Are you trying to decide which vacation spot you will choose, between Samoa vs Hawaii? The two are among the most stunning and unique locations on Earth. But what differentiates them?
Do Hawaii residents and Samoans speak the same language? Which of the two Islands has better beaches? Keep reading to discover the answers and what each island offers. So let’s begin!
Despite their rapid development as international tourist destinations, Hawaiians and Samoans have managed to preserve their unique histories and cultures. Here is a review of the two:
- Both Samoa and Hawaii have stunning beaches. However, Hawaii is home to both white and black sandy beaches.
- You can visit Hawaii at any time of the year. Samoa is suitable to visit during the drier months of May to October.
- Both destinations have distinctive delicious cuisines that will give you gastronomic pleasure.
But there is more to these two islands. Please keep reading to discover why they are worth visiting and each Island’s attractions.
Comparative Analysis of Visiting Hawaii or Samoan Archipelago
Despite sharing some common features, such as speaking almost the same Polynesian languages, they are quite different. Below is a comparison chart I came up with to show you the differences between visiting the two islands.
Hawaiian cooking has poi, a starchy root vegetable
Samoan cooking includes bananas and palusami, a dish prepared from taro leaves and coconut milk
Volcanos park, Tropical Botanical Garden, Kalalau Trail
Sale'aula Lava Fields, Fiafia Night
Cost of travelling
At sea level, it's usually about 76-85°F (24-29°C) all year-round
Weather is warm and tropical all year round and has two distinct seasons, dry and wet
Waikiki Beach, Punalu'u Beach, and Hapuna State Beach
Aganoa, Lefaga, and To Sua Ocean Trench
Best time to visit
Before Thanksgiving and In April and May. September is the ideal time to travel to Hawaii
You can visit anytime
Mode of transportation
Bus, shuttle, taxi, ride-sharing app such as Uber or Lyft
Bus, taxi, ferry, bicycle
There are a lot of details that I still need to tell you. But before we get to that, let us look at the advantages and disadvantages of Hawaii and Samoa archipelago.
Benefits and Drawbacks of Visiting Samoan Islands In the South Pacific Ocean
As I stated earlier, Samoa is a stunning island with much to offer. The Samoan archipelago area covers 1170 mi.² in the central South Pacific; it covers most of the independent states of Samoa and American Samoa.
In this section, I shall highlight the pros and cons of visiting Samoa. Let me start with the pros.
Benefits of Visiting Samoa
I could keep this short and sweet by saying the main benefit of visiting Samoa” is that it is simply a paradise. This place is like a heaven postcard; it’s purely perfect. Here are other advantages of visiting Samoa.
- Few tourists visit this area. Samoa is a true jewel of an island that, because of its remote location, has maintained its paradisiacal atmosphere without being overrun by tourists.
- No words can explain Samoa’s beauty.
- Samoans are friendly.
- It is easy to find your way through the Island.
- Samoa is clean. You won’t find plastics lying around the waterfalls or beach.
- Samoa is a safe place to visit.
- The waters of Samoa are filled with life. You can swim with wild sea turtles in crystal clear, warm turquoise water.
Let us now shift our focus to the cons of visiting Samoa.
Drawbacks of Visiting Samoa
Everything I’ve told you up to this point has been fantastic, right? If I’m being honest with myself and the rest of the world, I can’t just say that life in Samoa is perfect. Here are a few cons of visiting Samoa:
- The diet is monotonous because fish, taro (a root that tastes similar to potato), and coconut milk are staples in every dish.
- Terrible internet connection and weak signals. Although Samoa does have a 4G network, it is incredibly unreliable and slow outside of the capital city of Apia.
- There are lots of dogs that roam in packs after sunset.
Those are the advantages and disadvantages of visiting Samoa. Now let us see what Hawaii has to offer.
Benefits and Drawbacks of Visiting Hawaiian Islands
Hawaii is the northernmost island group in Polynesia, occupying most of an archipelago in the central Pacific Ocean. The islands of Hawaii are renowned for their breathtaking beauty.
