Did you know that Samoa means “sacred earth?” For more than 3,000 years, the people of Polynesia’s oldest culture have been managing their precious land communally.
Established in 1988 as a National Park, the purpose of the National Park of American Samoa is to “preserve and protect the tropical rainforest, coral reefs, archeological history and culture of the American Samoa.” (Learn more here.) All of the park’s resources are interwoven within the Samoan culture in order to safeguard the customs, beliefs, and traditions of Samoan history.
As the only National Park Service site in the Southern Hemisphere, American tourists traveling to the National Park of American Samoa should prepare for a long trek of travel. A United States Territory, American Samoa is located roughly 2,600 miles southwest of Hawaii, making its National Park one of the most remote in the United States. The journey to get there, however, is worth it.
The park comprises ten volcanic islands (five inhabited) and two coral atolls. Almost all the land area of these volcanic islands – from the mountains to the coast – is rainforest. Featuring more than 10,500 acres of park spread over three sectors on three islands, there is plenty to see and do in the National Park of American Samoa.
Visitors to the National Park of American Samoa can enjoy a number of activities, such as snorkeling, hiking and nature walks. Rangers at the Visitors Center would also be happy to take you on guide walks and hikes through the National Park. A Home Stay Program, organized through the Park, also connects visitors to families in nearby villages for overnight visits.
(DTN Tip: All visitors to American Samoa require a passport valid for six months or more, a return ticket or onward ticket and enough funds to support your stay. Learn more here.)
The National Park of American Samoa is full of sights, sounds, and experiences that can’t be found anywhere else in the United States. Are you planning a trip to the National Park of American Samoa? Our team at DriveTheNation.com would love to hear from you. Let us know in the comments below or connect with us on our social media pages!