5-Day Family Trip to Samoa!
Only have five days in Samoa? Although lazying in the same resort the entire time while sticking the kids in the pool is rather tempting, don’t miss the opportunity to experience family-friendly adventure, culture and fun in Upolu, as well as explore the vibrant capital Apia! For the family who prefers to holiday together while also getting in some much-needed R&R, this Samoa itinerary for five days might be just the escape you were looking for…
While you’re here, don’t forget to open The Complete Travel Guide to Samoa for Families; your complete family holiday bible to Samoa!
Overview: Samoa Family 5-Day Itinerary
- Day 1 – Arrival in Samoa + Apia
- Day 2 – Explore Apia
- Day 3 – Upolu East Coast Road Trip
- Day 4 – Day Trip to Namu’a
- Day 5 – Upolu South Coast Sightseeing + Departure.
How to Get Around Samoa in 5 Days
This Samoa family itinerary for five days includes travelling to various destinations on the main island of Samoa, Upolu. Here’s a quick rundown on how to get around Samoa in five days.
Road Transport in Samoa
Upon arrival in Samoa, you can either get your rental car delivered to the airport or this itinerary allows for the option to take an airport transfer and have your vehicle delivered to you for free in Apia once you’re ready to hit the road on Day 3. See airport transfer options in the 10 Best Airport Transfers in Samoa.
For travelling around Upolu, car hire offers the most flexibility and convenience. Get advice on car hire, including family car hire, from What You Need to Hire a Car in Samoa. Alternatively, this itinerary is doable by taxi in Apia, hiring a private driver; see How to Hire a Driver in Samoa for more advice, and/or jumping on day tours from your south coast resort; see the 10 Best Day Tours of Upolu.
For all of your transport options across the islands, not limited to the most family-friendly options, check out our Samoa Transport Guide: 14 Best Ways to Get Around Samoa.
Day 1 – Arrival in Samoa + Apia
Welcome to Samoa and the start of your escape to paradise! After the arrivals process of going through customs and biosecurity, you’ll step outside of the arrivals area to where your airport transfer to the capital, Apia, will be waiting, whether it’s organised through your accommodation or simply a private taxi transfer (see your options in the 10 Best Airport Transfers in Samoa).
Since it’s your first day in Samoa, take it easy and get settled at your chosen accommodation. After check-in, relax by the pool, have a paddle with the kayaks provided if staying at a resort, perhaps catch a fiafia night, and transition to “island time”. We’ll go over a few things you can do in Apia tomorrow.
Apia Family Accommodations
- Taumeasina Island Resort
- Tanoa Tusitala Hotel
- Samoana Boutique Hotel
- The Samoan Outrigger Hotel
- The White House Hotel
- Orator Hotel Samoa
- Lotopa Home (holiday home)
Get details on all of our recommended stays in the 10 Best Family Accommodations in Apia.
Accommodations such as Taumeasina and Tanoa Tusitala have their own reputable restaurants to make things simple. Apia is also one of the best places to experience a fiafia night, should your arrival coincide with one of these weekly events. Discover your options in the 10 Best Fiafia Nights in Samoa, as well as in the 10 Best Restaurants in Apia.
Day 2 – Explore Apia
It’s normal to have itchy feet when first arriving at a new and exciting destination, so make the most of this energy by exploring the capital while injecting some family-friendly fun into the experience!
Family Activities in Apia
Take your pick of some or all of the things to do in Samoa’s capital with kids:
- Experience cultural and crafting workshops at Samoa Cultural Village
- Have a stroll through Friendship Park
- Go to Apia’s natural waterpark, the Papase’ea Sliding Rocks
- Snorkel at the Palolo Deep Marine Reserve
- Explore Vailima Botanical Garden.
We go into detail on all of those points and more in the 10 Things to Do in Apia with Kids.
For lunch, enjoy the creative menu of Milani Caffe & Cakes while the kids are treated to mind-blowing milkshakes and sweet treats. Note that those who visit the Samoa Cultural Village will have a traditional Samoan lunch provided. Get much more cafe inspiration from our 10 Best Cafes in Apia and Upolu.
For dinner, Paddles Restaurant brings the culinary know-how of Italy and the Pacific charm of Samoa thanks to its dynamic Italian and Samoan owners. With a very friendly yet unpretentious ambience, as well as a kids’ menu with much more thought than your average “chicken and chips”, it’s certainly a top choice in Apia for families. See more dine-in eateries listed in the 10 Best Restaurants in Apia.
Day 3 – Upolu East Coast Road Trip
Travel Time: 1-2 hours (depending on the resort chosen).
It’s time to hit the road and discover the real Samoa! Get a rental vehicle delivered to you in Apia (if you haven’t done so already) and take the Main East Coast Road along the scenic coastline with cliffs and villages to admire.
Your first stop is the freshwater spring and family-friendly swimming spot of Piula Cave Pools, signposted between the villages of Saoluafata and Faleapuna. Afterwards, choose whether to continue on the Main West Coast Road or take a 20-minute return detour to another mesmerising swimming spot, Sauniatu Falls signposted from Saoluafata. Learn more about both of these attractions in the 10 Best Swimming Spots in Samoa.
Once you’re ready to get back on the road, make a waterfall stop at Falefa Falls with its attractive picnic area. Then, it’s onward to one of the most scenic drives in Samoa, Le Mafa Pass. Enjoy the views of the jungle-clad mountainous scenery, which is sure to get the imaginations of the little ones running, as you wind your way across the island.
