"American Samoa" Top 5 Page for this destination American Samoa by ollyf

American Samoa Travel Guide: 80 reviews and 102 photos

Don't listen to the critics!

American Samoa is the forgotten half of the Samoan islands. Almost all tourists to this part of the world go to independent Samoa, which is fair enough, as the more celebrated half is much bigger, more developed, with more to do and a better infrastructure. But having said that, it's a shame that more people don't at least take a short excursion to American Samoa, as I did.

I guess a lot of prospective visitors are put off when independent Samoans tell them not to bother and invariably say American Samoa is dirty and there's nothing to do there. I don't know if such comments are borne out of a geographical rivalry, or just because most independent Samoans only see the capital of their American cousins, Pago Pago. That's a fair enough assessment of Pago (as it's usually called - no need to say it twice!), as it is indeed quite squalid and, as a capital city, pales in comparison to independent Samoa's Apia.

But, as with many places, the best of the country is to be found outside of the capital. I too didn't really like Pago, where I was subjected to a night in the world's worst hotel, but to balance out that experience, I found by far the best beach I've ever visited once I left the capital.

Also, American Samoa's geography is stunning. Steep volcanic mountains covered in jungle rise suddenly from the sea. Air travel is jaw-dropping.

It's a shame to see all the major US fast food retailers installed there and to hear Samoans dressing and talking like Americans, but that's a minor gripe and I guess inevitable. American Samoa is well worth a look for the beaches and mountains alone.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Home to the best beach in the world, spectacular mountains, warm weather, clean sea, easy to get to
  • Cons:Home to the worst hotel in the world, too much American influence, expensive compared to independent Samoa
  • In a nutshell:Small and quiet - is it really American??
  • Last visit to American Samoa: Jul 2006
  • Intro Updated Feb 21, 2007
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