A day at Palolo Deep Marine Reserve

If you are in Apia for a day, especially Sundays; the only thing to go is a day at the Palolo Deep Marine Reserve. It is a private park with an amazing reef a few dozen yards out. It is within walking distance from the town of Apia, too.

Basically, just walk past the Port Area and follow the bent around the back of the Ministry of Customs until you find the sign for the deep reserve. It is across a small congregational church for the small village right there. Everyone knows it, so just ask if you need to.

I do not remember the hours but I am pretty sure it was if the sun is up, they are open. I was there pretty early one day.

palolo-deep-signExpectations of Palolo Deep Marine Reserve

You walk up, pay your entrance fee of five tala (I believe) and find a place to relax. They have tables, a shower area, and I think even a cooking pit. I do remember grilling some meat when I was there but I do not remember if the grill was there or we came with one.

The basic expectation was a cheap, quiet, place to relax close to Apia for the day. Palolo Deep Marine Reserve was all of that for us. It is not perfect but for its location, it is the best thing going in Apia, Samoa. Like many cities on islands, beaches close to populations are not easy to find.

What I personally enjoyed was the nice wind coming in from the ocean right on me. There is a ridge that is elevated about 3 feet in the air. I loved to sit up there and read a book in the afternoon under this huge tree. I am a nerd like that, I guess.


palolo-deep-marine-reserveWhat not to expect

There is no sandy beach. The beach is covered with coral from the reef that wash in. You will need to wear flip flop or footwear of some type. That is just the reality of it. The locals can walk right on the corals with no problem. I can’t. I have feeling in my feet!

The other thing is the whole area is not very big. It can get crowed if you get very many people there. Sunday afternoon can become very busy if I remember right at Palolo Deep Marine Reserve. If this happens, just wait around for 20-30 minutes and it will clear out some.

As this is just a small business ran by a local family, do not expect a “professional tourist operation.” They do the best they can with what they have. I always enjoyed the hospitality of the host there. Amazing people!

When I am in Apia again, I am sure I will spend a lazy afternoon there.

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