Home to dramatic waterfalls, lush tropical forests, crystal-clear freshwater pools, ancient volcanoes and pristine beaches, the island paradise of Samoa abounds with breathtaking natural beauty just waiting to be explored. Coupled with its traditional 3,000-year-old culture, incredibly friendly locals and laid-back island vibes, Samoa is guaranteed to enchant and surprise.
With conversations surrounding a travel bubble between New Zealand and the Pacific ramping up, and many Kiwis dreaming about their next international holiday, we thought it was the perfect time to share with you what Samoa has to offer – but with an emphasis on sustainability.
Samoa is one of the few countries without a locally acquired case of COVID-19, making the island nation one of the most safe, secure and secluded Pacific destinations to visit once a travel bubble is established. In fact, Samoa is only a four-hour flight from Auckland, which means you don’t have to travel too far from home to feel like you’re a million miles away.
Here are some top tips to travel more sustainably around Samoa, to help maintain its gorgeous and untouched landscapes.
Opt for a walking tour
Immerse yourself in the natural beauty of Samoa by taking to a walking tour. Cut down your carbon footprint and explore one of the many scenic walks Samoa has to offer, such as the Falealupo Canopy Walkway – a hanging bridge built approximately 40 metres above the ground that weaves through the branches of giant banyan trees. Our other pick is the Tafua Crater, which provides magnificent views of neighbouring coastal villages once you reach the top of the crater. If you’re looking for a multi-day trek, look no further than the Mt Silisili walk, giving travellers a chance to stay with a local Samoan family and immerse themselves in the rich culture.
Stay in eco-conscious accommodation
Being a regional leader in sustainable tourism interventions, Samoa values green living. This focus on sustainable tourism means that Samoa is bustling with environmentally-friendly accommodation options such as the Dave Parker Eco Lodge. Offering a unique, eco-conscious experience in an idyllic setting, the resort is built on a lush forested hillside overlooking the town of Apia and across the big island of Savaii. Alternatively, opt for a beachside stay in a traditional beach Fale. The Taufua Beach Fales are located on world-famous Lalomanu Beach, regularly voted in the top five “Best Beaches” in the Pacific.
Catch a local bus to see the sights
Not only is taking the bus a great way to be eco-conscious when seeing the tourist attractions of Samoa, but it’s also an attraction in itself! The colourful and retro-style buses are caught by waving one down as it approaches. All buses are named with their destination, which makes it an easy way to get around and explore the islands. Just remember, you’ll be on island time here – it’s not unheard for buses to stop at supermarkets and wait while passengers do their shopping!
Tantalise your tastebuds with an organic meal
Samoa is home to an abundance of fresh and locally grown produce, which you can enjoy in one of their many organic cafes and restaurants. Indulge in Ocean-Farm-to-Table cuisine with a seasonal and ethical focus at venues such as Nourish or Legends Cafe in Apia, or Vailili Restaurant in Savai’i.
Support local operators
One of the best things about exploring Samoa is that by visiting most of their spectacular waterfalls, swimming holes or beaches, you are actually supporting local families. Often these hidden gems are situated amongst private property, and for a small fee, travellers are able to enter and discover the natural wonders. All fees go directly to supporting the individual or family who owns the land.
Find out more at www.samoa.travel.