10 things I wish I knew before going to American Samoa (2023)

How much do you know about American Samoa? Do you know where is American Samoa located and how to get to American Samoa? Do you know how to travel to American Samoa? Do you need an American Samoa visa? How can you have the best time in American Samoa? Don't worry, in this article you will know all the answers to these questions, even more.So, where is American Samoa? American Samoa is one of the unincorporated territories of the United States, which is the southernmost zone of this country. The territory is a union of several islands with a total area of 199 sq. km, located in the Pacific Ocean about 4,000 km northeast of Australia. Most of them belong to the Samoan archipelago.American Samoa is not part of the United States but is directly governed by it, so these lands are considered as American Samoa US territories. English is the official language, along with Samoan. The administrative centre is the port city of Pago Pago, located on the island of Tutuila. This island is the largest and is home to 95% of the population, which in 2018 amounted to 55.7 thousand people.

How does the American Samoa flag look like?

10 things I wish I knew before going to American Samoa (1)The American Samoa flag

was approved on April 24, 1960. It has a ratio of 1:2. American Samoa flag is a rectangular panel, visually divided into three triangles. Red, white, blue are traditional colours for both the US and Samoans.We will tell you about 10 things you need to know before going to American Samoa.

1.What are the places you need to visit when you travel to American Samoa?

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Primarily pride of American Samoa is the nature itself. Stunning landscapes around, the trill of tropical birds, the sound of the surf will make you forget about the bustle of big cities and their noise. American Samoa is popular with surfers and kitesurfers, with strong winds and currents making it ideal for water sports. These include fishing; it is exciting both for visiting tourists and for the local population. Being there, you need to visit the following ones: Pago Pago Harbor, Samoa Archipelago, Swain Atoll, Fagatele Bay, City of Pago-Pago, Gora Lata, and so on.

2.What can you buy in American Samoa?

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Shopping in Eastern Samoa is very fun. The "heart" of shopping is the main island of Tutuila, where there are many shops, shopping centres that will surprise you with an abundance of souvenirs, flowers, fruits, and handicrafts. Here is a small list of popular souvenirs that tourists from Eastern Samoa most often bring: canoes made by hand, weapons made of wood, pandan fibre baskets and rugs, coconut shell decorations, clothes of local craftsmen.

3.What else you need to see?

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There are some places about which we haven't tell you yet.The highest point in American Samoa is the 650-meter peak Matafao. The stunning Nuuuili waterfall flows at its foot. American Samoa has other attractions that deserve tourist attention: Nuuili Pala Lagoon, the amazing Marine Turtle Sanctuary, the unusual Vaoto Marine Park, the Fagatele Bay Marine National Reserve, and the Private Island Swains Sanctuary. All these natural monuments are protected areas of national importance.Also, fans of water sports should visit American Samoa, as windsurfing and diving fans from all over the world come to the country! Ride the waves at the famous Carter Beach and in Leone Bay and Alofay. And the best sandy beaches where you can get a bronze tan are the beaches of the village of Alega, located on the island of Tutuila.We recommend that travellers get acquainted with 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 eminent. You can rent a fishing boat from a hotel or local travel agency, or go to the yacht club in Utulei. In the local waters, you can catch striped tuna, marlin, wahoo, skipjack, and yellowtail tuna.

4.How to get to American Samoa?

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There are no direct flights to American Samoa. So, how to get to American Samoa? Flights to American Samoa are made only from Australia, Fiji, New Zealand, Guam, and the United States.

  • From the island of Fiji. Airplanes leave Fiji for Samoa twice a week, and a transit visa can be obtained when entering Fiji.
  • From Australia and New Zealand. Air New Zealand and Virgin Blue planes fly to the Australian capital.
  • From the United States of America. Samoa can be reached by transit through Los Angeles, but the difficulties of this flight rest against obtaining an American visa. If you are the owner of an American visa, then there is the option of flying from Guam or Hawaii.

Marine communication. The nearest communication by water is established only between neighbouring islands; therefore, there is the possibility of travelling on a yacht by sea.

5.What about the transport of American Samoa?

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The tiny islands are one of the last places on earth where you can see the sunrise a day earlier every day due to the peculiarities of the location. Thanks to the isolated area that American Samoa is located in, there are still places relatively unexplored by tourists. Most of the natural beauty is located near the capital of Pago Pago, you can see them without hindrance, especially since getting around in American Samoa is quite simple.American Samoa has one of three international airports, which is 11 kilometres from Pago Pago. The closest neighbour, Western Samoa, is a 45-minute flight, but in a different time zone.As for the car and bus traffic - it is available on the island of Tutuila, only here the road infrastructure is developed. In addition to taxis and rented cars, you can move around the island on colourful AIGA buses that run throughout the island from the Fagatogo bus station.

6.What we want you to know for your safety in American Samoa US territories?

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Before visiting the country, you must get a yellow fever vaccine. Vaccinations against hepatitis B, cholera, typhoid, Japanese encephalitis, and poliomyelitis are also recommended. It is recommended that you carry some protection against mosquitoes, as they are carriers of tropical fever. In general, American Samoa is a fairly safe country, if you follow basic precautions.

7.Visit the National Park of American Samoa!

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If you travel to American Samoa, you just need to visit the National Park of American Samoa because it is the main attraction of the country. It is located on the islands of Tau, Ofu, and Tutuila. The area of the park is about 36 km2. Most of the National Park is home to tropical relict forests that have already disappeared on other islands. The park is home to rare species of animals and birds, as well as picturesque coral reefs that are protected and closely watched. In the centre of the park is Mount Alava, 491 meters high. The National Park of American Samoa has a network of low-grade trails ideal for walking. They are located within the park itself, along the Pago Pago Bay, as well as in the northwest of Tutuila Island. The island also has a good golf club and several tennis courts. In the capitalPago Pago, you can visit the Haydon Museum to see Samoan arts and crafts.

8.What are the holidays of American Samoa?

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Every July, American Samoa hosts a week of tourism. During this week, you can get acquainted with the country's achievements in the field of tourism, take part in sports competitions, numerous holidays and watch the traditional Miss American Samoa contest.American Samoa's national holiday is Flag Day, which is celebrated in the second half of April. Celebrations include a Samoan Art Festival, canoe races, song and dance festivals, sports, and fishermen's competition.

9.What is the best time in American Samoa?

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We recommend you to enjoy the tropical paradise from May to September, at this time the least rainfall will fall, and clear weather prevails on the islands. Besides, major holidays and festivals take place during the dry season. The worst time to visit American Samoa is from December to March because there are strong tropical cyclones causing earthquakes and tsunamis in the place where is American Samoa located. The air temperature throughout the year is stable at around +26 C.

10.Do you need an American Samoa visa?

10 things I wish I knew before going to American Samoa (11)American Samoa visa

is a prerequisite for visiting this state. The territory of the country has an undefined status and is under the jurisdiction of the United States. You need to have a valid US visa and additional permission from the authorities of American Samoa to enter the territory of their state. To visit American Samoa US territories for another purpose, it is necessary to collect a package of documents for obtaining a visa, which can be obtained upon entering the country, having in hand an invitation from a hotel located in American Samoa. If the applicant already has a US visa, it will be much easier to obtain a permit to enter Samoa.We hope that we could answer all the questions you have and give you useful points you need to know before travelling to American Samoa! Just read these points carefully and enjoy your time in American Samoa!


What month is best to visit Samoa? ›

When is the best time of year to visit Samoa? The dry season from May to October is generally considered to be the best time of year to visit Samoa. However, if optimal weather with clear skies and plenty of sunshine is what you're looking for, plan your trip between June and September.

