The Best Upolu Tours and Guided Experiences
Nothing compares to the expertise, insights and fascinating tidbits that local guides can provide. Whether you’re looking to see the main sights of Samoa‘s main island or looking to try something new, like quad biking, waterfall abseiling or snorkelling with turtles, there are guided tours on Upolu to suit all of these holiday dreams and more! Let us show you some of the highlights in this list of the best guided tours on Upolu.
While you’re here, don’t miss a thing about planning a trip to Samoa’s main island by checking out The Complete Travel Guide to 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 sightseeing 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. As for more sightseeing tours of Upolu, take a look at the 10 Best Day Tours of Upolu.
Location: Tours depart from Apia with Apia accommodation pick-ups included.
2. Turtle Swimming and Snorkelling Tours – Manoa Tours
Upolu’s only dedicated turtle-swimming tour, Manoa Tours not only takes snorkelers to the most mesmerising snorkelling spots that can only be reached by boat but to turtle territory where you can enjoy encountering these beautiful creatures in their natural habitat.
There are four exciting snorkelling locations to explore, starting with the stunning coral and fish within the hidden bay of Aganoa Beach only minutes away from Maninoa Beach where the boat launches. Head a little further out and you’ll be whisked away to the tiny uninhabited island of Nu’usafe’e with mesmerising displays of coral and fish along the island’s passages. The Aquarium is a magnificent coral garden, while Coconuts Wall is on the outer reef with an awesome drop-off into the deep blue within arm’s length.
The tour launches from Maninoa nearby many of Upolu’s central south coast resorts. Check out similar tours around Upolu in the 7 Best Snorkelling Tours in Samoa, as well as where else to see (and not see) turtles in the 10 Best Places to See Turtles in Samoa.
Location: Maninoa on the central south coast of Upolu. Tours usually depart from Coconuts Beach Club Resort, signposted off the Main South Coast Road.
3. Falease’ela River Walk – Lalotalie ECAT Ventures
Combining nature and adventure, Lalotalie ECAT Ventures’ signature experience is the Falease’ela River Walk. Less of a “walk” than it is a canyoning expedition along the gorge with never-ending cascades of waterfalls, the 3-4-hour experience is an epic excursion for the adventurous!
The team will gladly take you through the gorge with each waterfall getting more grandiose (and higher) than the next! If you’re feeling brave, the boys can show you the best jumping spots – even as high as 20 m/66 ft (they’ll certainly be doing it) – but you’re in no way pressured to do the crazy if you prefer to swim and take in the rainforest scenery that is preserved as a conservation area.
Alternatively, ask about their full-day coastal tour hike to untouched beaches or paopao (canoe) ride through the oldest mangrove forest in Samoa. For more adventures like this, take a look at the 10 Best Adventure Tours in Samoa.
Location: Falease’ela village in Lefaga Bay on the southwest coast of Upolu. Lalotalie ECAT Ventures’ base is beside the ford on Main South Coast Road.
4. Pristine Waters of Upolu – Samoan Island Adventures
Specialising in off-the-beaten-track hiking and sightseeing tours, as well as jam-packed itineraries providing real bang for your buck, Samoan Island Adventures is a good go-to for guided 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.
Location: Tours depart from Apia and include pick-ups from Apia accommodations.
5. Quad Biking Tour – Wolfpac ATV Tours
Jump on an ATV quad bike and discover a part of Samoa that very few visitors get to see with Wolfpac ATV Tours. No experience is needed, just a driver’s license, as you’ll get instruction and time to practice before setting off along the roads and dirt tracks of Samoa’s backcountry. Then, it’s a 3-hour excursion through lush inland plantations and picturesque bushland! Make sure you lather up with sunscreen or cover up if it’s sunny. Otherwise, it’s arguably an even more epic time when it’s wet! For more about this tour, take a look at The Best Off-Road Tours in Samoa.
Location: Take the inland road signposted with the Wolfpac sign along Main West Coast Road in Leauva’a village, northwest coast of Upolu. Wolfpac ATV Tours is approximately 200 m (219 yards) down this road.
