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 an influx of international travellers arriving into the island nation after nearly two years, Samoa’s pristine shores are safe, secluded and only a short five-hour flight if travelling from Sydney. Situated in the heart of the South Pacific between New Zealand and Hawaii, Samoa is known as the Treasured Islands of the South Pacific – the true heart of Polynesia. Boasting crystal clear turquoise waters, stunning waterholes, lush rainforest trails and pristine reefs that abound with marine life, Samoa offers the perfect paradise for those looking to escape their everyday surroundings.
We’ve handpicked the top five natural swimming pools that need to be added to your Samoa itinerary as soon as you book your ticket over. Fiafia! (Enjoy!)
Said to be one of the world’s most spectacular natural swimming pools, the To-Sua Ocean Trench is an iconic Samoan landmark. Formed during an ancient lava eruption when the land around it slipped away, To Sua (which literally means “big hole”) consists of two large holes joined by a lava tube cave. The main hole – the pool – is filled with seawater and is connected to the ocean by an underwater cave. Set on the edge of a tropical paradise, this 30 metre deep swimming pool is truly idyllic.
One of Samoa’s hidden gems, the Piula Cave Pool is a crystal-clear freshwater swimming hole that originated from an old lava tube. Located behind the historic Methodist Church Chapel on Samoa’s main island of Upolu, the pool is open to the public daily. Consisting of two blue-green, fish-filled freshwater grottos, the brave can swim between them via a creepy three metre underwater passage. Surrounded by fales (a traditional thatched hut), this unique beauty is the picture-perfect spot for an afternoon of swimming and picnicking.
Calling all adventure junkies – this spectacular 55 metre high jungle waterfall is guaranteed to induce an adrenaline rush. Whether it's witnessing the falls dive into a deep end or taking the courage of bathing with a panoramic view from the falling point, the Fuipisia Waterfall is sure to be unforgettable.
Located at Seesee in the Faleata District, these natural waterslide formations offer a great and fun way to cool off on a hot day. Brave Mother Nature’s waterslides and slide down these naturally formed rock slides, worn down by thousands of years of running water, into blessedly cool waterholes beneath. The sliding rocks are divided into two – one for kids and one for adults. The longest slide is five metres long, but there are a couple of smaller ones at the bottom of the stairs. Laugh, slide, splash and enjoy this natural aquatic playground.
Steeped in legend, the Mataolealelo Pool is integral to the local mythological story of Sina, said to have formed when the eel swam all the way from Fiji to be with Sina. The site is also symbolic to locals as the springs played a part in how the coconut came to be. In this pool of freshwater next to the ocean, men and women cannot swim together, thanks to the legend of Sina and the Eel. There is a large pool for men and a smaller pool designated for women and children. Maintained by the local village, the Mataolealelo Pool offers a traditional swimming hole experience in Samoa.
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