About American Samoa, Pacific

— American Samoa —

American Samoa is located in the Pacific Ocean, halfway between Hawaii and New Zealand, with the geographic coordinates of 14° 16° S, 170° 42° W; a five hour direct flight from Honolulu, Hawaii and only 35 minutes by air from Apia, Samoa.

American Samoa is the only U.S. territory south of the equator and is composed of seven land masses: five volcanic islands and two coral atolls. From west to east, American Samoa’s islands are Tutuila, Aunu`u, Ofu, Olosega, and Ta`u.

Capital and Major Centres
The capital Pago Pago, pronounced ‘pango pango’, sits on a beautiful harbour that can be seen from mount Alava.

The people & Culture
Samoans have lived here for more than 3000 years and are of Polynesian extraction. Their culture is traditional with emphasis on the extended family. Most speak Samoan and English.

American Samoa’s islands make up the eastern part of the Samoan Archipelago, whose people are Polynesian. Archaeologists state early Polynesians travelled from South East Asia into the Pacific, populating the islands of the western Pacific from Papua New Guinea to Tonga and Samoa. It was from Tonga and Samoa, sometime later, that they migrated east and populated the Cook Islands, Niue, Tahiti and Rapanui (Easter Island) before heading north to Hawaii and south to Aotearoa (New Zealand) on the last legs of the great Polynesian migration.

Today Samoans are regarded as the largest full blooded Polynesian race left in the world. Fa’a Samoa or the Samoan way is the foundation of Samoan society, culture and heritage. Aiga or extended family is the core of the Fa’a Samoa, where at the head of the family are matai or chiefs and each family member has their role to play
in their tautua, or service to the extended family. Samoan customs and culture are over 3000 years old and have changed very little over this period. The most major western influence accepted into Samoan custom has been Christianity which forms the spiritual basis of its society.

Human history in American Samoa dates back about 3,000 years, making the Samoan culture the oldest in Polynesia. Archaeological evidence dating to that time has been found at eastern Tutuila Island and on Ofu Island. With the exception of Ta`u, the Samoan islands were under Tongan conquest from 1200 to 1400 CE.

The first European contact came in 1722 and 1768 when Dutch explorer Jacob Roggeveen and French explorer Louis-Antoine de Bougainville traded with islanders in the Manu`a island group. Subsequent outside visitors included other European explorers, Christian missionaries, and whaling ships. From the 1850s on, a steadily increasing number of European and American traders operated on Tutuila, while Manu`a remained relatively isolated.

By the 1880s, Britain and Germany had laid claim to the islands. In March 1889, German, English, and American warships stood ready to go to war over possession of the islands, but the impending battle never took place because of a hurricane. In 1899 (though not effective until February 16, 1900), Germany, England, and the United States (note the absence of Samoan representation) signed a tripartite agreement that granted control of Upolu and Savai`i to Germany and control of Tutuila, Aunu`u, and Manu`a to the United States. That year, the U.S. Department of the Navy assumed administration of ‘Tutuila Station’. The matais, or chiefs, of Tutuila and Aunu`u ceded these islands to the US on April 17, 1900. The king and matai of Manu`a did not sign a deed of cession for Ta`u, Ofu, Olosega, and Rose Atoll to the US until 1904. Several years later, the Navy began to refer to the region as ‘American Samoa’.

Although American Samoa remained largely insulated from World War I, during World War II, the American Samoa Defense Group (headquartered at Naval Station Tutuila) was the largest defence group in the Pacific and experienced Japanese scout overflights and submarine fire. In 1951, per Executive Order 10264, administration of American Samoa transferred from the Department of the Navy to the Department of the Interior. The Secretary of the Interior enabled American Samoans to draft a constitution, under which the government of American Samoa now functions.

The Territory of American Samoa has a total land area of 76 square miles made up of five volcanic islands (Tutuila, Aunu’u, Ofu, Olosega and Ta’u) and two atolls (Rose and Swains). Including the marine waters and 200-mile exclusive economic zone, the Territory’s total area is 117,500 square miles, about the size of the State of Oregon or New Zealand. With steep volcanic mountains, the tallest peak Mount Lata 3170 feet is on Ta’u Island and Mount Matafao at 2142 feet is the tallest on Tutuila Island.

