Both Upolu and Savai'i have fabulous dive spots, sporting around 900 fish species, including spinner dolphins, stingrays and whales.
The protecting reefs that surround Samoa 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 – just a short walk from Aggie Grey's. 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.
Samoa is also home to 200 types of coral, and much is done to protect the existing coral reefs, as well as grow new ones. This means the fish have more food and nutrients to survive on, which gives divers more colourful Piscean delights to feast their eyes on!
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.
Faleolo International Airport is situated close to the islands of Manono and Apolima, and nearby diving operations offer some of the best dive sites in Samoa.
The Fish Bowl near the airport offers a vast array of marine life to admire. A popular offshore site in Savai'i is the Wreck of the Juno that dates back to 1881.
You don’t need an oxygen tank to see the wonderful marine life, most dive centres also run organised snorkelling trips to where colourful colonies of clown fish congregate and sometimes even turtles can be glimpsed.
The warm clear waters of Samoa certainly invite exploration, so if you are a keen snorkeller or diver, be sure to pack your fins and mask and plan to spend a good few hours exploring beneath the surface.
Things to remember before snorkelling or diving in Samoa
Be wary of the 'Crown of Thorns' starfish, which are easy to spot because they are bright red and thorny looking. They are an invasive species of starfish and destroy the coral, not to mention being very unpleasant if you tread on them. If you see them, mark their position and inform a local or your hosts who will spear the starfish and deposit them somewhere up the beach where they can't get back in the water (where they can regenerate).
Wear reef shoes or 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.