However, even Hawaii has its share of difficulties. I mean, not everyone likes crowded tourist spots or scorching lava. Let’s look at some of Hawaii’s most exciting (and disappointing) attractions.
Advantages of Visiting Hawaii
Here are some benefits you will enjoy when visiting this beautiful Island.
- Low crime rate; thus, it is safe to visit.
- It’s the perfect Island for surfing, as the activity was invented in Hawaii.
- There are high-end boutiques as Hawaii is known to attract wealthy visitors.
- There are diverse outdoor recreation options.
- You will love the nightlife and entertainment in Hawaii.
- You will adapt to the Aloha spirit of Hawaiians. Living in paradise makes it difficult to feel anything but content. Generally speaking, being in the company of joyful native Hawaiians also makes you happy.
- There are a lot of educational opportunities.
Those are the advantages Native Hawaiians face. Believe it or not, even paradise has its problems. And here are some of them.
Disadvantages of Visiting Hawaii
Some of the cons you are likely to experience during your stay in Hawaii include:
- Expensive lifestyle; thus, most things are usually overpriced.
- It is primarily overcrowded as most people typically go on holiday in Hawaii.
- Hawaii is home to active volcanos. You will be in bad shape when you breathe in toxic sulfur vapors or volcanic ash.
Those are the advantages and drawbacks of visiting the Samoa and Hawaii islands. To have a good time during your stay, ensure you learn some Hawaiian language. Now let us look at what makes Samoa unique.
How Does Samoa Stand Out?
Samoa is a Polynesian island nation in Oceania. There are a total of nine islands that make up this country, although only four of them are populated. There is a lot to see and do on the islands, and the Samoan culture and cuisine are among the most fascinating and delicious in the world. Here is more:
1. Multiple Landscapes
The country is well-known for its stunning beaches, including white sand and warm, clear waters ideal for water sports like snorkeling and scuba diving. Others include:
White sand beaches and crystal clear waters attract tourists from all over the world to this tropical paradise.
- Samoa’s various scenery, such as the Alofaaga Blowholes and the To Sua Ocean Trench, provides tourists with unique opportunities to explore and enjoy the Island.
- Hiking and mountain bike paths can be found in national parks, and they offer stunning views of the islands and their native flora and fauna.
- The famous beaches include Aganoa, Lefaga, and To Sua Ocean Trench.
2. Wildlife Conservation
Samoa is known for its stunning vistas, but it has also been able to protect its native flora and animals thanks to its national parks. Samoa has various national parks, each special due to its characteristics.
The National Park of Lake Lanot’o
Many endangered species call this park home. Such include:
- The Manumea (Tooth-billed pigeon).
- The Mao.
In addition to rare animals, Goldfish, a typical household pet, can also be found in their natural habitat. According to the Ramsar Convention, the lake is considered a wetland of international significance in Samoa.
The National Park of O Le Pupu-Pue
O Le Pupu-Pue National Park was established in 1978, making it the oldest national Park in Samoa.
The Lava cliff here is an excellent example of how volcanic activity changed the terrain in Samoa, and your tour guide can tell you everything about it! Massive, uninhabited islands, these cliffs are a sight to behold as the ocean’s mighty waves crash against them.
3. Museums of Cultural Wealth
Beautiful scenery is just one aspect of Samoa. There are many cultural institutions in Samoa, such as:
- The Jean P. Haydon Museum: It showcases relics from traditional Samoan life.
- The Robert Louis Stevenson Museum: A dedicated museum for the late writer of the novels Strange Case and Treasure Island of Mr Hyde and Dr Jekyll.
- Falemata’aga: This is the national museum of Samoa, and it is still expanding as a result of the museum’s efforts to grow and enhance its collection.
4. Cuisine From Polynesia
Samoan cooking staples are fish, coconut, and taro. Samoan cooking also includes bananas and palusami, a dish from taro leaves and coconut milk.
Examples of specialties include:
- Sapasui, or Samoan chop suey.
