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American Samoa, the only U.S. territory south of the equator, surprises visitors with its spectacular mountain scenery. A panoramic highway winds along the south coast of the main island Tutuila passing picturesque bays and small Samoan villages of beehive-shaped homes. The territory's finest beaches are on Ofu Island in the Manu'a Group, a 40-minute commuter plane ride from Pago Pago International Airport. Ta'u Island, where Margaret Mead researched Coming of Age in Samoa in 1925, is another quick flight east. Significant tracts of Tutuila, Ofu, and Ta'u have been set aside as American Samoa National Park, including a sparkling white ...

American Samoa, the only U.S. territory south of the equator, surprises visitors with its spectacular mountain scenery. A panoramic highway winds along the south coast of the main island Tutuila passing picturesque bays and small Samoan villages of beehive-shaped homes. The territory's finest beaches are on Ofu Island in the Manu'a Group, a 40-minute commuter plane ride from Pago Pago International Airport. Ta'u Island, where Margaret Mead researched Coming of Age in Samoa in 1925, is another quick flight east. Significant tracts of Tutuila, Ofu, and Ta'u have been set aside as American Samoa National Park, including a sparkling white snorkeling beach on Ofu and a soaring mountain overlooking Pago Pago Harbor on Tutuila. Tourism is low key in American Samoa, although organized activities like scuba diving, deep-sea fishing, and sailing can be arranged with a little effort. It's mostly just a place to explore slowly by local bus, rental car, or on foot, soaking in the local lifestyle and ocean views.

David Stanley
About the Expert

David Stanley is the author of the Moon guidebooks Fiji, Tahiti, and South Pacific. He has been writing about the Pacific since 1979.

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David Stanley for Triporati

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Facts at a Glance

  • Location: An unincorporated territory of the United States located in the South Pacific Ocean, southeast of the sovereign state of Samoa, formerly known as Western Samoa.
  • Language: English, Samoan
  • Currency: United States Dollar
  • Research: Wikipedia | Wikitravel
  • Weather: Daylight | Rainfall
  • Current Time:

Climate

  • Best Time to Visit:

    The cooler, drier season is May to October although heavy rain can be expected at any time of year.