Signpost at Matareva Beach Fales on Upolu, Samoa
Matareva Beach Fales, Upolu

FAQs

What is the best time of the year to visit Samoa?

Samoa has a constant tropical temperature of 24-30 degrees Celsius all year around. Its climate is hot and humid. 

The wet season, from November to April, is at its peak from December to March but doesn’t always mean rain every day - it sometimes may be just a brief shower. 

Should I get travel insurance before visiting Samoa?

Yes. It is always recommended that international travellers purchase a comprehensive travel insurance package from a reputable company which covers any activities you are planning to undertake.

Can I drink tap water in Samoa?

We recommend that you drink bottled water, which is easily available and affordable.

Do I need immunisations before visiting Samoa?

The World Health Organisation recommend vaccinations for Samoa that are already administered in most western countries:

Hepatitis A, hepatitis B, typhoid, yellow fever, rabies, meningitis, polio, measles, mumps and rubella (MMR), Tdap (tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis), chicken pox, shingles, pneumonia and influenza.

If you are unsure, consult your doctor.

What about the mosquitoes?

Dengue fever and and Chikungunya may be present, and Zika virus is considered a risk. Mosquito nets and insect repellent should be used. Malaria isn't considered a problem in Samoa.

Is snorkelling safe in Samoa for the whole family?

Snorkelling is safe for all ages but normal precautions should be taken with tides and currents. If you're unsure, ask a local for advice. Do not to touch coral which, if it cuts the skin, can cause serious infections.

Are there poisonous insects or animals in Samoa?

Not on land. In the sea, avoid touching anything, as some species are poisonous.

What are Samoa’s emergency phone numbers?

Dial 911 in an emergency if you need an ambulance, the police or fire service. If calling from your mobile phone, dial +685 911.

How do I get from Upolu to Savai’i Island?

A passenger and car ferry service operates daily between the two islands.

See Samoa Shipping for bookings, timetables and fares. Note: Passengers who are taking a car on the ferry MUST pre-book ferries at Shipping House in Apia or online.

Can I drive in Samoa?

Yes. All international visitors must obtain a temporary drivers’ licence to drive a car or motorcycle.

This is only possible if the driver presents a full drivers’ licence from their country of origin. Temporary drivers’ permits are available from most rental vehicle companies, Samoa Post or the Samoa Land Transport Authority in Apia. 

How do I get from the airport to my hotel?

Faleolo International Airport is serviced by airport shuttles, taxis and public buses.

Many accommodation providers also provide their own airport transfer service - enquire when you book. Taxi drivers accept cash and a price is agreed on before departure.

A fare from Faleolo International Airport to Apia should cost about WST$60. The bus runs until 5pm but doesn't have a set schedule. 

Can I use my credit card in Samoa?

Yes, however not all businesses accept credit cards and you shouldn't consider it as a reliable form of payment. It is always a good idea to carry sufficient Samoan Tala to cover meals and activities, and sometimes accommodation too. If using your credit card, a bank fee will apply for each transaction.

What is Samoa’s currency and where can I get cash?

Samoa’s currency is the Samoan Tala (T$), and 100 sene (cents) = T$1.

There are a number of banks and ATMs located at Faleolo International Airport, in and around Apia on Upolu Island and in Salelogo on Savai’i Island.

International credit cards may be used in the ATMs but will require a PIN number. Money exchange services are available at the airport and in Apia. 

How should I dress in Samoa?

Samoa is a religious and traditional country where dressing modestly is respectful, particularly in villages and churches.

What happens on Sundays?

In Samoa, Sunday is strictly a day for church, family and rest and most businesses will close. 

Travelling is permitted, but visitors should behave quietly and move slowly through villages.

What is the daily curfew and what do I do?

Samoans observe a compulsory evening prayer curfew called sa, or sacred, normally between 6-7pm. This is marked by a bell or blowing of a conch shell and lasts for 10 to 20 minutes, ending on a third bell. Visitors should avoid moving through villages during the curfew.

Can I get cellphone and internet coverage in Samoa?

WiFi hotspots can be found, at a cost, around Samoa - visit the two providers Blue Sky or Lava Spot for a list of hotspots and to arrange pre-paid or pay-as-you-go access. 

Prepaid local SIM cards for your cellphone are readily available at Faleolo International Airport and at outlets in Apia. You can top up your sim card at most convenience stores. Samoa has cellphone coverage across much of its two main islands.

Why do I have to pay a fee to visit a beach or waterfall? 

Many beaches, waterfalls and other areas of interest for visitors are owned by nearby villages, who have customary land rights.

To enter, they will often ask visitors for a small cash fee, generally about WST$5-$20 per person. There may be a fale or kiosk at the entrance for this purpose, or it may be a case of asking at the nearest village first or waiting for a local person to come along. 

Do I need a visa to enter Samoa?

Visitors to Samoa are not 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.

What language is spoken in Samoa? 

Samoan is the national language. English is widely spoken, especially in Apia and for business purposes, but it pays to learn a few basic phrases, particularly if you are visiting outlying villages.

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