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Pago Pago
A portion of the docks at Fagatogo in Pago Pago Harbor. In the background is the Rainmaker (Pioa) Mountain. Fagatogo was struck by a tsunami on 29 September 2009, causing moderate damage and rock slides.[1]
Pago Pago is located in American Samoa
Pago Pago
Coordinates: 14°16′46″S 170°42′02″W / 14.27944°S 170.70056°W / -14.27944; -170.70056
Country United States
Territory American Samoa
Population (2000)
 - Total 11,500

Pago Pago (pronounced /ˈpɑːŋɡoʊˈpɑːŋɡoʊ/ in English, but [ˈpaŋo ˈpaŋo] by native Samoan speakers, or Pango Pango[2], is the capital of American Samoa. Its 2000 population was 11,500. The village is located in Pago Pago Harbor, on the island of Tutuila. Tourism, entertainment, food, and tuna canning are the primary industries here. From 1878 to 1951, this was a coaling and repair station for the U.S. Navy.

A statue of Starkist Tuna mascot Charlie the Tuna at the company cannery in Atu‘u, Pago Pago, American Samoa

Pago Pago is one of the several villages in the Urban agglomeration of Pago Pago along the shore of Pago Pago Harbor located at the very eastern part (inside) of the embayment. The area includes a number of villages, among them Fagatogo, the legislative and judicial area, and Utulei, the executive area (1).

However, because the name Pago Pago is associated with the harbor itself - the only significant port of call in American Samoa - Pago Pago is now generally applied not only to the village itself, but to the whole harbor area and to the villages in it.[3] It is in this sense that Pago Pago becomes the de facto capital town of American Samoa.

Pago Pago is a mixture of colorful semi-urban communities, a small town, tuna canneries (which provide employment for a third of the population of Tutuila) and a harbor surrounded by dramatic cliffs, which plunge almost straight into the sea. A climb to the summit of Mt. Alava (see National Park of American Samoa) provides a magnificent bird's-eye view of the harbor and town.

In January 1942 Pago Pago Harbor was shelled by a Japanese submarine, but this remained the only action on the islands during World War II.

Until 1980, one could experience the view from the peak by taking an aerial tramway over the harbor, but on April 17 (2) of that year a U.S. Navy plane, flying overhead as part of the Flag Day celebrations, struck the cable; the plane crashed into a wing of the Rainmaker Hotel. The tram remains unusable, although according to Lonely Planet, plans have been put forth to reopen it. Less spectacular, but worth the drive, is the view from the top of the pass above Aua Village on the road to Afono.

Both the port itself and the legislature of American Samoa — known as the "Fono" (/ˈfono/) — are in Fagatogo, a village adjacent to Pago Pago. Similarly, the once famous Rainmaker Hotel (now closed) is in the village of Utule‘i, adjacent to Fagatogo along the south shore of the long harbor. The canneries are in Atu‘u, on the harbor's north shore. It is suggested that one must avoid eating any fish or invertebrate caught in Pago Pago Harbor because they are contaminated with heavy metals and other pollutants.[4]


2009 Tsunami

On September 29, 2009, an earthquake struck in the South Pacific, near Samoa and American Samoa, sending a tsunami into Pago Pago and surrounding areas. The tsunami caused damage ranging from moderate to severe to villages, buildings and vehicles and caused an unknown number of deaths.[1][5]


Pago Pago International Airport serves Pago Pago.

External links

Coordinates: 14°16′46″S 170°42′02″W / 14.27944°S 170.70056°W / -14.27944; -170.70056


  1. ^ a b
  2. ^ Pango Pango at
  3. ^ "American Samoa Constitution". Congress of the United States - Congressman Eni Faleomavaega. Retrieved 2007-02-16.  
  4. ^ "Natural History Guide To American Samoa". Retrieved 2007-02-16.  
  5. ^

Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikitravel

Oceania : American Samoa : Pago Pago
Pago Pago harbor
Pago Pago harbor

Pago Pago is the capital city of American Samoa.

Get in

By plane

Pago Pago is approximately 16 miles from the Tafuna International Airport(IATA: PPG). The small terminal is in the process of expanding and taxis are always available when exiting the building. There does not seem to be a lot of air traffic, except for flights to/fro Hawaii and neighboring islands of Manu'a and the independent country of (Western) Samoa. The cost of a taxi ride from Tafuna to Pago Pago is usually $15-$20, and $1.00 on a aiga bus. Most hotels on the island offer pick-up and shuttle service if arranged in advance.

  • Jean P. Haydon Museum. A museum that showcases Samoan history, culture, and nature, it's a great place to learn about the island and become acquainted with the local culture before venturing out to other destinations. The museum features many cultural artifacts, such as clothing, art, weaponry, pottery, and tattooing. There are also artifacts from WWII. Exhibits about the island itself, including the types of plants and animals are also on display. The museum is named after the wife of the founder, who collected many of the artifacts on display in the museum.  edit



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