Salani Surf Resort Samoa

Samoa’s 1133 square miles are made up of 7 tropical islands, 4 of which are inhabited. The two main islands of Upolu and Savai’i are home to the vast majority of the 170,000 inhabitants.

Set on the Southeast coast of Upolu, Salani village is a beautiful 50 minute drive from Apia-the capital and business center- and a 75-minute drive from Faleolo International Airport.

The islands are similar in make-up to the Hawaiian Islands with striking mountains in the center and fertile lands nearer the sea (although plant life grows out of virtually anything in this lush place). Coral reefs, sandy beaches, coconut palm trees and volcanic lagoons with clear waters are prevalent.

Samoa is considered the heart of Polynesia and many believe that the island of Savai’i is the ancient Hawai’iki, or birthplace of Polynesian culture. The chance to experience this living culture and the pride Samoans take in their traditions is not to be missed. The majority of the population lives mostly rurally in one of the 360 villages. The “aiga” or extended family is the core element in Samoan life. The aiga and its “matai” or chiefs, make life decisions communally, and family is everything here.

Christianity was introduced by missionaries in the 1830’s and is another core element of Samoan life. The prevalent churches are Samoan Congregational Christian, Methodist, Catholic, and Latter Day Saints. (Note that sport is frowned upon on Sundays- which means surfing (and other activities) is restricted to a few spots around the island). The protocols and customs that are part of the fa’asamoa differ substantially from those in the West. We strongly advise that any traveler and especially surfers make an effort to respect local conditions and participate in the preservation of this unique, relatively untouched Pacific culture.

Samoans will not expect the visitor to understand everything about their way of life; however just doing a few things will gain you the trust and respect of the locals.

Things to Consider:

*Dress appropriately. Men should wear a shirt at all times outside the resort (including while riding in cars), while women should dress conservatively. Swimwear such as bikinis should be saved for the more commercial beaches or at the resort; wrap-around lava lavas are more suitable.

*Do not eat or drink while walking through/in a village.

*When you enter a Samoans home, remove footwear and maintain eye-level. While sitting on mats, never point your feet at anyone. Fold ‘em up.

*In many villages just before dark there is “Sa” or curfew during which families gather for prayers or family time. If you enter a village before or during Sa you will notice the men on the roadside, often dressed in black lava lavas. Ask if you may pass, if not wait till the curfew is over.

*Going to church on Sunday is an enriching and respectful experience.

Dress in your best (if possible) plain/white clothing and have a small offering ready when you enter the church. $5-$10 Tala is appropriate.