Samoa - The Best Place To Learn To Dive

10 August 2016

If you have ever dreamed of weaving your way through an underwater forest full of living colour and movement, diving in Samoa can deliver that fantasy to you. Samoa offers something special for divers, especially for complete beginners, because Savai'i, Samoa’s largest island, is one of the best places in the world to learn to dive. It is the perfect location for novice divers due to the amazing range of beginner sites that have calm and crystal clear waters, and a balmy year-round water temperature.

Savali Coast seen from above. Savali Coast seen from above. Picture: Getty Images

The reefs that surround Samoa, create calm lagoons with great accessibility for diving, both within and outside of the reefs. These reefs are great for all diving levels, and provide perfect dive training locations, and sites vary from colourful coral gardens to dramatic canyons.

Samoa’s dive sites are not only blessed with incredible coral infrastructure, the reefs also host a breathtaking variety of aquatic life – close to 900 marine animal species call Samoa home.

Striped surgeon fish on reef Samoa. Striped surgeon fish on reef Samoa. Picture: Getty Images

The dive sites are located either inside the safety of the lagoons, or just outside the reef, where you can access shipwrecks, spectacular coral gardens and reef fish.

Samoa is also home to 200 types of coral, which remains untouched due the local government's commitment to maintaining and protecting the existing coral reefs and the marine life, as they represent such a key draw card for the island community.

Scuba divers over reef. Scuba divers over reef.Picture: Getty Images

Diving Samoa 101 tips and hints…

Visitors usually fly into Faleolo International Airport, which is situated close to the islands of Manono and Apolima, where some of the best dive sites in Samoa are located.

If diving seems daunting, you can still see much of the wonderful marine life, as most dive centres also run organised snorkelling trips.

Snorkellers in turquoise water. Snorkellers in turquoise water. Picture: Getty Images

Other local hints are to keep an eye out for the 'Crown of Thorns' starfish. They are considered an invasive species of starfish as they destroy the coral, not to mention giving you a very nasty and painful sting if you happen to step on them. If spotted, mark the starfish position and inform a local or your hosts.

Also ensure to wear reef shoes or fins, and avoid swimming where there obvious currents, or near breaks in the reef. It is strongly advised to always ask permission from the locals if there is a village or beach fale nearby before entering the water, even at secluded beaches.

Lolomanu Bay, Upolu. Lolomanu Bay, Upolu. Picture: Getty Images

We have sourced some local intel and recommend the following dive spots:

  • Apia’s Palolo Deep National Marine Reserve at Vaiala Beach (Deep blue hole flanked by steep coral walls, home to an abundance of tropical fish)
  • Apolima Gardens
  • Wreck of the “Juno” (Savai'i)
  • “The Terraces” and the “Garden Wall” at the fringing reef of Nuusafee
  • Travellers to Samoa should keep in mind that this Pacific paradise remains relatively untouched. Samoa's pristine waters reaffirm its reputation as the place to learn to go underwater - in fact there is no better place on the planet.

    Visit your local Flight Centre store or call 131 600 for more advice and the latest deals on travelling to Samoa.

    Tara Young

    The experience of travel changes a person. I see my job as highlighting what amazing travel opportunities there are to broaden your knowledge of that great big world beyond your doorstep and what you may learn about yourself on the way.