American Samoa is a state consisting of 7 islands, located in the South Pacific Ocean between Hawaii and New Zealand. Today the country is considered an unincorporated unorganized territory that is not part of the United States. That is, American Samoa is actually administered by the United States, enforcing the constitution and protecting the territory, but the islanders do not have U.S. citizenship and cannot vote in U.S. presidential elections.
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Video: American Samoa
American Samoa has a total area of nearly 200 km². More than 65,000 people live on the tropical islands, 89% of whom are Samoans, 4% are Tongans, 2% are Europeans and Americans, and 5% are natives of other countries.
Although the Samoan archipelago was inhabited more than 3,000 years ago, it was not until the 18th century that Europeans “discovered” it. At the end of the 19th century Samoa was divided into two parts, and the United States absorbed its eastern part. Thus, the territory of American Samoa includes the islands of Aunuu, Tau, Tutuila, Ofu and Olosega and two coral atolls, Rose and Swains Islands. The capital, Pago Pago, is located on Tutuila, the largest island by area and population.
Travelers can fully enjoy the tropical paradise from May to September, during which time there is the least rainfall and clear weather prevails on the islands. In addition, the main holidays and festivals take place during the dry season. The worst time to visit American Samoa is from December to March, because strong tropical cyclones come here, which can cause earthquakes and tsunamis. The temperature stays at about +26 C all year round.
Rules of Entry
There are 2 ways to reach American Samoa: via New Zealand or the USA, which means you’ll need a transit or regular visa for one of these countries. The flight from Hawaii takes 5 hours and from Samoa only half an hour.
However, if you intend to stay in American Samoa for less than 30 days, you will not need a visa. You will need a valid passport and proof of no immigration intent to enter the country.
It is prohibited to bring or take to American Samoa without a special permit items and things of artistic and historical value, meat and uncanned meat products, as well as coral products, sea turtle shell, feathers and skins of tropical birds and animals.
There is a $3 tax when leaving American Samoa by air. It is usually included in the price of the ticket.
A yellow fever vaccination is required before visiting the country. Vaccinations against hepatitis B, cholera, typhoid, Japanese encephalitis, and polio are also recommended. It is advisable to carry protection against mosquitoes, as they are carriers of tropical fever. In general, American Samoa is a fairly safe country if you take basic precautions.
The main tourist attraction is American Samoa National Park, located on the islands of Tau, Ofu and Tutuila. The area of the park is about 36 km2. Most of the national park is covered with tropical relict forests, which have already disappeared on other islands. The park is home to rare species of animals and birds, as well as picturesque coral reefs, which are protected and closely monitored. At the center of the park is Mount Alava, 491 meters high. American Samoa National Park has a network of low-grade trails that are ideal for walking. They are located within the park itself, along Pago Pago Bay, and on the northwest side of Tutuila Island. The island also has a good golf club and several tennis courts. In the capital city of Pago Pago, you can visit the Haydon Museum to learn about Samoan arts and crafts.
The highest point in American Samoa is the 650-meter-high Matafao Peak. At its foot flows the stunning Nuuili Waterfall. Other places of interest in American Samoa are Nuuili Pala Lagoon, the amazing Sea Turtle Sanctuary, the unusual Waoto Marine Park, the Fagatele Bay National Marine Sanctuary, and the Swains Private Island Sanctuary. All these natural monuments are protected areas of national importance.
Water sports enthusiasts should definitely visit American Samoa, because windsurfing and diving enthusiasts from all over the world come to the country! You can ride the waves at the famous Carter Beach and Leone Bay and Alofay Bays. And the best sandy beaches, where you can get a bronze tan, are considered the beaches of Alega village, located on the island of Tutuila.
Travelers are advised to explore the underwater world of American Samoa. Here you can see more than 200 species of coral, 890 species of fish and several species of mammals. Fishing is also very popular. You can rent a fishing boat in a hotel or local travel agency, or go to a yacht club in the town of Utulei. You can catch striped tuna, marlin, wahoo, skipjack, and yellowtail tuna in the local waters.