- Talo Lolo’i.
Let us now see the attractions that are in Hawaii.
How Does Hawaii Stand Out?
When you think about Hawaii, it’s natural to picture a beachside vacation in the tropics. But Hawaii is not only a tropical paradise; there are active volcanoes to climb, hidden valleys to discover, and UNESCO World Heritage Sites to see. Here are a few of its best features.
1. Frozen-In-Time Locations
The following areas will make you feel like time froze in Hawaii.
- Nā Pali Coast State Wilderness Park: It exists to protect the Kalalau Valley. You can hike the cliffs and camp in the area with a valid camping permit.
- Allerton Garden: It has a collection of unique plants in Hawaii, like the Raphia palm and Corypha, and the garden also holds art exhibits in the area.
- World War II Memorials in Hawaii: USS Utah Memorial, USS Arizona Memorial, and USS Oklahoma Memorial commemorates the brave acts committed for freedom.
2. Cool Parks
They are quite a number, but I will only mention a few.
- Waimea Canyon State Park: Waimea in Hawaiian language translates to “reddish water,” referencing the red eroded soil of the canyon. It’s easy to see why this Park is the Grand Canyon of the Pacific. You can go on helicopter and biking tours to see the different angles of the canyon’s beauty.
- Haleakalā National Park: It is on the Island of Maui. In Hawaiian, Haleakalā translates to “House of The Sun.”
3. Stunning Beaches
It’s natural to think of Hawaii and picture palm trees and miles of sandy beaches, but the truth is that every beach in Hawaii is unique in its way.
- Hawaii’s beaches provide various options, whether searching for a tranquil place to unwind or a thrilling destination with a seemingly limitless supply of things to do.
- Waikiki Beach, Punalu’u Beach, and Hapuna State Beach are just a few of Hawaii’s world-famous shores.
Let us compare the beaches and landscapes in both Samoa and Hawaii.
Hawaii vs The Samoan Islands: Beaches and Landscapes
The two islands are known to have stunning beaches. They might be different, but one thing they have in common is that they are beautiful. Let us see what Samoa has to offer.
Beaches and Landscapes in Western Samoa
Samoa is known to have white sandy beaches and crystal clear waters that attract tourists from all over the world to this tropical paradise. Some may even argue that they are more stunning than those in the western islands. Here are the top beaches and landscapes on this Island.
1. Alofaaga Blowholes
Lava can build up pressure in caves, creating blowholes that spout water hundreds of feet into the air. When waves from the ocean smash against the rocks, they force air through the fractures, increasing the pressure and generating water spouts.
The Alofaaga blowholes can be found on Samoa’s Savai’i island, close to the settlement of Taga.
2. Lefaga Beach
This beautiful beach may be found on the Island of Upolu. The beach is well-known for its gigantic clams and stunning lagoons. The best place to go in Samoa for swimming, snorkeling, and tanning.
3. To Sua Ocean Trench
Sua, on the Island of Upolu, is known as the “Giant Swimming Hole” in its Samoan language.
- Erosion throughout time turned the trench into the famous swimming hole it is today after a collapsed lava tube system.
- You can access this pristine piece of paradise by its long ladder by descending the 30 meters (100 feet) down. But adventurous tourists can plunge in during high tide.
- You can also access a stunning cave from here.
4. Aganoa Beach
Aganoa Beach is perfect for those who seek excitement and new experiences. Experienced surfers will love this beach on the east coast of Savai’i island, which hosted the South Pacific Games in 2007.
There is so much to do in Samoa that your days will fly by.
Beaches and Landscapes in Hawaii
When you hear Hawaii, the beaches come to mind, and you are not wrong. Here are some of the beaches you will find here.
1. Hāpuna Beach
Hāpuna Beach is the longest stretch of white sand on the Big Island. The beach is like an oceanic version of a park, perfect for strolls and picnics with the kids. The gentle waves make it ideal for snorkeling, kayaking, and surfing sessions, regardless of your experience level.
