American Samoa Fact Sheet
|Weather & Climate
|Being a tropical
climate, American Samoa has only two distinct seasons. During the hot and
rainy season from December to April, temperatures go up to 90 degrees and
have 8 inches of rain fall on a typical day. The heat is often tempered by
trade winds and has cooling effect by its afternoon showers. May to
November is cooler and drier, with less humidity and breezy cool evenings.
|People and Geography
American Samoa is a
small archipelago that occupies only 76 square miles of land. Five of the
main islands (Tutuila, Ta'u, Ofu, Olosega, Aunu'u, Nu'utele) are volcanic,
with rugged peaks, narrow coastal plains and fringing reefs. Swain's and
Rose Islands are coral atolls.
The islands’ volcanoes,
have not been active since 1911, have sculptured our lands and left an
intriguing land formation, including lava tubes to explore. On Tutuila, the
largest island, a huge volcano’s calderas formed one of the deepest and
best-protected harbors in the South Pacific.
Most people live in villages along the narrow coastal plains, living off the
sea and cultivating agriculture in the plains and nearby hills. Half the
island chain is still covered with tropical forests and woodlands that are
home to wildlife and birds.
About 64,000 people live in American Samoa, 89% of them Samoan (Polynesian)
2% Caucasian, 4% Tongan and another 5% from other nations.
While there is a strong American influence in the islands, American Samoans
retain our cultural heritage. Extended family groups, known as aiga, are the
central unit. Each aiga is led by a matai.
| Places of Interest
American Samoa is in
the initial stages of our tourism development, so visitors can discover its
unspoiled beauty and character.
While our range of activities may not be as extensive as neighboring Pacific
Islands, there is still much to do and see and a beautiful experience to
Pago Pago was the setting for Somerset Maugham's well-known short story,
'Rain'. Set on a magnificent harbor and surrounded by densely forested
mountains, the city has a character of its own; the market place is the best
place to start to capture it's character - and the Fa'a Samoa.
Because of strict building guidelines that limit the height of buildings,
the views of the city and harbor are magnificent from just about anywhere
provides you with breathtaking and majestic unspoiled views.
The American Samoa National Park's visitor center is located in Pago Plaza
and is worth a visit before exploration of the islands begins. The National
Park is situated in three islands of our islands: Tutuila, Ta'u and Ofu.
A trip to Tula to visit traditional American Samoan village.
A trip goes to Aunu'u Island, where there are the amazing red quick sands at
Pala Lake and surf roiling onto spectacular rocks at Ma'ama'a Cove.
A two-day cruise takes in some of the outer islands which includes staying
in a traditional American Samoan village overnight.
There are four airports on Tutuila, Ofu, Olosega, and Ta'u
Hawaiian Air provides direct air service from Pago Pago to Honolulu.
Polynesian Airlines provide regional air services to New Zealand, Australia,
Fiji, Vanuatu, Tonga, New Caledonia, Tahiti and the Cook Islands.
The main dock in Pago Pago harbor is 1000 feet long, handling ships of up to
a 32 foot draft. Pago Pago harbor provides the full complement of equipment
and facilities and has a ship repair facility with a 3000 ton marine
railway. While Pago Pago is the main port, there are others at Aunu'u ,
Auasi, Faleosao, Ofu and Ta'u.
Visitors do not require an entry permit if staying 30 days or less. Those
intending to stay longer should apply for an entry permit at the Immigration
Office prior to arrival.
Due to the modesty of this deeply religious nation, women are requested not
to wear shorts in rural areas, and men should wear shirts. The local
lavalava, which can be purchased anywhere, is comfortable and suitable. When
at a beach near a village, women should not walk around in their swimming
With the International Dateline passing just to the west of Samoa, the
sunset of each day is last seen in Samoa. It is 11 hours behind GMT and six
hours behind New York. There is no summer time clock change.
Visitors are advised to have typhoid and hepatitis vaccinations and must be
vaccinated against Yellow Fever if arriving within six days of leaving or
transiting an infected area.
Medical treatment is available on Tutuila at the LBJ Tropical Medical