Adventures in the Treasured Isles

Turtles and Islands

Turtles and Islands

Explore islands and lagoons over 4 days

Explore the diversity of Samoa's lagoons from the villages of Manono Island, to the isolated white sand beaches of uninhabited Nuusafee Island. Expect to see numerous turtles and appreciate the diversity of the mangroves.
No paddling experience required (but read the details).

Description Beaches Comfort Adventure Culture
Lagoon and ocean paddling amongst the Friendly Isles Fale Accommodation
Description
Lagoon and ocean paddling amongst the Friendly Isles
Beaches
Comfort
Fale Accommodation
Adventure
Culture

Paddle to Manono Island, where dogs, cars and bikes are banned.  Explore the island on foot with your guide, stopping to observe village life or maybe join in with a game of volleyball.

Visit Nuulopa Island at dawn to watch the flying foxes return to roost. 

Snorkel on the reefs and observe the coral, fish and sometimes turtles.

Paddle along the coast observing village life from you kayak.

Paddle to uninhabited Nuusafee Island with its own lagoon and white sand beaches for a private picnic and lengthy snorkel.

Kayak through the mangroves and out into a large lagoon where we normally see large bales (groups) of turtles feeding on the sea grass.

Experience needed

The trip is fully guided and mostly within the lagoons and sheltered waters and so no kayak experience is required.  However participants must be able to swim and should be used to outdoor experiences like hiking/tramping.

Each day involves about 10kms of paddling.  More paddling is easily added for private groups wanting more challenge.

How to Book

There are scheduled trips with regular departure dates.  See the prices and dates tabs.

If the itinerary appeals but you want more challenge, book a custom trip.  There is lots more to see if you are all fit, experienced kayakers.

Related Tours

Aleipata Adventure

A 4 day tour better suited to more experienced kayakers  (including those who have completed the Turtles and Kayaks Tour). Highlights include:

    • Nuusafee Island - a deserted tropical island with white sand beaches and its own private lagoon.
    • Whales, dolphins, boobies, frigate birds, giant turtles and other sea life.
    • Fale camping on Namua Island.
    • Exploring Nuutele and Faanuatapu Islands.

See the Aleipata page

Paddlesome Expedition

Combine this Turtle Islands trip with the Aleipata Adventure for a 9 day trip.  We can't say it's awesome, because we don't have oars, but it is paddlesome.

Kayak Skills Week

Kayak Skills week for regular paddlers wanting to combine a tour with paddle and rolling instruction.

Savaii and Apolima

Savaii and Apolima Week - Paddle Apolima Strait and explore Savaii Coast.

Turtles and Islands begins at our base at Mulifanua and takes in Manono Island, the giant clams, Turtle Soup and Nuusafee Island.

It is a trip suitable for beginners and inexperienced kayakers, but offers challenges and scenery that will appeal to all kayakers.

For customised tours  the trip can start on any day. The schedule below is based on arriving Sunday and kayaking from Monday. 

Itinerary

Arrival/pre-trip

We recommend you stay somewhere near Mulifanua the night before the trip starts.

We can organise organise airport pickups and accommodation at either Tua O Maauga motel or a Mulifanua homestay (see pricing) or  if you would prefer a more traditional resort we can organise a two night stay at Le Vasa Resort (one night stays are possible outside peak season). The Sheraton Resort (not Sheraton Hotel) sometimes has good special offers that can be booked direct.

Manono Island

Following breakfast we will transfer you to our base in Mulifanua, where, after a briefing and fitting your kayaks we set off to Manono Island.  We are located on the most sheltered coast in Samoa. In good weather conditions, we can venture outside the reef to the sheltered open ocean, where the big turtles live. Alternatively, we can paddle all the way within the reef.

There is usually time today for basic kayak skills training and we will encourage you to experience a wet exit and deep water re-entry (falling out in open water).  With the water temperature around 29 degrees, there is no pleasanter place to learn.  

We paddle most of the way around Manono Island, which is a great chance to observe village life from the water.  Within the lagoon we usually spot smaller turtles and occasionally manta rays.  

Manono Island has banned cars, bikes and dogs, making the two hour guided walk through the 4 villages that ring the island, one of the most pleasant ways to observe and often participate in daily village life. 

Depending on your energy levels there are also opportunities to snorkel at the reef (from a fishing boat or the kayaks) or practice a few kayak skills.

Your accommodation is at Sunset View Fales in Salua Village.

Giant Clams and Flying Foxes

Early risers can paddle out to Nu'ulopa island to see the flying foxes return to roost. Dawn from a kayak is worth getting up for.

