Talofa and Afio Mai!
(Hello and Welcome!)
Tropical storms are more prevalent during the long, wet summer season (October to May) and a slightly cooler and drier season (June to September).
Rain showers are frequent and can last only for a few minutes or all-day. The average annual rain fall is 125-inches in the dryer areas to as much as 300-inches in the highest mountains.
Follow theFa'asamoa—The Samoan Way
Always ask villagers for permission before taking photographs, using the beach, or engaging in other activities, however unobtrusive your actions may seem. Permission will almost certainly be granted.
Sunday is the day for church, rest, and especially for quiet around the villages. Activities that are acceptable on other days, such as swimming, may not be permitted on Sunday.
In a traditional home, called a fale (fah-LAY), sit down on the floor before talking, eating, or drinking. Cross your legs or pull a mat over them; it is impolite to stretch out your legs uncovered.
Do not eat or drink while walking through a village.
Each evening around dusk, villagers observe a time for prayers called Sā. If you are entering a village during Sā, stop and wait quietly until Sā ends. You may even be invited to join in a family prayer. It is not necessary to stop for Sā on the main roads.
It is considered an honor to be asked to share 'ava (a local drink made from the root of the pepper plant). To show respect, spill a few drops on the ground or mat infront of you, then raise your cup and say manuia (mahn-WE-ah) before drinking.
Safety and Precautions
Solar radiation is intense! Wear sunglasses, sunscreen, a hat, and protective clothing.
Wear sunglasses, sunscreen, a hat, and protective clothing.
Carry insect repellent.
Always snorkel with a partner.
While on beach areas, watch for falling coconuts.
Whatever beach you are on, be aware of he tidal movements and be alert for dangerous avas—tidal outflows from the reef. Their currents and undertows should not be underestimated.
Coral rubble beaches are difficult to walk on—watch your step. Rocky areas can be slippery.
Ask the visitor center about trail conditions.
Never hike without water;carry two to three liters per person.
Don't touch the coral! Cuts from coral take along time to heal.
Beware of dogs! People do get bitten.
Medical treatment is available on Tutuila.
Note: There are few health risks of concern for normally healthy people visiting the islands. Bring necessary medications with you. Medical care is limited (even more limited on the Manu'a Islands).
Last updated: March 6, 2016
National Park of American Samoa
MHJ Building, 2nd Floor