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The Independent State of Samoa, formerly known as Western Samoa and often referred to as simply Samoa, is an island nation in the South Pacific Ocean. As its former name clearly states, it is the western part of the Samoan Islands, part of Polynesia. The main islands of Samoa are Upolu and Sava'i, the latter of which is also one of the biggest islands in Polynesia. The capital city Apia is located on Upolu. Samoa occupies a total area of 2,842 square kilometres.
 
What to see & do
Mount Vaea - Mount Vaea is a summit overlooking Apia. It has a height of 472 metres and is best known as the burial place of Scottish novelist, poet, essayist, and travel writer, Robert Louis Stevenson. 
Lalomanu Beach - Lalomanu Beach is situated on the south-eastern tip of Upolu. It is one of the island's most stunningly beautiful beaches, the water are so pristine that you'll be able to see the many tropical fish species clearly.
 
Aganoa Black Sand Beach - Aganoa Black Sand Beach might have darker sand, but its deep waters are perfect and safe for swimming and snorkelling. 
 
Liua le Vai o Sina River Waterfall Hike - The four to six-hour hike to the river bed and banks of the Liua le Vai o Sina River is a must for adventure-seekers. The trail takes hikers through several waterfalls along the way, making it the perfect activity for a hot day.
 
Piula (Fatumea) Cave Pool - The gorgeous Piula Cave Pool is a very refreshing freshwater cave pool situated underneath a historic Methodist Church at the Piula Theological College. It connects two caves through a small underwater entrance. There are well-maintained facilities, including the restroom and shower, on site. It is a prime spot for family picnics, but is closed on Sundays.
 
How to get around within Samoa
The best way to get around Samoa, especially for visitors, is by taxi. Taxi service is cheap and frequent. Negotiate on the price before getting in, as the drivers are bound to overcharge you if they think you look rich. You can hire a taxi for a whole day for approximately the same price as a rental car, but with a driver. Should you choose to rent a vehicle instead, not that international driving licences are not accepted in Samoa. Visitors are required to obtain a temporary local licence during their stay. These can be acquired from the police station in Apia or directly from several car rental agencies.
 
A cheap way of getting around is by bus. The main bus stations in Upolu are in Apia, near the main market and behind the flea market. On Savaii, the buses start off near the ferry wharf at Salelologa. Buses in Samoa do not follow a specific schedule, and leave only when they are full.
 
How to get there
The main airport in Samoa is Faleolo International Airport, located 40 kilometres west of Apia. The airlines Air New Zealand, Fiji Airways, Inter Island Airways, Samoa Air, Polynesian Airlines, and Virgin Samoa offer passenger service to Faleolo International Airport from Auckland, Honolulu, Nadi, Suva, Pago Pago, Tau, Asau, Maota, Brisbane, and Sydney.

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