Back at the fale resort we have breakfast and pack before heading back to the mainland. There are several route choices but we will normally paddle down the South Coast of Upolu within the reef before swapping the kayaks for a car trip across the Falelatai Saddle to Le Faga Bay.

Le Faga Bay is home to a colony of about 150 giant clams. These molluscs are over 70 cms long and spectacularly coloured. They are only 50 metres off shore and easy to snorkel to.  We often spot turtles while snorkelling and there is plenty of reef to safely explore.

Accommodation will normally be at Vai Villas, another unique location set beside a freshwater pond at the entrance to the mangroves.  

Turtle Soup

Launching beside the resort  at Vai Villas, we paddle down a small mangrove lined stream. Along the way there is time to study the complex mangrove root systems and look out for the many varieties of orchids in this diverse environment.

Reaching the lagoon we paddle out to an area where we usually see a large bale (group) of turtles feeding on the sea grass.  We continue up the lagoon before stopping on a sandy beach for a snack and rest.  After this there are opportunities to paddle further in the lagoon, or if the seas are favourable, to paddle out to a keyhole in the reef where we may see large old loggerhead turtles.  

By early afternoon the trade winds are usually picking up a bit and we may have a chance to hoist the kayak sails. Or if the water is still, we will probably see another dozen or so mid size turtles on the way back.

Arriving back at Vai Villas, there is time for a quick dip in the spring fed pool before a late lunch on the balcony, with its view of daily village life.   

We finish the day with a vehicle portage to Tafatafa, where we stay at Vailua Beach Fales, built on the shore of the lagoon. This is one of the most pleasant beaches on Upolu, with a big range of nearby activities. Settle into Nug's unique beach side bar for dinner and a well earned beer.

Nuusafee Island

We launch from the beach at Tafatafa for a 5km paddle down the coast to Nu'usafee Island. The island is uninhabited and has two beautiful white sand beaches and its own private lagoon. We stop for a leisurely lunch, swim, snorkel and explore. The approach to the island is quite sheltered, but it's technically outside the lagoon, and for those wanting to play in the waves, there are often several opportunities to gain new skills. The nearby mangroves at Poutasi provide a calm contrast, and are always worth a tour if people can be persuaded to leave the island.

Your tour ends here (or with a ride back to Apia or Muliafanua). However this is a lovely spot and we recommend you stay on for an extra day.

 

Price and dates

There are tours departing every month - see Dates.  These scheduled trips will proceed with as few as two participants and are suitable for solo travellers.

Price includes:

  • 3 nights accommodation
  • All meals
  • Guide 
  • Kayaks and full safety equipment
  • Transport on tour
  • entry fees to Giant Clams
  • some snacks
  • drinking water
  • transfer to Apia or Mulifanua accommodation at end of trip (on day of trip only)

 Price $1,385 NZD pp or $1,295 AUDpp

Single Supplement  - Normally no extra charge.  However we cannot always guarantee dingle rooms.

Price Excludes:

  • Airfares 
  • alcoholic and soft drinks

Accommodation on Arrival night (Friday)

 - Includes transfers from Airport on arrival and to Outdoor Samoa next morning.

  • Tua-O-Maauga Motel $70 NZD pp (share double/twin) or $100 single
  • Homestay     $65 NZD pp (inc light supper - suitable evening arrivals only)
  • Le Vasa Resort - various grades and seasonal pricing from $80 - $280 NZD pp Subject to availability for single night

 

Turtles and Islands begins at our base at Mulifanua and takes in Manono Island, the giant clams, Turtle Soup and Nuusafee Island.

It is a trip suitable for beginners and inexperienced kayakers, but offers challenges and scenery that will appeal to all kayakers.

For customised tours  the trip can start on any day. The schedule below is based on arriving Sunday and kayaking from Monday. 

Itinerary

Arrival/pre-trip

We recommend you stay somewhere near Mulifanua the night before the trip starts.

We can organise organise airport pickups and accommodation at either Tua O Maauga motel or a Mulifanua homestay (see pricing) or  if you would prefer a more traditional resort we can organise a two night stay at Le Vasa Resort (one night stays are possible outside peak season). The Sheraton Resort (not Sheraton Hotel) sometimes has good special offers that can be booked direct.

Manono Island

Following breakfast we will transfer you to our base in Mulifanua, where, after a briefing and fitting your kayaks we set off to Manono Island.  We are located on the most sheltered coast in Samoa. In good weather conditions, we can venture outside the reef to the sheltered open ocean, where the big turtles live. Alternatively, we can paddle all the way within the reef.

