Travelling is an exciting prospect that can quickly become overwhelming, especially when visiting a place for the first time. To help ease the burden, we have come up with a handful of tips to get you started and hopefully one step closer to visiting our idyllic shores.
Things To Pack
Like most tropical islands, Samoa is warm and sunny almost all year round, so be sure to pack the obvious sun block, glasses and togs. Less apparent but equally important in this temperate climate is your daily dose of mosquito repellent, allergenic pills and over the counter stomach medication for those emergency situations.
Samoa is free of poisonous creatures but it is worth noting that bacteria acts quickly in our warm weather, so one can never be too careful in preparing a first-aid kit for those unforeseen circumstances.
Other than a loud outfit, for those spontaneous nights dancing along the beach, we also invite you to contribute to our ‘Pack for a Purpose’ cause, where by sparing a few extra kilos in your suitcase for the school kids of our villages, you could make a significant difference in the lives of many.
Tala is the currency of choice in Samoa. Most operations deal in cash, so it is always a good idea to have cash handy as EFTPOS is not always an option.
Cash can be converted at airports (45mins from resort), banks located in the Capitol Apia (25mins from resort) or at the resort lobby itself.
Are not available at the resort or in the nearby surrounding area. The closest ATM from the resort is a 20min drive towards the Capitol city.
Cashing out is possible at the hotel however, a maximum of $200Talas worth of cash is allowed at any one time and a 4% service fee is charged.
Samoa consists of 8 outer and 2 main islands, Upolu (home of Capitol Apia and Faleolo International Airport) and Savaii (known as old Samoa).
Taxis & Buses:
Both main islands utilise local buses (big, colourful and hard to miss) and taxis, but it is important to note that public transport in Samoa runs on island time and so suggested schedules are a guideline at best. Flea markets are usually a hub of activity and a place where these modes of transport convene, riding in a local bus is an experience to be had but do not be surprised if you are invited to sit on another’s lap when full and vice versa. Taxis are not metered so beware when organising one on your own as you do run the risk of being overcharged. You can hail cabs and buses along the side of the road as there are no official stops per say, but it is always handy to ask a local of the area as they will almost certainly know best.
Renting A Car:
There are several reliable options to choose from when it comes to renting vehicles, most of which can be found online and a predominantly located in Capitol, Apia (25mins from resort). It is important to note however, that if you are based at Sinalei, most of these services will charge a delivery fee for both pick-up and drop-off. For your convenience, there are vehicles available for rent at the hotel through our preferred provider Rapid Rentals, whom aim to reduce longer usual wait times and cost prohibitive delivery fees.
Rent a Vehicle Here
Transfers & Shuttles:
Shuttles and transfers should be organised in advance. Sinalei offers a regular transfer service to and from the Faleolo International Airport (45mins from resort) and Fagaliii Domestic Airport (25mins from resort), a service that is offered free of charge if booking a stay for 5 or more nights, otherwise for Tala$60 per person. A shuttle service is also offered by the resort to Capitol Apia (25mins from resort) on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, departing the hotel at 10am and returning at 2pm. Costs Tala$40 per person.
Book a Transfer or Shuttle Here
Walking & Running
Wondering through villages is normally considered very safe no matter which island you are on. It is important to note however, that stray dogs are a commonality and can prove to be problematic if not careful. As a measure of caution it is suggested a safe distance is kept and that sudden movements are avoided in the presence of strays. The resort is surrounded by village, so feel free to go for a stroll at your leisure.
The Capitol Apia (25mins from Resort), like many cities is one that caution should be exercised with. Wondering these streets at night is generally not recommended.
Experiencing Fa’a Samoa
Fa’a Samoa culture has a strong focus on welcoming visitors, however it is important that visitors follow protocol when entering villages and family homes as well as using and accessing village resources. If ever visiting the village, it is suggested the following be kept in mind:
- Respectful clothing be worn. A sarong for both men and women is always welcomed. Outstretched legs and standing whilst others are seated, is considered bad manners.
- Avoid walking through villages during the evening prayer curfew (usually between 6pm and 7pm). If asked to stop for the duration of the curfew, please respectfully do so.
- Most shops are shut on Sunday, so buy what you need the day before. It is also a day of rest so it is recommended that noise and speed be kept to a minimum.
- Asking permission before taking photos or entering ones private property is always good practice.
- If ever in doubt, feel free to ask a village member.
Smile & Wave
Samoans are part of a community focused and family orientated culture, so be prepared for lots of smiling, waving and laughter. We are a happy people who are known for sharing, so take it all in and most importantly, enjoy!