Manu'a Travel Guide

Plan your trip to Manu'a in American Samoa with our comprehensive travel guide. Discover the best places to visit, hike and bike routes, food and drinks, accommodations, and more. Learn about local culture and customs, safety, and logistics.

Introduction to Manu’a

Manu’a is a gorgeous archipelago in American Samoa, part of the United States of America, located in North America. This group of islands lies approximately 60 miles east of the main island of Tutuila and comprises three major islands: Ta‘ū, Ofu, and Olosega. Manu’a is a destination for those who want to experience the authentic Samoan way of life and enjoy unspoiled nature. In this travel guide, we present you with everything you need to know before you embark on a journey to Manu’a.

List of Places to Visit in Manu’a

Culturally Important Attractions: Museums and Historical Places

The Samoan culture is ancient and rich, and the Manu’a islands have a lot to offer in terms of cultural and historical sites to visit. One of the most interesting places to see is the Falealupo Village, where you can observe life in a traditional Samoan village and participate in authentic Samoan activities.

Another must-see historical site is the Pulemelei Mound, an ancient monument that is believed to be the largest ancient structure in Polynesia. Also, consider visiting the Masefau Village, which is renowned for its beautifully carved canoes, and the Luma Historical Park, where you can learn about the history of American Samoa.

Natural Attractions of Manu’a: Outdoor Adventures and Scenic Views

The Manu’a islands are blessed with abundant natural beauty, making them an ideal destination for nature enthusiasts. One of the most popular outdoor activities in Manu’a is snorkeling in Ofu Beach, one of the most pristine beaches in the world, surrounded by gorgeous coral reefs and exotic fish.

Another natural wonder is the Ta‘ū Island, home to the Mount Lata National Reserve. This park features stunning waterfalls, rock formations, and forests, and is also home to some of the rarest bird species in the world.

If you are an adventurous traveler, hiking the Sili Ridge Trail is a must-do activity. This trail spans across the whole island of Ofu, offering spectacular views of the island, lagoons, and the Pacific Ocean.

Hiking/Biking Routes of Manu’a

If you love spending time in nature, Manu’a has no shortage of hiking and biking trails. One of the most famous routes is the Vaoto Lodge Hike, a guided tour that takes you through the rainforest, past waterfalls, and to some of the most amazing views in all of American Samoa.

Another trail worth checking out is the Ua Pou Ridge Trail, which offers stunning views of the Pacific Ocean and the Manu’a Islands. For a more challenging hike, try the Mount Lata Trail, which takes you to the summit of Ta‘ū Island, the highest point in the territory.

Best Things to Do in Manu’a: Activities and Tours

In addition to the natural wonders and historical sites, there are several fun activities and tours to choose from in Manu’a. Visitors can take a guided tour of the Ta‘ū Island, enjoy a boat tour of the Manu’a Islands, or take a kayak tour to explore the lagoons.

For those interested in the Samoan culture, a traditional Umukai feast is an incredible experience where you can savor authentic Samoan cuisine, enjoy traditional music and dance shows, and learn about Samoan customs and traditions.

Week-Long Itinerary for Manu’a

Here is our suggested week-long itinerary for a trip to Manu’a:

  • Day 1: Visit Ofu beach and go snorkeling or kayaking.
  • Day 2: Hike the Sili Ridge Trail and admire the fabulouse views.
  • Day 3: Take a guided tour of Ta‘ū Island and vist the Edwin P. Tuttle Tutuila Palm Tree Garden.
  • Day 4: Learn about the Samoan culture at Falealupo Village and enjoy a traditional Umukai feast.
  • Day 5: Explore the Masefau Village and the Luma Historical Park to learn about the history of American Samoa.
  • Day 6: Enjoy a boat tour of the Manu’a Islands and experience the breathtaking scenery of the Pacific Ocean.
  • Day 7: Relax at your accommodation, go shopping for local souvenirs, and savor the delicious Samoan cuisine.

Food and Drink Scene of Manu’a

Must-Try Dishes

Samoan cuisine is a must-try when visiting Manu’a. Some of the most popular dishes include Palusami, a dish made with taro leaves, onions, and coconut milk; Lu’au, prepared with taro leaves and corned beef or chicken; and Sapasui, a Samoan version of Chinese chow mein that includes ramen noodles, vegetables, beef, or chicken.

