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American Samoa
American Samoa
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Inspiring Beaches and Nature

In this tropical destination, American Samoa rewards intrepid travelers with astounding natural beauty and an authentic taste of Polynesian culture. Portions of Tutuila, Ta’u, and Ofu Islands comprise the No. 1 natural attraction, the National Park of American Samoa. Enjoy diving, snorkeling and hiking an untamed landscape of rainforest, beaches and protected coral reefs teeming with wildlife. The capital of Pago Pago on Tutuila offers popular activities and attractions: hiking on Mount ‘Alava, Two Dollar Beach, National Marine Sanctuary of American Samoa, hotels, shopping and dining at Pago Plaza and Fagatogo Square. If it’s solitude you seek, the beaches on Ofu will sweep you away. September and October are peak humpback whale-watching months. Throughout the year, you’ll also glimpse land and sea creatures galore, from fruit bats and geckos to dolphins and sea turtles.

Preserving Polynesian Culture

For culture-loving visitors, American Samoa is a magical experience. Aside from the introduction of Christianity in the 19th century, the culture remains much as it has for 3,000 years. Aiga, or the extended family, is the core of society. Elders and village chiefs, known as matai, are deeply respected. Samoan is spoken by more than 90 percent of natives. You’ll also see locals wearing lavalava (sarong) or puletasi (patterned skirt and tunic), performing a siva (Samoan dance), cooking in an umu (earth oven) and drinking milk directly from a fresh coconut. Every evening and Sunday, Samoan villages observe religious prayer and rest. This is Fa’a Samoa – The Samoan Way.

Things to Know Before You Go

Advanced planning is essential for a trip to American Samoa. Unless you live in Samoa or Hawaii, flights into Pago Pago require a layover. Activities fill up quickly; schedule fishing charters, guided dives and other island tours beforehand when possible. If you plan to venture to the remote islands of Ofu or Ta’u, book a flight in advance and make the excursion on the beginning leg of your trip. American Samoa is just 14 degrees south of the equator. July is the coolest month, and December and January are hot. Don’t forget to pack a hat, bug spray and sunblock, and bring something modest to wear over your bathing suit when you explore local villages. U.S. dollars are the island currency. Be aware that many of the beaches and bays are on private property; it’s not unusual to pay a few dollars to a local family for access. Additionally, the National Park of American Samoa is leased to the USA, so services will differ from other U.S. national parks.

American Samoa