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American Samoa
American Samoa
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Inspiring Beaches and Nature in American Samoa

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 of American Samoa

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
American Samoa
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Fun Fact

The National Park of American Samoa is the only U.S. national park south of the equator.
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The National Park of American Samoa is the only U.S. national park south of the equator.

Pola Ridge forest, part of the National Park of American Samoa
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Movie star Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson is part Samoan on his mother’s side.

American Samoa has the highest rate of enlisted service members in the U.S. military than any other state or territory.
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American Samoa has the highest rate of enlisted service members in the U.S. military than any other state or territory.

Must see places

An aerial view of Ofu Island

National Park of American Samoa

Encompassing parts of three islands, this is the only U.S. national park south of the equator and one of the most remote, undeveloped parks in the world. It’s easiest to access the National Park of American Samoa on Tutuila Island. Flag down an aiga, a family bus, to the park and trek high volcanic peaks and sandy beaches. Your legs and your will get a workout. Plan in advance and arrange a trip to the park areas on Ta'u and Ofu Islands. Remote and sparsely populated, these portions of the park offer blissful solitude.

Underwater view in Fagatele Bay

Fagatele Bay

Fagatele Bay on the island of Tutuila is part of the National Marine Sanctuary of American Samoa, which protects about 168 species of coral and 271 species of fish, believed to be the most diverse in the U.S. marine sanctuary system. Formed by a collapsed volcanic crater, the warm-water bay is surrounded by towering, verdant cliffs. Bring along gear for fantastic snorkeling or diving.

One of the bays of Tutuila Island, American Samoa

Fogama'a Bay and Crater

Also part of the National Marine Sanctuary of American Samoa, Fogama’a Bay is just east of Fagatele Bay and also was formed by a flooded volcanic crater. Go snorkeling in shallow reefs and crystal-clear water; bring your own gear. The hike to the bay features rocky cliffs, crashing waves and natural blowholes. The village of Vaitogi is nearby. Ask about the legend of the Turtle and Shark to learn about local lore.

Diving into the harbor on Aunuu Island

Aunu'u Island

Board a boat in the village of Auasi on Tutuila for a day trip to Aunu’u Island. This tiny volcanic island has a population of 475 and is a covered in rainforest and taro plantations. Faimulivai Marsh, the largest freshwater marsh in American Samoa, is a National Natural Landmark. Spend the day hiking and talking with the locals.

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Coral reef and mountain peaks in the Manu’a Islands

Ofu Beach

For the bold traveler, a trip to Ofu Beach on the Manu’a Islands is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. There are three main islands, Taʻu, Ofu and Olosega. Ofu is connected to Olosega by a walkable bridge and offers hiking, snorkeling and relaxing on one of the most pristine, remote beaches you can imagine. Flights are offered several days a week from Pago Pago to Ta’u, but you’ll need to plan ahead for the limited flights to Ofu or arrange for boat transport.

Mount Alava on Tutuila Island in American Samoa

Mount ‘Alava Adventure Trail/Tramway Memorial & Lookout

Get the best views of Pago Pago Harbor by hiking to the top of Mount ‘Alava. From the village of Vatia, the 5.6-kilometer trail winds through rainforest and plantations in the National Park of American Samoa. At the summit, you’ll find the remains of an old cable car tramway, which used to provide service access to TV transmission equipment and was one of the longest in the world. The cable connecting to the harbor below is still there. Bring lots of water and be sure to sign the visitor log at the lookout.

Tisa's Barefoot Bar & Marine Sanctuary

Part beachfront bar, part marine sanctuary, Tisa’s Barefoot Bar is a must-stop. Come for cool drinks and traditional Samoan food, or book a private tour ahead of time to snorkel in the beautiful waters in front of the bar. Tisa herself has dedicated decades of her life to preserving the beaches and marine life on her property. You can even stay in an eco-fale (house) right on the beach.

Looking at the western district of Tutuila from the east


Also known as A’oloau, this village on Tutuila is perched on the high plain at more than 400 meters altitude. You’ll need a rugged car to get over the bumpy roads to the top, where you’ll be awe-struck by the sweeping views. Ask the locals to point out the trail to Massacre Bay. Named after an attack between French explorers and native Samoans in 1787, Massacre Bay is a former village that now offers a quiet, beachfront respite.

Fagatogo Market

Purchase freshly caught fish, browse the produce stalls, pick up a Samoan handicraft and enjoy live Gospel music at this bustling Samoan market. Be sure to sample local specialties such as breadfruit, palusami (a dish made from taro leaves and corn beef), coconut milk and poi fai (banana pudding).

World War II Heritage Trail

With its strategic position in the South Pacific, American Samoa played an important role during World War II. Hike the World War II Heritage Trail in the National Park of American Samoa to learn about this fascinating wartime history. The Blunts Point and Breakers Point trails boast beautiful Pago Pago Harbor views and feature two intact, war-era cannons that once protected the harbor.

Explore American Samoa destinations

Palm trees at Le Falepule on Tutuila
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Explore American Samoa destinations
A hermit crab at Sailele Beach
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Experience American Samoa