What is the best time of year to visit American Samoa? ›

The best time to visit Samoa is between April and October, when the weather is drier and the humidity is lower. Samoa's climate is dictated by its position in the South Pacific near to the Equator.

What is special about American Samoa? ›

The U.S. territory is famous for its wealth of marine biodiversity, tuna fishing, and connections to American football. American Samoa is also known for having one of the most beautiful national parks, which was established in 1988.

Do US citizens need a passport to go to American Samoa? ›

U.S. citizens do need a passport to travel to these territories and Freely Associated States: American Samoa. Guam (On a case-by-case basis, photo I.D. and proof of citizenship may be accepted instead.) The Federated States of Micronesia.

Is Fiji or Samoa better? ›

All of the islands are gorgeous and no matter which one you choose you aren't really going to go wrong. It just depends what you want out of your holiday. For pure relaxation plan a Rarotonga holiday, for adventure and luxury accommodation plan a Fiji holiday and for amazing natural attractions plan a Samoa holiday.

Is Tonga or Samoa better to visit? ›

Samoa gets more visitors and has a wider and more established range of tourist accommodations, but you can also find a good range of accommodations choices in Tonga. Both offer plenty of opportunity to learn much about their culture, and that's one of the most attractive things about them.

Is it expensive to stay in Samoa? ›

Accommodations in Samoa can range from budget-friendly guesthouses and hostels to luxury resorts. Prices will vary depending on the type of accommodation you choose and the time of year, but you can expect to pay anywhere from $50 to $300 or more per night for a room.

Is Samoa worth going to? ›

Samoa is an untouched paradise of blue pools, white sand beaches and tropical jungle that's well worth adding to your travel bucket list.

How many days do you need in Samoa? ›

How Long Do You Need In Samoa? Most visitors spend a week to 10 days in Samoa, which is enough to get a good taste of the country. Ten days would give you enough time to properly explore both Upolu and Savaii, while maybe even spending a night or two in one of the smaller islands like Namua or Manono.

Why should I go to Samoa? ›

Like a treasure, Samoa boasts unparalleled natural riches ready for you to discover. Comprised of two islands, Apia and Savai'i, Samoa has an incredibly unique landscape: rugged mountains birthed by volcanic eruptions, thick tropical rainforests, crystal-clear coral reefs and iridescent cerulean seas.

What are 2 interesting facts about American Samoa? ›

The only native mammal species are three species of bats, including large fruit bats with 3-foot wingspans. There are 35 species of native birds. The marine system is highly diverse with some 950 reef fish and 250 coral species, as well as rare and endangered sea turtles and humpback whales.

Can I come back to the U.S. without a passport? ›

While dual citizens may be able to travel abroad with alternative documentation, all U.S. citizens are required to present a U.S. passport to re-enter the United States.

What is the most important holiday in American Samoa? ›

White Sunday, (in the Samoan language Lotu Tamaiti, literally "Children's Service"), is a national holiday in Samoa falling on the second Sunday of October, with the Monday following a public holiday.

How much is American Samoa visa fee? ›

American Samoa Entry Permit Fee

For 7 Day Permit – 200 USD (in total, 10 to 20 individuals) For 14 Day Permit – 10 USD. For 30 Day Permit – 40 USD.

What is the safest Pacific island? ›

French Polynesia may be the safest place in Oceania

With tourist havens such as Tahiti, Bora Bora, Moorea, and Rangiroa, French Polynesia is known for its relaxed island life, stunning beaches, exotic marine life, and remarkable degree of safety.

Which Pacific island is cheapest? ›

  • COOK ISLANDS. The Cook Islands top the list of affordable South Pacific destinations, with a comfortable but not out-of-reach standard of living, New Zealand-influenced culture, and an inviting array of natural wonders like coral lagoons, caves, and lush forests. ...
  • FIJI. ...
  • TAHITI. ...

Is Samoa or Cook Islands better? ›

Basically, after our research, Cook seems to have better beaches and landmarks but it's more developed for tourism and has more occidental influence. Samoa doesn't have paradisiac beaches as Cook, but it's more original and locals preserve and protect their culture.

