50 BEST Things to Do on Upolu 🤿 [2023]
50 BEST Things to Do on Upolu 🤿 [2023]

50 BEST Things to Do on Upolu 🤿 [2024]

© SamoaPocketGuide.com

Activities, Attractions and Must-Dos on Upolu

What are the must-dos on Upolu? Samoa’s most populated and most visited island is 1,125 km² (434 mi²) of verdant jungle adventures, pristine white and black-sand beaches, paradisiacal swimming holes, traditional villages and a vibrant cosmopolitan capital. With that, Upolu has an enormous quantity of experiences, from active adventures to blissful R&R. Discover the majority of what the island has to offer in this whopping 50 best things to do on Upolu! You might just realise that you, indeed, do need to stay in paradise longer…

Once you’re convinced, plan your trip starting with The Complete Travel Guide to Upolu and Where to Stay on Upolu: The Best Upolu Accommodations.

A Quick Note About Entry Fees

Note that most of Upolu’s natural attractions, including beaches, require a small entry fee for the families and communities that maintain them. Find out more about entry fees in Samoan Etiquette: Samoa Customs & Traditions.

1. Plunge into Paradise at To Sua Ocean Trench

If you have only seen one image of Upolu, it’s likely to be the turquoise swimming hole with the iconic wooden rung ladder of the To Sua Ocean Trench. This 30 m (98 ft)-deep coastal sinkhole has a cave on either side, one of which dips underwater leading to the ocean so don’t attempt to swim through it. Ropes cross the swimming pool so there’s something to hold onto in case there is a bit of current. Otherwise, floating with verdant reeds hanging from the cave walls above is a beautiful experience.

There are more sinkholes to peer into throughout the site, so be sure to wander through the manicured grounds of this attraction. You can also follow a footpath down to the coast to a classic Samoan swimming pool for more bathing opportunities.

Location: Signposted along Main South Coast Road between Lotofaga and Vavau villages on Upolu’s south coast.

50 BEST Things to Do on Upolu 🤿 [2023]© SamoaPocketGuide.com

2. Experience Upolu’s Natural Waterpark, Papase’ea Sliding Rocks

Try out nature’s waterslides at the Papase’ea Sliding Rocks! After walking down an anxiously high number of steps, knowing that you have to get back up them again, you’ll come across the first and biggest slide that locals call the “men’s slide”; a near verticle 5-m (16-ft) slide. Further down is the “kids’ slide”, a much less precarious slope with a little drop at the end for extra fun. Finally, at the bottom, you have the “women’s slide”. Lots of fun, lots of laughs; what’s not to love? Avoid the busiest times, which tend to be the weekends, to get optimal slide time. For more weird and wonderful attractions like this, check out the 10 Most Unique Things to Do in Samoa.

Location: Se’ese’e, Faleata District on the outskirts of Apia. The access road turns off Maugafolau Road near the University of the South Pacific campus.

50 BEST Things to Do on Upolu 🤿 [2023]© SamoaPocketGuide.com

3. Marvel at the Stunning Sopoaga Falls

Upolu has no lack of waterfalls, many of which you can oggle at through the 10 Best Waterfalls in Samoa, but certainly, one of Upolu’s most impressive is Sopoaga Falls. Around 32 m (105 ft) and seen surrounded by jungle-clad cliffs from a high viewpoint, the waterfall provides a majestic photo opportunity. The site with a viewing platform is also used for coconut husking demonstrations; ask at the counter (if someone’s around) if you would like to see one.

Location: North of Lotofoga village just before the junction where the Main South Coast Road turns onto Le Mafa Pass Road. Southeast coast of Upolu.

50 BEST Things to Do on Upolu 🤿 [2023]© SamoaPocketGuide.com

4. Refresh at the Piula Cave Pool

Although Upolu is blessed with a number of freshwater springs making for the most refreshing experience you can get in the hot Samoan sun, the most famous is the Piula Cave Pool. A hit with travellers, locals and freshwater fish alike, the crystal clear waters provide a cooling swimming experience with caves to explore. There are two cave entrances connected by a short underwater tunnel. Alternatively, you can walk a few metres around the cave to find the other entrance.

Location: On the grounds of the Piula Theological College, Lufilufi village, signposted along the Main East Coast Road on the northeast coast of Upolu.

50 BEST Things to Do on Upolu 🤿 [2023]© SamoaPocketGuide.com

5. Enjoy the White Sands and Lagoon Islands of Vavau Beach

Vavau Beach offers a secluded and stunning beach destination on the south coast of Upolu. Exclusively for day visitors, there are a number of fales set back from the white sands. Enjoy picturesque islands dotted around a shallow lagoon and soak in the scenery of the bush-clad environment that tops the coastal cliffs on all sides. Pay your entry fees at the access road. The community does a good job of keeping this beach clean. Vavau Beach certainly isn’t the only beach to enjoy on Upolu, so check out the 10 Best Beaches on Upolu for more recommendations.

