Upolu Encounter

Upolu Encounter

See the best known attractions of Samoa by bike

160 kms 9 Days/9 Nights From $2,275 NZD pp

Explore Upolu on a 9 day bike ride

A 9 day cycle tour of Upolu with optional kayak days that takes in the popular attractions of the Island. Swim at the best beaches, snorkel over the giant clams, jump into To Sua Trench, cool off under Togitogiga falls and experience village life on this 160 km ride.

Explore the beaches and attractions of Upolu in this 9 day tour of the most populous Island. Optionally add up to 3 days of guided kayaking (two within the 10 days and one additional day pre-trip). Ride gently through coastal villages stopping regularly to observe village life and maybe join a game of village cricket before stopping for the afternoon and evening at your hotel or fale on the beach. The coast is dotted with sandy beaches that provide safe swimming and snorkelling in the lagoon. Maybe kayak to a remote island with its own sandy beach, or snorkel with turtles from our kayaks. Or add in a dose of adrenaline with some of our side trips like waterfall jumping, lava tube caving, underwater caves and coastal challenges. Travel between locations by bike, electric bike or car transfer. Highlights include:

  • To Sua Trench – leap into the pool at the bottom of this deep collapse lava tube – One of the iconic locations of Samoa
  • Piula Cave pools – swim in these freshwater pools formed by raised sea arches
  • Apia Markets
  • Kayak amongst the wild turtles 
  • Safe swimming on great beaches
  • Explore the waterfalls and pools of the main rivers
  • Snorkel over the Giant Clams

There are two longer days of cycling (35 and 32 kms) and 4 days of cycling 12-20 kms). There are opportunities to swim and snorkel every day and numerous waterfalls, pools and caves to explore along the way. As well as opportunities for kayak trips and a fishing half day.

Cyclists should be comfortable cycling 40kms in a day with some hills. While the longest two days are 35 and 32 kms, the heat makes riding a bit harder. This trip can be coordinated with flights arriving Sunday or Monday and departing Wednesday.

Accommodation is a mix of fales and motels. See FAQs for Cyclists for more details.

Alternatives:

  • If you prefer to see a more traditional side of Samoa – check the Savaii Escape
Cycling

There are 4 short days of cycling (12-20 kms) and two longer days (32 and 35 kms).

Daily Transfers

Daily transfers of gear with some support.

Beaches

Legendary South Coast beaches and Namua Island

Packages Available

Regular departures for groups of up to eight. Alternatively organise your own group of 2-16 people for a private tour.

Tour Details

Cycle around Upolu over 9 days on quiet sealed roads staying mostly on the beaches in traditional family run Beach Fales.  

The trip is partly about the cycling, but is more about the opportunities that cycling brings to meet the locals and get to know more about the culture.  

Ride in the mornings and spend the afternoons swimming, snorkelling or relaxing on the beach at your lagoon-side fales. 

While the trip is designed as a cycle tour, it is also suitable for non-riders who can travel in the support van. This works very well for family groups with children.  We also have e-Bikes available to hire.

Cyclists should be comfortable riding 40kms a day with some hills. 

The map below also includes an elevation view.

 

Most nights are in Beach Fales (pronounced far-lays) These are provided by the villages and consist of thatched roofs, matting sides, and wooden floors.

The huts are often in the most stunning settings and allow you to sit or lie on your bed and look out across the beach to the most amazing sunsets. Breakfast and dinner are  included and served in a common dining room and the bathrooms are shared facilities. Mattresses, pillows, mosquito nets and bed sheets are included.

The fales are equivalent to a permanent campsite and the more traditional ones like Namua are often a highlight for guests. Fale resorts are changing with the times and some offer lockable rooms, corrugated iron roofs, hot showers and ensuites. However, the traditional units are often cooler and much more pleasant.

The dates for scheduled departures  (approximately monthly) will be set once a flight schedule is re-established post Covid.  Custom tours can start on any day  More details to appear on the calendar.

Calendar of set Start Dates

Note: The calendar shows the first riding day.  Most travellers will need to arrive a day earlier.

Those incorporating a Manono Island Paddle  will need to arrive two days earlier than the dates shown on the calendar.

Pricing 

The core tour is  $1,600 NZD pp

This price excludes any arrival night package and kayaking options.  

See also custom tours for a start on any day.

The Upolu Escape is available as a custom tour for groups of 2-16.  We recommend this if you are a group of four or more.

It can be modified to include extra/fewer rest days or different accommodation options.

Scheduled tours have a normal maximum of eight and a minimum of two.  Custom tours can accommodate up to 16.

A small number of upgrades to ensuite fales are available.  

Upgrades to hotels/resorts are available at some locations and is more practical on custom tours when it becomes easier to adjust the destinations to match accommodation. 

Upgrades to include up to 4 days of kayaking are easily scheduled.

Core Itinerary

Optional Extras:

  • Overnight kayak to Manono (before main Tour)  $310 NZD pp
  • Arrival night package (From $110 NZD pp)
  • Turtle kayak day ($170 NZD pp)
  • Nuusafee kayak Day  ($170 NZD pp)
  • Aleipata Islands kayak (on request only)
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"Thankyou for a wonderful holiday in Samoa. The mix of accommodation styles and rest days suited everybody very well. It is impossible to choose a favourite part of the trip as there are so many wonderful places".
Warren Gynther
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Samoa is now fully open to tourists and all Covid restrictions have been lifted.  As of 22 September 2022, there are NO requirements for vaccination certificates or Covid tests.
The number of flights available is steadily increasing. Qantas starts flying from Australia in November  and Virgin resumes in March.  Air New Zealand flights are expected to reach almost two a day in 2023.