West of Apia in Samoa, the snorkeling off the northwest coast of ‘Upolu Island is well known for boat-access snorkeling spots. Generally located between the Faleolo International Airport and Cape Fatuosofia, there is a scattered fringing reef offshore providing pockets of protected waters for snorkeling. One of the more popular areas is the locally known Fish Bowl off...
West of Apia in Samoa, the snorkeling off the northwest coast of ‘Upolu Island is well known for boat-access snorkeling spots. Generally located between the Faleolo International Airport and Cape Fatuosofia, there is a scattered fringing reef offshore providing pockets of protected waters for snorkeling. One of the more popular areas is the locally known Fish Bowl off the airport. Just north of Cape Fatuosofia is the A'ana Reef with a deep water wall off the north side. Further offshore is Manono Island that has excellent snorkeling but requires a fishermans boat charter to get out to it.
Samoa is located about 2,500 miles from Hawaii and halfway between the USA and New Zealand. It consists of several volcanic islands, which are all at the western end of the Samoan archipelago. The waters are habitat for over 200 coral species, 900 fish species, hawksbill turtles, green sea turtles, spinner dolphins and several whale species.
Overall, the Samoans are the largest population of Polynesian people. They take great pride in their culture, Fa'a-Samoa, which refers to the traditional Samoan way of life. It places great importance on achievements of the family group (aiga) over the individual and on dignity. Most Samoans are bilingual where they speak English in public and Samoan at home or among friends. If you plan to access a beach located within a community or near a home, make sure to ask permission first (a small donation may be requested). Also, keep in mind that the Samoan culture is very conservative; in many areas bikinis are discouraged.
The best snorkeling in Samoa is during the dry season from May through September. During the wet season from November to March, it is known to be really, really wet with severe tropical storms. Year-round, the average daily temperature is right around 85F. With the constant moisture, there are plenty of swarming mosquitos, so make sure to bring bug spray and a mosquito net for sleeping.
After a long morning of snorkeling on ‘Upolu, don't miss stopping by the To Sua Trench for swimming and snorkeling in a sink hole. There is a small fee to access this must-see attraction.
To reach the snorkeling in Samoa by air, fly into Faleolo International Airport (APW) on ‘Upolu Island about 35km west of Apia. The Faleolo International Airport is served weekly by Samoa Airways, Air New Zeland and Fiji Airways, which originate in Honolulu (5 hours), Fiji, New Zealand, Australia and American Samoa. There is regular service on Samoa Airways to Pago Pago International Airport on American Samoa out of Fagalii Airport near downtown Apia. Out of Pago Pago International Airport, there are flights on Hawaiian Airlines to Honolulu and Talofa Airways to Tonga. If you plan to rent a car in Samoa, you will need to apply for a Temporary Drivers Licence, which costs $20 tala for one month and $40 tala for two months. In order to qualify for this, you must have a full drivers licence from your country of origin. Keep in mind that in Samoa you drive on the left.
Overall, Cape Fatuosofia is the 4th most popular snorkel dive spot of all 7 snorkeling dives in Samoa. Several of the better snorkeling spots are nearby Cape Fatuosofia including Palolo Deep Marine Reserve, Salamumu Beach, Lalomanu Beach and Tafatafa Beach.
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