2. Waikiki Beach
Waikiki Beach is the most popular destination in Hawaii due to its powdery white sand, calm waters, and breathtaking views of the Diamond Head State Monument.
3. Punalu’u Beach
Punalu’u Beach is among many of Hawaii’s beaches, including the distinctive black sand created by volcanic activity. It is the most well-known due to the abundance of green sea turtles that nest there.
Aside from beaches, there are other attractions on both islands, which we will look at next.
Top Attractions in Samoa
It is never a dull moment in Samoa island. There are tons of activities for you and your family. Some top attractions that are worth trying during your visit include:
- Hiking – Samoa is perfect for hiking due to its varied landscape. You can hike to the highest peak on the Island, Silisili, which sits at 1,858 m.
- Visit the Sale’aula lava fields – one of the Island’s most popular attractions and a unique natural wonder unlike elsewhere.
- Marvel at the Alofaaga blowholes on the southwest coast, which delivers a massive display of vertical fountains.
- Swim in the To Sua Ocean Trench, which leads to an unforgettable dip.
- Be part of a Fiafia night where local villagers share songs and dance with their guests while traditional food is served.
Let us look at what you can do while in Hawaii aside from interacting with the Hawaiians.
Top Attractions in Hawaii
Like in Samoa, you can never get bored visiting Hawaii unless you choose to! Hawaiians are very friendly. Here are the top attractions and activities you can enjoy.
- Dive with Manta Rays, where you can scuba dive or snorkel with manta rays at night on Hawaii’s Island.
- Visit Hawaii Volcanos Park, home to two of the most active volcanoes in the world, Mauna Loa and Kilauea.
- Visit Hawaii Tropical Botanical Garden located just north of Hilo past mile marker 7 at Onomea Bay on the old coastal highway.
- Hike the Kalalau Trail, which provides breathtaking views of Kauai’s coastline and valleys.
- Snorkel with Sea Turtles at Tunnels.
I could go on and on about the available activities for you to try in Hawaii. But let me stop there and instead talk about the food in Hawaii and Samoa.
Samoan vs Hawaiian Cuisine
Both Hawaiian and Samoan cooking staples are fish, coconut, and taro.
Samoa is home to many Polynesian specialties that can only be found in this region. Samoan cuisine has meat and chicken. However, coconut is the most common item. Examples of meals include:
- Palusami: It is a delicacy made with taro and coconut milk wrapped in leaves and steam-cooked, is among the most well-known Samoan delicacies.
- Octopus salad: Try the raw octopus salad or the tuna sashimi if you want something out of the ordinary.
- Sapasui, or Samoan chop suey: It is a traditional dish made with vermicelli. It is usually served with beef, pork, meat, chicken, and soy sauce.
- Talo Lolo’i: It is another popular dessert in Samoa, made from cubed taro roots and boiled in water until they become soft.
Hawaiian Traditional Dishes
Hawaii also has good food. Hawaiian cooking has fish, taro, and coconut. It also has poi, a starchy root vegetable. Its traditional dishes include:
- Poke: It is made with small pieces of fresh raw fish or seafood and finely chopped herbs, vegetables, seasonings, and condiments.
- Saimin: It is a traditional noodle soup. The dish has several variations, but it usually consists of thin noodles in clear broth with scallions, fish cakes, and often ham or char siu pork.
- Poi: It is a nutritious, starchy dish made from the taro plant, prepared by smashing the cooked corm (underground plant stem) and adding water to it until it becomes a thick, sticky purple paste.
Both islands offer delicious traditional cuisines. And now let us see how you will spend your night.
Which State Has the Livelier Nightlife: Samoa or Hawaii?
Nightlife in Samoa and Hawaii varies from clubs and bars to events and cultural shows. Here is how the two differ.
The world may be uncertain, but one thing is sure: Samoans know how to throw a party!
- There is a wide variety of nightlife activities and drinks to sample.
- You can go from relaxing with a locally made beer at a beach fale bar to dancing the night away in a nightclub on some isolated Polynesian island (I’m not kidding).
