Savaii is the ultimate destination for a relaxing, tropical island holiday. The clean white sand and sparkling blue lagoons are perfect for all the family, and provide the ideal setting to relax, recharge and leave the rest of the world behind.
If you are wanting to explore the wider Savaii from your homely base at Vaimoana then there is plenty to do! Savaii has a fascinating cultural and natural history, and plenty of activities on and under the water.
Our Top 5 Recommended Spots
The below five spots are ‘must see’ experiences while you are here in Savaii. You can hire a vehicle and drive yourself to one or more of these places, or you can book an arranged tour with us.
#1 Falealupo Canopy Walkway, Sunset Coast
Just a short 5 minute drive from Vaimoana on the Sunset Coast of Savaii Island, lies the Canopy Walkway. A short bush walk in the protected Samoan Rainforest, you soon reach a large Banyan tree, which extends high into the sky. Climb the ‘treehouse’ style staircase to the top and walk the swing bridge if you dare!
Further along from the Canopy Walkway you can also visit some historic sites and drive through the village of Falealupo – the Westernmost point of Savaii Island, and a sacred place to Samoans. Ask us more when you are here!
#2 Taga Blowholes, Surf Coast
The Taga Blow Holes is located on the Southern Surf Coast of Savaii Island and is about a 1 hour drive from Vaimoana. The lava blowholes are great lava tubes which stretch from inland out to the ocean. When the tide is right, the water from the ocean, forced inland by the waves, shoots through these tubes at a great speed, creating a spectacular explosion of seawater that shoots for metres up into the air. An exciting experience for children and adutls alike!
#3 Afu Aau Waterfalls, Surf Coast
If you are looking for a natural waterfall and swimming hole with beautiful, clear, cold, fresh water, then look no further than Afu Aau waterfall in Palauli. An hour and a half’s drive from Vaimoana, you turn inland on the Southern Surf Coast of Savaii Island and drive to this secluded spot. You can jump from the rocks into the pool, swim and explore the waterfall – a fantastic place to relax and cool down after a tour at the blowholes
Helpful Tip: The Canopy Walkway, Taga Blow Holes and the Afu Aau Waterfall can be done on the same day and make a good full day tour. Ask when you are here for more information about arranging a tour!
NOTE: The Afu A'au Waterfall is temporarily closed for upgrades to the accessways, and is planned to reopen before Christmas in December 2018. For more information about the reopening date, please contact Nive at email@example.com
#4 Saleaula Lava Fields, Sunshine Coast
A 30 minute drive from Vaimoana, along the Northern Sunshine Coast will bring you to the Saleaula Lava Fields. The volcanic eruption of Mt Matavanu in the early 20th century saw a large mass of molten lava flow from the mountain out to the ocean. The people in this village had to flee for their lives, and some have resttled now at Saleaula which has once again become a village. The Women’s Committee at Saleaula run the Lava Fields attraction and offer a guided experience of the lava features there. Learn about the history of the village, see the Virgin’s Grave and walk through the ruins of the old church.
#5 Swimming with Turtles, Sunshine Coast
Savaii is one of the very few places you can get up close to a green turtle and just a 30 minute drive from Vaimoana in the village of Satoalepai, there is a turtle sanctuary which offers the experience of getting up close and personal with the turtles. The turtles here are hand fed and you are able to observe them from the pathways around the pool, or you can get into the pool with them. They are not afraid of humans and if it’s feeding time then you may be given some foliage to feed them with, which they will happily munch up! Green turtles are protected in Samoa and the Samoan Fishing and Environmental Ministries oversee their welfare, including tagging and releasing larger turtles. A great experience for adults and children.
Helpful Tip: The Saleaula Lava Fields and Swimming with turtles can be on the same day and make a good half day tour. Ask when you are here for more information about arranging a tour!
Get Out to the Beach
The white sand beaches of Savaii are pristine and the lagoons sparkling blue. Whether sunbathing, swimming, snorkelling, walking, or just watching the sunset, the 'Big Island' is truly a beach lovers' paradise.
Of course we think Asau Bay’s Beach at our very own Vaimoana is one of the nicest spots to swim, we know you might want to explore further, so have put together the below Top 5 recommended beaches list for you to make your way through!
A couple of helpful hints when going to the beach on Savaii Island. Outside of the resorts or beach fales, make sure you check where it is ok to swim — you may need to pay a small charge in some villages. Also, while bikinis and bathing suits are absolutely fine for swimming at resorts and beach fales, don't forget to cover up with shorts or a lavalava and a t-shirt when swimming in the villages. Topless (for women) and nude swimming is illegal in Samoa and would be seen by locals as highly offensive.
Snorkelling & Diving
HELPFUL TIP: If you are wanting to dive or snorkel at the beach then Savaii Island has one registered and PADI certified dive shop which is on the Sunshine Coast in Fagamalo, located opposite Le Lagoto Resort, and operating snorkelling and diving tours from the Fagamalo Bay. You can get in touch with them at firstname.lastname@example.org
Our Top 5 Recommended Beaches
#1 Manase Beach, Sunshine Coast
A short 30 minute drive from Vaimoana you will find the infamous strip of beach called Manase Beach. Home to a number of beach fale operations and one resort, Stevenson's At Manase, Manase Beach is one of the most beautiful in Samoa and is a great place for spotting turtles.
