Alofaaga Blowholes in Samoa

Some of Alofaaga Blowholes, Savaiʻi Island, Samoa

photography by: CloudSurfer/ Wikimedia Commons

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Surrounded by the blue expanse that is the Pacific Ocean, the island-nation of Samoa is known for its lush landscapes, hospitable people and centuries-old Polynesian traditions. The country’s largest landmass, Savaiʻi Island, is covered almost entirely by a dense rainforest, with most of its inhabitants huddling along the coast. It is also here where one can find a rather striking natural wonder – a series of seawater geysers known locally as the Alofaaga Blowholes.

Nestled by the scenic coast of Savai’i Island, Polynesia’s sixth largest island, the Alofaaga Blowholes are one of Samoa’s most unusual natural phenomena. Also known as Taga Blowholes for their proximity to the eponymous village, these water jets can trace back their origins to a volcanic eruption, where copious amounts of flowing lava were intermingled with the nearby ocean, forming a rugged crag along the shoreline.


Over the span of millennia, the incessant breakers have eroded tunnels and tubes within the igneous rocks, and so, when waves crash into the coast, water is then forced through these natural conduits, creating spectacular spurts of seawater that can reach heights of 20 meters or so. The faux geysers are most dramatic during high tide or when the sea is rough, as the force of the incoming waves amplifies their height, power and roar.


In recent years, the influx of tourists has engendered a somewhat whimsical spectacle as local villagers are occasionally paid to throw coconuts into the blowholes, hoisting them high up into the air.


The site is managed by the local community, for whom the water jets and the surrounding area are of cultural importance. Visitors are usually required to pay a small fee, which goes towards the maintenance of the area and supports the adjacent village.


Since the rocks around the blowholes can be slippery and the area is unfenced, whoever comes here should stroll around with the utmost caution, preferably with a sturdy footwear. The site is accessible via a well-signposted road from Salelologa, accompanied with sweeping ocean views along the way.