6. Mountain Biking/Cycling Tour – Outdoor Samoa
Get off the beaten track and soak off the sights of village and plantation life on a mountain biking or e-mountain bike tour with Outdoor Samoa. A popular guided tour of Upolu is the “Giant Clams Ride”, taking you some 14 km (8.7 mi) over your choice of either the gentle terrain of Samoan villages to the dirt trails through forest and plantations. Make it a real challenge on their standard mountain bikes or opt for some peddle assistance with their high-quality e-bikes.
The finale is arriving at the Savaia Giant Clam Sanctuary for a refreshing swim among mesmerising giant fluorescent molluscs. Learn more about the snorkelling hotspot in The Best Snorkelling in Samoa: Top 10 Places to Snorkel, while more details on Outdoor Samoa can be found in The Ultimate Guide to Mountain Biking in Samoa. They also offer kayaking tours, which you can read more about in our guide, Kayaking in Samoa: Top 10 Kayak Tours & Places to Kayak.
Location: Outdoor Samoa’s base is located along the Main West Coast Road in the village of Malifanua (just south of the ferry terminal) on the west coast of Upolu.
7. Fishing Tour – Troppo Fishing Adventures Samoa
For a guided tour of the waters of Upolu, hop on a fishing charter with Troppo Fishing Adventures Samoa. They offer your standard half-day and full-day fishing charters taking you to where all of your favourite pelagic species are, starting from only a 10-minute boat ride from the Apia Marina. Should you want to make your holiday all about fishing, they can also arrange multi-day fish and stay packages with their partner resort, Taumeasina Island Resort, or even liveaboard fishing adventures. For more guided fishing tours like this, also take a look at the 7 Best Fishing Charters in Samoa.
Location: Apia Marina, Beach Road, Apia.
8. Waterfall Abseiling Tour – Tropical Tours Samoa
For a unique way to experience Samoa’s famous waterfalls, not to mention discovering a waterfall that rare few visitors get to see, join Tropical Tours Samoa for one of their guided waterfall abseil tours. After a 30-minute explainer and testing your new-found skills on a 3 m (10 ft) drywall, you’ll tackle a technical abseil down an epic 11 m (35 ft) waterfall! The experience is made all the more rewarding with a refreshing swim at the bottom, as well as some morning tea. For more waterfalls to check out, head to the 10 Best Waterfalls in Samoa.
Location: Apia. Apia accommodation pick-ups are included in the tour.
9. Paddleboard and Lake Lanoto’o Tours – Seki SUP
Combine magnificent scenery and fun on one of the many tour offerings of Seki SUP. For beginners, take a lesson or enjoy an easy paddle off the stunning south coast beaches, the harbour of Apia, or through the winding mangroves of Sataoa. Those looking for something more advanced and/or adventurous can explore rugged coastal scenery like the secluded bay and expansive reef of Saoluafata or a hike up to the volcanic crater, Lake Lanoto’o. More on the latter is explained in the 10 Best Guided Walks in Samoa, while more SUP tours are listed in SUP in Samoa: 5 Best Paddleboarding Tours & Locations.
Location: Tours depart from Apia with Apia pick-ups included.
10. Apia Township and Surrounding Areas – Samoa Scenic
Finally, one of the most comprehensive tours of Apia, the “Apia Township and Surrounding Areas” tour with Samoa Scenic is a half-day experience with morning and afternoon departures.
The tour begins with a drive up the Mulinuu Peninsula to see its historical monuments and iconic architecture of the Samoa Parliament. After learning a little about Samoan history, marvel at more architectural wonders inside the Immaculate Conception Cathedral. Shop for local crafts and produce at the Fugalei Market, and then your last stop is the Robert Louis Stevenson Museum for a tour of a colonial villa and manicured gardens.
Tour inclusions are hotel transfers and all attraction entry fees. For more guided experiences of the capital, take a look at the 5 Best Day Tours of Apia.
Location: Tours depart from Apia with included Apia accommodation pick-ups. Pick-ups from outside of Apia are available at an additional cost.
More Guided Tours on Upolu
That’s it for our list of the best guided tours on Upolu but if you can fit more into your itinerary, why not take a look at these?
- 10 Best Cultural Activities in Apia & Upolu
- 10 Best Day Tours of Upolu
- Sightseeing on Upolu: Top 10 Sights on Upolu
Finally, if there’s anything we’ve missed, you’re likely to find it in the 50 Best Things to Do on Upolu.