Stevenson's Beach Bar has an extensive lunch and drinks menu, or you can grab something to eat at either Tanu Beach Fales BBQ restaurant or Vacations Beach Fales.
#2 Vaisala Beach, Sunset Coast
If you are looking for great snorkelling off the beach then we recommend Vaisala Beach, which is just down the road from us here at Vaimoana. It is home to the Vaisala Hotel and a lovely stretch of white sand beach which is great for swimming and snorkelling.
If you swim your way along the stretch, you will find yourself going from warm to cold water, and salty to fresh, due to the many fresh water springs that feed into the ocean.
#3 Lano Beach, Sunrise Coast
Lano Beach is home to two beach fale operations. Both offer day guests use of the beautiful beach facilities and you will pay a fee to use the fale, and have the use of the facilities.
For coffee, Netta's famous chocolate cake, icecream and snacks stroll up to the store at Asaga, about 2 km north of the fales.
#4 Satuiatua Beach, Surf Coast
The lovely lagoon at Satuiatua has great swimming and snorkelling. If you are travelling from Vaimoana South West down the Surf Coast, then Satuiatua Beach Fales is a great place to stop, swim and eat lunch. You will pay a fee for the use of a fale, and they will let you know the best places to swim and snorkel.
#5 Falealupo Beach, Sunset Coast
At the far western end of Savaii is Falealupo, home to many of the ancient legends of Samoa, and until a few years ago, the last place on earth the see the sun set into the ocean. The beaches here have beautiful white sand and wild blue lagoons and they are about a 15 minute drive from Vaimoana.
We have some tips for you if you coming to this beach as although it’s beautiful, it’s not a developed tourist area. In this area it is not uncommon to be asked by numerous different people for money for swimming. To avoid annoyance, we recommend that you pay a small fee to swim at the Falealupo Beach Fales beach. We recommend that you keep your vehicle locked if you leave it, and be sensible with your personal possesions.
Take a Guided Nature Walk
The interior of Savaii is largely untouched, with wild natural tropical rainforest. With fertile soil and a high rainfall, trails do become overgrown quickly and those who wish to venture off the roads should take a local guide. We’ve put together a list of our Top 5 Walks and Hikes. If you’d like more information please ask us while you are here about how to book one of these walks.
#1 Mt Tafua Crater
Climbing Mt Tafua is an exhilarating experience for nature lovers. There are two craters, the first is a 20 minute uphill walk and a further 1 hour's walk up to the higher western crater which is the more scenic. Taking a local guide from the village is recommended. The view from the top is impressive, looking out over the rainforest canopy below and with a panoramic view over Savaii’s volcanic cone studded interior and down to local villages. Take the time to look for the diurnal Samoan Flying Fox and listen out for native pigeons. To find the track to the craters, follow the signs to Tafua Village, Sunrise Coast and look for the small sign in the village.
#2 Mt Matavanu
This relatively small volcano was responsible for the massive eruption in 1905-11 which created the Saleaula lava fields. If you have a vehicle with good clearance, you can drive most of the way to the top. Otherwise it is an enjoyable 3-4 hour walk up hill through plantations and native forrest. Near the top you will find Da Crater man who will be your quirky and entertaining guide to the crater (a 3km uphill walk on a 4 wheel drive track from his fale) which has spectacular views down into the crater and over the surrounding forest and plantations out to the sea. Do not stand too close to the edge of the crater as there are no safety rails! Watch out for flying foxes, swiftlets and native orchids which flower on Mt Matavanu. Take plenty of water!
#3 Mt Silisili
Savaii’s highest mountain Mt Silisili is a challenging climb for fit and adventurous hikers. Mt Silisili is Samoa’s highest mountain, standing at 1850m, so the views from the top of a clear day are exceptional. It also gets cold up there so hikers must be aware of this and prepare well. It is a tough hike, taking 2 days to get to the top, with up to 8 hours of hiking in steep terrain at times, so we recommend it for fit and experienced hikers. It is a fully guided hike, with accompanying guides from the mountain village of Aopo.
You must book this hike in advance of arrival and so if you are interested in finding out more information or making a booking, then please contact us at email@example.com
#4 The Pulemelei Mound
The Pulemelei mound (also known as Tia Seu Ancient Mound) is the largest and most ancient structure in Polynesia. It is situated in Letolo Plantation in the Palauli district, at the east end of Savai'i island in Samoa. The stone mound is a pyramid constructed of natural basalt stones and excavations have revealed that it was probably constructed sometime between 1100–1400 AD.
Warren Jopling of Savaii Natural History Tours is a retired Geologist with a great depth of knowledge about Samoan and particularly Savaiian geology, and he organises tours with a walk to this mound (weather dependent). Get in touch with Warren on +685 7504688 for more information about how to see this mound, or other natural and historical features in Savaii, and take a tour.
# 5 Our Very Own Village Walk
Here at Vaimoana we provide a guided village walk in the village of Asau. This is not a walk for exercise but more to offer you the experience of seeing the wider village of Asau firsthand, learning more about our Samoan culture.
When you are here with us, please ask our team about joining this walk.