Location: Vavau Beach Road, signposted off the Main South Coast Road between the villages of Lotofoga and Vavau on the south coast of Upolu.

50 BEST Things to Do on Upolu 🤿 [2023]© SamoaPocketGuide.com

6. Snorkel Among an Ungodly Amount of Coral at Palolo Deep…

Hire snorkelling gear from the kiosk and swim out to the white buoy to see an underwater trench brimming with thriving staghorn coral, hundreds of tropical fish species, starfish, octopus and, if you’re lucky, perhaps even some turtles. That’s right, Palolo Deep Marine Reserve offers one of the most mesmerising snorkelling spots just 100 m (328 ft) from the shores of Apia. Note, however, that the water is way too shallow for enjoyable snorkelling outside of high tide, so time your visit accordingly. For more sweet snorkelling spots, check out The Best Snorkelling in Upolu: Top 10 Places to Snorkel.

Location: Between the Marina and Vaiala Beach along Beach Road, Apia.

50 BEST Things to Do on Upolu 🤿 [2023]© SamoaPocketGuide.com

7. … Then See Something Godly Like the Immaculate Conception Cathedral

Moving onto some of the capital’s attractions, you can hardly miss this striking cathedral looming over the Apia Harbour. The inside of the Immaculate Conception Cathedral boasts an ornate timber ceiling and vibrant stained-glass windows. The original church was constructed in 1884 with the most recent reconstruction estimated to have cost ST$13 million, so go have a visit for the love of funding! For other impressive churches to visit, check out the 10 Best Churches in Samoa to Experience as a Visitor.

Location: Beach Road opposite the Samoa Tourism Information Centre, Apia.

50 BEST Things to Do on Upolu 🤿 [2023]© SamoaPocketGuide.com

8. Mingle With the Locals at One of Apia’s Markets

One of the unmissable experiences in Apia is perusing the wares and fare of the city’s markets. Fugalei Market is the largest market in Samoa, brimming with local handicrafts, fresh tropical fruit and vegetables and even authentic Samoan dishes. On the other hand, there’s also the Samoa Women’s Association of Growers (SWAG) Market which is a cute Saturday gathering with organic produce, art and local Samoan food products for sale. Finally, a congregation of street food await at Apia’s monthly Night Market, happening on the last Friday of the month from around 4 pm. Dive into the details of each market in the 8 Best Markets in Samoa.

Location: Apia. See the link above for specific locations.

50 BEST Things to Do on Upolu 🤿 [2023]© SamoaPocketGuide.com

9. Take a Journey of “Fa’a Samoa” at Samoa Cultural Village

“Fa’a Samoa” means “The Samoan Way” and you’ll certainly get the full flavour of the Samoan culture at Samoa Cultural Village. Happening from 10:30 am to 12:30 pm, Tuesday to Friday, the experience starts with weaving your own plate for the umu. You’ll then be formally welcomed with an ‘ava ceremony before seeing how a traditional umu feast is prepared. While your lunch is cooking, you’ll move between various fale to see how ‘ava bowls are carved and even witness a traditional pain-staking Samoan tatau (tattoo) being “applied”. Finally, sit down with your freshly prepared umu lunch while watching a fiafia performance including fire dancing. Discover more ways to experience fa’a Samoa in the 10 Best Cultural Activities on Upolu.

Location: Behind the Samoa Tourism Information Centre, Beach Road, Apia.

50 BEST Things to Do on Upolu 🤿 [2023]© SamoaPocketGuide.com

10. Check Out Sea Arches and Pandanus Forest on the Coastal Walk

Leave the beaches of Upolu behind and discover another side of Upolu’s coast on the serene and secluded Coastal Walk. Protected within the O Le Pupu Pu’e National Park, the one-hour return walk winds its way through lush pandanus forest before emerging on rocky lava cliffs. With the waves crashing below, seabirds occupying the horizon, and a number of coastal sea arches to uncover as you walk, this certainly is a special place to experience on foot. Speaking of, closed footwear is recommended and the trail is mostly flat, making it suitable for most fitness levels. For more free and affordable walks, check out the 10 Best Walks & Hikes on Upolu.

Location: O Le Pupu Pu’e National Park. Signposted along Main South Coast Road between Sa’agafou and Saleilua. Note that the 3 km (1.9 mi) road to get to the trail car park is a 4WD road but 2WD is usually Ok if taken with care. Otherwise, you can park at the information boards along the main road and walk to the Coastal Track, which makes the walk last a total of 2h30mins return.

50 BEST Things to Do on Upolu 🤿 [2023]© SamoaPocketGuide.com

11. Learn Something New at the Museum of Samoa, Falemata’aga

If there’s only one museum you visit on Upolu, make it the Museum of Samoa, Falemata’aga. The donation-based museum has an impressive collection of historical artefacts where information boards provide context into their significance and, overall, important context of Samoa’s history. If you don’t want to sift through it all yourself, free guided tours are available with passionate guides to show you through the six different galleries (in air-conditioned rooms, might we add) boasting 3,000-year-old Lapita pottery, collections from across the Pacific, colonisation history and even a small art exhibition.

