Man about to walk into a cenote.

Samoa: Polynesian Paradise

More Than Blue Skies and Beautiful Beaches

It’s always great to find new vacay options or get recommendations from your fam or besties, especially if you’re looking for a tropical retreat to unwind and have some fun.

Depending on when you go, Florida can be overcrowded and Cali beaches may be too chilly to take a dip. Be adventurous and plan an extended getaway to the South Pacific to rejuvenate your stressed-out spirit. Hey, we already have a specific place in mind. You’re about to be whisked off to an archipelago where there’s much more to this place than blue skies and beautiful beaches.

Where in the World Are We Off To?

Samoa – and that’s the independent country formerly known as Western Samoa, rather than the U.S. territory of American Samoa. Split largely between two islands, Upolu and Savai’i, it lies in the South Pacific between Fiji and the Cook Islands. And while it does a fine job of bringing lagoon clichés to life, it also has a strong culture and spectacular inland geography.

Sua Ocean Trench on Samoa
Take the Plunge: Cool off and take a dip into the Sea Ocean Trench on Samoa.

What is it Known For?

Robert Louis Stevenson, author of Treasure Island and the Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, spent his last years in Samoa, and the sprawling gardens of his Vailima Estate on Upolu have become a literary pilgrimage site. His grave is on the estate near the top of Mount Vaea. Taumeasina Island Resort and Sheraton Samoa Aggie Grey’s Resort are two places to consider staying if you plan on exploring this region on Upolu.

Where Can I Live the Dream?

Well, that depends on what the dream is, but there are a handful of utterly gorgeous resorts. Then there’s the wild swimming in the fairy grotto-like To Sua Ocean Trench, complete with a 65-foot wooden ladder that leads down to this crystal-clear pool.

Did You Know? In 2009, Samoa became the first country in nearly three decades to switch from driving on the right side of the road to driving on the left.

And Where Can I Work Off Some Energy?

A 13-mile ferry ride across the Apolima Strait brings you to Savai’i, the largest island in Polynesia aside from Hawai’i and New Zealand. It’s riddled with volcanic cones, and the rainforest-ringed, bat-filled Tafua crater in the southwest makes for spectacular hiking. In the north, the lava fields created by Mount Matavanu make for intriguing walks across a moonscape with semi-buried churches.

Give Me One Thing I’ll Remember Forever…

That’d be either the Alofaaga blowholes, where the ocean shoots through the rocks like a giant geyser, or the Pulemelei Mound – a mysterious ancient pyramid which no one knows the origins or use of. Both are on Savai’i. Looking for a place to crash near these attractions? The Amoa Resort, just a 33-minute drive from the Pulemelei Mound, features deluxe bungalows, poolside villas, a private lagoon, swimming pool, swim-up bar and an array of fun activities like kayaking and snorkeling. It’s sure to help make your stay in Samoa memorable and to reawaken your spark for life.

Kid paddling in a kayak.
Samoa Activities: There's no shortage of things to do on and around the islands such as kayaking and snorkeling.

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