Summary: A spectacularly photogenic swimming hole, To Sua Ocean Trench is a 30m deep sinkhole formed by a collapsed lava tube on the south coast of Upolu island,

Described as the “world’s most amazing swimming pool” and “one of the most unique places to swim in on the planet”, the To Sua Ocean Trench is a spectacular swimming spot. To-Sua literally means ‘giant swimming hole’, and it’s Samoa’s most iconic tourist attraction. The giant, 30m deep sinkhole is filled with crystal-clear water, and surrounded by dense foliage that covers most of the walls.

To Sua Ocean Trench was formed by an ancient lava tube system, which partially collapsed providing access from the top. It’s connected at one end to the ocean via an underground cave system and at the opposite end to another open trench. The bottom of the ssimming hole is accessed via a steep but solid bamboo ladder.

Despite this being a popular attraction, get there early in the morning to beat the crowds – and you may have this idyllic swimming hole to yourself (as we did for a full hour).

From the platform at the bottom of the ladder, you can swim through a passge that leads to another open trench – the currents can be fairly strong, but there is a rope you can hang on to.

There’s more to see around the To Sua Ocean Trench: a paved path below the swimming hole leads to a platform with a view over the ocean. You can see where the underwater cave system meets the ocean.

Another path takes you down to some rock formations in the lava, and and somewhat derelict, tidal swiming pool.

If you’re spending some time here, there are some fales providing shade, and a well-maintained garden with natural shade. Next to the carpark is a well-equipped grocery store.

Getting to To Sua Ocean Trench

The To Sua Ocean Trench is accessed from the Main South Road Coast Road near the village of Lotofoga. It’s well signposted, as is about a one-hour drive from Apia. There’s a large carpark, and you’ll walk past another trench (which connects to the To Sua Ocean Trench) before you suddenly find yourself above the photogenic swimming hole… It’s open every day of the week, from about 8am to 5pm (12:30pm on Sundays).

For more swimming holes and waterfalls, have a look at my 8 Days in Samoa trip report!

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