OVERVIEW OF APIA
Located on the north coast of Upolu Island, Apia is the capital and largest city of Samoa. Here, the gentle old-world charm of the city blends with the lush tropical beauty of the island to create a slow and easy peace. It is no wonder Robert Louis Stevenson chose to spend his final years here. Saunter along the beach road to the promenade on the harbor wall or visit some colorful local markets.
The One Thing You Don't Want to Miss
In 1889, Robert Louis Stevenson and his wife fell in love with Samoa and decided to stay. They chose the slopes of Mount Vaea, above Apia, for their home and named the estate Vailima. Now a museum, the house has been lovingly restored to its original glory. You can readily imagine the Stevensons dressed formally for dinner every evening (but still in bare feet) being served by Samoans dressed in tartan lava-lavas, in honor of the great author's Scottish origins.
Other Fun Things to Do
Plunge down waterfalls on the Papase’ea Sliding Rocks. These natural waterslides are formed out of eroded rocks overhanging deep pools of water.
Admire the Papapapaitai Falls that plunge 500 feet through the rain forest into a volcanic crater.
Swim in the natural freshwater Piula Cave Pool, just feet from the ocean. Enjoy the fresh spring water that stems from a lava-formed cave.
Try out some snorkeling at the Palolo Deep Marine Reserve. Its blue hole is surrounded by walls of coral and full of colorful fish.
Get a Taste of Local Flavor
Tropical fruits and vegetables, as well as fresh fish are plentiful in Apia. And many unique dishes make use of the bounty. Palusami is a popular local dish of fresh coconut cream wrapped in taro leaves. Another favorite is panikeki, a deep-fried pancake made with banana or sometimes pineapple. Wash it all down with a cup of Koko Samoa, which is made of ground cocoa and boiled water-a hot chocolate espresso, if you will.
The tala is the currency in Samoa. Most restaurants and shops will accept major credit cards. ATM machines are available in downtown Apia.