Fuipisia Waterfall is another optional detour. However, a stop at Sopoaga Falls is mandatory, arguably the most scenic waterfall viewpoint and where you can watch coconut husking demonstrations to inject a bit of island culture into your journey. Learn more about the waterfalls discussed in the 10 Best Waterfalls in Samoa.
Finally, you’ve made it to the south coast of Upolu where you have several options for a family-friendly resort or beach fale stay…
South Upolu Family Accommodations
- Saletoga Sands Resort & Spa
- Coconuts Beach Club Resort & Spa
- Return to Paradise Resort & Spa
- Litia Sini Beach Resort
- Vaiula Beach Fales
- Faimafili Village Resort
- Sinalei Reef Resort & Spa
- Taufua Beach Fales
Discover more about each accommodation in the 20 Best Family Resorts & Accommodations on Upolu.
Between Apia and the South Coast, there are no real restaurant or cafe opportunities until you reach the resorts. Therefore, we recommend stopping by Sula’s Supermarket & Bakery along the Main East Coast Road in Moataa, which is often agreed to be one of the best places to pick up quintessential Samoan snacks, from keke pua’a (pork buns) to keke saiga (Chinese biscuits) and many of the items we list in the 20 Foods to Try in Samoa.
Alternatively, if you start early enough, you may be finished sightseeing by lunch anyway. In which case, we recommend stopping for lunch at Saletoga Sands Resort & Spa for New Zealand cuisine in a convenient location close to Sopoaga Falls.
As for dinner, make things simple by dining at your resort’s restaurant for this evening. We’ll provide some alternative recommendations for tomorrow.
Day 4 – Day Trip to Namu’a
Travel time: 10 minutes (from Lalomanu) – 2 hours and 50 minutes (from Return to Paradise) + 10 minutes boat ride.
From spotting turtles on the boat journey across the lagoon to playing in the sands on an uninhabited island, a day trip to Namu’a is full of excitement and well worth treating the family to. Boats run daily (except Sundays) from Mutiatele village, taking you to a stunning island with walks, amazing snorkelling and beach fales to make sure your family gets plenty of shade. For more information, check out The Travel Guide to Aleipata Islands: Nu’utele, Namu’a, Fanuatapa & Nu’uala.
Note that there are no dining facilities on Namu’a, so we recommend that you take your own snacks and water if you plan to stay there for the day. Try some of the local snacks sold at one of the local convenience stores scattered along the Main South Coast Road – see A Guide to Supermarkets & Food Shopping in Samoa for more.
As for your evening meal, the great thing about the south coast resorts is that their restaurants are all open to guests and non-guests alike, so you don’t necessarily have to eat at your chosen resort for your whole stay. For those staying at a beach fale, dinner is usually included in the price and is well worth sticking around for a hearty Samoan affair.
Ava I Toga Restaurant of the Sinalei Reef Resort is a must-do for fine dining on its over-the-water restaurant, boasting an array of creative cuisine for all diets. If that sounds like a bit much, Mika’s Restaurant of Coconuts Beach Club Resort provides family-friendly fare in a spacious and airy traditional Samoa dining room with the lagoon ever in sight. Learn more about these restaurants and others in the 10 Best Restaurants on Upolu.
Day 5 – Upolu South Coast Sightseeing + Departure
Travel time: 35 minutes (from Return to Paradise) – 1 hour and 45 minutes (from Lalomanu) drive.
It might be your last day in Samoa (see, five days isn’t enough!) but depending on your flight time, you may be able to squeeze a few more attractions in on your way up to Faleolo Airport. Otherwise, relax at your resort until you’re scheduled to depart.
Sights on the South Coast of Upolu
- Spend the day at Lalomanu Beach…
- … Or the hidden Vavau Beach
- Swim at Samoa’s iconic To Sua Ocean Trench (not suitable for under 10 years old)
- Enjoy a family-friendly walk to the famous “Ma Tree“
- Swim at the Togitogiga Waterfall.
For lunch, the Waterfront Restaurant and Bar at Seabreeze Resort turns comfort food into fine dining accompanied by breathtaking bay views.
If you need dinner plans, see if this night coincides with one of Return to Paradise‘s entertainment nights, whether it’s fiafia or their string band night (also with fire-dancing, much to kids’ delight). Otherwise, Faleolo Airport has a few basic dining options should you need to refuel the family – see our guide to the Samoa Arrival Airport for details.
After an exciting and dynamic five days in Samoa on a family getaway, it’s finally time to say goodbye to the islands. Remember to arrive at the airport a couple of hours before your scheduled departure so that you have enough time to check in, go through security and browse the retail offerings should you want to treat the kids to a souvenir to remember their trip by. Learn more in The Guide to Shopping in Samoa + The Best Places to Shop.
For anything else you need to know about leaving Samoa, it’s all listed in our guide, Leaving Samoa: Departure Tips & Checklist.
And it’s “Tofa Soifua” from Samoa!
Alternative Samoa 5-Day Itineraries
Is this five-day family itinerary for Samoa not quite speaking to you? How about checking out our alternative itineraries for five days:
- Samoa Budget & Backpacking Itinerary: 5 Days
- Samoa Luxury Itinerary: 5 Days
- Samoa Food Itinerary: 5 Days
- Samoa Honeymoon & Romance Itinerary: 5 Days
- Samoa Adults-Only Itinerary: 5 Days
Finally, if there’s anything we’ve missed from this Samoa family itinerary, you’re likely to find it in The Complete Travel Guide to Samoa for Families.