American Samoa is a tropical paradise and the climate averages 82°-83° Fahrenheit all year round and the ocean waters that surround our islands average 82°-86° Fahrenheit. With 90% of its islands covered in untouched tropical rainforest, the flora and fauna is unique. The National Park of American Samoa is the only US Park in the Pacific, offering challenging and dramatic hiking trails to historical sites, secluded beaches and villages. Fagatele Bay National Marine Sanctuary is one of only 13 conservation areas throughout the United States. From hiking the tropical rainforests, to swimming, snorkelling, diving or fishing the surrounding ocean waters, American Samoa is an eco-tourism haven for visitors wanting an undiscovered holiday paradise.

Large fruit bats can be seen around the island while huge seabirds nest on the sheer cliffs and ridges. Some 34 species of birds have been identified, 16 of which are unique to Samoa. A thriving coral community, tropical fish and marine turtles live in the clear warm waters around the islands, where visibility is greater than 30 metres. Humpback Whales are known to winter here from August to November while porpoises and sperm whales visit regularly.

The Sights
Mt Alava and Afono Pass provide stunning views of the harbour which is the steep sided crater of an ancient volcano; the seaward side has collapsed, allowing the sea to enter and form the mouth of the harbour. Visit Tutuila’s National Park to enjoy world-class diving areas as well as tropical rainforests, and historic sites. National historic building, the Jean P. Haydon Museum of American Samoa (named after the wife of 1969 – 1971 Governor John Morse Haydon), formerly the United States Navy Commissary during WWII, was officially dedicated by famous anthropologist Margaret Mead, author of the controversial book, Coming of Age in Samoa.

Where to Stay
American Samoa is an eco-tourism paradise, with a great selection of retail stores and very warm, friendly people. As a holiday destination it offers affordable accommodation and services; from a beach front Samoan fale to boutique lodges, apartments or a hotel suite, all accommodation properties are 100 percent locally owned and operated.

Getting Around
Taxis and rental cars are available. A fleet of ‘aiga’ local family buses, run unscheduled services from one end of the island to the other. Bus stops are found throughout the main island of Tutuila, but you can stop and catch a bus from anywhere on the side of the road simply by waving it down. All buses have village names on them and travel (unscheduled services) from their respective villages to the bus depot at Fagatogo (next to the Marketplace) in town then return. The buses operate throughout the day with services ending around 5pm, Monday to Friday. On Saturday, services are heavily reduced and on Sundays only a handful of buses operate. For no more than $2.50 one way you can travel from the town to either the western or eastern end of Tutuila. Driving is on the right-hand side.

Food and Entertainment
Live bands and traditional dancing are offered in some hotels depending on the occasion. You can also attend a Samoan party and feast on delicious suckling pig, chicken and fish, or visit villages and share a ceremonial drink of kava, and enjoy a Fiafia (traditional barbecue). Tisa’s barefoot bare offers this experience for tourists.

Recreational options include sailing, snorkelling, surfing, scuba diving and nature walks. Try deep-sea fishing from a charter boat and watch a whole village harvest fish from the sea using long nets.

Shopping Guide
Visit the market in Fagatogo village for handicrafts and hand printed items. Other stores that carry Samoan souvenirs and clothing include J-LEN T’s in Nu’uuli village, Turtle & Shark Gift shop in Fagaima, Tiola’s at Fagatogo square and many other local shops.

Bikinis and brief clothing are acceptable by the beach and pool but may offend in their villages. American Samoa is predominantly Christian and dresses conservatively.

110 volts AC/ 50 cycles.

Time Zone
American Samoa time is 11 hours behind Greenwich Mean Time (GMT -11)

Visas and Health
Visas are not required for stays of less than 30 days if you have an onward ticket. No vaccination certificates required. An OK Board may be required depending on the passport you carry.

American Samoa has its own Immigration Laws for all foreign visitors entering the Territory. US Passport holders can travel freely to and from the Territory.

