Rising sun over the mountains and coastline of the Manu'a Islands
Paradise found in the South Pacific
Soaking Up the Landscape
Together, the Manu'a Islands are a visual feast, featuring dramatic sea cliffs, aquamarine lagoons and a renowned coral reef. Aside from the dynamic marine life, the islands also function as an unofficial bird refuge. On Tau, the largest of the islands, sits soaring Lata Mountain. At over 960 meters, it marks the highest point in American Samoa. On the ground, the beach at Ofu is a spectacular example of pristine South Pacific shore, ringed by palm trees and tropical flowers. Here, activities include sunbathing, swimming, snorkeling, stargazing and watching the legendary sunsets.
Touring the Islands
There are two main ways to tour Manu'a, on foot or by snorkel, and given the remarkable coral reef, snorkeling is a must-do activity. Head by boat to Vaoto Territorial Marine Park as a starting point for your undersea exploration. To tour by land, note that the National Park of Samoa is home to some of the most sought-after spots in the Manu'a Islands. See them by hiking the Siu Point Trail on Tau, which takes you along a coastal forest. Ofu and Olosega are connected by a walkable bridge, serving as an ocean-front scenic byway.
Eat Like the Locals
Because of the islands' remote location, culinary culture is about what’s growing or swimming right in front of you. If you’re staying at Vaoto Lodge, Ofu Island’s acclaimed hotel, traditional Samoan meals are served regularly. Most dishes in the Manu'a Islands feature seafood, with coconut, banana and breadfruit as other staples. Through the National Park of American Samoa’s Homestay Program, it’s possible to spend your time on the islands in a fale, or Samoan house. There, you’ll be treated to authentic Samoan food often cooked in an umu (earth oven) or invited to grill seafood right on the beach.