"American Samoa, from the heart of Polynesia" Top 5 Page for this destination American Samoa by sennaya

American Samoa Travel Guide: 80 reviews and 102 photos

For well-prepared tourists

With few hotels, few public beaches, American Samoa remains less spoiled by commercial tourism than most South Pacific Islands. It has it's own charm, a wonderful people, culture and language that has been kept mostly intact despite so many years of outside influence.
Local laws protecting outside ownership of land and bi-cultural education have helped preserve many traditions.
We lived there a year and David worked for the Samoa News.
Nicholas Von Hoffman wrote a book, "Tales from the Margaret Mead Taproom." and Doonesbury comic strip of the same time had a lot of satire about Samoa and it's appointed governor from the United States. Now the governor is elected locally.
We put some information about Samoa online a few years back and if you still have questions feel free to drop by the Visitor's Fale.


This picture was taken in black and white on the far east near Tula. Tutuila is only about 30 miles wide and with one major highway near the ocean. The interior is high volcanic mountains but there are some roads and villages inland as well

Six major islands.

Pago Pago harbor is on the main island of Tutuila. Ofu, Olosenga, Ta'u and Swain's Island are also in the goup. This is a picture we took climbing up a coconut palm on Ta'u Island/ It is where Margaret Mead wrote her "Coming oif Age in Samoa." Many residents there disagreed with her conclusions about Samoan culture, but for outsiders it remains an idyllic account of growing up in paradise. Maybe a better book about traditional culture is "Samoan Village" by Holmes.
An enjoyable book to read is "Tales from the South Pacific" by James Michener and many of the storylines are apparent in the islands even now.

Olosenga Sunset

If you have the good fortune to be able to visit and take your time to walk and see the magnificent light. It is a life lived in electric color magnified by clean air and water.
We climbed onto this rock and found a secret pool on the sea side, cool and deep. In these moments you must dive in and feel alive. :)

The church bells for vespers had finished just before we took this picture. The sun rises and sets about 6:30 everyday and temperatures are between 75-85 degrees F.

Many people have asked me about the paradise of Samoa and about living or retiring there. It is related to the United States as a territory, but U.S. citizens or other countries cannot own land there. You can visit on a tourist visa, but you cannot live there. There are some government jobs that give you a work visa and often a 2-year contract.
Most foreigners who dream of the romantic paradise of Gaugin in the South Seas find that lving in a warm sunny place with not much to do gets old after a few weeks. Familiar friends, culture and lifestyle beckon most back to their former homes.
American Samoa has many elements of paradise and is a fascinating place unto itself, but it is not full of resorts and typical tourist activities.
For current information, go to http://www.samoanews.com

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:"Remote, protected, authentic"
  • Cons:"Not for casual tourist, few facilities"
  • In a nutshell:"Plan, make some friends there first...."
  • Intro Updated Aug 4, 2010
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Reviews (26)

Comments (6)

  • Apr 28, 2011 at 1:09 PM

    wow, great page about one of my dream-islands !

  • Jim_Eliason's Profile Photo
    Apr 6, 2008 at 8:19 AM

    great page for an off the beaten path destination!

  • kokoryko's Profile Photo
    Feb 12, 2008 at 1:23 PM

    That is an unusual destination where you have lived, lucky you! If I follow well, better no kava before going to eat the palolo! A really interesting place, thanks to let us know about!

  • hunterV's Profile Photo
    Feb 20, 2007 at 11:19 AM

    It's a very special remote destination! Good you've been there! Thanks for your stories!

  • mikelisaanna's Profile Photo
    Jan 15, 2007 at 8:46 AM

    We enjoyed reading your Samoa pages. It looks like a very interesting and beautiful place to visit.

  • Kuznetsov_Sergey's Profile Photo
    Dec 23, 2006 at 10:17 AM

    A very intersting page and unusual destination for Russian VTs! Thanks for sharing! I wish you Merry Christmas and Happy New Year coming soon, David and Maria.

sennaya Used To Live Here!


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