American Samoa offers some of the best scenic drives in the South Pacific, compelling archaeological sites, several picturesque beaches and stunning natural beauty once you leave the capital of Pago Pago on Tutuila Island, the largest and most populated island of the American Samoa group.
For the best scenic drives follow the south coast route from Pago Pago to Cape Taputapu in the west and from Pago Pago to Cape Matatula in the east. Both offer a good half-days drive past picturesque jungle-clad mountains and numerous secluded white-sand beaches – just perfect for a refreshing swim.
Along the route, stop to follow trails into the pristine tropical rainforest and discover scenic waterfalls just a few minutes walk from the highway.
Join a snorkelling and diving tour or cruise to one of the neighbouring islands. American Samoa consists of seven islands: Tutuila, Ta’u, Ofu, Olosega, Aunu’u and Nu’utele are volcanic with rugged peaks, narrow coastal plains and fringing reefs, while Swain’s and Rose islands are coral atolls.
Marvel at the red quicksands at Pala Lake and the wild cauldron of surf at Ma’ama’a Cove on Aunu’u Island, just a short boat ride from Tutuila. Or head to the Manu’a Goup, the most unspoiled and tranquil islands of American Samoa.
Discover soaring cliffs and mountains, extinct volcanic cones, crystal clear lagoons and brilliant sugar-white sand beaches, including gorgeous Ofu Beach, a fine, white-coral sand beach ideal for swimming, beachcombing and snorkelling the fringing reef, which sits within the protected national park.
Top festival in American Samoa
Flag Day (17 Apr 2010)
– Watch traditional Samoan dancing and singing, sports, colourful parades and Fautasi (longboat) racing during American Samoa's biggest event – Flag Day. The event celebrates the first raising of the American flag on 17 April 1900 when Captain B F Tilley of the US Navy claimed the island for America.
Location – American Samoa is located around 100km southeast of (Western) Samoa
Getting there – Polynesian Airlines and Inter-Island Airways operate daily flights from Apia to Pago Pago. Or via Honolulu, Hawaii.
Flight time – 40 minutes from Apia; plus 4 hours from Sydney, 9 hours from Perth (via east coast).
Flying in – Pago Pago International Airport (or Tafuna International Airport) is 15km from Pago Pago Harbour.
Entry requirements – A machine-readable passport valid for at least six months beyond intended period of stay as well as a ticket for return or onward travel. Australian citizens do not need a visa for stays up to 90 days.