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American Samoa

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Tutuila

Tutuila, 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 by tourist.

Mt 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.  

Jean 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.  

Afono Pass, which winds from one side of Tutuila to the other, offers seven scenic points from which to view the incredibly beautiful Pago Pago harbour.

You can visit Tutuila's newly established National 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.

Facilities include comfortable hotels, motels and lodges. There are no camping sites, but private accommodation arrangements can be made with village chiefs or landowners.

Taxis 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.

Live 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).

There 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.

Try 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 long nets.

Visit 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.

Pago Pago
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 Rainmaker 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.

Mt Alava 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 station.

Fagatele Bay
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.

Aunu'u Island
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.

For more general information on Samoa, go to:

For more regional information on Samoa, go to:

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We have included Samoa in some of our specials to the South Pacific, eg. our Bounty Voyage and South Sea Dream Voyage.

Another option is to create your own package to Samoa by utilizing the seperate travel components, like hotels, carrental, flights and excursions on the islands.

I. To see minimum rates and availability for the hotels in this area,  press the button "Hotel Overview" From for night(s)

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