Location: Vaitele Street (look out for the large mural on the building), Apia.

50 BEST Things to Do on Upolu 🤿 [2023]© SamoaPocketGuide.com

12. Swim at the Bottom of Sauniatu Falls…

One of the rare natural attractions on Upolu that is 100% free, Sauniatu Falls provides amazing swimming in a verdant rainforest setting beneath a 20 m (66 ft)-high waterfall. After checking out the Piula Cave Pool (see above), follow the signposts inland to Sauniatu Falls on the grounds of a Latter-Day Saints compound. For more free attractions, check out the 25 Free & Cheap Things to Do on Upolu.

Location: Sauniatu village. From Lufilufi village (near Piula Cave Pool), follow the road inland approximately 7 km (4.3 mi) and over a river bridge all the way to the end. Northeast coast of Upolu.

50 BEST Things to Do on Upolu 🤿 [2023]© SamoaPocketGuide.com

13. … Then Abseil Down a Waterfall!

For a unique way to experience Upolu’s famous waterfalls, not to mention discovering a waterfall that rare few visitors get to see, join Tropical Tours Samoa for one of their 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.

Location: Accommodation pick-ups are included in the tour.

50 BEST Things to Do on Upolu 🤿 [2023]© SamoaPocketGuide.com

14. Tour the Robert Louis Stevenson Museum…

The impeccably maintained grounds and villa of the famous author Robert Louis Stevenson (1850-1895), who lived in Samoa for the remaining four years of his life, are preserved for visitors to enjoy today. While “Villa Vailima” has had a few makeovers over the years, the home has been filled with replicas to represent how this classic colonial home would have looked like. That’s not to say there aren’t a few original trinkets, books and personal belongings to admire, as well as stories to immerse in while taking the Robert Louis Stevenson Museum tour with one of the museum’s incredibly knowledgeable guides. What’s more, the museum is a great option if the weather isn’t playing ball, as are the 15 Things to Do on Upolu on a Rainy Day.

Location: Signposted along Cross Island Road in the village of Avele, just south of Apia.

50 BEST Things to Do on Upolu 🤿 [2023]© SamoaPocketGuide.com

15. … Then Hike Up Mt Vaea to Robert Louis Stevenson’s Tomb

Accessed via Vailima Botanical Garden (see point #16) or the Robert Louis Stevenson Museum next door, the Robert Louis Stevenson Tomb Trail not only leads you to the tomb of the famous author on Mt Vaea but reveals both fairytale-like rainforest and outstanding views of Apia. There are two routes to choose from; the 30-minute rough and steep way or the 50-minute easier way that zigzags its way to the top. The latter passes by a magnificent banyan tree. Whichever you choose, good walking shoes are recommended.

Location: RLS Museum – Signposted along Cross Island Road in the village of Avele, just south of Apia. The walk can be found at a clearing in the forest between the Garden Toilets and the museum (you’ll see the sign for the Tomb Track). Vailima Botanical Garden – See directions below.

50 BEST Things to Do on Upolu 🤿 [2023]© SamoaPocketGuide.com

16. Admire the Flowers at Vailima Botanical Garden

Encompassing 12 ha (30 acres) of native, introduced and naturalised plant species, Vailima Botanical Garden offers a wonderful free space to explore in Apia. The information centre here provides more information about the biodiversity of the gardens, while the freshwater pool and waterfall of the Loimata o Apaula stream is a wonderful place for a refreshing dip. You can also start the Tomb Trail (see above) from here.

Location: Follow signposts for the Robert Louis Stevenson Museum along Cross Island Road in the village of Avele, just south of Apia. Instead of turning down the lane to the museum, however, continue straight until you reach an archway and sign for Vailima Botanical Garden.

50 BEST Things to Do on Upolu 🤿 [2023]© SamoaPocketGuide.com

17. Visit Mashriqu’l-Adhkár, One of the Eight Baha’i Temples

Mashriqu’l-Adhkár is not only an incredible piece of architecture among immaculate grounds but it’s one of only eight Baha’i Houses of Worship in the world. The temple has nine symmetrical sides which domes 28 m (92 ft) high. Surrounding the majestic structure are 20 acres of manicured grass, some 60 species of flowers and all sorts of native plants and trees. The visitor centre has information panels about the history of the Baha’i Faith, the Houses of Worship around the world and more. The house is open from 6 am to 6 pm daily, while a public interfaith service with a Samoan choir and refreshments is held every Sunday at 10 am.

Location: Malololelei village along the Cross Island Road, approximately 8 km (5 mi) south of Apia.

50 BEST Things to Do on Upolu 🤿 [2023]© SamoaPocketGuide.com

18. Experience a Fiafia Night

Your evening entertainment on Upolu is sorted with its fiafia nights! “Fiafia” means “happy” in Samoan, which follows an equation that can’t help but put a smile on the faces of locals and visitors alike. Many will start with an ‘ava (kava) welcoming ceremony before guests are treated to a buffet of Samoan staples and international favourites. Once your stomach is gleeful, the show can get underway with cultural Pacifika dancing and, usually the highlight of the show, siva afi which is Samoa’s very own knife fire-dancing in the homeland where Polynesian fire dancing originated! See which fiafia night to book yourselves into in the 10 Best Cultural Shows (Fiafia) in Samoa.

