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The Best Snorkelling in Samoa: Top 10 Places to Snorkel 🤿
The Best Snorkelling in Samoa: Top 10 Places to Snorkel 🤿

The Best Snorkelling in Samoa: Top 10 Places to Snorkel 🤿


Where are the Best Places for Snorkelling in Samoa?

A must-do for anyone visiting Samoa, snorkelling is a mesmerising, beautiful and relatively inexpensive activity to enjoy – especially considering there is a mix of vibrant snorkelling spots accessible (with a small beach fee) from shore, while the most mind-blowing coral displays are only a short boat trip away.

So check out the best places to snorkel in Samoa, including where to hire snorkelling gear and tips for snorkelling in Samoa, in this guide to snorkelling in Samoa.

Snorkelling Gear: Hire in Samoa or Bring Your Own?

First, we highly recommend bringing your own snorkelling gear to Samoa – see our favourite gear for the islands in the 20 Essentials You Need to Pack for Samoa. But if you really can’t fit it into your luggage then there are a few places in Samoa where snorkelling gear can be hired:

  • Pure Ocean – Upolu dive shop with high-quality snorkelling gear for rent including child sizes
  • Dive Savai’i – Savai’i dive shop with high-quality snorkelling gear for rent
  • Outdoor Samoa – Snorkelling gear in a portable mesh bag with reasonable multi-day hire rates
  • Palolo Deep – Masks, snorkels and fins are available to rent for those snorkelling at Palolo Deep.

Also, take a look at the 10 Best Resorts for Snorkelling in Samoa for accommodations that either hire snorkelling gear for their guests for free or for a small daily rate of usually ST$10-$20 per person. Snorkelling gear is also generally provided on snorkelling tours.

1. Palolo Deep Marine Reserve (Upolu)

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 snorkelling spots just on Samoa’s main island, check out the Top 10 Places to Snorkel in Upolu.

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

The Best Snorkelling in Samoa: Top 10 Places to Snorkel 🤿©

2. Savaia Giant Clam Sanctuary (Upolu)

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 molluscs can get as you explore the waters beyond the white buoys roped together – 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.

The Best Snorkelling in Samoa: Top 10 Places to Snorkel 🤿©

3. Manase (Savai’i)

It’s not hard to see why the majority of Savai’i‘s accommodations line this gorgeous 2 km (1.2 mi) stretch of sandy beaches. There’s exciting snorkelling all over the lagoon, especially as Manase is one of the best places to spot turtles on Savai’i, but be aware of the tide conditions if you are swimming (or avoid swimming) near the reef entrances or outside of the reef. Dive Savai’i, based in Fagamalo village, offers half-day snorkelling tours by boat to the most interesting snorkelling spots around Manase. Learn more about their tour in the 10 Best Snorkelling Tours in Samoa.

Location: Manase village, along the main road on the northeast coast of Savai’i.

The Best Snorkelling in Samoa: Top 10 Places to Snorkel 🤿©

4. Namu’a Island (Upolu)

Surrounded by marine-protected areas and on its own uninhabited island off the shores of Samoa’s main island, Upolu, no wonder Namu’a Island Beach Fales provides an idyllic place to snorkel. The island is just a 5-10-minute boat ride across the lagoon where you’ll get your own day fale to relax in once you arrive. The caveat to this snorkelling day trip, however, is that they do not have snorkelling gear for hire so make sure you bring your own to make the most of the awesome pockets of regenerating coral right off its main beach, as well as the opportunity to see turtles. For more information about getting to Namu’a, check out The Travel Guide to Aleipata Islands.

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

The Best Snorkelling in Samoa: Top 10 Places to Snorkel 🤿©

5. Satuiatua (Savai’i)

One of the rare safe snorkelling spots on the southwest coast of Savai’i, Satuiatua is also home to the only beach fales on this coast, Satuiatua Beach Resort. The lagoon here provides excellent snorkelling at mid to high tide – ensure the tide is coming in and that there is at least half the tide left or else it gets too shallow. The best snorkelling begins 3 m (3.2 yards) from shore at the northwest corner of the beach starting by the freshwater pool. Swim out to the channel for about 30-50 m (33-55 yards) before swimming along the channel over spectacular coral teeming with fish. For more snorkelling spots around Samoa’s big island, check out The Top 8 Places to Snorkel in Savai’i.

