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.