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itinerary- Western Samoa and/ or American Samoa?

california
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itinerary- Western Samoa and/ or American Samoa?

We have 2 weeks in Samoa and I was thinking 4-5 days in Savai'i and 4-5 in Upolu? As for the last 4 days or so, I was wondering if we should try to hit America Samoa or should we just stay in Western samoa for those extra days? I heard some good things about American Samoa -- and great things about Tutuila and Manua, but is it worth it going there or should we just stay and enjoy our time in Western Samoa? Your feedback and advice would be greatly appreciated!

Auckland, New...
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1. Re: itinerary- Western Samoa and/ or American Samoa?

Malo lava!

First off, let me say that I haven't been to American Samoa. Every time I am in Samoa and I talk about going over there, people talk me out of it! No one I've talked to (and I've been going to Samoa for many, many years) has ever said that I should do it! However, I stand to be corrected if anyone out there wants to come back and wax lyrical about American Samoa.

As for splitting your time across the two islands, that's a good idea as you will get a good overview of both islands and what they have to offer.

Whilst Samoa doesn't have a huge choice of flash resorts, it does have a pretty diverse range of accommodations from budget beach fales to a few five star resorts. It also has a lot of waterfalls, natural rock slides, interesting little villages, absolutely beautiful beachs and Apia (the main town on 'Upolu) is very interesting in itself, and definitely worth spending a day there to wander the markets and explore the local attractions.

Deb will be able to advise about accommodations in Apia ... she is the expert in that area!

Whatever you decide, I'm sure you will have a wonderful time.

Fa soifua

Tina

Woolgoolga...
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2. Re: itinerary- Western Samoa and/ or American Samoa?

Malo lava donnell76

I'm in total agreeance with Tina regarding American Samoa. In all the years I've been going to and living in Western Samoa I've not heard a single positive word about it, in fact I know of many American Samoans who have gone to great lengths just to leave there and live in Western Samoa. Someone may well come up with some good reasons to go to AM and they might be able to sway you the other way, but just bear in mind that Samoa is the heart of Polynesia and has the highest population of pure Polynesians left on this earth, Therfore you will not find anywhere so steeped in tradition and culture as Samoa and it's beautiful people

Firstly, what sort of budget are you looking at? Then are you intending to hire a car so that you can just stay in the one spot on both islands and drive around yourself or do you want organised tours? Do you want both a resort experience (and they're not you typical large 5 star hotels) or a bit of both fale and resort.

Just let me know and I'll probably be able to help a little more.

Fa soifua

Deb

california
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3. Re: itinerary- Western Samoa and/ or American Samoa?

Hi Deb,

Thanks for your nice message and your insight about American Samoa. Based on Tina's and your advice, it looks like we might split our time in Western Samoa now. My husband and I love adventure. We definitely don't need to do organized tours unless there is something that we shouldn't miss. We also thought about renting a car so we can drive around and see as much as possible. We think it would be fun to check out a nice beach fale. I don't imagine us staying there for more than 4 days or so because we'd probably like to treat ourselves to a nice place as well. We don't like big resorts or hotels but we do like a nice place that is not fancy, too commercial, or too many families. We like more authentic places with character but that are clean, nice and good service. Any suggestions would be great. I get kind of confused researching as it seems there are so many different areas, regions and/ or islands and it's hard to keep straight. Thanks so much for your help!

kurrajong
Destination Expert
for Samoa
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4. Re: itinerary- Western Samoa and/ or American Samoa?

hi donell

i agree with tinz and deb. i have only heard bad things about american samoa so have never been.

some nice resorts that might fit your style are sea breeze, lovely small scale resort , fantastic food, and kids only 10 and above. very clean and the rooms are great.

anothter place that we love is sa;moana ( don't be put off by the fact that it caters for surfers) you will hav ethe resort to your self, also great food and the rooms are nice ( esp the smaller rooms, not the big group rooms) the grounds of this place are beautiful, and great pool. they offer day trips.

also virgin cove is nice, very selcluded and so different, esp the selcluded fales and now they have a fale with it's own bathroom. this place is so unique.no kids under 12 policy.

in savaii savaii lagoon is nice and also lelagoto ( bit pricey)

hope this helps

have fun with your plans

sue

Woolgoolga...
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5. Re: itinerary- Western Samoa and/ or American Samoa?

Malo fo'i donnell76

I agree with Sue that Seabreeze would be a very nice change, it is a small, boutique type resort set in a great environment with lovely views. It is on the south east along with most of the fale resorts so you could have a couple of nights at, let's say TauFua and then move on to Seabreeze for a couple of nights. Many people miss the northern coast of Upolu and only get to see parts of it on the ferry trip to Savaii. I'd recommend Le Vasa either on your way or back from Savaii (only 5 mins from airport so great if your flying out early morning or late night). You have your own traditional fale palagi (white mans house) which you walk out of straight onto the beach, stunning views of Manono, Apolima and Savaii islands and the most breathtaking sunsets you will ever see. Another great fale idea which not many people get to do is the beautiful island of Manono. Up until 2 years ago it had no electricity (and some of the locals prefer it that way). There are no animals or vehicles allowed on the island, there are small over the water fales or a new slightly more upmarket fale resort,it only takes 2 hours walk around the island and is steeped in Polynesian culture and tradition. This is where you'll find the true Samoa (along with Namua Island) and it really is worth a one night stay. The boat to Manono leaves just a couple of minutes walk away from Le Vasa.

