American Samoa – traveling in the country
Airplane: Inter-Island Airways, based in Pado Pado, connects Tutuila with the Manu’a islands several times a day. However, flights are often canceled due to dangerous winds on the Manu’a runways.
Ship: the American Samoa Inter-Island Shipping Company operates a cargo ship that operates weekly between Pago Pago (Tutuila Island) and the Manu Islands. Passenger tickets are only sold on the day of departure. The cargo ship is a good way to travel and transport, especially for divers who cannot transport their oxygen bottles by plane.
The MV Sili also runs – several times a month – between Pago Pago and the Manu’agruppe. Tickets are sold on the day of departure. The boat does not dock directly in the ports of the Manu’a Islands. Passengers are picked up by small transfer boats at the entrance to the port.
Car: Tutuila can be explored quickly and easily with a rental car. The island’s roads are well paved. However, if one completely refrains from using public transport, one deprives oneself of unique cultural experiences.
When renting a vehicle, it should be checked carefully for any damage and scratches. All damage should be recorded in the rental agreement in order to protect against possible claims for compensation when the vehicle is returned by the lessor.
It is important that the vehicle is insured as any repair costs are very high. Local landlords often offer contracts that do not include the CDW (Damage / Loss Disclaimer) option. This means that the renter is liable for all costs incurred as a result of an accident, regardless of who caused the accident. Anyone who wants to rent a car should therefore insist on such a disclaimer.
Bus: the towns and villages of Tutuila are connected by AIGA buses. However, the minibuses run rather irregularly. The respective destination is shown on a display on the front windows of the vehicles.
Anyone wishing to stop a bus for a ride should move their arm downward with a palm facing down. If you want to get out, you signal this to the driver with a loud clap or knock on the roof of the bus. The driver is paid – if possible with the appropriate amount.
Bicycle: Tutuila is not very suitable for exploring by bicycle. The island is mountainous, traffic can be very high and there are no roads in the rugged north of the island. Aggressive dogs can pose an additional problem. The few roads on the Manu’a Islands also make cycling not a pleasure there.
If you still want to travel by bike, you should prepare for extreme heat and humidity, have enough spare parts and a repair kid with you and equip your bike with a good lock.
American Samoa Landmarks
According to watchtutorials, American Samoa is a well-chosen travel destination because you don’t just have to spend the whole day lazing on the beach.
The islands have some attractions to offer. You should definitely not miss the Jean P. Haydon Museum. In the museum you can learn everything about the history of American Samoa.
The tuna canning factory in Pago Pago is also worth a visit.
The Tatage Matau site is well worth a visit. They are the archaeological sites of some of the most important finds in the entire South Pacific. Precisely, the Tatage Matau sites are located near the village of Leone on Tutuila Island.
The absolute highlight of American samoas is the Tia Seu Ancient Mound. This is the largest and oldest building in all of Polynesia. Tia Seu Ancient Mount is pyramidal in shape. The base of the pyramid is 64 x 60 meters. It also has a height of twelve meters. A similar building can be seen in Tonga. Scientists believe that such buildings were used for pigeon hunting in the past centuries. Pigeon hunting was an extremely popular sport among the chiefs. Later, such constructions were used more for religious purposes.
You should also visit the Toaga archaeological site on Ofu Island. Clay objects from the year 1000 BC have been found here. A visit to the sauna on Tau will certainly be impressive. According to local legends, it is here that the god Tagaloa created the first humans.
Fono, the old parliament in Pago Pago, should definitely be put on the list of sights to see. The building was built in the traditional style of a fale in 1973.
Who is wondering what fale is. Fale are traditional residential and meeting buildings of the native American Samoas. The buildings have an oval base and are mostly erected near the beach without walls. These buildings are usually erected without nails. Nevertheless, it has a firm footing, as lasing connections have been used for the statics. Lashing joints are a type of weaving technique that uses coconut fiber. Usually these are colored to make traditional patterns visible.
Coconut leaves have been used for the roof of the fale for thousands of years and the floor is made of woven panda nut mats. During the rainy season, the fale gets walls made of blinds or mats.
You should also have seen the Rainmaker Mountain, which is a national park in American Samoa. The Virgin Waterfalls are also impressive. The Pala Lake is definitely not to be missed. The lake is located in the middle of red quicksand on the island of Aunuu.
The sea cliffs on Tau Island are among the highest in the world. They reach about nine hundred meters into the sea.