Looking for a different kind of beach escape? Why not consider the island nation of Samoa? Located halfway between Hawaii and New Zealand, the islands of Samoa offer distinct and stunning environments; from lush jungle-covered mountain peaks, to cascading waterfalls, roaring blowholes and sparkling white sand beaches. Samoa’s natural beauty was showcased to millions of North Americans during the 19th season of the reality show “Survivor” in 2009, as a remote and near impossible region to visit… which it really isn’t.
Samoa offers warm-hearted residents who still follow traditional Polynesian culture as the many generations before them, and there are plenty of opportunities for those seeking an idyllic, “off the beaten path” island escape. Samoa even offers one resort with over water bungalows at the Coconuts Beach Resort, comparable to their neighbours in Tahiti.
Although Samoa is comprised of 11 islands, two draw the majority of overseas visitors, and even then, there’s few tourists to this island paradise. Samoa’s International Airport, located on the island of Upolu, is 35 km’s from the main centre of Apia, Upolu’s capital and largest city. Ideal for all types of travellers including families, couples, honeymooners, as well as singles, there is much to explore on Upolu and a wide variety of lodging, activities and restaurants to choose from. A great idea is to combine Upolu with a visit to nearby Savai’i, a short flight or 90-minute ferry ride away. Savai’i is the third largest Polynesian island after Tahiti and New Zealand, but draws a fraction of their visitors, ensuring if anything a pretty unique adventure as you truly meet the locals. A great way to learn about the Samoan sense of community is by attending a church service or enjoying a traditional Sunday meal, cooked on an overground volcanic rock oven called an umu. While that might sound difficult to arrange from where you’re sitting, once you’re there, you’ll be quite surprised at the hospitality of Samoans.
Another idea is combining Samoa with Fiji for a multi-destination itinerary. There’s a 12 day vacation to Samoa and Fiji, and includes 5 nights in Fiji and 4 nights in Samoa plus all transfers.
While there are many pristine beaches in the South Pacific, few can claim the quiet solitude as Samoa can, it will almost feel like you’ve discovered it yourself.