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American Samoa Travel Tips

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Pola IslandsPola Islands, Tutuila, American Samoa
photo source
authorshipTavita Togia, National Park Service
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Places in American Samoa on this website

American Samoa is a group of islands in the South Pacific Ocean that is administered as an unincorporated territory of the United States. It is located to the west of Cook Islands, north of Tonga, and south of Tokelau.

American Samoa comprises several islands, the largest and most populous of which is Tutuila. Other islands within American Samoa include the Manu'a Islands, Rose Atoll and Swains Island. In total, the land area of American Samoa is 76.8 sq mi (199 sq km). The territory has a population of 66,500 people (2011 estimate). The capital is Pago Pago while the seat of government is at Fagatogo.

Being an unincorporated territory of the United States, American Samoa uses the US dollar as the official currency. It is eleven hours behind Coordinated Universal Time (UTC-11), making it the last place in the world to enter a new day.

Ofu Beach, American SamoaOfu Beach
photo source
authorshipPeter Craig, National Park Service
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OfuOfu, Manu'a Islands, American Samoa
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The first European to sight the islands of American Samoa was Dutch explorer Jacob Roggeveen, who arrived there in 1722. Then in 1768, French explorer Louis-Antoine de Bougainville also arrived there, and named them the Navigator Islands. There is not much contact between American Samoa and the outside world until 1830, when John William from the London Missionary Society began mission work in the Samoa's.

By the late 19th century, Pago Pago Harbor has become an important refueling station for ships passing through the Pacific Ocean. Both German and American forces claimed the Samoa's. This was resolved with the 1899 Tripartite Convention giving the eastern islands to the Americans, known today as American Samoa, while the western islands are now wholly within the independent state of Samoa (although American Samoans still refer to it as Western Samoa).

OlosegaView of Olosega (right) from Ofu (left)
photo source
authorshipPeter Craig, National Park Service
photo licensing

Visiting American Samoa

Flights to American Samoa land at Pago Pago International Airport (PPG). Located in Tafuna, about 3 miles (5 km) to the southwest of Pago Pago, it is also called Tafuna Airport. The airport receives regular scheduled flights by Hawaiian Airlines from Honolulu, Polynesian Airlines from Maota, Samoa, and Inter Island Airways from Faleolo International Airport in Samoa.

For better connection, fly to Faleolo International Airport, located 25 miles (40 km) to the west of Apia, the capital of Samoa and then connect to Pago Pago. The Faleolo Airport has flights by Inter Island Airways to Pago Pago, Ofu and Tau in the American Samoa. It also gets regular flights by Air New Zealand from Auckland, by Air Pacific from Honolulu and Nadi, Fiji, by Polynesian Airlines from Maota in Samoa, from Tongatapu in Tonga, and by Polynesian Blue from Auckland, Brisbane and Sydney.

Olosega villageAerial view of Olosega village
photo source
authorshipPeter Craig, National Park Service
photo licensing

Cities in American Samoa

  1. Pago Pago (11,500)

Islands of American Samoa

  1. Tutuila - main island
  2. Ofu
  3. Olosega
  4. Rose Island
  5. Ta'u
  6. Swains Island

Places of Interest in American Samoa

  1. Fagatele Bay National Marine Sanctuary
  2. Fatu ma Futi

National Parks in American Samoa

National Monuments of American Samoa

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