Location: Satuiatua village along the main road on the southwest coast of Savai’i.

The Best Snorkelling in Samoa: Top 10 Places to Snorkel 🤿©

6. Manono Island

The snorkelling off Manono is outstanding even if some of the coral is still recovering from the 2009 tsunami. Either enjoy snorkelling from the wharf in front of Sunset View Fales or boat trips are included with your stay to Manono’s surrounding majestic reefs. At Aggie’s Reef, look out for turtles, rays, reef sharks and an abundance of colourful fish. Snorkelling trips with Pure Ocean take you to an additional reef, while you’ll also get the opportunity to snorkel on kayaking tours with Outdoor Samoa. Learn more about snorkelling tours in the 10 Best Snorkelling Tours in Samoa. Plus, find out more about visiting Manono in The Travel Guide to Manono.

Location: Manono Island. Boats depart from Manono-uta village, along the Main West Coast Road on the west coast of Upolu.

The Best Snorkelling in Samoa: Top 10 Places to Snorkel 🤿©

7. Aganoa Black Sand Beach (Upolu)

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. The snorkelling is beautiful here with stunning corals and tropical fish. However, there is no reef protection, so you’ll need to be mindful of currents. Snorkelling boat tours are also available to Aganoa Beach, should you not have a 4WD or want the safety of a guide. Again, learn more in the 10 Best Snorkelling Tours in Samoa.

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

The Best Snorkelling in Samoa: Top 10 Places to Snorkel 🤿©

8. Nu’usafe’e Island (Upolu)

With its own lagoon off the southern shores of the island, Nu’usafe’e is wonderful for snorkelling. Not only do turtles frequent the area but the reef passage beside the island provides a vivid underwater seascape. Get to the tiny uninhabited island by following the advice in The Travel Guide to Nu’usafe’e. Plus, for more places to encounter turtles, check out the 10 Places to See Turtles in Samoa.

Location: Off the coast of Poutasi, south coast of Upolu. Boat tours and kayaking tours are available from Tafatafa and Maninoa Beaches. See the link above for more information.

The Best Snorkelling in Samoa: Top 10 Places to Snorkel 🤿©

9. Falealupo (Savai’i)

Along one of Samoa’s most stunning beaches is another sheltered bay well worth a snorkelling session. Snorkelling gear can be hired from the beach fales, Falealupo Beach Fales and Se’eti Beach Fales, which is ideal for snorkelling just off the beach. The best snorkelling, however, is a little further out where guides from Falealupo Beach Fales can show you the safest and best route to get there.

Location: Falealupo village off Falealupo Road on the northwest coast of Savai’i. Turn off the main road onto Falealupo Road at Falealupo-utu village.

The Best Snorkelling in Samoa: Top 10 Places to Snorkel 🤿©

10. Lalomanu (Upolu)

The most popular stretch of sand on Upolu, Lalomanu is famous for its pristine sands lined with traditional beach fales. Although the beach used to have a renowned reputation for its snorkelling, unfortunately, much of the coral was destroyed during the 2009 tsunami. Nevertheless, the coral is regenerating nicely, making Lalomanu still a worthy place to don your snorkelling gear! Masks and snorkels are available to hire at some of the beach fales, such as Taufua Beach Fales.

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

The Best Snorkelling in Samoa: Top 10 Places to Snorkel 🤿©

8 Extra Tips for Snorkelling in Samoa

  1. Always snorkel with someone else
  2. Wear reef shoes and/or fins
  3. Bring your own snorkelling gear to Samoa
  4. Don’t touch marine life
  5. Wear reef-safe sunscreen and/or wear a rash vest even on cloudy days
  6. Avoid snorkelling near reef passages; they have strong currents!
  7. High tide tends to be best, as many snorkelling spots are in shallow lagoons
  8. Pay beach fees, beaches in Samoa are owned by local families who provide beach fales and/or road access to snorkelling spots. Note that it is customary to pay fees to use these facilities and access the beach – learn more in the 10 Best Beaches in Samoa.

More About Snorkelling in Samoa

That’s it for our guide to the best places for snorkelling in Samoa, but if you need more watersports inspiration, make sure you check out our following guides:

Finally, Samoa isn’t all about snorkelling, so dapple your itinerary with more Pacific adventures using 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.

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