Samoa Flag

Samoa Travel Guide

Beach at Lalomanu

Nu'utele Island forms a picturesque backdrop
for the beach at Lalomanu

Eastern Upolu

Some eight km south of Falefa Falls, the road works its way over Mafa Pass (276 meters), beyond which is a junction, with Aleipata to the left and Lepa to the right. If you take the left-hand highway or "Richardson Road" toward Amaile (Lalomanu bus) you'll pass alongside the Afulilo Reservoir where Afulilo Falls above Fagaloa Bay was harnessed in 1993 in a US$33-million, four-megawatt hydroelectric development. Over half of Upolu's electricity comes from this and other hydroelectric projects.

Aleipata and Lepa districts feature many excellent and unspoiled white-sand beaches with good swimming and snorkeling (lots of fish but unspectacular coral). The authentic ecotourism resorts of this area are covered below, and a stay at one of them would allow the time to explore this attractive area. Visit the beautiful offshore islands at high tide with fishermen from Lalomanu. Southeastern Upolu was the area most affected by the September 2009 tsunami.

Nu'utele Island, a leper colony from 1916 to 1918, is now uninhabited, and two beautiful beaches flank the steep forested slopes which shelter most of Samoa's land bird species. Large colonies of seabirds also nest here, and with luck, sea turtles, coconut crabs, and even whales can be seen on or around Nu'utele. You can hire a boat out to Nu'utele at Ulutogia village just north of Lalomanu.

From Lalomanu it's seven km along the south coast to Saleapaga. The Lepa bus runs from Apia to Saleapaga via Mafa Pass and Lotofaga. Five km south of the pass, deep in the interior, are Fuipisia Falls (admission fee), signposted on the west side of the road. Just a 300-meter walk inland from the road, the falls plunge 56 meters down into a fern-filled valley of which you can get a good view from on top.

Three km south of Fuipisia, the same river plummets over 53-meter-high Sopo'aga Falls (admission fee). The signposted viewpoint is just a few hundred meters south of the junction with the westbound road to O Le Pupu-Pu'e National Park.

If you don't have your own transportation, you'll probably have to walk the four km from Sopo'aga Falls to the Salani turnoff. Alternatively, you can wade across the river mouth from Sapoe to Salani at low tide. Buses run along the south coast from Salani to the National Park and Apia, but they're infrequent, and there's next to no traffic, so you're not likely to hitch a ride. The south coast of Upolu is more traditional than the north, and the people take pride in keeping their villages clean and attractively decorated with flowers.

Continue to   Around Upolu: National Park   »