Country: American Samoa
Where is it?: Oceania, group of islands in the South Pacific Ocean, about half way between Hawaii and New Zealand
Why do people go here?: Too Americanized for some, yet too ‘cultural’ for others, American Samoa is not generally considered one of the more beautiful of the Pacific Islands (tuna fish comprises 99% of their exports). However, the islands still have a few less-touristy areas and enough palm trees to keep ‘em coming.
What are the main entry points?: Flights into Pago Pago are available from the US west coast and mainland Pacific countries. Those with experience may be able to thumb a ride on a yacht.
Currency used: US dollar (USD)
Country Code: 684
Religion: Christian Congregationalist 50%, Roman Catholic 20%, Protestant and other 30%
Ethnic Breakdown: native Pacific islander 91.6%, Asian 2.8%, white 1.1%, mixed 4.2%, other 0.3%
Government: Unincorporated and unorganized territory of the US
Languages: Samoan (closely related to Hawaiian and other Polynesian languages), English. Most people are bilingual
Major Cities: Pago Pago
Attractions: Pago Pago, Quicksand, Beaches
Tourism Office locations and links: American Samoa
Off-the Beaten Path: Amalau Valley Falls, Lake Lanoto’o the Goldfish Lake
Health Issues: A yellow fever vaccination certificate is required from travellers over 1 year of age coming from infected areas.
Tips for Visiting
When to go: June through September will offer up good weather (and other tourists)
Common Phrases: ‘ioe meaning Yes, Leai meaning No, Fa‘amolemole meaning Please,
Fa‘afetai meaning Thankn You, ‘Ua lelei meaning That’s Alright, tele meaning Big, la‘itiiti meaning Small
Specific Events/Holidays: Flag Day, 17 April (1900)
Getting Around: Go with the locals and take a bus, just make sure you don’t have anywhere you have to be in the evening
Good to know: American Samoa is known as the heart of Polynesia
Cheapest airport to fly into: Pago Pago International Airport is the only airport in American Samoa that could provide you with cheap flights.
Need more information?: Check out the American Samoa travel guide for more on what to see, where to stay, and how to get there.