the mainisland of American Samoa, is situated about 70 km's eastwards of
Upolu. The island is mountainious and covered with lush vegetation.
Although you find beautiful landscapes , American Samoa is barely visited
Alava provides stunning views of the harbour which is the steep sided
crater of an ancient volcano, the seaward side of which has collapsed to
allow the sea to enter and form the mouth of the harbour.
P. Haydon Museum of American Samoa, a national historic building that
formerly housed the United States Navy Commisary during World War 2, was
officially dedicated by famous anthropologist Margaret Mead, author of the
controversial book, 'Coming of Age in Samoa'. Visiting hours are from
8:00am - 4:00pm Monday through Friday.
Pass, which winds from one side of Tutuila to the other, offers seven
scenic points from which to view the incredibly beautiful Pago Pago
can visit Tutuila's newly established
Park over the mountains
from Pago Pago, and on the Manu'a Islands of Ta'u and Ofu. Pay a visit and
you will experience paradise. The tropical rainforest, world class diving
areas, scenic hiking trails and Manu'a's historic sites, will make you
feel like a native of Samoa's culture and fa'a Samoa way of life.
include comfortable hotels, motels and lodges. There are no camping sites, but
private accommodation arrangements can be made with village chiefs or landowners.
and rental cars are available. A fleet of 'aiga', local family buses, run
unscheduled services. Driving is on the right hand side and most car rental
companies require drivers to be at least 18 years old.
bands and traditional dancing are offered in some of the hotels. You can
also attend a Samoan party and feast on delicious suckling pig, chicken
and fish served on banana leaf plates, or visit the various villages and
share a ceremonial drink of kava, and a Fiafia (traditional barbecue).
are a number of recreational options including snorkelling, swimming,
sailing, waterskiing, windsurfing, scuba diving, golf, tennis, rugby,
cricket, nature walks and visiting historical archaeological sites.
deep sea fishing for marlin, tuna and shark from a charter boat and watch
a whole village harvest fish from the sea in the traditional style using
the handicraft centre at the Old Age Office at the south end of Pago Pago
park. They have fascinating carved wood objects and hand-blocked
tapa-print artifacts. Handicrafts are also made in the villages.
Much written about and
much maligned, Pago Pago is an alluring mix of the seedy and the
dramatically beautiful. On a bad day, the tuna canneries are the only
local feature you will be aware of, unless you get hit by an empty Coke
can hurled from a passing pick-up truck. Look around and you're likely to
see a polluted harbour, lots of litter and - perhaps worst of all - the
mess that is the infamous
Hotel. Although reports have been OK recently, it'll take a few more
generations before this government-run complex lives down its long-held
reputation as the worst hotel in the South Pacific.
Usually though, the town (or, more correctly,
towns) offers visitors a reasonably pleasant, light industrial, small town
experience. The picturesque harbour is surrounded by high, almost
wicked-looking mountains that plunge straight into the sea.
towers over Pago Pago Harbor, and you can make the walk to the summit for
great views of the island along a 5km (3mi) trail. The Jean P Haydon
Museum houses numerous artefacts of early Samoa, and a fascinating
native pharmacopoeia. On Saturday, a farmers' market is held near the bus
If you plan ahead, are
prepared for difficult access, and clear your visit with the Marine and
Wildlife Resources Officer in Pago Pago, you can dive, snorkel and swim at
the Fagatele Bay National Marine Sanctuary. The entire bay, located at the
southernmost point of Tutuila Island, is a submerged volcanic crater
surrounded by steep cliffs. Nearly 200 species of coral are recovering
from a massive crown-of-thorns starfish attack in the late 1970s that
wiped out over 90% of the colourful corals. Tropical fish also frequent
these waters, and between August and November you will find southern
humpback whales enjoying their winter vacation. The marine sanctuary is
about 7mi (12km) as the black noddy flies from Pago Pago.
Fifteen minutes by ferry
from Tutuila is the tiny, quiet island of Aunu'u. Easily explorable in a
day (but don't go on Sunday; you won't be welcome), the island is an
easily accessible respite from the traffic chaos of Pago Pago. Pala
Lake is a beautiful expanse of fiery red quicksand; extraordinary from
the edge, deadly in the middle. On the far side of the island from the
ferry harbour is Ma'ama'a Cove, a cauldron of surf, spray and
rocks. It's a wild, entertaining natural display, and a perfect place to
eat a packed lunch.
more general information
on Samoa, go to: