The larger and less developed of the two main islands, Savai'i is primitive in both look and feel. It has no major towns: Its people live in small villages along the coast. Travelers will find great snorkeling, surfing, blowholes, isolated beaches and pools fed by waterfalls (which provide an unbelievably beautiful setting for a swim) along the eastern and northern coasts. The island also has lava fields, one with a partially covered church, and the Pulemelei Mound, a mysterious pyramid whose age and origin are unknown. Several villages have caves or volcanic craters that are worth exploring. Most visitors go for a day tour, but travelers who won't be bothered by somewhat basic (but fairly clean) accommodations should stay at least two nights. With prior arrangements through the outstanding Safua Tours (phone 51271), you can get a close-up glimpse of Samoan life by staying in a village and a highly informative tour of the island.
Savai'i can be reached by air from Faleolo Airport on Upolu Island (about a 10-minute flight to Maota airstrip) or by ferry from Mulifanua Wharf, west of Faleolo Airport on Upolu. 15 mi/20 km west of Upolu Island.
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