Samoa is composed of two large islands and seven small islets in the Polynesian region of the South Pacific. Apia, the capital, offers modern conveniences and services while retaining the historically picturesque charm of island life. The islands offer exceptional beaches, rainforests and underwater adventure. Samoa is one of the most inexpensive countries to visit in the South Pacific.
The weather in Samoa is hot and humid most of the year, with a slightly cooler rainy season between November and April. The dry season is from May to October. A cyclone season occurs November through April.
Samoans believe that they are the first Polynesians created by the god Tagaloa. Samoan social, religious and political life is governed by a strict hierarchical culture. Tourism has improved an economy that was once decimated by natural disasters such as cyclones and crop disease. Samoan and English are the main languages spoken in the islands.
Faleolo Airport, main access for international flights, is 22 miles from Apia, virtually the only city in Samoa. The transportation is island-style, so buses, boats and ferries are not always on time. Gasoline for rental cars is available only in larger towns.
Telecommunications must connect through a satellite system, and operator assistance is required for placing long-distance calls. Mobile phone service is not available in Samoa. Postal and package delivery is available and reliable.
Although the rate of violent crime is low, travelers should take common sense precautions to ensure their personal security and safeguard their property. Most incidents occur at night and when a traveler is walking alone.