There is usually time today for basic kayak skills training and we will encourage you to experience a wet exit and deep water re-entry (falling out in open water).  With the water temperature around 29 degrees, there is no pleasanter place to learn.  

We paddle most of the way around Manono Island, which is a great chance to observe village life from the water.  Within the lagoon we usually spot smaller turtles and occasionally manta rays.  

Manono Island has banned cars, bikes and dogs, making the two hour guided walk through the 4 villages that ring the island, one of the most pleasant ways to observe and often participate in daily village life. 

Depending on your energy levels there are also opportunities to snorkel at the reef (from a fishing boat or the kayaks) or practice a few kayak skills.

Your accommodation is at Sunset View Fales in Salua Village.

Giant Clams and Flying Foxes

Early risers can paddle out to Nu'ulopa island to see the flying foxes return to roost. Dawn from a kayak is worth getting up for.

Back at the fale resort we have breakfast and pack before heading back to the mainland. There are several route choices but we will normally paddle down the South Coast of Upolu within the reef before swapping the kayaks for a car trip across the Falelatai Saddle to Le Faga Bay.

Le Faga Bay is home to a colony of about 150 giant clams. These molluscs are over 70 cms long and spectacularly coloured. They are only 50 metres off shore and easy to snorkel to.  We often spot turtles while snorkelling and there is plenty of reef to safely explore.

Accommodation will normally be at Vai Villas, another unique location set beside a freshwater pond at the entrance to the mangroves.  

Turtle Soup

Launching beside the resort  at Vai Villas, we paddle down a small mangrove lined stream. Along the way there is time to study the complex mangrove root systems and look out for the many varieties of orchids in this diverse environment.

Reaching the lagoon we paddle out to an area where we usually see a large bale (group) of turtles feeding on the sea grass.  We continue up the lagoon before stopping on a sandy beach for a snack and rest.  After this there are opportunities to paddle further in the lagoon, or if the seas are favourable, to paddle out to a keyhole in the reef where we may see large old loggerhead turtles.  

By early afternoon the trade winds are usually picking up a bit and we may have a chance to hoist the kayak sails. Or if the water is still, we will probably see another dozen or so mid size turtles on the way back.

Arriving back at Vai Villas, there is time for a quick dip in the spring fed pool before a late lunch on the balcony, with its view of daily village life.   

We finish the day with a vehicle portage to Tafatafa, where we stay at Vailua Beach Fales, built on the shore of the lagoon. This is one of the most pleasant beaches on Upolu, with a big range of nearby activities. Settle into Nug's unique beach side bar for dinner and a well earned beer.

Nuusafee Island

We launch from the beach at Tafatafa for a 5km paddle down the coast to Nu'usafee Island. The island is uninhabited and has two beautiful white sand beaches and its own private lagoon. We stop for a leisurely lunch, swim, snorkel and explore. The approach to the island is quite sheltered, but it's technically outside the lagoon, and for those wanting to play in the waves, there are often several opportunities to gain new skills. The nearby mangroves at Poutasi provide a calm contrast, and are always worth a tour if people can be persuaded to leave the island.

Your tour ends here (or with a ride back to Apia or Muliafanua). However this is a lovely spot and we recommend you stay on for an extra day.

 

Price and dates

There are tours departing every month - see Dates.  These scheduled trips will proceed with as few as two participants and are suitable for solo travellers.

Price includes:

  • 3 nights accommodation
  • All meals
  • Guide 
  • Kayaks and full safety equipment
  • Transport on tour
  • entry fees to Giant Clams
  • some snacks
  • drinking water
  • transfer to Apia or Mulifanua accommodation at end of trip (on day of trip only)

 Price $1,385 NZD pp or $1,295 AUDpp

Single Supplement  - Normally no extra charge.  However we cannot always guarantee dingle rooms.

Price Excludes:

  • Airfares 
  • alcoholic and soft drinks

Accommodation on Arrival night (Friday)

 - Includes transfers from Airport on arrival and to Outdoor Samoa next morning.

  • Tua-O-Maauga Motel $70 NZD pp (share double/twin) or $100 single
  • Homestay     $65 NZD pp (inc light supper - suitable evening arrivals only)
  • Le Vasa Resort - various grades and seasonal pricing from $80 - $280 NZD pp Subject to availability for single night

 

Nuusafe Island

Turtle

Turtle kayak beach

Vai Villas

Kayak walking

Traditional and new kayaks

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