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Apia is the capital of Samoa and its second largest city. Founded in 1850, this charming destination is known for its famous stand-off in 1889 at its harbour. Old meets new in Apia and traditional Samoan structures stand alongside 19th century colonial styled churches, government buildings and 20th century architectural structures. The renowned writer, Robert Louis Stevenson’s final resting place was in Apia and the museum in his name honours his memory with an amazing tour of the property that he called home. The architecture on these grounds is striking and his burial site, on Mount Vaea, is open to visitors. A walk up the summit takes around 45 minutes. The artefacts are intriguing and the tour guide provides excellent information, detailing Stevenson’s life. The Samoan Cultural village is a must-see show. It highlights the cultural activities of Samoan people, such as tapa cloth making, carving, weaving and traditional Samoan dance. During the show, guests are treated to a delicious Samoan lunch and are invited to offer a donation, upon the show’s completion. Lalumanu Beach is ideal for relaxation and Vaiala Beach is a good place to come to for snorkelling activities. The waterfalls in Apia are stunning and Papaseea Sliding Rock is no exception. The children will have hours of fun sliding down the rocks here. This site consists of 3 small waterfalls, which are all very safe. Palolo Deep Marine Reserve, is popular with locals and tourists, who visit to enjoy picnics and snorkelling.
April through to October is the dry season in Samoa. Therefore, the weather is nice and cool with very little humidity or rain. Evenings are cooler and daytime temperatures are warm during these months too, making holiday time very pleasant. Apia has festivals throughout the year, like the Apia Jazz Festival, which is held in September. Musicians attend from around the world. The Teuila Festival is also hosted during September. Local artists perform traditional dance and canoe races and local cuisine presentations can be enjoyed.
The cheapest time to visit Apia is between May and October, as this is considered the shoulder season. It’s advisable to book your flights early, to get the best deals on tickets and hotel reservations.
Public buses are plentiful in the city and can be flagged down anywhere in the street. If you are planning on renting a car, you’ll need a temporary Samoan driving licence. Most rental companies issue these out.