As for Savaii I'd suggest Le Lagoto, it's small, air con, has a pool and excellent food.

Glad you're adventurous and thinking of renting a car, you can never get very lost in Samoa because there will always be a friendly local pointing you in the right direction (to another local pointing you in the right direction to another local....etc) It's fun because you see so much more than you would on a tour and because it doesn't take all that long to drive anywhere in Samoa (except for the very low speed limit). All the places that you should see you can easily get to by car. Most resorts provide a map of both Upolu and Savaii with a listing of "must sees", otherwise you can pick one up from the Visitor's Tourist Bureau on Beach Road in Apia. Think of spending a couple of hours in Apia as well, wander round the markets and explore this quaint colonial town, relax and have a couple of the local beers - Vailima, cheap and great tasting I'm told (don't drink).

Hope this helps, any more questions, fire away.

Manuia le po (have a great night)

Deb

TE Kauwhata
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6. Re: itinerary- Western Samoa and/ or American Samoa?

Hi all, I'm new to tripadvisor, can I jump in here and ask a couple of new questions of you guys too?

we're going to be in Samoa for a few days only (leaving in 2 days!), have already booked to stay at Aggies in Apia.

We're very keen on snorkelling, and I'm wondering wheres the best spot? I've heard about the marine reserve near Aggies (?) and snorkelling with turtles somewhere (?).

We've got like 3 days (one of them a sunday when i guess maybe a lot of things aren't on?), so given that we want to check out the market etc in Apia, and snorkel some (as well as lazing by the pool lol), what are a couple of must do's?

Thanks so much.

Auckland, New...
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7. Re: itinerary- Western Samoa and/ or American Samoa?

Malo lava

Of course you can ask questions - that's what we're here for :o)

Aggies in Apia is nice. It's a real institution with a lot of old history and is a great spot. They have a great singalong type thing in the Kurasina (sp?) bar there on a Friday night (prolly not your thing if you are in your 20's tho!!) and they have a good pool area etc. It's a bit old now, but it's still a good spot.

Palolo Deep Marine Reserve is about a ten minute walk from Aggie's, or a three min taxi ride if you have littlies who don't feel like walking in the heat. It's best at high tide, when you don't have to walk out too far.

Swimming with the turtles is actually on the island of Savai'i, but you can take a trip to feed the turtles. It's on the main road out to the airport, probably 25 mins out of Apia.

The best snorkelling is on the south east coast of the island, and will take you about an hour and 15 mins by taxi, and cost you about $80 - $100 tala to get there. The bus is not really a good option for a day trip, especially not when you have so little time.

Also close to Apia is the Piula Cave Pool - well worth a look, and the Sliding Rocks ... you have to go here! It's amazing! They are about a ten minute drive by taxi out of Apia.

Be aware that everything closes about midday on a Saturday and doesn't reopen til Monday. That includes the markets, but all the bars and restaurants etc are still open. Make sure you do your market shopping etc and don't miss out!

Come back with any other questions - happy to help.

Fa soifua

Tina

kurrajong
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for Samoa
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8. Re: itinerary- Western Samoa and/ or American Samoa?

hi

how exciting , leaving in a few days!! you will love aggies it's great, the staff are so friendly. it has so much charm.great pool to lay about and relax and they have nice coctails

a few must do's....

try a valima, taro chips and palasami (they sell it at aggies) a great traditinal samoan dish.

like tina said sliding rocks is great and not far out fo town.

a day trip (taxi's are so cheap) to lalamono would be worth it, this beach is amazing. picture perfect. you could also stop somewhere for lunch, sinalei is very fancy ( but if you have kids they have to be over 12yrs) and great food, nice little jetty down the bottom near the returatnt, great to jump off.. heaps of fun. also seabreeze has great food.

there is a place called ocean trench "tua sua" which is on you way to lalamono (if you go the cross island road then travel along the coast) , amazing water hole.

the markets are fantastic great to pick up some beautiful samoan goods ( my house is full of beautful things from samoa) also if your after souvineres etc in town is a place called plantation house which sells beautiful tea towels , linen, etc ( it's up near the uni, so left past the big church in town, you'll know which one i mean when you see it!!)

have a ball

sue

TE Kauwhata
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9. Re: itinerary- Western Samoa and/ or American Samoa?

Hi Tina, thanks a bunch!

Is it realistic to go to Savai just for a day-trip or is it too far?

If it is ok, would it cost a lot?

Also, just checked our booking and Aggies have offfered us a day trip to Lalomano beach, would this be anywhere near the snorkelling part of the island that you mention?

Toby

Auckland, New...
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10. Re: itinerary- Western Samoa and/ or American Samoa?

Malo lava

Lalomanu is my village ... and yes, the beach there is stunning and brilliant for snorkelling. If you are adventurous, you can even go outside the reef and see the reef sharks and stingrays, but that is not something for the faint hearted, and you do so at your own risk!! If you are experienced snorkellers then you might want to give it a try.

A day trip to Savai'i is possible, but really, it's a huge rush and if you only have a few days, then maybe just enjoy 'Upolu and save Savai'i for next time.

Enjoy!!!