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Have you ever taken a dip in an old-fashioned swimming hole? It’s such a classic, simple, and fun way to beat the heat on a hot day. Want to know where to find the best swimming hole in the world? It is such a hidden gem that most people have never even heard of it. It is the To Sua Ocean Trench on the tiny island nation of Samoa.
This awesome place in the heart of the South Pacific combines the fun of a swimming hole with a little bit of adventure and a whole lot of beauty! Read on to find out why this is an experience that should definitely be on your bucket list!
Experiencing the To Sua Ocean Trench
Imagine standing in a beautiful garden on a cliff overlooking the clear blue water of the South Pacific. As you meander through the garden, you come upon a large hole in the ground surrounded by a low wooden fence. You peek over the edge of the hole and see a pool of water far below. Welcome to the To Sua Ocean Trench.
To reach the water, which is about 100 feet below, you must climb down a simple wooden ladder. Approximately 8 feet above the water, you reach a wooden platform. From here, you can either jump into the cool water or climb the last few feet down the ladder for a gentler entrance into the water.
In the center of the trench, the water is a little warmer because the sun shines directly down onto it. Along the edges, in the shadows, the water is cooler but not uncomfortably cold.
Some areas are deeper than others, but the depth is always changing due to the change in tides. Surprisingly, there are some currents flowing through the trench.
You will also find a few ropes tied and stretched across the trench to help you move against the currents and give you a place to rest while swimming. And on the side opposite the ladder, there is a very shallow spot with some rocks that is also good for a break.
Splashing around in the trench is an awesome experience for adults and kids alike. While kids will love it, I do recommend that you put your children in lifejackets while in the trench unless they are strong swimmers. The current can be difficult to navigate for smaller children or those who aren’t good at swimming.
What is the To Sua Ocean Trench?
To Sua is Samoan for “giant swimming hole.” Basically, the trench is a ultra cool and rare saltwater swimming hole surrounded by lava rock and tropical greenery. It looks like a giant sinkhole in the middle of a lush garden.
The To Sua Ocean Trench is actually a combination of lava rock tunnels and caves that formed naturally as the lava flowed slowly towards the ocean thousands of years ago. The swimming hole is connected by an underground tunnel to the ocean. This tunnel is what supplies the water (and the current) to the swimming hole.
Where is the To Sua Ocean Trench?
You will find the trench in the beautiful country of Samoa, one of the many island nations in the South Pacific. The trench is on the north side of Samoa’s main island of Upolu in the village of Lotofaga. It will take you a little over an hour to drive from the capital city of Apia.
The To Sua Ocean Trench is open 7 days a week. On Mondays through Saturdays, the operating hours are 8:30 am to 5:00 pm. On Sundays, the trench is open from 12:30 pm to 5:00 pm. This is one of the few things open on Sundays in Samoa.
Admission will cost you $20 Western Samoa Tala per person 12 and over and $10 WST per child ages 6-11. (This is about $7 per adult and $3 per child in US dollars.) Children under 6 get in free.
For this price, you will get access to the trench, gardens, and beach, as well as use of the amenities, including restrooms and changing areas and a small bar/restaurant.
Please be advised that bikinis and other revealing swimsuits are only allowed down in the trench. While walking around the grounds, please respect local customs and wear modest clothing.
Visit the trench’s website for a map of the area.
The To Sua Ocean Trench is not only the world’s best swimming hole, it is also one of the best hidden gems in the entire world. It is a must-do if visiting the tropical island nation of Samoa in the South Pacific. It is well worth the trip.
For ideas on where to stay in Apia, see our posts on the Aggie Grey hotel and Taumeasina Island Resort. For some delicious food in Samoa, check out our post on Paddles! And see why you should take a family vacation to Samoa.
For some great ideas on places to go for a girls getaway (including Samoa), check out Traveling Later.
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