Sightseeing in Samoa: Top 10 Sights in Samoa 😍 [2023]
Sightseeing in Samoa: Top 10 Sights in Samoa 😍 [2023]

Sightseeing in Samoa: Top 10 Sights in Samoa 😍 [2024]


The Top Tourist Attractions in Samoa

What is there to see in Samoa? From the endless cascades of jungle waterfalls on Upolu to the turtle-attracting lagoons of Savai’i, there are plenty of tourist attractions in Samoa that entice any snap-happy traveller. Discover some of the most iconic sights in Samoa in this guide to sightseeing in Samoa.

If you’re only visiting one island (what’s wrong with you?!), then be sure to just take a look at either the Top 10 Sights on Upolu or the Top 10 Sights on Savai’i.

1. To Sua Ocean Trench (Upolu)

If you have only seen one image of Samoa, 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.

Sightseeing in Samoa: Top 10 Sights in Samoa 😍 [2023]©

2. Alofaaga Blowholes (Savai’i)

An icon of Samoa, it’s no surprise that the Alofaaga Blowholes ranks highly on this list of best sights. Watch a spectacular show of wave power between fissures of volcanic rock on the coast. Although a treat at any time, the best time to go is high tide. It’s a short but rugged walk that can be slippery, so sturdy shoes are best. Note that you may have to pay two entry fees (totalling approximately ST$10 per person) as the attraction crosses two family lands – learn more about entry fees in our guide, Samoan Etiquette: Samoa Customs & Traditions. Locals will sometimes put coconuts on the blowholes for extra drama. It’s worth asking for directions to the culturally significant Pa Sopo’ia Cave also at the site.

Location: Taga village, signposted off the main road on the southwest coast of Savai’i. Note that the road to the blowholes is about 1.5 km (0.9 mi) of rough unsealed road. 2WDs will just manage but drive carefully.

Sightseeing in Samoa: Top 10 Sights in Samoa 😍 [2023]© Samoa Tourism Authority

3. Papase’ea Sliding Rocks (Upolu)

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, Upolu. The access road turns off Maugafolau Road near the University of the South Pacific campus.

Sightseeing in Samoa: Top 10 Sights in Samoa 😍 [2023]©

4. Saleaula Lava Field (Savai’i)

Discover the remnants of the destructive Mt Matavanua 1905-1911 eruption at the enchanting Saleaula Lava Field. It’s a short walk to the lava field’s most striking feature, the LMS Church which sits in ruins with a lava flow solidified right through its arching entrances. Walk approximately 300 m (328 yards) west following the sign and you’ll encounter the mysterious “Virgin’s Grave” where the lava flow is said to have avoided the grave of a young girl. Past the church ruins is an attractive wetland viewpoint, then head back on the trail and go northeast for approximately 900 m (984 yards) over an exposed lava flow to the striking lava cliffs.

Location: Saleaula village, signposted off the main road on the northeast coast of Savai’i.

Sightseeing in Samoa: Top 10 Sights in Samoa 😍 [2023]©

5. Piula Cave Pool (Upolu)

Although Samoa 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 freshwater pool 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. For more unmissable swimming holes, check out the 10 Best Swimming Spots in Samoa.

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

Sightseeing in Samoa: Top 10 Sights in Samoa 😍 [2023]©

6. Afu Aau Waterfall (Savai’i)

One of the most stunning waterfalls and swimming spots in Samoa (and the South Pacific) awaits down a short and gorgeously maintained jungle trail on the southeast side of Savai’i. Enjoy a refreshing dip in the aqua-blue waters at the base of the 15-20 m (49-66 ft) Afu Aau Waterfall. Pay your fees at the fale just off the main road (the entry sign is easy to spot) then it’s a 650-m (711-yard) drive on a flat dirt road to the car park with a toilet block and changing room. With a reasonable entry fee, this one easily makes it onto the 50 Free & Cheap Things to Do in Samoa.

Location: Palauli village, signposted off the main road on the southeast coast of Savai’i.

Sightseeing in Samoa: Top 10 Sights in Samoa 😍 [2023]©

7. Laauoleola Cave (Savai’i)

The 15-minute forest trail through mahogany, ifilele, teak, kava, eucalyptus and banyan trees is just the beginning… As you begin to approach the entrance of Laauoleola Cave, you’ll hear the unusual clicking of swiftlets as they move in and out of the caves. Then, it’s up to you to decide how far you walk through the large lava tube that is said to span 5 km (3.1 mi) under the surface! It’s a short flat walk (with a few muddy patches) through the cave to the first descent, which the guides can organise a ladder should you want to continue – let them know you would like to do this before you begin the tour. The walk is fully (and casually) guided. The guide has a torch but you might want to also bring your own. There are a lot more caves to discover, so learn more about them using the 10 Best Caves in Samoa.

Location: A’opo village, signposted off the main road on the northern coast of Savai’i.

Sightseeing in Samoa: Top 10 Sights in Samoa 😍 [2023]©

8. Immaculate Conception Cathedral (Upolu)

This striking cathedral looming over the Apia Harbour is undoubtedly one of the most awe-inspiring in Samoa, from the outside and within. 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.

Sightseeing in Samoa: Top 10 Sights in Samoa 😍 [2023]©

9. Cape Mulinuu and its Historical Sites (Savai’i)

Down a flat dirt road (suitable for 2WD) and through coconut groves on the far west coast, Cape Mulinuu is home to a number of historical sites, including Mauga Fetu Star Mound, Ana O Vaatausili Giant’s Cave and Vaisuatoto Well. If there are locals around taking entry fees, they are usually happy to tell you about the legends of these sites. Otherwise, the interpretation panels here are sufficient enough. Finally, catch the sunset from the beach and rock pools of Cape Mulinuu just across the road for a spectacular show (weather permitting) at the westernmost point of Samoa. For more stellar sunset spots, check out the 10 Best Places to Watch the Sunset in Samoa.

Location: Falealupo Road, approximately 2.2 km (1.3 mi) south of Falealupo Beach on the northwest coast of Savai’i.

Sightseeing in Samoa: Top 10 Sights in Samoa 😍 [2023]©

10. Fugalei Market (Upolu)

The largest market in Samoa and a hotspot for all sorts of cultural goings-on, Fugalei Market is a sight not to be missed on Upolu. Browse handcrafted carvings, clothing, jewellery and more, then wade through a colourful crop of tropical fruit and vegetables at this vibrant market, open from 6 am to 6 pm except for Sunday. The bustling Fugalei Bus Station is also just outside, giving you plenty of opportunity to check out Samoa’s iconic buses. For more markets to check out throughout Samoa, check out the 8 Best Markets in Samoa.

Location: Fugalei Street on the western side of Apia town centre.

Sightseeing in Samoa: Top 10 Sights in Samoa 😍 [2023]©

More About Sightseeing in Samoa

That’s it for the best sights in Samoa and our complete guide to sightseeing in Samoa. Now, discover more sights and attractions with these lists:

Finally, don’t miss a thing off your bucket list by checking out the 101 Best Things to Do in Samoa: The Ultimate List.


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.

Was this article useful?