Summary: Papaseea Sliding Rocks is a popular swimming spot near Apia, with four beautiful cascades and natural water holes along the Papase’ea Stream.

A popular swimming spot, Papaseea Sliding Rocks near Apia combines a series of waterfalls on the Papase’ea Stream with multiple swimming holes. You can swim year-round, but during the dry season the water levels can drop a lot, making it a bit less picturesque and the water too shallow for sliding down the rocks.

The uppermost waterfall drops into the Le Telesa’s Pool (O le Papa o Tuli). Telesa is the protector spirit of the pools who bathed here along with her birds. The pools were a meeting place for Telesa and her friends, who were regarded as female spirits, and the pools also hosted male spirits who were the girls’ boyfriends. When the spirits gathered to bathe they would make noises and sing songs, but they were never seen. The Samoan saying “whenever something bad happens good always comes out of it, even if we don’t see it at the time” is based on the noises that Telesa and her spirit friends made – but if you approach the pool, no-one is there.

It’s a picturesque pool, which gets deeper near the small cascade. There’s no obvious access to the top of the falls, but you can swim here.

Next is the Men’s Pool (O le Papa o Tamaloloa), which is the most popular pool.

A paved path takes you down to the edge of this swimming hole.

Two cascades drop into this waterhole, and while it looks a little dangerous you can slide down the left falls into the water (which is quite deep).

Next (the the third waterfall) is the Children’s Pool (O le Papa o Tamaiti), where the water drops into a very small “plunge pool” from almost every direction.

The last cascade is the Women’s Pool (O le Papa o Fafine), where the water flows into two pools.

Whether you’re sliding, swimming or just enjoying the waterfalls, it’s an idyllic spot surroundedby rainforest.

Getting to Papaseea Sliding Rocks

Papaseea Sliding Rocks is on the outskirts of Apia, about 7km / 15min drive from the town centre. From the parking area, a set of steps descends steeply to the main pool. An entry fee is payable. Papaseea Sliding Rocks is closed on Sundays.

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

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