’t actually visit the lava flows, but you should check out this post from my friend Anthony at the Travel Tart who did.
Mt Matavanu – Hike a mountain and meet the famous crater man! I’m not sure which of those will be the more memorable experience!
Savai’i Accommodation – Where to stay in Savai’i
During my visit I was travelling on a budget, so I sought out the most budget friendly accommodation. Here were my choices:
Salelologa – In Salelologa I stayed at Lusia’s Lagoon Chalets. This is about a five minute walk from the ferry terminal. There are bungalows overlooking the water, and also cheaper garden bungalows as well. Breakfast is included.
Lano Beach – At Lano Beach I stayed at a place called Joelans. In fact, I was so impressed by it that I wrote a blog post specifically about the experience. The beach fales are absolutely gorgeous, and the friendly family who run it provided all three meals. The sun rises were also amazing, and all I had to do was open my eyes in order to get the spectacular view from my beach fale.
Manase Beach – Here I stayed at Tanu’s. This is a popular place and much more crowded than Joelan’s. The beach fales are similar, but only two meals are provided.
I also couchsurfed while on Savai’i with a member of the Peace Corps.
How to get to Savai’i
The easiest way to get to Savai’i is by ferry from the main island. The ferry operates every day and schedules can be found at the Samoan Sailing Corporations website.