The south coast of Upolu is without doubt the holiday playground of Samoa and has the greatest number of resorts along its beaches. And it is remarkable how this area has bounced back from the utter devastation caused by the earthquake of 29 September 2009 with its tsunami that caused huge damage and loss of life.
There used to be villages here with their simple open fales along the sea front, but after the tsunami many people have relocated up the hills behind their original villages. So the village of Saleapaga, which used to be strung along the coast, is now on higher ground and reached via a road that goes uphill near the village of Lepa, a few kilometres west; a new school has been built there as well.
Coastal Saleapaga now has a few simple places to stay, like Faofao Beach Fales, where you can stay in simple open fales on the beach, although it also has a few more substantial rooms. The stretch of beach towards Lalomanu, on the Aleipata coast in the east has numerous beach fale places like that and is ideal for swimming, snorkelling or just lazing around. There are also more upmarket places here, like the new 'Aga Reef Resort with its own little island.
Further east is, among others, the Seabreeze Resort on its own little bay and the To-Sua ocean trench, a favourite swimming spot on a spectacular stretch of coastline near the village of Lotofaga. Lefaga Bay is towards the western end of the south coast and nearby is a beach that received fame in 1953 as the location where the movie "Return to Paradise" starring Gary Cooper was filmed.