Every July, American Samoa hosts Tourism Week. During this week, you can learn about the country’s tourism achievements, take part in sporting events, numerous festivities, and watch the traditional Miss American Samoa pageant.
American Samoa’s national holiday is Flag Day, which is celebrated in the second half of April. The celebration includes a Samoan art festival, canoe races, song and dance festivals, sporting events, and a fisherman’s contest.
We are sure that every traveler will have a lot of impressions and vivid emotions in the tropical paradise!
American Samoa is land in the South Pacific Ocean. Are unincorporated unorganized territories. Not included in the United States. Consists of three counties divided into several counties and hundreds of provinces.
The predominant population is Samoan. Samoan and English are recognized as official languages. The dominant religion is Christian (Protestant).
Economically the country is of low standard of living and development. The main branches are fishing and agriculture (cultivation of fruits and fruit trees). Tourism is poorly developed.
In American Samoa, the choice of hotels is small. There are several resort hotels with private beaches and large areas.
The most common type of “hotels” is an open veranda with a roof on poles, where there is a bed, a mosquito net and basic furniture. All the amenities are on the streets. This type of accommodation is a frequent choice of backpackers and lovers of ecotourism. You need to be prepared for the fact that electricity is supplied on a schedule due to frequent interruptions, so it is better to charge your cell phone extra time.
In hotels more expensive have their own electric generators.
All worth seeing, created by nature: there is no special architecture, because of the favorable climate, all limited to a modest shelter from the rain. But there are beautiful beaches, a unique underwater world, unfamiliar flowers and plants, heat and, of course, the endless ocean.
Fagatele Bay National Marine Reserve is a great place to see hundreds of species of exotic fish in one place. From June to September, you can see the famous humpback whales in the waters of the bay. You can book an underwater tour to see the described beauty of the underwater world with your own eyes.
The status of “open-air museum” is deservedly held by the city of whalers Leone. Here since ancient times, the islanders were engaged in catching whales. Island architecture is mixed with colonial as if recreating the life of the century before last.
The Jane Haydon Museum could be called “local history.” It has a modest but interesting collection of Samoan arts and crafts and everyday objects.
Climate: Tropical sea, southeasterly wind. Annual rainfall averages about 3 m. Rainy season (November to April), dry season (May to October). Seasonal temperature variations.
Tutuila Island is the main and most populous island. It is here that the best hotels, beaches and entertainment for tourists are concentrated.
The best beaches are Maliu Mali, Sliding Rock, and Tule.
The ocean and the beach are the main places to spend your leisure time. The beautiful underwater world, underwater coral arrays – excellent conditions for diving or snorkeling. Surfing, fishing and hiking will be the main leisure and entertainment during the vacation.
Terrain: Five volcanic islands and limited coastal plains, two coral atolls.
The main feature of local public transport – self-made buses, converted from trucks. It’s very simple: the car body is sawn off and a new, longer one made of wood. Such a thing does not exist anywhere else in the world.
Standard of Living
American Samoa is a U.S. territory not included in its states. There are even a few McDonald’s restaurants, although they are not particularly popular with islanders.
Islanders farm, raise livestock, fish, and work for government services. More than half of the population lives on food stamps, a kind of aid from the United States. According to official statistics, more than 50% of the entire population has an income below the U.S. cost of living. This is not uncommon in Oceania.
Island society is divided into clans. There is no social security or pensions, the elderly and people who can’t work are the concern of the clan. Virtually all of the land on the islands is the property of the clans, not of any individual person. This is why it is impossible to develop any kind of business here. If you want to visit the local community, it is worth observing certain rules of etiquette, for example, you can’t talk standing up to the elder, only sitting down.
The capital is Pago Pago, which is also the largest city on the islands. Only 4,500 people live here, so city and capital status are conditional. The center of the city is public institutions, restaurants, and a picturesque promenade.
The main local pride – here they make the most delicious canned tuna in the world.