Aunu'u Island Snorkeling
The 2nd most popular snorkel dive spot in American Samoa.
Wednesday 14 March 2018 07:02 GMT
Off the eastern tip of Tutuila Island in American Samoa, the snorkeling off Aunu’u Island is popular for it healthy coral formations. The southern half of this volcanic island lies within the protected Aunu’u Sanctuary Unit, which is part of the National Marine Sanctuary Of America Samoa encompasses over 13,000 square miles in six zones. While snorkeling in the bay, you may encounter butterflyfish, parrotfish and green sea turtles.
To reach the Aunu’u Island snorkeling from Tutuila Island, head east from Pago Pago on Route 1 for 30 mintues to Auasi Harbor. Contact local fishing boat oweners about a ride over to the island (30 minutes).
American Samoa is a protected territory of the United States Of America and is located about 2,500 miles from Hawaii. It consists of five volcanic islands (Tutuilla, Aunu’u, Ofu, Olsega and Ta’u) and two atolls (Rose and Swains), which are all at the eastern end of the Samoan archipelago. The waters are habitat for over 150 coral species, hawksbill turtles, green sea turtles and dozens of whale and dolphin species.
Overall, the Samoans are the largest population of Polynesian people. They take great pride in their culture, Fa’a-Samoa, which refers to the traditional Samoan way of life. It places great importance on achievements of the family group (aiga) over the individual and on dignity. Most Samoans are bilingual where they speak English in public and Samoan at home or among friends. If you plan to access a beach located within a community or near a home, make sure to ask permission first (a small donation may be requested). Also, keep in mind that the Samoan culture is very conservative; in many areas bikinis are discouraged.
The best snorkeling in American Samoa is during the dry season from April through September. During the wet season from November to March, it is known to be really, really wet with severe tropical storms. Year-round, the average daily temperature is right around 85F. With the constant moisture, there are plenty of swarming mosquitos, so make sure to bring bug spray and a mosquito net for sleeping.
To reach the snorkeling in American Samoa by air, fly into Pago Pago International Airport (PPG) on Tutuila Island near the village of Tafuna (11km west of Pago Pago). The Pago Pago International Airport is served weekly by three international airlines including Hawaiian Airlines, Samoa Airways and Talofa Airways, which originate in Honolulu (5 hours), Tonga and Apia, Samoa (35 minutes). In addition, there is inter-island air service by Inter-Island Airways to the Manu’a Island Group (Ofu, Olosega, Ta’u).
TIP: Keep in mind that there was a significant tsunami in 2009 that damaged American Samoa. These large events tend to damage the shallow water reef formations; there are reports that the coral is slowly starting to regenerate in the waters off American Samoa.
Overall, Aunu'u Island is the 2nd most popular snorkel dive spot of all 4 snorkeling dives in American Samoa.