American Samoa travel guide
About American Samoa
American Samoa is a tropical island paradise at the heart of Polynesia. Perhaps the most beautiful part of this so-called sub-region, which is made up of hundreds of tiny islands, American Samoa consists of seven freckles of land. And glorious nuggets of land they are, complete with volcanic backdrops, tropical forests and wildlife-rich woodlands.
If you’re wondering about the name, American Samoa belongs to the US, but is not a part of it. They harbour a couple of the Manu’a group of islands, too, which are volcanic in origin and dominated by high peaks.
American Samoa’s volcanoes, inactive since 1911, have left an intriguing land formation, including cavernous lava tubes. The stunning uniqueness of the landscape is why American Samoa has such a reputation for being photogenic. Of course, it’s the deep-blue sea and immaculate beaches that attract many visitors.
One of the most famous spots in American Samoa is Pago Pago on the main island of Tutuila. Still holding on to its roots as an old fishing town, its natural harbour is one of the most spectacular in the world. In fact, you’ll find no shortage of idyllic villages in clinging on to the old ways on these islands.
Most people live in villages along the narrow coastal plains, living off the fruits of the sea, and cultivating agriculture on the plains and nearby hills. Traditional Samoan society is based on a chieftain system of hereditary rank, and is known as the Samoan way or Fa’a Samoa. Despite the inroads of modern, Western civilisation, local cultural institutions remain the strongest single influence in American Samoan life.
If hiking is your thing, you won’t be disappointed, with breath-taking trails traversing the National Park of American Samoa. In fact there are many opportunities for adventure tourism here. So whether you decide to stick to the beaches or go trekking across the jagged landscapes, you’ll feel as if you’ve landed in some forgotten paradise.
201 sq km (77.6 sq miles).
55,602 (UN estimate 2016).
270.3 per sq km.
US External Territory.
President Donald Trump since 2017.
Governor Lolo Matalasi Moliga since 2013.
120 volts AC, 60Hz. US-style plugs with either two flat pins or two flat pins and a rounded grounding pin are in use.
Last updated: 10 October 2017
The travel advice summary below is provided by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in the UK. ‘We’ refers to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. For their full travel advice, visit www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice.
If you’re abroad and you need emergency help from the UK government, contact the nearest British embassy, consulate or high commission.
Although there’s no recent history of terrorism in American Samoa, attacks can’t be ruled out. See Terrorism
Most visits to American Samoa are trouble-free.
Safety and security
Crime levels are low.
Tropical cyclones can seriously affect local travel, particularly sea journeys.
Although there’s no recent history of terrorism in American Samoa, attacks can’t be ruled out. You should be aware of the global risk of indiscriminate terrorist attacks, which could be in public areas, including those frequented by expatriates and foreign travellers.
The Department of Homeland Security National Terrorism Advisory System provides public information about credible threats. NTAS alerts apply only to threats within the United States and its territories.
There’s a heightened threat of terrorist attack globally against UK interests and British nationals, from groups or individuals motivated by the conflict in Iraq and Syria. You should be vigilant at this time.
Find out more about the global threat from terrorism, how to minimise your risk and what to do in the event of a terrorist attack.
The information on this page covers the most common types of travel and reflects the UK government’s understanding of the rules currently in place. Unless otherwise stated, this information is for travellers using a full ‘British Citizen’ passport.
The authorities in the country or territory you’re travelling to are responsible for setting and enforcing the rules for entry. If you’re unclear about any aspect of the entry requirements, or you need further reassurance, you’ll need to contact the embassy, high commission or consulate of the country or territory you’re travelling to.
You should also consider checking with your transport provider or travel company to make sure your passport and other travel documents meet their requirements.
If you are a British passport holder visiting American Samoa you don’t need a visa. You will normally be given permission to enter for up to 30 days provided you have an onward air or sea ticket and any relevant health certificates.
Your passport should be valid for a minimum period of six months from the date of entry into American Samoa.
Travelling when pregnant
If you are in an advanced state of pregnancy you should bring documentation from a medical professional attesting to your stage of pregnancy. The Immigration Office in American Samoa is not allowing entry to women who are six months or more pregnant.
Visit your health professional at least 4 to 6 weeks before your trip to check whether you need any vaccinations or other preventive measures. Country specific information and advice is published by the National Travel Health Network and Centre on the TravelHealthPro website and by NHS (Scotland) on the fitfortravel website. Useful information and advice about healthcare abroad is also available on the NHS Choices website.
Medical facilities are basic and medical evacuation by air ambulance to Hawaii, New Zealand or Australia may be necessary. Make sure you have adequate travel health insurance and accessible funds to cover the cost of any medical treatment abroad and repatriation.
If you need emergency medical assistance during your trip, dial 911 and ask for an ambulance. You should contact your insurance/medical assistance company promptly if you are referred to a medical facility for treatment.
Travel advice help and support
If you’re abroad and you need emergency help from the UK government, contact the nearest British embassy, consulate or high commission. If you need urgent help because something has happened to a friend or relative abroad, contact the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) in London on 020 7008 1500 (24 hours).
Foreign travel checklist
Read our foreign travel checklist to help you plan for your trip abroad and stay safe while you’re there.
The FCO travel advice helps you make your own decisions about foreign travel. Your safety is our main concern, but we can’t provide tailored advice for individual trips. If you’re concerned about whether or not it’s safe for you to travel, you should read the travel advice for the country or territory you’re travelling to, together with information from other sources you’ve identified, before making your own decision on whether to travel. Only you can decide whether it’s safe for you to travel.
When we judge the level of risk to British nationals in a particular place has become unacceptably high, we’ll state on the travel advice page for that country or territory that we advise against all or all but essential travel. Read more about how the FCO assesses and categorises risk in foreign travel advice.
Our crisis overseas page suggests additional things you can do before and during foreign travel to help you stay safe.
Refunds and cancellations
If you wish to cancel or change a holiday that you’ve booked, you should contact your travel company. The question of refunds and cancellations is a matter for you and your travel company. Travel companies make their own decisions about whether or not to offer customers a refund. Many of them use our travel advice to help them reach these decisions, but we do not instruct travel companies on when they can or can’t offer a refund to their customers.
For more information about your rights if you wish to cancel a holiday, visit the Citizen’s Advice Bureau website. For help resolving problems with a flight booking, visit the website of the Civil Aviation Authority. For questions about travel insurance, contact your insurance provider and if you’re not happy with their response, you can complain to the Financial Ombudsman Service.
Registering your travel details with us
We’re no longer asking people to register with us before travel. Our foreign travel checklist and crisis overseas page suggest things you can do before and during foreign travel to plan your trip and stay safe.
Previous versions of FCO travel advice
If you’re a British national and you have a question about travelling abroad that isn’t covered in our foreign travel advice or elsewhere on GOV.UK, you can submit an enquiry. We’re not able to provide tailored advice for specific trips.