American Samoa Entry Permit Waiver Program
To qualify for the entry under the EPWP, a foreign traveller must provide: A Non-Expired Machine Readable Passport valid for at least 6 months after planned departure from American Samoa; Confirmed roundtrip ticket to point of origin or onward passage; Payment of USD$40 processing fee: and apply and pay online at www.legalaffairs. as.gov for an “OK to Board” before travelling.

Travellers entering American Samoa to board fishing vessels or other commercial vessels are NOT eligible for the EPWP. Travellers and crew arriving on cruise ships visiting for one day (less than 24 hours)
do not need an entry permit as a TRANSIT PERMIT is automatically issued. For any EPWP questions contact the Office of the Attorney General, Phone: +1 (684) 633-4163 or +1 (684) 633-4164 or
Email: [email protected]

How to get here
Three airlines fly to American Samoa from Hawaii, USA and Samoa. Hawaiian Airlines operates bi-weekly flights from Honolulu to Pago Pago, while both Samoa Airways and Talofa Airways operate daily services from Apia, Samoa.

American Samoa has one bank on island – Territorial Bank of American Samoa.

The United States Dollar is the currency of American Samoa. Major foreign currencies can be exchanged at local bank branches or Western Union Foreign Money Exchange.

Commercial hours
Government Offices and retail stores are open Monday to Friday from 8am to 4pm. Stores open on Saturdays from 8am to 2pm and the majority of retailers are closed on Sundays.

American Samoa has a tropical climate all year round with two distinct seasons, the wet and dry season. The wet season is usually between December and March and the dry season from April through to September with the average daily temperature around 82°- 83° Fahrenheit all year round.

Samoa and English are spoken by over 95 percent of the population, with English being the main business language.

The country dialling code to call American Samoa is (+1 684). To make an overseas call from American Samoa dial (1), area code, then the phone number if calling the US and (011), area code and the phone number if calling any other country.

The American Samoa Telecommunications Authority and Bluesky Communications sell overseas calling cards offering cheap international calling rates.



Tutuila Islands

Evalani’s Motu O Fiafiaga Motel – Pago Pago
Phone: (+1 684) 633-7777
Email: [email protected]
Contact: Evelani Pearson

Le Falepule – Fogagogo
Phone: (+1 684) 699-8932
Email: [email protected]
Contact: Isabel Steffany Hudson

Maliu Mai Resort Fogagogo
Phone: (+1 684) 699-7232
Email: [email protected]
Contact: Mapu Jamias

Moana O Sina – Fogagogo
Phone: (+1 684) 699-8517
Email: [email protected]
Contact: Isabel Steffany Hudson

Pago Airport Inn – Petesa
Phone: (+1 684) 699-6333,
Email: [email protected]
Contact: Poe Mageo

Sadie’s by the Sea – Utulei
Phone: (+1 684) 633-5900
Email: [email protected]
Contact: Tom Drabble

Sadie Thompson Inn – Fagatogo
Phone: (+1 684) 633-5981
Email: [email protected]
Contact: Tom Drabble

Ta’alolo Lodge & Golf Resort – Ili’ili
Phone: (+1 684) 699-7201
Email: [email protected]
Contact: Ta’alolo Lutu- Drabble

Tessarea’s Motel- Vaitogi
Phone: (+1 684) 699-7793
Email: [email protected]
Contact: Fia Mauga

Tisa’s Barefoot Bar – Alega
Phone: (+1 684) 622-7447
Email: [email protected]
Contact: Tisa Fa’amuli

Tradewinds Hotel – Ottoville
Phone: (+1 684) 699-1000
Email: [email protected]

Turtle & Shark Lodge – Vaitogi
Phone: (+1 684) 688-1212,
Email: [email protected]
Contact: Roy JD Hall III

Manu’a Islands

Asaga Inn – Ofu
Phone: (+1 684) 655-1306

Mauga’s Home Stay – Ta’u
Phone: (+1 684) 677-3414
Contact: Mauga Nofoaiga

Vaoto Lodge – Ofu
Phone: (+1 684) 655-1120
Email: [email protected]
Contact: Deborah Malae

Where to Stay

We are sorry, currently there is no place to stay in this area