American Samoa National Park
For those searching for the ultimate athletic vacation, American Samoa is the spot for you. Discover the best things to do in American Samoa and top places to stay.
American Samoa National Park is the only National Park in the United States found south of the equator. Known for its stunning beaches, pristine reefs, and topical flora & fauna, American Samoa is definitely worth visiting. In this article we will give you an overview of the part as well as the best things to do in American Samoa. Our guide offers recommendations on where to stay and answers frequently asked questions.
Made up of four islands, Tutuila, Ta‘ū, Olosega and Ofu, American Samoa National Park is located in the South Pacific. The park features stunningly beautiful beaches, lush rainforests, rugged mountains, and colorful coral reefs.
The National Park of American Samoa is over 24 hours a day, year round. Because the entire island chain is designated a national park, there are no reservations or fees to visit. Except for the cost and booking of travel to get there of course.
The visitors center located in Pago Pago is open weekdays from 8am to 4:30pm. Closed on weekends and federal holidays.
The American Samoa National Park features four islands; Tutuila, Ta‘ū, Olosega and Ofu. On each island, hikers can explore lush jungles, limestone cliffs, volcanic peaks, and pristine beaches.
On Tutuila Island, two of the most popular hiking trails are Amalau Valley Trail and Tafeu Cove Trail. The Amalau Valley Trail is a moderate 5-mile loop that traverses through tropical rainforest and passes by some of the island’s most stunning scenery. The Tafeu Cove Trail is a difficult 2-mile loop that leads hikers up to an impressive limestone cliff overlooking a pristine beach below.
Hikers venturing onto Ta‘ū Island will be rewarded with some spectacular views on the Lake Teapolo Loop Trail. This 4-mile loop trail wraps around Lake Teapolo and provides panoramic views of nearby villages and volcanic peaks. Additionally, there is an easy 3-mile hike to Seetaga Lagoon Lookout which gives hikers a bird’s eye view of this breathtaking lagoon.
Olosega Island in American Samoa is an ideal destination for outdoor enthusiasts looking to explore a unique and exotic paradise. There are several marked pathways crisscrossing throughout the park that can easily be explored with minimal preparation. Be sure to keep an eye out for native wildlife such as lizards, parrots and fruit bats.
Last but not least is Ofu Island. The best hiking trail on Ofu Island is the Silversword Garden Trail. This 1-mile loop takes hikers through a garden filled with endemic species including silversword plants.
American Samoa National Park is a haven for wildlife. The park is home to more than 330 species of fish, over 25 species of coral, and more than 800 different types of invertebrates. Additionally, the park is also home to numerous land animals like flying foxes, mongooses, monitor lizards, Samoan fruit bats, and land crabs.
The park’s oceanic environment is especially unique for birds. It serves as a breeding ground for several species such as the white-tailed tropicbird, brown noddy tern, and sooty tern. Other bird species include the mannikin snipe, white-throated ground dove, red-footed booby and great frigatebird.
The archipelago’s rich coral reefs are perfect for snorkelers looking to explore the vibrant underwater world. Outer reefs around American Samoa protect parts of the Island from large surf, making for epic snorkeling conditions.
Kayaking is another popular activity in American Samoa. Visitors can paddle through mangrove forests or around remote islands on calm waters filled with seabirds and other marine wildlife. For those looking for a challenge, sea kayakers often venture out into open water crossings between islands or along the exposed coastlines.
On land, adventure seekers will find plenty of options as well. Hikers can trek up steep mountainsides to explore tropical forests teeming with native flora and fauna or take a leisurely stroll through charming villages tucked away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Scenic drives offer beautiful views of spectacular bays from high passes or take visitors down winding roads through jungle-covered hillsides home to wild monkeys and parrots.
A popular activity, SUPing allows visitors to explore the islands and surrounding waters with ease. With its pristine beaches and clear, calm waters, American Samoa is an ideal destination for standup paddle boarding.
There are plenty of places throughout the islands where you can rent equipment or take lessons. Instructors will teach you the basics of paddling before guiding you off on a journey of exploration. Experience the beauty of the archipelago up close as they glide through hidden bays, explore lush mangroves or catch sight of tropical fish darting beneath their board.
Kayaking in American Samoa is a great way to explore the beautiful coastline and its many hidden gems. One of the most popular spots for kayakers is Papaseea Sliding Rocks, located on the island of Tutuila. Here visitors can explore stunning coves and grottos surrounded by breathtakingly beautiful jagged limestone cliffs. In addition, there are plenty of opportunities to spot exotic wildlife such as sea turtles, dolphins, tropical fish and the occasional whale.
Another great place to set out on a kayaking adventure is Aunu’u Island. This small island off Tutuila’s east coast offers sheltered bays with crystal clear waters teeming with fish, making it an ideal spot for snorkeling and exploring. The island is also home to a variety of seabirds including terns, shearwaters and frigatebirds – all of which can be seen soaring overhead or nesting among the mangroves lining the shoreline.
For those looking for something a bit more challenging, Wailau Bay on Ofu Island offers some spectacular kayaking opportunities. Traveling upriver along this wild and remote stretch of coastline will take you past cascading waterfalls and provides a chance to observe rare species of birds in their natural habitat. Other highlights include the opportunity to spot manta rays swimming below your boat or a school of dolphins playing alongside your kayak.
Find unparalleled hiking experience for outdoor enthusiasts. The park is home to a stunning array of pristine white-sand beaches, lush tropical forests, and towering volcanic mountains that are perfect for exploring. Hikers can traverse the numerous trails winding throughout the park, taking in incredible views of idyllic coves and bays along the way. There are several well-marked trails ranging from easy to difficult, so hikers of all levels can find a path that suits their ability.
There are a plethora of running trails in American Samoa that cater to every skill level.
For those just starting out, the Maugaloa Ridge Trail is the perfect choice for beginner runners. The trail offers stunning panoramic views of the surrounding landscape and plenty of gentle inclines to help build up your endurance. There’s also the Solofaga Trail, which winds its way through lush jungle and offers breathtaking views of nearby coves. And for those seeking a more strenuous run, Mt. Alava and Mt. Matafao provide grueling climbs with rewarding summit views.
American Samoa National Park is teeming with exotic wildlife and vegetation that will make your run even more delightful. Lush forests are home to a myriad of birdsong while sheer cliffs offer refuge for rare sea turtles and dolphins. Plus, thanks to its mild climate no matter what time of year – it’s always the perfect opportunity to explore these trails.
The flight from California to American Samoa typically takes about 10 hours and 30 minutes, depending on the airline and number of stops. Most flights make one stop in Hawaii or Guam before reaching Pago Pago International Airport, the main airport in American Samoa.
Yes, US citizens need a valid passport to visit American Samoa. A passport is required for all travelers entering the country, and it must be valid for at least six months after the date of entry. Additionally, visitors may need to show proof of onward or return air tickets upon arrival.
Currently, there are three major airlines that offer direct flights to American Samoa: Hawaiian Airlines, United Airlines, and Pacific Air. These carriers provide service to Pago Pago International Airport from Honolulu and Guam. Travelers can also connect to other cities in the region via these routes.