What are Samoans best known for? ›

Samoan culture is undoubtedly central to Polynesian life, and its styles of music, dance, and visual art have gained renown throughout the Pacific islands and the world. The country's international image is that of a tropical paradise inhabited by tourist-friendly flower-wreathed peoples.

What is the most beautiful city in Samoa? ›

Siumu is one of the beautiful cities in Samoa on the central south coast of Upolu island. According to the recent census, the population is 1,092. Uta has a population of 206, it is also a sub-village Siumu. Siumu Electoral Constituency (Faipule District) comprises the villages of Siumu, Siumu Uta, Maninoa and Saaga.

How much is a Coke in Samoa? ›

How Much Does a Coke Cost in Samoa? A can of Coke in Samoa costs approximately ST$2.50-$3, which is equivalent to NZ$1.50-$1.80 or US$0.93-$1.12.

Can you drink alcohol in Samoa? ›

The legal drinking age is 21. Don't drink alcohol if you're under 21, even if you can legally drink in Australia. Same-sex relationships are not recognised in Samoa and consensual sex between men is illegal.

How much is a gallon of milk in Samoa? ›

Cost of Living in Samoa
Milk (regular), (1 gallon)11.36WST
Loaf of Fresh White Bread (1 lb)3.00WST
Rice (white), (1 lb)1.36WST
Eggs (regular) (12)7.60WST
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Are Samoan people friendly? ›

Samoan people are known for their warm smiles and friendly personalities.

What is the risk of Samoa? ›

Samoa is at risk to tropical cyclones, tsunamis, droughts, and floods.

Why do people leave Samoa? ›

Migration abroad: In the case of migration to New Zealand and Australia, work opportunities, education and family reunion are the main reasons indicated by people for leaving the country.

What vaccinations do I need for Samoa? ›

The CDC and WHO recommend the following vaccinations for Samoa: hepatitis A, hepatitis B, typhoid, yellow fever, rabies, meningitis, polio, measles, mumps and rubella (MMR), Tdap (tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis), chickenpox, shingles, pneumonia and influenza.

Do you need cash in Samoa? ›

It is wise to always carry cash in Samoa as not all businesses, including accommodation providers, or services, such as taxis, accept credit card payment. The local currency in Samoa is the Samoan tala and sene, and this is the only accepted currency in Samoa.

What is the best area to stay in Samoa? ›

Lalomanu Beach's yellow and turquoise fales, on the south coast of Upolu, are some of Samoa's most popular, after it was voted the top 10 beach destination in the world by Lonely Planet.

What is the biggest problem in Samoa? ›

Samoa is highly exposed to natural hazards such as tropical cyclones, earthquakes, tsunamis, droughts, and floods. These damage economic growth and debt sustainability. Increasing frequency and intensity of coastal storms will likely amplify damage to infrastructure and livelihoods.

Is it better to visit Samoa or American Samoa? ›

Well, Samoa (made up of two large islands and ten smaller ones) has the same wild beauty, magnificent beaches and teeming reefs as American Samoa but there are also resorts and many more options for dining out and shopping so you can have the best of both worlds.

Why is American Samoa different? ›

The most important difference between Samoa and American Samoa is the fact that Samoa is an independent country recognised by the United Nations and American Samoa is an unincorporated territory of the United States.

What are American Samoa people called? ›

Samoan Americans are Americans of Samoan origin, including those who emigrated from the United States Territory of American Samoa and immigrants from the Independent State of Samoa to the United States.

Why did the US want American Samoa? ›

As World War II began, the Samoa islands were an essential link in the chain of communications between the United States, Australia, and New Zealand, a sea lane that also ran through the Fiji island. Holding the line drawn from Midway to Samoa, Fiji, and Brisbane against the Japanese was considered essential.