Location: All over Upolu! See the link above for specific locations.

50 BEST Things to Do on Upolu 🤿 [2023]© SamoaPocketGuide.com

19. Relax at Lalomanu Beach

White sands, a turquoise lagoon, island views and breathtaking at both sunrise and sunset; Lalomanu Beach has it all. Located on the southeast corner of Upolu, Lalomanu boasts excellent views of the slanted Nu’utele Island. Although the coral within the lagoon is still recovering from the 2009 tsunami, there’s still plenty to see within its marine reserve. There are around seven beach fales here, giving you plenty of options to spend the day or overnight. For more sunrise and sunset hotspots, check out the 10 Best Places to Watch the Sunrise in Samoa and the 10 Best Places to Watch the Sunset.

Location: Lalomanu village, along Main South Coast Road on the Upolu’s southeast coast.

50 BEST Things to Do on Upolu 🤿 [2023]© SamoaPocketGuide.com

20. Swim at Another Epic Waterfall, Togitogiga Waterfall

An awesome (and free) attraction in the O Le Pupu Pu’e National Park, Togitogiga Waterfall is actually a series of picturesque waterfalls that make for an idyllic swimming spot in the rainforest. There are changing rooms on-site, as well as a large recreational area to play sports or picnic. Note that the waterfall is prone to drying up if there hasn’t been enough rain, especially in the dry season.

Location: A short walk from the O Le Pupu Pu’e National Park Visitor Centre along Main South Coast Road between Sa’agafou and Saleilua villages on Upolu’s south coast.

50 BEST Things to Do on Upolu 🤿 [2023]© SamoaPocketGuide.com

21. Take a Day Trip to Namu’a Island

From spotting turtles on the boat journey across the lagoon to combing the sands of an uninhabited island, a day trip to Namu’a is one of both excitement and relaxation. Boats run daily (except Sundays) from Mutiatele village, taking you to a stunning island with walks, amazing snorkelling and beach fales to make sure you get plenty of shade. There are toilets on the island, but no other facilities, so make sure to bring any lunch or snacks along with you. For more information, check out The Travel Guide to Aleipata Islands: Nu’utele, Namu’a, Fanuatapa & Nu’uala.

Location: Take the ferry from Mutiatele (check in at the shop opposite the wharf), Main South Coast Road on the east coast of Upolu.

50 BEST Things to Do on Upolu 🤿 [2023]© SamoaPocketGuide.com

22. Indulge in a Spa Day

There are a lot of active adventures to be had on Upolo, but don’t forget to relax too! Book yourself into one of Upolu’s serene spas, from the selection of locally-run spas in Apia to Upolu’s glorious resort spas. Needless to say, you are never too far away from finding your zen. For more luxurious activities like this, take a look at the 10 Best Luxury Experiences on Upolu.

Location: All over Upolu! Check out the 10 Best Spas in Samoa for specific locations.

50 BEST Things to Do on Upolu 🤿 [2023]© Samoa Tourism Authority

23. Spend the Day Shopping in Apia

Home to talented craftspeople who have passed down techniques from generation to generation, Samoa certainly entices with unique woodwork, gorgeous siapo paintings, hand-printed clothing and much more – just see the 10 Best Souvenirs from Samoa for an idea of the amazing handicrafts available. With this in mind, spending some time perusing the crafts shops of the nation’s capital is a very viable way to spend a morning or afternoon on Upolu. Discover the retail highlights in The Guide to Shopping in Samoa + The Best Places to Shop.

Location: Apia. Check out the links above for shopping recommendations and their locations.

50 BEST Things to Do on Upolu 🤿 [2023]© SamoaPocketGuide.com

24. Snorkel at the Savaia Giant Clam Sanctuary

Pay your entry fees, go down the steps and slip on your mask, snorkel and fins for an adventure with giant clams at the Savaia Giant Clam Sanctuary! You’ll be amazed at how gargantuan these shelled specimens can get as you explore the waters beyond the white roped buoys – absolutely best admired at high tide, might we add. First, you’ll need to swim over a section of sand before reaching the white buoys that cordon off the marine reserve area. You’ll see hundreds of small clams forming a pleasingly shelly pattern on the floor, while you might also be lucky to see a turtle or two. Swim around a little bit more (keeping an eye on a reference point on land, as there can be a little bit of current) and it won’t be long until you find the giant clams! Needless to say, you shouldn’t touch these feisty shellfish…

Location: Savaia village along Main South Coast Road (nearby Le Valasi’s Beach Fales) on the southwest coast of Upolu.

