American Samoa is a U.S. territory covering 7 South Pacific islands and atolls. Tutuila, the largest island, is home to the capital Pago Pago, whose natural harbor is framed by volcanic peaks including 1,716-ft.-high Rainmaker Mountain. Divided between the islands Tutuila, Ofu and Ta‘ū, the National Park of American Samoa highlights the territory's tropical scenery with rainforests, beaches and reefs.
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The Atlandis Top 3 'Things to Do'
Sale'aula Lava Fields
There once was a time when Sale’aula was a thriving Samoan village, but all of that changed in 1905 when Mount Matavanu rumbled to life and covered the village in lava. While a couple of hardy families have built atop the hardened black rock, much of Sale’aula today is what lies in ruins, partially covered, unseen but not yet forgotten. A popular stop on Savai’i day tours, the Saleaula lava fields are most commonly known for the haunting church that rises up out of the lava—a building that somehow, despite the odds, continues to stand here today. Riddled by tree trunks and twisted old branches, the roofless church is close to the spot that’s known as the “Virgin’s Grave,” which locals believe was spared by the lava because of its sacred past.
Created by a network of lava tubes, the thundering blowholes at Alofaaga are arguably the most popular visitor attraction on the island of Savai’i. When waves crash on the coastal shelf outside the village of Taga, some of the water gets trapped in the tubes that are right by the surface of the water. When the pressure simply becomes too much and it notices an opening to escape, it erupts as a natural, saltwater geyser that often reaches neck-craning heights of over 100 feet. Depending upon the swell angle and tide, multiple blowholes can all erupt within powerful moments of each other, and are often accompanied by a deafening roar of water being jettisoned through the hole. Because the spot is popular with visitors, local villagers will often be there to offer their services as a guide—or simply to toss a few coconuts in the hole and then watch as they take off like cannonballs. The blowholes are part of south coast tours that leave from Salelologa, and if you choose to visit the site on your own, the drive to the blowholes can sometimes be rough, especially for low-clearance cars.
Afu Aau Waterfalls
If there’s a single image of tropical paradise it’s a hidden waterfall in the rainforest. That’s the scene that visitors will encounter at Afu Aau Waterfalls (Olemoe Falls), where a waterfall peacefully plunges into a cool, crystalline pool. After paying a nominal entry fee at the gate to local villagers, park the car by the changing station and make the short, 10-minute walk to the tumbling stream of water. Be sure to pack a swimsuit, since one of the highlights of Afu Aau Waterfalls is splashing and swimming in the water. It’s the perfect refresher on a hot day of exploring Savai’i, and you could easily while away hours just splashing and hanging out on the rocks.
For visitors traveling without a car, the waterfall is a popular stop for half-day, guided tours of the island, where you can experience the lush, natural beauty just minutes away from town.
'Things To Do' information provided by Viator and TripAdvisor. Contact Atlandis Vacations for the best prices.