Information & Facts
The weather is ideal with fairly constant 30 degrees C
temperatures year round. The rainy season runs from December to
March although this is no reason to postpone a visit.
The international dialling code for Samoa is +685. The outgoing
code is 00 followed by the relevant country code (e.g. 0044 for the
United Kingdom). Internet cafes are available at a few location in
the major centres and will cost from $ST10 per hour. There is good
cell phone coverage and roaming agreements are in place with major
international operators. Cell phones can easily be rented from Go
Mobile and Digicel Samoa.
Christianity plays an important role in the life of many Samoans
with Sunday church services and Sabbath observances. Traditional
Samoan men undergo tattooing as a rite of passage and the resultant
patterns and images can be seen on many faces and upper bodies
around the islands.
Travellers report the Faleolo airport duty-free stores are
exorbitantly expensive. Passengers are entitled to import 200
cigarettes or 250g of cigars or tobacco, plus 1l of spirits duty
Electrical current is 240 volts (50Hz). Power-points
are designed for three-pronged plugs commonly used in Australia and
The most significant health risk is over-exposure to the sun.
There are mosquitoes but no malaria.
Samoan and English. English is widely spoken in cities
and tourist areas, but is far less common in more outlying
The unit of currency is the Tala (ST$), made of 100 Sene. Major
credit cards are accepted at most hotels, restaurants, shops,
rental car agencies and travel agents. The best currencies to carry
are Australian, New Zealand or US dollars, which can be exchanged
at all banks. Most ATMs accept the full range of international
credit cards and travellers cheques and cash can be exchanged in
banks and currency exchange bureaux in Apia and at the airport.
All visitors to Samoa must hold an onward or return ticket as
well as valid documentation for their onward journey. It is highly
recommended that passports have at least six months validity
remaining after your intended date of departure from your travel
destination. Immigration officials often apply different rules to
those stated by travel agents and official sources.
Crime rates are very low in Samoa, but petty theft occurs,
partly inspired by a belief that property is communally owned.
Consequently keep your valuables secure at all times. The Sabbath
(Sunday) is observed, particularly in rural areas. It is
recommended not to drive through villages during this time. Surfers
should be cautious as waves tend to break onto coral reefs. Beware
of stray dogs, particularly at night.
Local time is UTC -11. As Samoa is east of the international
date line it shares the same date as North America is one day
behind Australia and New Zealand.
Tipping is not usual and may even cause offence.