Getting to Samoa is easy with so many available options to choose from. Our list will provide more insight into your travel to Samoa.
Well, hop on that plane and get to Samoa!
Our Samoa transportation guide below lists some transport providers servicing Samoa; as well as a breakdown of how best to get to Samoa, and also how to get around once you're there. Taking a tour of this laidback Pacific paradise is a great way of getting around Samoa.
Samoa Transportation Guide
Faleolo Airport is the most frequented airport in Samoa. It is located 22 miles (35 km) to the west of Apia on Upolu. Virgin Samoa, Air Pacific, Air New Zealand, and Interisland Express are the main airlines serving Samoa. There are taxis, public and airport buses to ferry passengers to and from the airport. Airport bus services operate to the major hotels and charge about SAT25.00/Adult Taxi fare from the airport to Apia is currently SAT60. Rental Car operators can also deliver their vehicles to the airport if pre-arranged. A departure tax of about SAT65.00 has to be paid at Faleolo Airport. Private Transfers can be arranged through the Samoa Hotel Association when booking on line or by contacting them on firstname.lastname@example.org
Polynesian Airlines, operates daily flights to and from American Samoa from Fagalii Airport, which is approximately 5 minutes drive from Apia township. Other airlines operate between American Samoa and Faleolo International Airport.
Newly opened Samoa Air is a domestic service between the main islands of Upolu and Savaii.
For transport from the airport to the city (or from the city to the airport), we recommend Buzz Tours & Transfers or Airport Transfer & Tours, who offer eco-friendly airport transfers in and around Upolu Island.
Visit our partner Air Valid for Airline Reviews and Information about Samoa.
Flights to Samoa
Samoa Shipping Service operates weekly sailings between American Samoa and Samoa, as well as between the two main islands of Savai'i and Upolu. Sailing to Savaii Island happens all week with several sailings daily. If taking a vehicle across it is advisable to book and pay with the Samoa Shipping Corporation office in town to secure your vehicle passage. Currently passeger fare is SAT12.00/Adult/one way. Passenger tickets can be purchased at the wharf prior to departure.
It is no longer necessary to hop onto a cargo ship and work your way around the Polynesian islands. Of course, you could still get an opportunity provided you try hard enough.
Another attractive option is to work as a crew member in a yacht going your way. You would have to have at least some knowledge about sailing and the workings of a yacht though.
There are harbours and ports at Salelologa, Mulifanua, Asau and Apia. Apia Harbour is the only place that can accommodate cruise liners and container ships. Village boats and small fishing boats use the other docks. Twice a month, the MV Tokelau leaves for Tokelau from Apia Harbour.
Rental cars are available from a number of agencies. Samoa, since 7th September 2009, changed driving sides from the right to the left hand side. The speed limit in Apia and through villages is 40 km/hr, outside these areas it is 55km/hr. Drivers must take extra care and pay attention since people and livestock cross without warning! You can obtain a temporary Samoan drivers licence from the Ministry of Works, Infrastructure and Transport. You must present your own valid drivers licence and pay. Several of the prominent Rental Car agencies have also been accredited to issue these temporary licences.
There are published rates for taxis and buses available at the hotels and the Samoa Tourism Authority Fale on Beach Road. If you are using a taxi to tour the island, ensure you check with the hotel for the published rates and negotiate with the taxi drivers prior to departure.
Transport within Samoa is easily available but no mode is completely hassle free. Buses are convenient and cheap to get around the islands but you have to contend with the rather poor sense of punctuality and commitment of the drivers. Patience is the keyword here. Boats and ferries are another way to get around. Cars can be rented on both main islands but petrol is rarely available outside the big towns. For the fit and adventurous, cycling is an option but the rugged landscape and hot weather may be enough to discourage you.
Taxis are the most convenient and economical way to get around Samoa. A ride across Apia costs around SAT3.00. A fare list for Apia is available at the Samoa Visitors’ Bureau. Taxi fares are best negotiated before the journey and visitors should be aware that they may be charged more if they look wealthy! A rental car and a taxi hired for the whole day cost almost the same. Using a taxi to get to and from the airport can be expensive and using a shuttle bus may be a better option.
Hiring a car to get around Samoa just became more convenient with most of the agencies now able to issue temporary Driver's Licences. This can also be obtained from Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure in town. Free dropoff is available to all central hotels in Apia. Caution is called for when driving out side of town area as children and animals tend to cross the road without looking at times. In case you hit a person or animal, go to the police immediately. Trying to make peace with the villagers is not always wise, as they may get violent. All in all, renting a car is economical only if you drive around a lot every day.
Getting around by bus is very cheap but not very practical or convenient if you have a lot of luggage. This is an experience it itself. Be prepared to be asked to sit on someone's lap or someone else may ask to sit on your lap when the bus is full.
If you like cycling uphill then this is an enjoyable way to get around Samoa. Upolu has some hilly sections that are quite steep, with some having inclinations of about 7 km from the base to the top. The western side of Savaii has a couple of small uphill rides too.
Dogs are the biggest annoyance during these rides and can get quite troublesome. The local way to tackle this problem is to carry a ‘capsicum spray’, which is a mixture of water, methylated spirits and chillies or chilli powder. The mixture is poured into a spray bottle and used as required. Locals also throw stones at the dogs to drive them away.
Touring Bikes are available for Hire at Airport Lodge. Cycling tours are also available and are undertaken mainly on beautiful Savaii Island for a week and staying at different locations soaking up the culture and making new friends.