Day 1: Arrival in Samoa
Upon arrival at Faleolo International airport you will be welcomed by our local and international guides and transferred to your accommodation in Apia. Once settled in, get a first impression of Apia through a wonderful walking tour to Apia Harbour and the Harbour rock wall. Continue to the Palolo Deep Marine Reserve where you have the chance to snorkel for a couple of hours around a healthy coral reef and observe the amazing variety of marine life (including giant clamps). After a delicious picnic lunch overlooking Palolo Deep, head back to your accommodation and relax a bit before we visit a chess-board-style undercover market to explore the treasures of traditional Samoans. Stroll around the town and enjoy Apia’s night life, arguably the best in the South Pacific (optional).
Day 2: Markets & Museums
Depart for ‘Maketi Fou’, where families from all over Samoa come to trade their fruit, vegetables, flowers, handicraft, traditional food and medicines. This is an excellent opportunity to observe local people interacting in a market environment. Next stop is the Papaseea Sliding Rocks, where you can have freshwater fun and enjoy the beautiful rainforest backdrop. Afterwards, you will be heading to the Robert Louis Stevenson Museum in Vailima. Step back in time, exploring Villa Vailima that was build from redwood and shipped all the way from the Californian coast. Enjoy the tour through the house, which has practically remained the same all this time. RLS is the renowned writer of ‘Treasure Island’ and ‘Kidnapped’. From there, hike to the top of Mount Vaea to visit the tomb of Robert Louis Stevenson. You are rewarded by what you see on the ascent, the spectacular tropical rainforest and an inspiring view over Apia. Enjoy a very special dinner back in Apia and head back to accommodation.
Day 3: The South Pacific Fantasy
Depart accommodation for Aleipata District, which has stunningly beautiful beaches and you will have the chance to relax. Visit the Piula Cave pool, a freshwater seepage into the ocean that has been built in by a rock wall. Swim to the end of the cave where you will discover a secret underwater entry into the second cave! If you are very brave you can even hold your breath and swim through to the other side! Depart for the beautiful accommodation right on the beach, where you will be staying for 1 night and enjoy a nice lunch once arrived. The rest of the day you have leisure time.
Day 4: Caves & Islands
Depart for Tu Sua Ocean Trech- a fascinating underground lava tube extending out to sea through a natural bridge behind a collapsed ‘crater’. Here you get to spend a couple of hours exploring the incredible phenomenon and its surrounding area. Lava flows drop straight into the ocean, small blowholes function at high tide. Deep blue rocky pools nestled amongst the black lava rock, invite for a swim are even jumpable at low tide. Swim inside the calm crystal-clear lava tube water looking 15 metres up into the fern-lined collapsed crater. At low tide, the more ambitious can swim through a huge underwater entrance into a hidden cave under the natural bridge. It is one of the most enjoyable and memorable attractions in Samoa. After this exciting adventure, we depart for Namua Island via bus and ferry. This is an uninhabited island paradise which you will never forget. Experience life without communication and technical gadgets, which is rewarding opportunity. Relax on the beach, go snorkelling or take a kayak out to the reek to observe sea turtles. Alternatively explore the island and discover hidden bush trails leading to the scenic lookouts ‘Castaway-style’ on top of the mountain.
Day 5: O Le Pupu-Pu’e National Park
Depart to O Le Pupu-Pu’e National Park via ferry and bus. Enjoy a walk along one of the many tracks through the thick tropical rainforest. Get an adrenaline rush and jump off the Togitogiga Waterfall and enjoy a nice relaxing swim. Head back to Apia, stopping along the Cross Island Road to view the Papapapai-tai falls, a spectacular waterfall of over 100 metres, framed beautifully by luscious tropical rainforest. Back in Apia, settle in to accommodation. Free leisure time, where you may chose to take a guided tour to the markets or to other areas/attractions. After dinner, enjoy a nice stroll along the rock wall which shelters the Beach Road from the Pacific Ocean.
Day 6: 200 years back in time…
Depart Apia for Manono Island, which is highly conservative and traditional, via bus and ferry. Settle in to you accommodation, where you will be staying for 1 night. Use the opportunity to go for a refreshing swim and enjoy a nice local lunch. Discover the island by taking a three-hour gentle stroll around the island. Without cars, roads or motorbikes, the experience is similar to how life would have been for Samoans over the past few hundred years. On the stroll, you will see several villages, where you become familiar with the local hospitality as everyone invites you into their home for a coconut drink and a genuine smile….After weaving in and out of plantations, washings lines filled with colourful ‘lava-lavas’(Samoan sarongs) and see the gardens filled with blooming ginger, frangipani and hibiscus, you will have the afternoon to explore on your own.
