Upolu is the most important of Samoa's islands. The Region of Upolu also includes all other islands of the country apart from the so-called "big" island of Savaii. Upolu was formed by a massive volcano, but there have been no recent eruptions. The island is 75 km long and contains Samoa's capital, Apia, which is in the middle of the north coast and Faleolo International Airport, which is towards the western end of the island. The island is fringed by reefs and has some beautiful beaches. Inland is hilly, with tropical vegetation and numerous waterfalls.
Upolu was affected by a major tsunami on 29 September 2009. Twenty villages in its eastern, southeastern and southern sides were destroyed or badly damaged. Deaths exceeded 100 and more than 3000 people were made homeless. Considerable tourism infrastructure was affected but several facilities have been rebuilt. In addition to its impact on land, the tsunami also had considerable impact on the area's coral.
Be respectful whilst traveling around the villages and the quiet outskirts of Upolu. Samoa is a very traditional society and it is important to respect Fa'a Samoa, the "Samoan Way". See Samoa.