Silhouette of coconut palm trees in Samoa overlay
Apolima Island

Apolima Island

Getting to the tiny island of Apolima can be hard, but leaving this paradise will be even harder.

The island is located in the Apolima Strait between Samoa’s main islands Upolu and Savai’i.

Home to around 100 people, the island is just 5 square kilometres (1.9 miles) in size.

The practicalities of landing a boat at Apolima make the trip there an adventure in itself. After a 35-minute small boat ride, approaching vessels must navigate a way into the island’s only bay (which is actually a volcanic crater) through a narrow, swirling channel.

Behind the beach is the island’s only village, Apolima-Uta. Its people live a deeply traditional, self-sufficient lifestyle that offers a completely authentic glimpse into a society that has functioned this way for many hundreds of years. The village consists of traditional style fales and a church.

Apolima has few of the trappings of modern life, including roads or cars, but since 2006 it has had a solar power grid which replaced the previous diesel generator that arrived in the late 1990s. There is a lighthouse on the island’s crater rim, offering a great view of the island from above.

Day trips to Apolima Island from Samoa’s two main islands or Manono Island can be arranged through resorts, locals or information facilities.