Local Beverages

The Samoan Islands are famous for their Kava, a traditional drink made from the root of the Kava plant. This drink has sedative properties and is used in ceremonies and celebrations. Other local beverages worth trying include fresh coconut milk and Samoan coffee.

Where to Stay in Manu’a: Hotels, Hostels, and Guesthouses

Visitors have several options for accommodation in Manu’a, depending on their preference and budget. With only a few hotels on the islands, visitors can stay at a guesthouse or a Fale, a traditional Samoan hut made of woven mats, and experience the authentic Samoan lifestyle.

Some of the popular places to stay in Manu’a include Vaoto Lodge, Lauli’i Village Inn, and Caroline’s Accommodation. These accommodations provide guests with a comfortable stay, exquisite cuisine, and excellent customer service.

What to Buy in Manu’a: Souvenirs and Local Products to Bring Home

When visiting Manu’a, there are several local products worth buying as a souvenir or a gift for family and friends. Some of the popular items include Samoan handicrafts and jewelry, tapa cloths, and coconut products. Visitors can find these products at local markets and village stores or purchase them directly from the artisans.

Local Culture and Customs of Manu’a

The Samoan culture is unique, and visitors should respect the customs and traditions of the Samoan people. The most important Samoan value is Fa’a Samoa, a term that embodies the Samoan way of life, including respect for elders, a deep connection to nature, and strong family ties.

Visitors should also be aware of the Samoan dress code, which requires covering the shoulders and knees when in public places. Finally, visitors should be respectful of the local customs and traditions, including eating with hands in a traditional Samoan meal called a Fiafia.

Best Time to Visit Manu’a

The best time to visit Manu’a is during the dry season, from May to October. This time offers bright and sunny days with moderate temperatures, and the water is clear for snorkeling and other water activities. The wet season, from November to April, can be characterized by heavy rainfall, making hiking trails and outdoor activities challenging.

Do’s and Don’ts of Manu’a


  • Respect the Samoan culture and traditions.
  • Cover your shoulders and knees in public.
  • Use your right hand only, when eating traditional Samoan meals.
  • Bring sunscreen, insect repellent, and proper hiking shoes.


  • Wear swimwear in public places.
  • Point with your feet or point finger on people and things.
  • Touch people’s heads or hair.

Safety and Health

Safety in Manu’a

Manu’a is a safe place for visitors, but like any place, visitors should take certain precautions to ensure their safety. Visitors should avoid walking alone at night and should be aware of their surroundings, especially in crowded places. Visitors should also securely lock doors and windows when staying in accommodations.

Health in Manu’a

Visitors should ensure they have all recommended vaccinations for travel to American Samoa, including measles, mumps, rubella (MMR), and hepatitis A and B. Visitors should also take adequate measures to prevent mosquito bites, as mosquito-borne diseases such as dengue and Zika are present in the islands.

Getting to Manu’a: Transportation Methods and Logistics

Airports Near Manu’a

The only way to get to the Manu’a islands is by air, via Pago Pago International Airport, which is located on Tutuila Island. Domestic flights by Samoa Air provide transportation from Pago Pago to the Manu’a islands.

Bus Stations Near Manu’a

There are no bus stations on any of the Manu’a islands, and visitors can only travel by foot or by taxi.

Other Options

Visitors could use chartered boats to travel between the Manu’a islands.

How to Get Around in Manu’a

Visitors can get around in Manu’a by renting a car, renting a bicycle or scooter, or by foot. Visitors should note that the road on some of the Manu’a Islands is not always paved, so they should choose appropriate transportation for their destination.

Where to Go Next from Manu’a: Nearby Destinations and Excursions

Visitors can visit other islands in American Samoa, including Tutuila Island, which is the largest and most populous island, or explore the National Park of American Samoa, which is spread across three islands: Tutuila, Ofu, and Ta‘ū. Visitors can also consider taking a boat tour to explore the nearby islands of Western Samoa.


With its pristine beaches, breathtaking landscapes, and authentic Samoan lifestyle, Manu’a is a paradise for travelers seeking a unique and memorable vacation. From cultural sites and natural wonders to outdoor activities and Samoan cuisine, there is something for everyone in Manu’a. This travel guide provides you with everything you need to know to plan your trip to Manu’a with ease, giving you more time to relax and soak up the delightful ambiance of this little-explored gem in the South Pacific.