Explore the Main Island of Samoa with the Best Day Tours of Upolu
Don’t be that guy that just rents a car, sticks to the main coastal roads and misses all the highlights of Upolu without realising it. Get a local to show you the hidden gems, share their culture and customs, as well as hit the waterfall and swimming hole highlights on a day tour of Upolu. There are plenty of passionate tour guides providing the expertise, transport and even sometimes a private chef to make sure your island exploration is as effortless yet fun as possible. So check out some of the best day trips around the island, right here, in our list of the best day tours of Upolu.
1. Namu’a Turtle Island and Eastern Upolu Tour – Tai’s Native Experience
It couldn’t get more authentic than joining a Samoan high chief, Tai, for a tour around his native homeland. Not only will you get the endearing perspective of Upolu from a local, but full-day tours such as the “Namu’a Turtle Island and Eastern Upolu Tour” take you to the places you’ve no doubt heard of to, more intriguingly, those you haven’t. Of course, the famous swimming hole To Sua Ocean Trench is on the list, while the lesser-visited Vavau Beach with its islands jutting from the lagoon is a real highlight. Take your swimwear and snorkelling gear because you won’t want to miss the opportunity to swim with turtles from Namu’a Island.
Inclusions with Tai’s Native Experience are lunch on Namu’a Island, accommodation pick-up from Apia, and bottled water. Alternatively, check out Tai’s other full-day tour of Apia, the waterfalls and museums of the Cross Island Road and the Piula Cave Pool.
2. Pristine Waters of Upolu – Samoan Island Adventures
Specialising in off-the-beaten-track tours, as well as jam-packed itineraries providing real bang for your buck, Samoan Island Adventures is a good go-to for day tours of Upolu. Their most popular tour is “The Pristine Waters of Upolu” and it’s no wonder with many of Samoa’s bucket list experiences being on the agenda: Piula Cave Pool, Lalomanu Beach, Papapapaitai Waterfall and To Sua Ocean Trench. You’ll also admire or even swim at a couple of lesser-known waterfalls.
Included are Apia transfers, water refills (BYO bottle), fresh fruit, sandwiches for lunch and all of the attraction entry fees.
For alternative tours, check out their Volcanic Crater Lake Hike and Swim, National Park Lava Cliffs and Black Sand Beach, and their shore excursion, The Jewels of Eastern Upolu, the latter listed in the 10 Best Shore Excursions in Samoa.
3. Full Day Island Tour of Apia, Upolu and Samoa – Tour Samoa
Get a personalised experience complete with a traditional Samoan lunch prepared right before your eyes with Tour Samoa. Your local guide is very knowledgeable not just about the sights of Upolu but culture, society, politics, or whatever you’d like to discuss.
On the “Full-Day Island Tour of Apia, Upolu and Samoa“, enjoy a highlights tour of the capital Apia, visiting the markets and picking up supplies for lunch. You’ll then venture across the Cross Island Road with a tour of the Robert Louis Stevenson Museum, as well as some smaller-ticket items, such as the fascinating yet breathtaking Baha’i Temple. You’ll stop by a number of waterfalls and the To Sua Ocean Trench if you’re keen. Additionally, you’ll relax at one of Upolu’s stunning south coast beaches where your private chef will prepare a Samoan lunch.
Inclusions are lunch, bottled water and entry fees to the planned stops on the itinerary. Any other attractions that you want to visit may incur entry fees as per Samoan custom. Additionally, check out Tour Samoa’s other tours, such as a Half-Day Upolu Tour and a Private Apia Shore Excursion for cruise ship passengers.
4. Aleipata Districts Waterfalls and To Sua Ocean Trench – Samoa Scenic
Boasting one of the most extensive lists of tours in Samoa, including of Upolu, Savai’i and even American Samoa, Samoa Scenic is sure to have a day tour of Upolu to suit. The most popular is the “Aleipata Districts Waterfalls and To Sua Ocean Trench” tour, taking you on an alternative road from Apia along the scenic Le Mafa Pass down to the famous To Sua Ocean Trench. After a swim, you’ll stop for lunch at one of the beach fales of the popular Lalomanu Beach before making a return trip across the Cross Island Road to Apia, stopping at Papapapatai Falls and the Baha’i Temple.