50 BEST Things to Do on Upolu 🤿 [2023]© SamoaPocketGuide.com

25. Take in the Views of Papapapaitai Falls

Plunging 100 m (328 ft) into the distance rainforest, Papapapaitai Falls is one of the highest waterfalls in Samoa. With it just available to view for free along the Cross Island Road, there’s no reason not to check it out! The waterfall is viewed from a car parking area with railings to stand behind, which is, admittedly, sometimes a little overgrown. Nevertheless, the untouched jungle of the area adds to the Jurassic flair.

Location: Signposted along the Cross Island Road, approximately 14 km (8.7 mi) south of Apia.

50 BEST Things to Do on Upolu 🤿 [2023]© SamoaPocketGuide.com

26. Surf, Swim or Sunbathe at Aganoa Beach

One of your more secluded beaches on Upolu, Aganoa Beach is well worth the journey (and 4WD/high-clearance vehicle). After an approximately 3 km (1.9 mi) rough dirt track through the forest with plenty of small hills – keep an eye out for kingfisher birds – you’ll reach the deep-water crescent-shaped black-sand Aganoa Beach. There are no facilities here (and often, not many other people), so be prepared to be self-sufficient and look after yourselves in case of strong currents. In fact, these conditions are what make Aganoa excellent for surfing between April and September – find out more in the 10 Best Places to Surf in Samoa. Note, this beach is not to be confused with the Aganoa surf beach on Savai’i.

Location: Signposted along Main South Coast Road at the western end of Sa’agafou village on the south coast of Upolu.

50 BEST Things to Do on Upolu 🤿 [2023]© SamoaPocketGuide.com

27. Discover the Famous “Ma Tree”

“Ma” meaning “shame”, the Ma Tree was named by the paramount chief of A’opo on Savai’i possibly due to the uniqueness of this tree compared to other rainforest species, such as its silver-brown patches under the leaves and its occurrence in solitary patches. Most notable about O Le Pupu Pu’e National Park‘s Ma Tree, however, are the giant buttress roots extending metres around its base. The family-friendly walk to the Ma Tree is only 780 m (853 yards) from the well-established car park and information boards in the National Park. For more family-friendly activities, check out the 10 Things to Do on Upolu with Kids.

Location: O Le Pupu Pu’e National Park, at the information boards (not the Visitor Centre) along Main South Coast Road between Sa’agafou and Saleilua villages on the south coast of Upolu.

50 BEST Things to Do on Upolu 🤿 [2023]© SamoaPocketGuide.com

28. Soak in the Mountain Views on the Le Mafa Pass and Fagaloa Bay Scenic Drive

Fill up the gas tank and hit the glorious Le Mafa Pass and Fagaloa Bay Scenic Drive which can both be enjoyed on the same road trip to the eastern side of Upolu. Le Mafa Pass is the section of road below Fagaloa Bay where the high vantage points reveal jungle-clad mountains around just about every corner. After Le Mafa Pass and approximately 5 km (3.1 mi) north along Richardson Road is the turn-off on an unsealed road to Fagaloa’s narrow bay and sheer mountainous scenery with numerous cascading waterfalls and villages to admire. Discover more about travelling on this side of the island in A Self-Guided Day Trip Around Upolu: East Coast Itinerary.

Location: Le Mafa Pass Road and Richardson Road at Fagaloa Bay on the east coast of Upolu.

50 BEST Things to Do on Upolu 🤿 [2023]© SamoaPocketGuide.com

29. Admire the Art at the EFKS Museum

Certainly an art gallery rather than a museum, the EFKS Museum boasts a large glass-walled fale packed with the creations of the talented students of the School of Fine Arts. There is a range of contemporary carvings, sculptures, paintings and more to admire or even purchase should you feel moved enough. Don’t leave the grounds after you’ve finished perusing the art gallery too quickly, as the open-air walkways around the lake outside provide a tranquil setting to explore. Discover more galleries worth visiting in the 5 Best Art Galleries in Samoa.

Location: Malua (signposted next to the Malua Theological College) along Main West Coast Road on the northwest coast of Upolu.

50 BEST Things to Do on Upolu 🤿 [2023]© SamoaPocketGuide.com

30. Take the Plunge on a Scuba Diving Excursion

Vibrant coral gardens, dramatic canyons, swim throughs and deep pinnacles; there are many exciting adventures to be had in the waters surrounding Upolu and the nearby Manono island. Pure Ocean offers a range of dive trips to get to these untouched pieces of paradise, with morning and afternoon boats, two-tank dives and the Tava’e wreck dive of a 30 m (98 ft) tug boat. There is so much to unpack when it comes to diving from Upolu, so check out The Best Scuba Diving in Samoa or find out more about learning to dive with Learn to Dive in Samoa: Where to Get Your Scuba Diving Certification.

Location: Pure Ocean – Sheraton Samoa Beach Resort, signposted off Main West Coast Road at the western end of Faleolo International Airport.

