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While Mount Vaea offers stunning views of the town of Apia and the reefed coastline, the less traveled paths are around Lake Lanoto’o, which is often called “The Goldfish Lake.” Situated in the center of the island, it is nearly 600 meters above sea level and can be reached by the Cross Island Highway. The trails around Lake Lanoto’o, if you can really call them trails at all, tend to be a bit over-grown thanks to the tropical rain that makes this area so green and lush.
While there aren’t tours available, consult with your hotel or ask the locals about visiting the lake. Some of the locals along the Cross Island Highway will offer their services as guides. Feel free to barter a bit if you think you need assistance through the unmarked trails. Arriving at the crater lake you’ll practically feel like you’re in another world, as the cool mist and lack of outside sound make this a truly unspoiled piece of nature.
Be sure to note your way, and when heading out be sure to wear plenty of sunscreen and bring along a light jacket if possible. The interior, especially at higher altitudes can get chilly. And venture out in the morning so you have plenty of sunlight to find your way back to the highway.