Halfway between Hawaii and New Zealand and 5,000 miles away from California, Samoa might as well be the lost Garden of Eden. Savai’i and Upolu — Samoa’s two main islands — are filled with lush waterfalls, dancing blowholes, pool-filled caves, sliding rocks, and tropical lagoons filled with sea turtles and bright-turquoise waters.

You’ll definitely need to experience an ‘ava ceremony, witness a Samoan full-body tattoo session, and watch a fire-knife dance on the beach. If the islands’ nature doesn’t leave a lasting impression on you, Samoan culture almost certainly will.