- Samoa’s capital, Apia, has the most extensive night scene in Samoa.
- Best nightclubs include NXT Nightclub, The Edge Marina, and the RoSA Nightclub.
Hawaii also is not left behind. Hawaiians also know how to have a good time. It is home to the best bars and nightclubs. Some of them include:
- Run Fire: Located in Honolulu, Rum Fire is the only beachfront dance club in Honolulu. It’s perfect for dancing the night away with the Hawaiians.
- Moana Terrace: it has a calm and serene ambiance with scenic views.
- Sand Bar: Situated on Waikiki Beach, this fascinating bar has all you might have imagined in your Hawaiian dream, from serving Delicious pupus to playing heart-delivering music.
The nightlife in both islands is out of this world, and you should try them out. Let us briefly look at their cultural differences.
Cultural Differences Between Samoa and Hawaii
Samoans and Hawaiians both share Polynesian ancestry but originate from separate Polynesian islands. Native Hawaiians arrived in Hawaii first, although Samoans are the islands’ original residents.
If you have ever visited the Polynesian Cultural Center in Laie, Hawaii, you can see a Samoan and Hawaiian Village. At the Polynesian Cultural Center, you can learn a few things about how different Samoans and Native Hawaiians are and how they don’t have the same culture.
Samoa’s distinct Polynesian culture sets it apart from neighboring Hawaii.
- Respect for one’s family, elders, and community vitality to the traditional fa’a Samoa way of life, for which Samoa is famous.
- The Samoan people have a well-deserved reputation for warm welcomes and friendly service.
In contrast, Hawaii’s culture is more varied because of the many peoples who have settled there over the years.
- Hawaii’s contemporary culture is a fusion of Polynesian, Japanese, Chinese, and Filipino influences.
- The Hula dance is one of the most well-known aspects of Hawaiian culture and has been passed down through the generations.
- Native Hawaiians speak Polynesian languages like Te Reo Maori and Olelo Hawaii.
Now that you know their cultures, when is the best time to visit Samoa and Hawaii?
Best Time to Visit Hawaii and Samoa
Several factors will affect the timing of your holiday. They include the weather conditions and the peak seasons. So let’s see when is the best time to visit Hawaii.
September is the ideal time to travel to Hawaii. You can expect pleasant temperatures, fewer tourists, and lower rates during these times.
You can also visit:
- After Labor Day,
- Before Thanksgiving, and
- In April and May.
And now, let us look at the best time to visit Samoa.
Samoa’s proximity to the equator makes it an excellent choice whenever your schedule permits a long-haul foreign trip, as the climate there is reliably warm, and the humidity is reliably tropical.
- It’s essential to consider whether you’ll instead visit during the dry season (May–October) or during the wetter winter months (November–March).
- If so, remember that December through March is the wettest.
Samoa’s mountain ranges have a crucial role in determining the rainfall pattern because of the Island’s position in relation to the trade winds, which blow primarily from east to west. So how will you get to Samoa or Hawaii? Here is how.
Different Routes to Samoa and Hawaii
Knowing the direction of where you are going is crucial. Even if you do not know where a particular place is located, you should at least have an idea. Let’s see how you can get to Samoa.
How to Get to Samoa
Samoa is in the South Central Pacific Ocean, about halfway between New Zealand and Hawaii. The ways to get there fit the idea of a faraway tropical island.
You can only get there by plane unless you go on a private boat or a cruise. Direct flights are from many places in Fiji, New Zealand, and Australia.
- Samoa’s major airport, Faleolo International Airport (APW), is situated on the Island of Upolu, roughly 30 kilometers (18 miles) from Apia, the country’s capital.
- From Sydney, Brisbane, Auckland, Fiji, and American Samoa, you can fly directly to Faleolo with Virgin Australia, Air New Zealand, Samoa Airways, and Fiji Airways.
- Talofa Airways also provides service between Samoa, American Samoa, and Tonga.