50 BEST Things to Do on Upolu 🤿 [2023]© Pexels

31. Reel in Pacific Pelagics on a Samoan Fishing Charter

Nothing compares to the thrills of reeling in the South Pacific’s monstrous pelagics, such as yellowfin tuna, sailfish, giant trevally, mahimahi and marlin. Fishing is a way of life here on the islands, so there’s no lack of experienced fisherfolk who can show you the lines. Troppo Fishing Adventures is your go-to charter in Apia, while resorts like Sinalei Reef Resort & Spa and Saletoga Sands Resort & Spa have their own fishing operations.

Location: All over Upolu! Check out the 10 Best Fishing Charters in Samoa for recommendations and their locations.

50 BEST Things to Do on Upolu 🤿 [2023]© SamoaPocketGuide.com

32. Go Off-Roading Across Upolu’s Plantations on an ATV Tour

Jump on an ATV quad bike and discover a part of Upolu that very few visitors get to experience 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 Upolu’s backcountry. Then, it’s a 3-hour excursion through lush inland plantations and picturesque bushlands! For more adrenaline-fuelled activities, check out the 10 Best Adventure Tours in Samoa.

Location: Take the inland road signposted with the Wolfpac sign along Main West Coast Road in Leauva’a village. Wolfpac ATV Tours is approximately 200 m (219 yards) down this road.

50 BEST Things to Do on Upolu 🤿 [2023]© SamoaPocketGuide.com

33. Head Out On a Kayaking or Paddleboarding Excursion

A fun yet tranquil way to explore Upolu’s lagoons, kayaking and stand-up paddleboarding (SUP) are well worth experiencing. Just about every beach accommodation on Upolu has kayaks for hire, while Outdoor Samoa runs some more adventurous kayaking excursions. Alternatively, hit up Tropical Tours Samoa for one of their SUP tours so have a go and explore the lagoons and surrounding islands! You may also want to take some snorkelling gear to make the most of those outer clusters of coral.

Location: All over Upolu! Get kayaking recommendations from The Top 10 Places to Kayak and SUP suggestions in the 10 Best Places for Stand-Up Paddleboarding.

50 BEST Things to Do on Upolu 🤿 [2023]© SamoaPocketGuide.com

34. Take a Trip to Manono Island

There are many more islands to explore off the shores of Upolu, with none being quite as fascinating and cultural as Manono. Either join a day tour or arrange to stay at the beach fales overnight. Whatever you choose, take the opportunity to do the 1h30mins walk around the island to meet the friendly locals, stop for a swim off the beaches, and discover fascinating historical sites like the Grave of 99 Stones and the ancient Star Mound. Learn more about visiting Manono in The Travel Guide to Manono. Plus, check out more island day trips in the 10 Best Island Day Trips from Upolu.

Location: Boats depart from Manono-uta village on the west coast of Upolu. See the link above for more details.

50 BEST Things to Do on Upolu 🤿 [2023]© SamoaPocketGuide.com

35. Explore Upolu by Bike

There’s a lot more you can experience by bike than you can by simply road-tripping around Upolu by car. Cycling allows you to soak in the sights and sounds of village life at a much more relaxed pace. You’ll even discover what Upolu looks like inland on one of the cycling tours with Outdoor Samoa. Either join a tour or freedom hire and follow a self-guided itinerary around the island staying in beach fales for a rich cultural experience. Alternatively, some of Upolu’s resorts hire bikes should you just want to explore for the morning or afternoon. Find out more about two-wheel adventures in The Ultimate Guide to Mountain Biking in Samoa.

Location: All over Upolu! See where to rent bikes in Cycle Samoa: Where to Rent Bikes & E-Bikes.

50 BEST Things to Do on Upolu 🤿 [2023]© SamoaPocketGuide.com

36. Go On a Canyoning Adventure

Less of a “walk” than it is a canyoning expedition along the gorge with never-ending cascades of waterfalls, the “Falease’ela River Walk” is an epic excursion for the adventurous! Access this piece of river paradise with Olsen and the local boys from Lalotalie ECAT Ventures who will gladly take you through the gorge with each waterfall getting more grandiose 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. Oh, but you will get wet – soaked, in fact, so closed shoes that you don’t mind submerging in water, as well as a T-shirt and shorts that will get the same treatment, are recommended.

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.

50 BEST Things to Do on Upolu 🤿 [2023]© SamoaPocketGuide.com

37. Take a Tour or Hike Yourself to Lake Lanoto’o

A pea-green crater lake set in the Upolu highlands, Lake Lanoto’o is also known as the “Goldfish Lake” after, well, the goldfish that live in the lake. Getting to this intriguing swimming spot is a worthwhile adventure for those who are fit and able, as there are often plenty of muddy patches to negotiate, as well as its fair share of uphill sections. Although it is possible to work through the trail yourself, we highly recommend using a guide, such as Samoan Island Adventures, Manoa Tours and Rainforest Runaway Ecotours to guarantee that you won’t get lost. Speaking of, long pants and closed footwear are recommended, as is your swimwear to change into. Discover more guided walks in the 10 Best Guided Walks in Samoa.

