Tutuila Travel Guide
The largest of American Samoa's seven islands, Tutuila is renowned for its rugged mountains, lush forests and steep coastline. Tutuila is home to the country's capital, Pago Pago, famous for its picturesque deepwater harbour. The harbour is all that remains of the volcanic crater, which once created the island of Tutuila, and is considered one of the most beautiful in the Pacific.
Matafao Peak, west of Pago Pago, is Tutuila's highest point at 653m. Tutuila's only road follows the winding coast from Fagamalo in the west to Onenoa in the northeast. You can hire a car in Pago Pago and explore some of the sites of Tutuila at your own leisure. There are traditional villages to vist, ancient archaeological sites, beatiful beaches and waterfalls, and walking trails through the lush rainforest of the National Park.
Things to Do:
- National Park of American Samoa
Spanning three islands of Tutuila, Ofu and Ta‘ū, this protected area covers pristine coral reefs, magnificent sandy beaches and lush tropical rainforest. Within the park, you can enjoy native brids and wildlife, walking trails, snorkelling and diving.
- Aunu'u Island
This beautiful island resort is a short ferry ride from Tutuila. There is a lake of red quicksand and a crater lake full of eels.
- Afono Pass
This windy route links one side of Tutuila with the other and boasts seven scenic lookout points.
- Fagatele Bay National Marine Sanctuary
Located on Tutuila’s southernmost point, this submerged volcanic crater is home to tropical fish and coral. The bay is surrounded by steep cliffs, clad in some of the world's rarest paleo-tropical rainforest. Fruit bats and flying foxes inhabit the forest and large seabirds nest on the cliff ledges.
- Virgin Falls
A series of waterfalls with bathing pools located near Faga'alu.
- Tia Seu Lupe
An ancient Polynesian star mound can be found near the Catholic cathedral at Tafuna. There are fine views of Matafao Peak, the island's highest point, and a small rainforest reserve next door.
- Leone Falls & Quarry
Behind Leone village is a small waterfall and an ancient stone quarry, known as Tataga Matau. It is one of the South Pacific's most important archaeological sites.
- Cape Taputapu
This national landmark has spectacular views of Tutuila's wild north coast. There is a beautiful white sand beach (Palagi Beach) at Loa inlet, east of the Cape. Good snorkelling can be found in the small pool by the offshore island - watch for currents.
- Tula Village
Visit the traditional American Samoan village at Tula on the north-eastern tip of Tutuila. There is a good beach and you can walk (or drive) to beautiful Cape Mata'ula and Onenoa.