You can use bicycles, taxis, buses, and ferries to get around Samoa. Now let us look at how you can get to Hawaii.
How to Get to Hawaii
If you were planning on driving from the US to Hawaii, I’m sorry because it is impossible due to the absence of roads, tunnels, or bridges to Hawaii. You can get to this beautiful via ferries, flying, or boats.
- The best and quickest way to get to Hawaii is by plane.
- Hawaiian Airlines offer direct flights to the islands from major U.S. cities on the West Coast.
- How long it takes to get to an island depends on where you’re leaving from and which Island you’re headed to.
Now that we know how to get to the respective islands, let’s see the type of currency you should have.
Samoa vs Hawaii’s Respective Currencies
It is crucial to know the currencies used on each Island before traveling. This is so that you can have an easy time when paying for goods and services.
- The official currency in Samoa is the Samoan Tala.
- The currency in American Samoa is the American Dollar. Hawaii’s currency is the US dollar.
Now let me highlight which one is more safe Samoa or Hawaii?
More Secure Choice Between Samoa and Hawaii
Samoa is a reasonably safe country with a low crime rate because of its welcoming population, community culture, and strong traditions.
Hawaii also remains among the safest destinations regardless of the time of year. However, vacationers should still use caution.
It is usually safe to stroll around at night on these islands, but you should:
- Be aware of your surroundings.
- Avoid walking alone.
- Don’t walk in isolated or poorly lit areas or streets.
Who Between Samoan People and Native Hawaiian People Are More Welcoming to Tourists?
I think the remarkable things about Samoa begin and end with the people there. Samoans, like most Polynesians, have enormous hearts.
- People in Samoa will greet you with a friendly grin and wave as you pass.
- They will assist others if they see them struggling.
- They will gladly share their food with you even if they don’t have much.
- You shouldn’t be startled if you are invited into their homes.
Native Hawaiians are also friendly but not like the Samoans. Most native Hawaiians welcome visitors curious about their way of life, especially those interested in seeing or learning about daily life that most people have never seen before.
The Difference in the Prices of a Trip to Samoa and Hawaii
On average, a weeklong vacation in Hawaii will set you back roughly $4000 per person. Costs like:
- Airfare ($1,000),
- Lodging ($2,000),
- Food ($550),
- Transportation ($250), and
- Entertainment ($300) are all factored in.
The average cost of a 7-day trip for a single traveler to Samoa is $2,480. For a couple, it’s $4,456; for a family of four, it’s $8,354.
- Hotels in Samoa Point cost, on average, $120 per night, ranging from $75 to $354,
- A one-bedroom apartment or house can cost anywhere from $160 to $1,000.
Hawaii is more expensive than Samoa, as the cost of living is also high.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Is the Difference Between Hawaii and Samoa?
The difference is that Hawaii is now a state of the United States but was formerly a sovereign kingdom in the Pacific Ocean. The island nation of Samoa can also be found in the Pacific. The two are separated by more than 2,500 miles of ocean.
Is Going to Samoa Expensive?
Going to Samoa is not expensive. The average cost of a 7-day trip for a single traveler is $2,481. For a couple, it’s $4,456; for a family of four, it’s $8,354.
How Many Days Do You Need in Samoa?
You need ten days in Samoa. They will be long enough to acquire a solid sense of the place. You will also have a proper exploration of Upolu and Savaii, and you could even spend one or two nights on one of the smaller islands, such as Namua or Manono.
Samoa and Hawaii have their unique attractions and a lot in common. Samoa is a stunning Pacific island nation known for its clear waters, white sand beaches, and beautiful volcanic scenery. It has some of the friendliest people in the world, making it a great vacation spot for anyone needing peace and quiet.
Some of the world’s most stunning beaches can be found in Hawaii. They include black or white sand and crystal clear water, making them ideal for water sports like surfing, snorkeling, and swimming. Hawaii also boasts some of the world’s most impressive volcanoes, valleys, and canyons.
Which is best is up to you and your specific needs. But whichever destination you choose you are assured of a first-class vacation!