Samoa - Diving & Snorkelling

Diver ©SPTOSamoa has some wonderful diving with warm clear waters and great visibility. Samoan seas are home to an abundance of marine life. A firm favourite are the large sea turtles, and divers are pretty much guaranteed sightings. Surrounding reefs create beautiful lagoons with easy access for diving, both inside and outside the reefs. They are perfect for all certification levels as well as dive training, and sites vary from beautiful hard coral gardens to dramatic canyons revealing swim throughs. One of the best and safest spots is Apia’s Palolo Deep National Marine Reserve at Vaiala Beach on Upolu Island. The big attraction here is a stunning deep blue hole flanked by steep coral walls that are home to a myriad of brilliantly coloured tropical fish. Onshore, there are shady spots for a picnic as well.

Colourful colonies of clown fish and turtles can be seen at The Aquarium, where the outcrops and bommies are cloaked in lettuce and brain corals. The fringing reef of Nuusafee has a couple of popular sites – The Terraces, with its schools of tropical fish, and the Garden Wall, a densely packed wall of hard corals where schools of fish and spotted eagle rays can be seen. A popular site on Savaii Island is the Wreck of the Juno which dates back to 1881. It has now been underwater for over 100 years, creating a reef full of incredible corals and colourful marinelife. 

Turtle © SPTOSnorkelling
Snorkelling is one of the easiest ways to enjoy Samoa's lagoons and reefs. Some of the best spots for snorkelling include Apia’s Palolo Deep National Marine Reserve (also one of the safest), where you can hire snorkelling gear; at Aggies Reef in front of Aggie Grey’s Resort; and at the Fish Bowl in front of the airport. Along the island’s south coast there is good snorkelling at the lovely coves around Matereva, at Saoluafata and Lalomanu, and in the east along the Aleipata coast, with its deep turquoise waters. More experienced swimmers can venture out to the superb snorkelling around the islets of Nuutele and Nuulua, and to Nuusafe islet, which has some of Upolu’s most diverse corals and fish. The dive centres also run organised snorkelling trips to sites around Upolu. 

There is less coral off Savaii due to coastal lava flows, but good snorkelling spots include the Lano Lagoon, the beaches from Safotu to Manase, around Satuiatua, between Lesolo Point and Tausivi in the east, and at Vaisala in the north-west. 

Make sure you wear reef shoes or old sandshoes if you don’t have fins and avoid swimming where there is an obvious current, or near breaks in the reef. Always ask permission if there is a village or beach fale nearby.

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