The main island in the Samoa Group is Upolu, home to the nation's capital of Apia which is the hub for all activities from dining out, bars and clubs to movie theatres and natural wonders galore. Apia is a hive of activity during the day with the markets and locals going about their daily business to the night where Beach Road comes alive to the aromas wafting through the air and the sounds of local music from the bars and clubs.
The Samoa Tourism Authority has information about historic monuments which are scattered around in Apia, such as the Robert Louis Stevenson museum, the 1962 Independence Memorial, the German, British and American Memorials and the tombs of several influential Samoan figures.
For the more adventurous there is a huge range of activities to do on Upolu, from taking a work-out at the local gym to playing a round of golf, diving the blue Pacific Ocean, surfing the huge reef breaks or fishing in the luxury of a game fishing boat where you are guaranteed to catch a fish or two. For nature lovers, there are numerous walks and tracks to choose from in the national parks located on the island. Take a local guide and venture into the village plantations and visit some stunning and dramatic waterfalls. There is a number of adventure and guided tour operators located in Apia that offer a range of activities to suit your fitness level. Or you may simply want to lie on a beach and enjoy the peace and quiet. The sand is pure white and the ocean temperature a warm 29o Celsius.
Getting round Upolu, Samoa: nothing beats the freedom of exploring Upolu at your own pace and there is a huge range of rental car companies to choose from in finding the right vehicle for your needs. One important rule to remember when driving around Samoa is that they drive on the right-side of the road. For inexpensive transport, catch a local bus. Nothing can compare to this experience with the music playing and locals singing along during the journey. It is a great way to meet people and make new friends in Samoa.
Savai'i is the largest island in the Samoa Group and of total contrast to the main island of Upolu. Here life moves at a slower pace and the dramatic landscapes from vast lava fields to lush rainforest offer visitors a tranquil setting from the fast pace of Apia. The main town on Savai'i is Salelologa, not as big as Apia but still the commercial hub for the island with its post office, banks, shops and market place. It is here at the wharf where travellers catch the inter-island ferry between the two main islands.
Just like Upolu, Savai'i offers all the natural wonders from dramatic volcanic peaks and waterfalls to forest canopy walkways and breathtaking sunsets. For the adventurous who enjoy the water, there is diving in some spectacular spots and surfing at some isolated and huge reef breaks. Savai'i is also home to the largest stone pyramid in Polynesia and awe inspiring blow holes. The beaches on Savai'i, Samoa are just as beautiful as those on Upolu. There are a number of adventure and tour operator based on Savai'i who offer a wide range of guided tours around the big island.
Getting around Savai'i: a lot of visitors to Savai'i find the biggest island of the Samoa group, unspoilt and beautiful. For a good sightseeing tour of the island, it is advisable to take a rental car tour of Savai'i and visitors will get to see many attractions of the island at their own pace. Some hotels on Savai'i and Samoa tour operators also conduct organized tours around the island visiting the lava field at Saleaula village, turtle farm at Satoalepai, canopy walkway at Falealupo, Taga Blow Holes and many other attractions. There are also local buses that go to most villages on the island which is even more fun to travel on. It is a great way to meet people and make new friends.