Where to Take Pictures in Samoa: 10 Best Photography Spots ๐Ÿ“ท
Where to Take Pictures in Samoa: 10 Best Photography Spots ๐Ÿ“ท

Where to Take Pictures in Samoa: 10 Best Photography Spots ๐Ÿ“ท

© SamoaPocketGuide.com

The Best Places to Take Photos in Samoa

With verdant jungles contrasting with white sands and turquoise lagoons topside while crystal clear waters offer vivid displays underwater, Samoa sure is a photographer’s paradise (or anyone’s paradise, for that matter). Discover some of the top photography spots, as well as tips about site photography fees, in this guide on where to take pictures in Samoa.

A Note About Photography Fees in Samoa

Note that some attractions in Samoa apply a fee for using professional photography gear, including drones. Some of these fees range from a semi-reasonable ST$50 to the insane sum of ST$450 to $5,000 if used for commercial purposes. Even if you’re genuinely not using the footage for commercial use, that fact can get lost in translation and the site attendant may want to you pay a fee anyway. That’s why you’ll notice that some of Samoa’s obvious top attractions haven’t been added to this list of top photography spots in Samoa.

The list below consists of sites where hobbyist photographers can enjoy snapping away without any extra financial burden other than the standard yet affordable entry fees that all visitors have to pay – as explained in Samoan Etiquette: Samoa Customs & Traditions.

1. Saleaula Lava Field

Between the eerie ruins of the LMS Church and coastal lookouts, there’s plenty of scope for awesome photography at the Saleaula Lava Field. The remnants of the destructive Mt Matavanua 1905-1911 eruption can be explored at this attraction where a short walk brings you to the 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. For more amazing sites like this on the same island, take a look at Sightseeing in Savai’i: Top 10 Sights on Savai’i.

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

Where to Take Pictures in Samoa: 10 Best Photography Spots ๐Ÿ“ท© SamoaPocketGuide.com

2. Aganoa Beach

There is no lack of photo-worthy beaches in Samoa, but one of the most scenic on Upolu is Aganoa Beach. 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, which makes for the perfect spot for some landscape photography or a beach photoshoot. Check out more glorious beaches in the 10 Best Beaches in Samoa.

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

Where to Take Pictures in Samoa: 10 Best Photography Spots ๐Ÿ“ท© SamoaPocketGuide.com

3. Laauoleola Cave

Not only does the 15-minute forest trail through mahogany, ifilele, teak, kava, eucalyptus and banyan trees provide a gorgeous setting for photography, but Laauoleola Cave itself is breathtaking to capture. As you begin to approach the entrance of the 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 to assist with the lowlight setting. Discover more caves to take photos of in the 10 Best Caves in Samoa.

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

Where to Take Pictures in Samoa: 10 Best Photography Spots ๐Ÿ“ท© SamoaPocketGuide.com

4. O Le Pupu Pu’e National Park Coastal Walk

There are so many photo opportunities between the pandanus forest, lava cliffs and coastal arches of the 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 photograph. Speaking of, closed footwear is recommended and the trail is mostly flat, making it suitable for most fitness levels. For more walks worth taking your camera on, check out the 15 Best Walks & Hikes in Samoa.

Location: O Le Pupu Pu’e National Park. Signposted along Main South Coast Road between Sa’agafou and Saleilua, south coast of Upolu. 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.

Where to Take Pictures in Samoa: 10 Best Photography Spots ๐Ÿ“ท© SamoaPocketGuide.com

5. Afu Aau Waterfall

One of the most stunning waterfalls and swimming holes in Samoa (and the South Pacific) awaits down a short and gorgeously maintained jungle trail on the southeast side of Savai’i. With the contrast of aqua-blue waters at the base of the 15-20 m (49-66 ft) Afu Aau Waterfall amidst a tropical jungle, you certainly have a stunning subject for photography. Note that the shadows in this sheltered area can be pretty harsh when the sun is bright, so try to time your visit with sunrise, sunset or midday for the best lighting. For more waterfalls (other than the other waterfall we mention on this list), check out the 10 Best Waterfalls in Samoa.

Location: Palauli village, signposted off the main road on the southeast coast of Samoa.

Where to Take Pictures in Samoa: 10 Best Photography Spots ๐Ÿ“ท© Samoa Tourism Authority

6. Palolo Deep

For underwater photography, you can hardly find an easier place to capture than Palolo Deep. Hire snorkelling gear from the kiosk and swim out to the white buoy at high tide to see an underwater trench brimming with thriving staghorn coral, hundreds of tropical fish species, starfish, octopuses and, if you’re lucky, perhaps even some turtles. Better yet, all of this is pretty close to the surface, allowing the sun to light up your underwater shots. 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.

Where to Take Pictures in Samoa: 10 Best Photography Spots ๐Ÿ“ท© SamoaPocketGuide.com

7. Sopoaga Waterfall

Another breathing waterfall, this time that you can admire from afar, 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. For more sights to snap up on Samoa’s main island, take a look at Sightseeing on Upolu: Top 10 Sights on Upolu.

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.

Where to Take Pictures in Samoa: 10 Best Photography Spots ๐Ÿ“ท© SamoaPocketGuide.com

8. Fugalei Market

Samoa’s largest market is a must-do for capturing the crafts, food and culture of Samoa. Wind your way through vibrant displays of tropical fruit and vegetables displayed in traditionally woven baskets and stumble upon vendors selling classic Samoan meals like palusami and fai’ai elegi (see 20 Foods to Try in Samoa). Get into the centre of this large undercover venue and you’ll find rows and rows of stalls selling all kinds of handicrafts, from coconut jewellery to handprinted lavalava (sarongs) to carved ‘ava (kava) bowls. Have a wander and mingle at the Fugalei Market, known to the locals are Marketi Fou; if not for the shopping, at least for the photo opportunities. Fugalei isn’t the only market offering awesome photos, so take a look at the 8 Best Markets in Samoa for more ideas.

Location: Accessible along Fugalei Street and Saleufi Street, Fugalei, Apia.

Where to Take Pictures in Samoa: 10 Best Photography Spots ๐Ÿ“ท© SamoaPocketGuide.com

9. Cape Mulinuu

At the westernmost point of Samoa, accessed via a flat dirt road (suitable for 2WD) through attractive coconut groves, Cape Mulinuu is a marvellous sunset and photography spot in Samoa. Home to the historic Mauga Fetu Star Mound, Ana O Vaatausili Giant’s Cave and Vaisuatoto Well, not to mention the gorgeous rockpools of Fafa o Saualii where Samoan spirits leave for the afterlife, there’s a rich selection of photography subjects.

Catch the sunset from the beach and rock pools of Cape Mulinuu just across the road from the historical sites for a spectacular show (weather permitting) at the westernmost point of Samoa. For more unmissable 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.

Where to Take Pictures in Samoa: 10 Best Photography Spots ๐Ÿ“ท© SamoaPocketGuide.com

10. 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 just begging for some landscape photography. 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.

Where to Take Pictures in Samoa: 10 Best Photography Spots ๐Ÿ“ท© SamoaPocketGuide.com

More on Where to Take Pictures in Samoa

Now that you know some of the best places to take pictures in Samoa, as well as the best photography spots, discover more picture-perfect places listed in the guides below:

Finally, add more to the bucket list using the 101 Best Things to Do in Samoa: The Ultimate List. Plus, work out all the logistics of planning a Samoa getaway in The Best Samoa Travel Guide.

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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