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Embraced by the hillsides and valleys flourishing with spectacular greenery, the Pago Pago harbour welcomes cruisers into a township which lies at the very heart of nature. You'll definitely want to be above decks as you glide across the inky blue waters of the South Pacific toward the coastline of American Samoa.
The sight of Pago Pago, clustered amongst the hills is simply postcard-perfect. It's not all down to the lush slopes of the island it rests on however. The charms of Pago Pago are guaranteed to appeal to you in ways you never expected. It's not a particularly metropolitan port, so don't expect big brands and skyscrapers here. Visiting Pago Pago is about the authentic island experience, and enjoying the tranquillity of a traditional way of life.
National Park of American Samoa
This National Park was established in 1988 in order to preserve its impeccable marine and nature environment. This is more than just a geographical site however, as it is also an integral part of American Samoan culture, sacred ground for the island citizens.
The reason for this is buried deep within the local culture- the two species of flying fox (bats) which the Samoans consider as the protector guardian of the whole forest. Nevertheless, visitors can still get up close and personal with these magnificent creatures without invoking the wrath of the island gods- especially when taking advantage of the huge network of hiking trails, preserved wonderfully by the National Park Service.
Just off the Southern Coast of Tutuila, the island of Aunu'u sits amidst the waters of the Samoan Archipelago, begging to be explored by cruisers. You will be delighted to discover that boat tours from the shore are offered by a multitude of companies, so reaching the cinder shores of the island has never been easier.
A huge cone of cinder tuff belies a crater lake at its core, an unusually diverse natural feature which has spawned lower canopies of rainforest, beach foliage and wetlands on the island interior. You can even head to the local village to sample life dictated by thousand year old customs.
The Jean P. Haydon Museum
The understated charm of this museum is hard to resist, especially when there is so much to offer within the climes of the quaint local township. An old iron-roofed building that was once the U.S Navy's commissary, the museum features traditional tools and handicrafts, such finely woven garments and mats, as well as ancient weapons and fishing implements, some of which were used by the first settlers upon the island.
Pago Pago is a port which is more suited to a ‘get out and explore' attitude than urban thrills. Local craftsmen and artists flourish in the town, but you won't find any commercial brands or franchises here; the authenticity of the island is such that exploring is worth more than any luxury item you might want.
One of the best places in town to enjoy a meal is the Sadie Thomson Inn on the main street by the waterfront. Both a lively bar and a restaurant, this local favourite serves up a seafood menu to die for- not surprising considering the Pago Pago harbour is just across the road. Make sure to indulge in the fresh tuna and crab.
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