Waterfalls and Pools on Upolu – Be Cool!
Samoa’s beautiful natural environment is one of the country’s many attractions. The main island of Upolu is dotted with magnificent waterfalls and pools in Samoa, or inviting swimming holes that offer the perfect way to cool off on a hot day!
Many of the waterfalls and pools are located just off the main road that circles Upolu and are easy to access. Some are within National Parks and/ or landscaped gardens that offer picnic areas and BBQ facilities so you can spend the day relaxing and hopping in and out of the water.
Ifiele’ele Plantation is a great place to stay if you want to explore Upolu and visit some waterfalls and pools on your Samoan holiday.
Waterfalls and Pools in Samoa, Starting from Ifiele’ele Plantation…..
This waterfall is located in the village of Saleilua and is a within the O Le Pupu Pue National Park. It is said that the great warriors of Samoa used these falls as a swimming area in ancient times. Swimming holes separate the cascading waterfalls, which are surrounded by lush tropical gardens. It’s a popular spot for swimming and picnicking. Recreational facilities include an area for games such as rugby and volleyball but you need to bring your own equipment. There is also children’s’ play equipment and BBQ facilities – BYO wood – as well as changing rooms and toilets. The best time for viewing and swimming is during the wet season, which is usually from November to April.
Opening Hours: Daily 8.00am to 5.00pm, Visitor Centre open Monday to Friday
Contact: 21054 or Alex 762 6233
The powerful Sopoaga Falls are found at Lotofaga village. Alongside the path to the viewing area are many different types of Samoan plants and trees which are labeled by their Samoan and scientific names. The various displays include Samoan drums and a coconut husking demonstration can be arranged. The neatly maintained area includes picnic fales and toilets. The falls are at some distance from the viewing area and closer access is not possible. The falls are spectacular all the same and a pleasant picnic area.
Opening Hours: 7 days a week from dawn to dusk
Admission: $5 per adult, $2 per child under 10 years
Contact: Moilo on 7716653 or 7285865
Situated just off the Le Mafa Pass Road in the village of Lotofaga is Fuipisia Falls. A spectacular 55m high jungle waterfall, Fuipisia Falls is an excellent spot for bird watching and relaxing on the cliff tops. From the parking area, take a 3 minute walk along a grassy track, which can be muddy after heavy rains, to reach the viewing area and single fale. A further 1 minute walk along a dirt track takes you to the top of the falls. You can swim in the pools above the falls. This waterfall is spectacular and the viewing area is very close to the waterfall. The gardens along the path and in the viewing area are nicely maintained.
Opening Hours: 7 days a week from dawn to dusk
Admission: $10 per person payable on arrival
Contact: Archie 729 7188, or Moe 7201928
TO SUA OCEAN TRENCH
Located on the main south coast road in Lotofaga is Samoa’s most popular tourist attraction – the To Sua Trench. The Trench is a giant swimming hole, featuring a unique land formation consisting of two giant holes joined via an ancient lava tube cave. The smaller hole has little water while the main hole is a beautiful 30m deep swimming hole with turquoise water accessed by an almost vertical ladder. The pool is tidal and an underwater cave tunnel connects the hole to the ocean. It is possible for strong swimmers to swim through this tunnel, depending on the tide and current. This site also offers lush gardens, day fales with cliff top views, blowholes, sea arches and rock pools to explore. Picnic areas and barbecue facilities are available.
Opening Hours: Monday to Sunday, 8.30am-6pm
Admission: $20 per adult, $10 per child
In the village of Falefa just after the Mormon Church on the left is the lovely Falefa Falls swimming and picnic area. A short 2-minute walk through beautifully landscaped and maintained gardens to the river’s edge provides access to the Falefa Falls. Canoes, bathroom, store and fales available. Views of the cascading Falefa Waterfall are available from the day fales in this pretty riverside setting. Relax and enjoy a swim in the river. A close up view of the waterfall can be gained from the Falefa Bridge. The Falefa Bay is naturally deep and was used as a harbour for ships transporting crops in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s. Picnic tables are available. The store sells beer, soft drinks and ice-cream but bring your own picnic.
Opening Hours: Very early (6.00am) to late every day of the week
Admission: $5 per adult, $2 per child 5 to 10 years, $3 per adult for groups of 5 or more and kids for free, $5 for canoe hire – unlimited time
Contact: Gogosina on 7287071
PIULA (FATUMEA) CAVE POOL
Along the main east coast road, 45mins from Apia, you will find Piula Cave Pool located at the Piula Theological College in the village of Lufilufi. There is a small sign at the entrance gate on the left hand side of the road. Turn right around the ring road to get to the car park. It’s a beautiful crystal clear freshwater spring pool and cave that originated from an old lava tube. Explore the underwater cave that connects to a second cave. Right beside the cave pool is the sea, so you can swap between the two. Day fales and toilet facilities are available but take your own food and water.
Turn off the main east coast road at Saoluafata village just after Piula Cave Pool (if travelling toward Apia). Sauniatu Waterfall is at the end of a 7km drive scenic drive inland. The drive offers stunning views of dramatic mountain landscapes and pretty village gardens. Cross the bridge at the LDS church compound and park on your left. A grassy path leads to a beautiful freshwater swimming hole and waterfall in a rainforest setting. You can swim, enjoy a picnic and bird watching.
Opening Hours: Monday to Saturday, 6am-6pm
Contact: No attendant
PAPAPAPAITAI (TIAVI) FALLS
The viewing point is just off the Cross Island Road at Tiavi and offers a spectacular view of the Papapapaitai Falls. This is one of the longest waterfalls in Samoa at 100m high, cascading through two pools into a deep gorge, and is truly impressive. The viewing area is at quite some distance from the waterfall and there is no closer access.
Opening Hours: 24/7
Contact: No attendant
PAPASE’EA SLIDING ROCKS
Papase’ea Sliding Rock is located at Se’ese’e in Faleata District near Apia. Mother Nature has created several natural rockslides, worn down by thousands of years of running water. This splendid site is very popular for swimming and sliding.
There are several rockslides and pools. For those who dare, the bigger rockslide is about 5 meters long. The three smaller slides at the base of the steps are ideal for children. One of the most affordable sites in Samoa, Papase’ea is a great place to cool off on a hot day.
Toilets and change room facilities are available at the parking area. Alcohol is prohibited on site. Visitors are advised to lock valuables in their vehicle or leave them with the Women’s Committee who will be on duty.
Opening Hours: Monday to Saturday 8.00am to 5.30pm, Sunday 11.00am to 6.00pm
Admission: $5 adult, $2 child under 12
Samoa’s waterfalls can be a whole lot of COOL fun….
Things to remember when swimming in waterfalls and pools in Samoa
Reef shoes are always handy in case of rough stones or rocks under the water. Respect local customs by wearing appropriate attire – shorts for boys, shorts and t-shirts for girls are always safe. Bikinis should only be worn at resorts.
*Prices current at February 2017
Sources: First-Hand Research, Samoa Tourism Authority (www.samoa.travel)