Two years ago my wife and I had the good fortune to tour New Mexico for a week in the winter season. The highlights resonate with me still: Santa Fe’s illuminating museums (we were especially enchanted by the Museum of Indian Arts and Culture) and exhilarating galleries, the transporting chapel at Chimayo, the extraordinary rock […]
Settled by seafaring explorers three thousand years ago, the Samoan archipelago is the cultural hub of the Polynesian wheel. American Samoa – the only U.S. Territory south of the equator – is a true off the beaten path paradise, with rugged volcanic mountains, dramatic shorelines, empty beaches, colorful coral reefs, warm azure waters, and dense tropical forests. On this explorer’s journey, you’ll visit three islands, Tutuila, Ta`ū, and Ofu, each containing sections of the National Park of American Samoa.
Arrive into Pago Pago, American Samoa’s territorial capital. From a waterfront hotel, we head out for a variety of adventures over the course of three days, traveling by boat to visit with locals on the 375-acre Aunu`u Island and hiking along the Blunts Point Trail to a scenic high point.
Our next stops are the islands of Ta`ū and Ofu. First, we’ll fly to Ta`ū, half of which is the protected National Park of American Samoa, exploring the island’s archaeological sites and beaches. Later, we travel by boat to Ofu Island, for three nights and days spent hiking, snorkeling, and getting to know their share of the national park, beautiful mountains, lagoons, beaches, and coral reefs.
We return to Tutuila by plane, with time to take in more of the island’s features –Fagasā Bay to Afona Bay, Mount Alava, Maunaloa Ridge, and coastline. We take a walking tour of the village of Fagatogo and visit the National Marine Sanctuary of American Samoa and the National Park of American Samoa Visitor Center.
After a farewell dinner, we take the late-night flight to Honolulu.