Day 7: Beaches & Archeology
Early rise for a morning bird walk (optional). Take a gentle hike from the accommodation up to the top of the 110 metres rainforest covered mountain. Here you will see the important archaeological site of the ‘Twelve-Pointed Star Mound’’-an ancient relic through to have been used for pigeon hunting hundreds of years ago. Return to accommodation to pack-up. Depart for Manase via ferry, boat ride and bus. Once arrived in Manase, settle in to your accommodation right on the beach, and enjoy a hearty Samoan meal. Be dazzled by the hundreds of stars you can see from this isolate, pollution and light-free vantage point.
Day 8: Visit the ‘Crater Man’!
Discover Manase village on a walking tour and experience it from a locals perspective. Later on, relax and go for a swim to ‘cool off’. Hike up to visit the ‘Crater Man’-a caretaker of the Matavanu volcanic crater, which erupted for the six years after 1905. A very interesting visit and wonderful views from the summit awaits you. If there is time, we can visit the famous ‘Dwarf’s Cave’on the way up to the crater and learn of its legends. Leisure time to explore the night-life, or enjoy the ‘remote-island’ feeling.
Day 9: Climb Samoa’s Giant
After a delicious Samoan breakfast depart for the remote and spectacular beautiful Falealupo Peninsula. It is an amazing scenic journey on the Main North Coast Road that hugs the coastline. Stop over to visit a beautiful old church at Matavai village. Continue to Aopo village, where you have the option of an epic climb up Samoa’s highest mountain, Mount Silisili, a staggering 1858 high tropical rainforest covered volcanic peak. Travel to accommodation for the night which is the most remote location in Samoa. Once settled in, head to the Falualupo Rainforest Reserve canopy suspension bridge, which is unforgettable fun for everyone! Later on, the bus will take you to ‘ Last Sunset Beach’ where you will be one of the last people on earth to see the end of the day. Listen to Somoan legends and storytelling while roasting marshmallows over a bonfire
Day 10: Become a local for a day!
Take a stroll down to ‘Last Sunset Beach’ and explore this amazing isolated beach. Depart to Sagone village, where you will be staying with a traditional Samoan family. This is an excellent opportunity to engage with the community and to experience their lifestyle, culture and traditions. In Sagone village, enjoy a delicious traditional lunch with all the family. Later on partake in traditional Samoan activities, such as Plantation work’, Samoan Cooking’, Basket/Mat Weaving’ , ‘Shop Attending’ etc. Dig into Samoan culture, learn about the Samoan way of life and learn about the different roles of men and woman in the community. A special experience awaits, witnessing the family prayers ‘Sa’, where family members sing Samoan songs of worship. Leisure time to enjoy the easy life in the village.
Day 11: Volcanoes & Blowholes – Samoa’s volcanic origins
Depending on the day, either head to church with the family or join the children to go to school. Much needed stationary supplies will be donated to the school for support. Depart the village for the Alofa’aga Blowholes, one of the most impressive blowholes found anywhere in the world….Travel to Salelologa for lunch, stopping at the beautifully situated village of Gataivai, where the waters of Samoa’s great river flow over the Mu Pagoa Waterfall. In the afternoon, depart Salelologa for the Tafua volcanic Crater. Take a memorable walk to the crater as the single-file track is heavily overgrown with lush tropical rainforest. Enjoy the breathtaking views and get a glimpse of the many bird species found here, such as the Manumea or tooth-billed pigeon. In the afternoon, head to your accommodation near Salelologa.
Day 12: Pyramids & waterfalls
Depart for Pulemelei Mound , Polynesia’s largest ancient structure. Take a refreshing swim at the Olemoe Falls, which is a spectacular sight. Enjoy the walk back along the plantations track to the Main South Coast Road. Leave for Salelologa wharf to catch a ferry back to Upolu. From there you continue your journey back to Apia, where you will be staying for 2 nights.
Day 13: Temples & Lakes
Visit the Bahai Temple and learn about the Bahai faith while walking around the gardens and temple. Discover the well hidden water-filled crater of Lake Lanoto’o. Hike the 4km to this spectacular, yet little-known, pea-green lake. Through muddy and various densities of rainforest and on a single-file path, the long journey is a true adventure. The lake itself is very deep and filled with goldfish, which nibble the dead skin off your feet as you stand in the water. A truly unique experience. Return to Apia to explore the Samoan Museum, your window into life in Samoa before the arrival of missionaries and western influence. Farewell banquet at a local restaurant on Beach Road. Reflect on the incredible journey while having a wonderful mix of Samoan and Western cuisine.
Day 14: Farewell Samoa