Location: Lanoto’o Road, signposted along Cross Island Road approximately 7 km (4.3 mi) south of Apia. A rough 4WD access road leads to the small parking area.

50 BEST Things to Do on Upolu 🤿 [2023]© SamoaPocketGuide.com

38. Explore Matagialalua Friendship Park

A neat little area on the Apia waterfront, Friendship Park offers an attractive park for a stroll, to catch the latest community event and to let kids loose at the playground if you’re travelling as a family. Explore the Mangrove Tidal Garden with boardwalks and bridges to mosey over, watch locals battle it out at the sports courts, and head down to the amphitheatre to catch a free gig or event. There’s plenty more to do in Samoa’s capital, so also check out the 25 Best Things to Do in Apia.

Location: On the waterfront behind the Government Building on Beach Road, Apia.

50 BEST Things to Do on Upolu 🤿 [2023]© SamoaPocketGuide.com

39. Have a Swing at One of Upolu’s Golf Courses

Take a swing in the tropical sanctuary of one of Upolu’s casual-but-fun golf courses. Apia itself has two park courses with plenty of challenges winding through the coconut palms, while Sinalei Reef Resort & Spa has its own premed 9-hole course. Find the most suitable course for you in The Complete Guide to Golf in Samoa.

Location: All over Upolu! See the link above for Upolu’s golf courses and their locations.

50 BEST Things to Do on Upolu 🤿 [2023]© Samoa Tourism Authority

40. Tour the Ifiele’ele Plantation

Samoans heavily rely on the tropical produce of its inland plantations, much like the Ifiele’ele Plantation. Either stay as a guest at the accommodation or book ahead if you’re a group with a minimum of four people to take a tour of this plantation famous across the island for its healthy dried fruit snacks, real fruit ice pops, as well as jams and chutneys. The plantation experience includes an informative tour of Samoa’s quintessential edible plants (and friendly goats), as well as a coconut demonstration and tastings of jam and dried fruit. Discover other flavourful outings in the 10 Best Foodie Experiences on Upolu.

Location: Satui Road, Fasito’outa, northwest coast of Upolu.

50 BEST Things to Do on Upolu 🤿 [2023]© SamoaPocketGuide.com

41. Hit Upolu’s Uncrowded Waves on a Surf Tour

The pumping yet uncrowded reef breaks of Upolu are begging any experienced surfer to get some ride time. Join one of the independent surf tours, like Manoa Tours, or stay at one of Upolu’s surf camps, like Vaiula Beach Fales and Sina PJ Fales where local guides can organise Upolu’s customary surf fees, as well as transport you to the best waves for the conditions. For more adult-only adventures, check out the 10 Adults-Only Activities on Upolu.

Location: All over Upolu! Check out the 10 Best Surf Operators and Guides in Samoa for more guidance.

50 BEST Things to Do on Upolu 🤿 [2023]© Samoa Tourism Authority

42. Work on Your Wellness with a Yoga Class

Ensure you leave Upolu rejuvenated by partaking in a yoga session. Either join a class, such as on weekday mornings at Taumeasina Island Resort or book Yoga Samoa to provide a one-on-one or group session at your chosen accommodation. Alternatively, look out for yoga retreats hosted at Upolu’s resorts for integrating yoga into your daily routine while benefitting from other wellness activities. Learn more about yoga retreats in The Guide to Retreats in Samoa: Yoga, Wellness & More.

Location: See recommended locations in the 10 Best Places to Experience Yoga in Samoa.

50 BEST Things to Do on Upolu 🤿 [2023]© Pixabay

43. See the Latest Art Exhibition, Film or Astronomy Evening at the Tiapapata Art Centre

After having a quick look inside the Baha’i Temple next door, call into the Tiapapata Art Centre with always something interesting to see (from Tuesday to Sunday). The attraction has an ever-changing line-up of art exhibitions following a theme with creations from local artists. The art centre also hosts regular evening events like documentary and arthouse film screenings, as well as astronomy nights complete with telescopes. Try their vegan cuisine at the cafe too – find out more in our guide, Samoa for Vegans & Vegetarians and learn more about stargazing in The Best Spots for Stargazing in Samoa.

Location: Malololelei village along the Cross Island Road, approximately 8 km (5 mi) south of Apia (just past the Baha’i Temple).

50 BEST Things to Do on Upolu 🤿 [2023]© Tiapapata Art Centre

44. Delve into Malololelei Recreation Reserve

Excellent for birdwatching and even better for getting off the beaten track, the Malololelei Recreation Reserve offers an array of trails through 30 acres of bushland. Enjoy waterfalls, picnic areas, swimming holes and a viewing platform overlooking Apia on a series of rough trails that can take one hour to a whole day! The conservation area is one of the best spots on Upolu for spotting endemic birds, as listed in the 5 Best Places for Bird Watching in Samoa.

Location: Malololelei village. There is no signage for the reserve. Take the Cross Island Road south of Apia and past the Baha’i Temple, turning right onto Kelsey Lane. Follow the road all the way to the 90-degree bend (past the Shrine of the Divine Mercy). The gate to the reserve is located on this bend.