Tours include all attraction entry fees, accommodation transfers (extra cost outside of Apia), and a barbecue lunch with fresh bread, salad and fruit. Check out more tours from Samoa Scenic listed in the 10 Best Day Tours of Savai’i, 5 Best Day Tours of Apia and 10 Island Day Trips & Island-Hopping Tours in Samoa.
5. Waterfall Tours – Tropical Tours
Among a unique menu of waterfall abseiling tours and SUP tours, Tropical Tours also offers half-day and full-day tours exploring the island of Upolu. While a full-day tour to the To Sua Ocean Trench is unsurprisingly the most popular option, we personally get more excited about their “Waterfall Tour”. This impressive tour not only takes you to highlights like Sopoaga Falls but to waterfalls that hardly any other tour is going to, such as Fuipisia Falls, Falefa Falls, Togitogiga Falls and Sauniatu Falls – pretty much the majority of the 10 Best Waterfalls in Samoa!
6. Rainforest Runaway Ecotours
Laidback, authentic and extremely knowledgeable, Rainforest Runaway Ecotours offers an excellent alternative day tour of Upolu. Join Manu for a day of doing your style of adventure, whether it’s snorkelling from the boat, hiking to volcanic crater lakes or the usual island tiki tour with stops at the bucket list To Sua to the more adventurous waterfalls to visit. You’re also in safe hands, as your tour guide is trained in senior first aid, while the rest of his knowledge when it comes to the local culture, flora and fauna helps you get much more out of the sights you’re visiting.
For more nature-focused tours, take a look at the 10 Best Eco Tours in Samoa.
7. Cross Island Road and Apia Tour – Saletoga Sands Resort
Several of Upolu’s resorts offer their own in-house tours of Upolu, making it impossibly easy to explore the island. For example, Saletoga Sands Resort & Spa offers a different tour for each day of the week, such as the Tuesday full-day tour taking in the sights of the Cross Island Road on the way to Apia. Visit the Robert Louis Stevenson Museum, stop by the Tiapapata Art Centre and visit various magnificent churches from the Baha’i Temple to Apia’s Immaculate Conception Cathedral. The tour also allows you time to explore the famous Fugalei Market – a cultural must-do!
Check out more tours of Apia in the 5 Best Day Tours of Apia.
8. To Sua Ocean Trench – Karl’s Getaway Hotel and Tours
Even budget accommodations, such as Karl’s Getaway Hotel are offering affordable guided tours around Upolu. Not only does the budget hotel in Apia offer free weekly shuttles to main attractions, such as Piula Cave Pools and the Papase’ea Sliding Rocks, but they can also take you further afield to attractions like To Sua Ocean Trench for an affordable price. You’ll get to admire additional sights along the way and benefit from the local knowledge of your guide/driver. These tours are also available to guests at Lynn’s Getaway Hotel.
9. East Side Aleipata Full Day Tour – Return to Paradise Resort
Return to Paradise Resort might be a remote option on the white sands of a Hollywood-starring beach, but their in-house tour guides ensure you still can reach the highlights through their selection of tours. An obvious option is the “East Side Aleipata Full Day Tour” to see must-dos like To Sua and Sopoaga Falls. Alternatively, head to the capital on their “Apia Experience Full Day” tour or snorkel at the nearby giant clam sanctuary on their “Clams Tour” including kayak/SUP board, snorkelling gear and guide.
10. Full-Day Upolu Tour – Chef John Tours
Combine sightseeing and gourmet island dining with Chef John Tours. Chef John offers both a half-day and full-day tours of Upolu, both visiting Apia‘s fish, fruit and vegetable markets where you’ll pick out your own produce. After stopping to snack on the best keke pu’aa (steamed pork buns) on Upolu, you’ll arrive at the refreshing swimming spot of the Piula Cave Pool where John will put on an impressive show of sprucing up a gourmet lunch with the ingredients bought at the market. Finally, you’ll cool down with a stop at a local ice cream shop that John deems the best on the island! The full-day tour also includes stops at To Sua Ocean Trench, Lalomanu Beach and the Togitogia Waterfall.
For more food-orientated experiences like this, check out the 10 Best Foodie Experiences on Upolu.
More About the Best Day Tours of Upolu
Now that you know some of the best tours of Upolu, discover more guided experiences in the following lists:
- 10 Best Eco Tours in Samoa
- 10 Island Day Trips & Island-Hopping Tours in Samoa
- 10 Best Day Tours of Samoa