What things are unique to Samoa? ›

10 Unique Facts About Samoa That You Should Know
  • Samoa's name has different meanings.
  • Late Scottish novelist Robert Louis Stevenson was buried at Mount Vaea.
  • Hollywood actor Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson is half-Samoan.
  • The traditional waist-to-knee tattoo in Samoa is a rite of passage for men.
Oct 14, 2022

What is unique about Samoan culture? ›

A unique identity to the Samoan culture and traditions, is that everything is thought about in terms of the families rather than individuality, whether it's earning money, sharing food or even houses. Samoan people are very traditional and respect elders in the family. They have an ancient social structure.

Where can U.S. citizens not travel? ›

Learn about your destination
AdvisoryLevelDate Updated
Haiti Travel AdvisoryLevel 4: Do Not TravelMay 17, 2023
Honduras Travel AdvisoryLevel 3: Reconsider TravelMarch 1, 2023
India Travel AdvisoryLevel 2: Exercise Increased CautionJune 23, 2023
Indonesia Travel AdvisoryLevel 2: Exercise Increased CautionMay 2, 2023
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What countries do not accept U.S. passport? ›

The US passport is recognized by all countries in the world, and while the majority of nations accept US passports for entry, there are a few exceptions and limitations. Some countries that have restrictions on US passport holders are North Korea, Iran, Syria, Yemen, and Libya.

Can I cross the US border with my driver's license? ›

When entering the United States, U.S. citizens are required to show passport, U.S. passport card, Trusted Traveler Program card (NEXUS, SENTRI, Global Entry or FAST) or an Enhanced Driver's License. Resident aliens must possess a green card.

How do you show respect to Samoan? ›

Samoan Americans appreciate the removal of shoes at the door before entering a Samoan home. To show respect and honor to elderly Samoans, do not eat or drink while standing in their presence. To do so is considered rude and offensive.

What does White Sunday mean to Samoans? ›

White Sunday, also known in Samoan as 'Lotu Tamaiti,' or 'Children's Service,' is a notable day in the calendar of Samoan children. On this day, families and communities commemorate childhood by honoring the children in their midst.

What do Samoan believe in? ›

The Samoan indigenous religion is based on a creation story which places God, Tagaloa, as ancestor of all living things on earth. Tagaloa (sometimes referred to as Tagaloaalelagi meaning, Tagaloa of the heavens) was the progenitor of humans, animals, plants, the cosmos, sea, and land alike.

How long can a US citizen stay in American Samoa? ›

Whether a U.S. citizen or national or an alien, once lawfully admitted, a tourist or business person may stay in American Samoa for up to thirty days beyond the initial thirty-day period, with the approval of the Attorney General of American Samoa.

What documents do I need to travel to American Samoa? ›

U.S. citizens do need a passport to travel to these territories and Freely Associated States: American Samoa. Guam (On a case-by-case basis, photo I.D. and proof of citizenship may be accepted instead.) The Federated States of Micronesia.

When should I visit American Samoa? ›

The best time to visit American Samoa is from April/May to October. These months are known as the 'dry season', where there is less rain, more sunshine and no risk of cyclones.

What is the rainy season in Samoa? ›

There are two seasons, marked by significant differences in rainfall: Samoa's wet season lasts from November to April and its dry season starts in May and ends in October.

How tall is the average Samoan? ›

Download Table Data
CountryAvg Male Height (cm)Avg Female Height (cm)
Saint Vincent And The Grenadines177.49165.30
American Samoa177.09167.55
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What months do cyclones occur in Samoa? ›

The tropical cyclone season in the Samoa region is between November and April. Between 1969/70 and 2009/10 only Tropical Cyclone Keli occurred outside these months in June 1997.

What is the warmest month in Samoa? ›

January is the hottest month in Apia with an average temperature of 27.7°C (82°F) and the coldest is July at 26.25°C (79°F) with the most daily sunshine hours at 8 in December. The wettest month is January with an average of 333.1mm of rain.


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