50 BEST Things to Do on Upolu 🤿 [2023]© SamoaPocketGuide.com

45. Delight in Some Sundowners or Party into the Wee Hours at Upolu’s Bars

That’s right, Upolu does have a vibrant bar and nightclub scene, especially in the island’s capital, Apia. Relax with happy hour cocktails and local Taula or Vailima beer at one of Upolu’s beach fale or resort bars. Alternatively, there are a number of nightclubs in Apia with live DJ sets and drinks served in towers should you be looking for a more party vibe. Learn everything you need to know about the island’s night scene in The Guide to Apia & Upolu Nightlife + 5 Things to Do on Upolu at Night.

Location: All over Upolu! See the link above or 10 Best Bars on Upolu for recommended bars and their locations.

50 BEST Things to Do on Upolu 🤿 [2023]© Pixabay

46. Explore Upolu’s Historical Sites

Upolu has a fascinating history of ancient Polynesian civilisation, Christian missionaries, colonisation from Tonga, Germany and the Commonwealth, and gaining independence – you can learn about the history in A Brief History of Samoa. Many memorials, historical churches and even ancient star mounds can be found across Upolu to admire and reflect on a time long past. Check out the highlights in the 10 Best Historical Sites on Upolu.

Location: All over Upolu! Check out the link above for locations.

50 BEST Things to Do on Upolu 🤿 [2023]© SamoaPocketGuide.com

47. Treat the Tastebuds at One of Upolu’s Cafes or Restaurants

A day in paradise isn’t complete until you’ve wrapped it up with a mouthwatering meal. Admittedly, the island isn’t exactly teeming with eateries outside of Apia, so you’re best to stick to the capital if you want to enjoy an array of dining experiences. Some of its best establishments are the cafes, with highlights being Nourish Cafe and RiVaiv Cafe, while dine-in restaurants like Paddles Restaurant and Bistro Tatau rarely fail to impress. Compare all of your best options in the 10 Best Restaurants on Upolu and the 10 Best Cafes in Apia & Upolu.

Location: All over Upolu (but mostly in Apia)! See the links above for recommendations and their locations.

50 BEST Things to Do on Upolu 🤿 [2023]© SamoaPocketGuide.com

48. See it All on a Guided Island Tour!

By this point in our list of the best things to do on Upolu, you may be feeling overwhelmed by the number of attractions and experiences the island has to offer. If you are, then make things easier on yourself by joining a guided island tour. Not only do most resorts offer their own island tours, but there are also a number of tour companies eager to show you their backyard paradise, with a selection of half-day and full-day tours available. There are plenty of tours to choose from, so be sure to compare them with the 10 Best Day Tours of Upolu.

Location: Accommodation pick-ups are included in Upolu’s island tours.

50 BEST Things to Do on Upolu 🤿 [2023]© SamoaPocketGuide.com

49. Attend One of Upolu’s Vibrant Events

With a bustling capital and as the most populated island in Samoa, Upolu has a number of exciting events to attend throughout the year. From the acclaimed Teuila Festival to the cultural storm of the Palolo Festival to fishing, swimming and marathon competitions, there’s something to entertain just about any visitor. See if there are any fun events you can coincide with your trip in The Top Events & Festivals in Samoa.

Location: All over Upolu (but mostly in Apia).

50 BEST Things to Do on Upolu 🤿 [2023]© Samoa Tourism Authority

50. Experience a Sunday Church Service (and a Sunday To’onai)

Wrapping up this list of the 50 best things to do on Upolu like wrapping up your average week in Samoa, how about attending a local Sunday church service? Even if you’re not religious, anyone can appreciate the breathtaking melodies of a Samoan church choir. After church, you may even get invited to a to’onai, a traditional Sunday lunch. If not, hotels, resorts and beach fales host to’onai where you can try dishes like palusami and food that has likely been cooked in an umu. Learn more about experiencing a to’onai in the 10 Best Foodie Experiences on Upolu. Plus, for more ways to spend your Sunday, check out the 10 Things to Do in Samoa on a Sunday.

Location: All over Upolu! See churches to attend in the 10 Best Churches in Samoa to Experience as a Visitor.

50 BEST Things to Do on Upolu 🤿 [2023]© Samoa Tourism Authority

More Things to Do on Upolu

You didn’t think that was all of the things to do on Upolu, did you? Well, we’ve squeezed in more experiences across the following articles:

Finally, add even more to your itinerary by using our other whopping list of 101 Best Things to Do in Samoa: The Ultimate List.

Author

Laura S.

This article was reviewed and published by Laura, editor-in-chief and co-founder of Samoa Pocket Guide. Since arriving solo in the South Pacific over 10 years ago with nothing but a backpack and a background in journalism, her mission has been to show the world how easy (and awesome) it is to explore a paradise such as Samoa. She knows the islands inside out and loves sharing tips on how best to experience Upolu and Savai’i’s must-dos and hidden gems. Laura is also the editor of several other South Pacific travel guides.

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