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Government building and harbour in Apia, Samoa
Apia Harbour, Upolu

When You Arrive In Samoa

As soon as you arrive on Samoa's beautiful islands, you’ll be keen to get your holiday started, so it’s helpful to know what you’ll need to enter the country and how to reach your accommodation as seamlessly as possible.

 

Entry into Samoa

The main air entry point into Samoa is Faleolo International Airport, 35km from Apia on the island of Upolu. The main entry point for ships is Apia Harbour, a 5-minute taxi ride or 20-minute walk from Apia's city centre. At both entry points, visitors need to adhere to immigration and customs procedures. 

 

Visas and duty-free allowances

Visitors to Samoa aren't required to obtain an entry permit for stays of less than 60 days. Travellers 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 than 60 days, you must apply for a permit to enter the country from your nearest Samoa Consulate General, High Commission or Embassy. Permit extensions from within Samoa are handled by Samoa Immigration in Apia.

The duty-free allowance to bring into Samoa is two litres of alcohol, wine or spirits, and 200 cigarettes per person. Firearms, ammunition, explosives, drugs and indecent publications of any kind are prohibited.

 

Immigration and Customs

All travellers are required to present a valid passport and declare all restricted or prohibited biosecurity risk items including food, plants, and animal products. On arrival at Faleolo International Airport, you will need to clear immigration and customs. Simply follow the signs and be prepared with your passport. After collecting your luggage, your bags may also be checked by quarantine officers.

 

Transferring to your accommodation

Many accommodation providers can organise transport from the airport and it pays to enquire when you book. Airport shuttles are also available from Faleolo International Airport to Samoa’s major resorts and hotels. These and can be booked before arrival or organised at the airport after clearing Customs. 

Samoa has plenty of taxis, including at the airport and port. A fare from Faleolo International Airport to Apia should cost about ST$60-80. It is normal to confirm the price with the driver before you depart. Taxi drivers usually only accept cash, in local tala. You will find currency exchange services at Faleolo International Airport, and ATMs in Apia.

If your flight arrives before 5pm, you can catch a local bus into Apia from the main entrance to Faleolo International Airport. There are no set timetables and the fare from the airport to Apia costs about ST$5. The driver accepts only cash in tala, which you need to pay when you get off the bus.

 

Hiring a rental car

Renting a car or van in Samoa is a popular and easy way for visitors to get around. There are several vehicle hire agencies located at Faleolo International Airport and in Apia.

You can choose to book a vehicle before arriving in Samoa which ensures availability or book at a kiosk when you arrive at the airport or port. Read more about renting vehicles in Samoa 

All visiting drivers in Samoa must have a temporary drivers’ licence which is issued on presentation of a full drivers’ licence from the visitors’ country of origin. Many vehicle rental companies will issue a temporary licence, as will Samoa Post and the Land Transport Authority in Apia.

 

Arriving by cruise ship or by private vessel 

All visitors arriving by cruise ship are required to adhere to regular immigration procedures. Please follow the instructions of your cruise ship crew. Read more about visiting Samoa on a cruise ship.

Private vessels are required to contact the Samoa Port Authority to notify them of their estimated arrival time. Allow at least two days' notice prior to arriving in Apia for immigration, customs, health and quarantine clearance. Permission must be obtained from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade in Apia if you wish to sail to other islands in Samoa. Read more about sailing to Samoa.

High Commissions in Samoa 

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