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Practical Information



Airlines

Virgin Samoa, Air New Zealand, Fiji Airways and Polynesian Airlines operate international flights from New Zealand, Australia, Hawaii, Fiji and American Samoa into Samoa.

Samoa Air operates daily domestic services between Fagalii Airport on Upolu and Maota and Asau Airports on Savaii.

Airports

The main entry point into Samoa is Falelolo International Airport, 35 km from Apia on the island of Upolu. Polynesian Airlines operates daily flights between Apia and Pago Pago out of Fagalii Airport, which is located about 5km from the Central Business District.

Upon arrival currency exchanges are open for all international flight arrivals and departures for converting your currency.

Duty free allowances are two litre of alcohol, wine or spirits and 200 cigarettes per person. Airport shuttles are provided to the major hotels which can be booked prior to arrival or organized when you arrive after clearing Customs. One way fares start from ST$12 per person.

Taxis are also available and a ride to Apia will cost you about ST$60 and it’s recommended you confirm the price with the driver before you depart. If your flight is arriving during the day, then you can catch a local bus into Apia from the main gate of the airport. There are no set timetables and the fare will cost you about ST$5 one way but there are no set times and they stop running after 5pm.

Alcohol

Samoa has two Breweries, Vailima Breweries and Samoa Beverage Company.Vailima is Samoa's local brew and can be found almost everywhere.Originally set up by the Germans, Vailima now produces one of the finest lagers in the South Pacific. Samoa Beverage Company is a brand new manufacturing beverage company locally producing & marketing a range of exciting brands of beverages.Beer can be purchased almost anywhere on the islands throughout the week though on Sundays alcohol is strictly prohibited for sale except for in hotels and restaurants.

Bars & Nightclubs

There are many bars and nightclubs to provide a good night out and are mostly in and around Apia. Doors close at 12am

Banks

ANZ and Westpac are the two international banks found in Samoa. Both have branches at the international airport, in Apia and at Salelologa on Savaii. National Bank of Samoa and Samoa Commercial Bank provide services, currency exchange and ATM's.

ATMs are located in and around Apia and on the island of Savaii. Travellers can use credit cards in the machines but you are required to have a PIN number to withdraw cash.Westpac ATM's allow American Express cards to be used.

Climate

Samoa's climate is tropical all year round, with two distinct seasons – the dry season running from May to October and the wet season from November to April.

Average daily temperature is 29 degrees Celsius and ocean temperature in the low 20’s.

Currency

The Samoa decimal currency is the Tala (dollar) and Sene (cent): 100 Sene = ST$1 (Tala). All major foreign currencies are exchangeable in Samoa.

Samoan Tala can also be purchased outside the country from a few selected banks, however you will need to check with your bank if you can order some before you depart.

Credit cards (Visa, Mastercard, American Express, Diners & JCB) are widely accepted in the major hotels, restaurants and stores. Travellers’ cheques are also widely accepted at major banks and hotels.

Eftpos machines are found throughout Upolu and Savaii in major hotels, resorts and supermarkets and accept the following cards – Visa, Mastercard, Cirrus, Amex, JCB & Plus Cards and Access International Debit Card.

Departure Tax

From January 1 2013, no departure tax is payable at the airport (included in the fare).

Doctors

There are many medical clinics in Apia should you require a doctor. The Tupua Tamasese Meaole II National Hospital is located in Apia.  There are private dental clinics and pharmacies.

Dress

Light summer clothing is appropriate all year round and packing a light sweater for the cooler evenings is recommended. As Samoa has a strong cultural structure and Christian faith, tourists are asked not to wear bathing suits in Apia or in villages.

Nude and topless (for women) swimming or sunbathing is prohibited and when leaving the beach to venture into the villages, guests are asked to wear a lavalava (sarong) pants or shorts and t-shirt.

If attending church on Sunday, women are asked to wear a dress or blouse and skirt and men trousers and shirt.

Entry requirements

Visitors to Samoa are not required to obtain an entry permit for stays of less than 60 days, Traveller must have a return or onward ticket and passports must be valid for six months or more at the time of entry into the country.

If your visit is for more then 60 days then you must apply for a permit to enter the country from the nearest Samoa Consulate General, High Commission or Embassy to you in New Zealand, Australia, United States of America and Belgium.  Permit extensions in Apia are handled by Samoa Immigration.  

The following countries have missions or a representative in Samoa Samoa – Australia, Chile, China, France, Germany, Japan, Netherlands, New Zealand, South Korea, Spain, United Kingdom, United States of America and Sweden.

Internet cafes

Staying connected with family and friends via the internet is easy with eight broadband internet cafes to be found around Apia and one on the island of Savaii. Major hotels and resorts also offer internet terminals for guests in their business centres.  WiFi is also available at dozens of locations.

Mobile Phones

There are two main telecommunications providers in Samoa, Digicel and Bluesky.  Both providers offer coverage to most areas with over 95% geographical coverage.  Prepaid SIM cards are available at the airport and around Apia.

Post Office

The main Samoa Post branch is located in the Central Business District, across from the main branch of the ANZ Bank.  

Religion

Samoa is a Christian nation and the main denominations are – Congregational, Anglican, Catholic, Methodist, Assembly of God, Seven Day Adventist, Bahai, Latter Day Saints and Jehovah’s Witness. Visitors are welcome to attend church.  Check with your hotel reception for service times.

Tipping

Tipping is not practiced or expected in Samoa. However, if a guest wishes to leave a gift for good service then you are welcome to do so directly with the employee or the hotel reception.