In Pago Pago
at Pago Pago Harbor
traditional dance to
Harbor in the Pacific Islands
world's largest aircraft
In Pago Pago Harbor
THIS IS PAGO PAGO, AMERICAN SAMOA
Penina o le Pasifika
Welcome to “Penina o le Pasifika” (Pearl of the Pacific), home of friendly people and some of the most beautiful tropical scenery in the world. There are many historic sites dating back to WWII and the landing of the Apollo Missions. There is so much to see and do, you’ll wish you could stay longer.
We will show the beauty and everything you need to know to enjoy these islands.
Our Information section has general information, descriptions of each island and a section on our National Park.
Our Activities section has several suggested tours, a link to charter fishing services and our Explore section where you can use our great Google Earth map to find places you can explore.
We list all hotels with contact information and links to their websites where available. We list many restaurants with contact information.
Please keep in mind that this is a new website and we do not claim to have every bit of information on all subjects. We welcome your participation in helping us to improve the site with additional information and suggestions for new subject matter.
Where is Pago Pago?
The easy answer is: right in the middle of the South Pacific Ocean and a long way from anywhere.
The best answer to that question is about 2,575 miles south of Hawaii. It could also be said to be about 2,034 miles north, northeast of New Zealand. The most accurate answer is 14.30 degrees South, 170.70 degrees West. Learn more
How to Pronounce
This is a fun subject because there are so many misinterpretations of the correct way to pronounce Pago Pago. We will focus on the way it is pronounced by the majority of people in American Samoa because, after all, that is where Pago Pago is located.
Quite simply, it is easy to describe how to pronounce Pago Pago by telling people to think of the Bongo drum and just replace the “B” in Bongo with a P for Pago and then just repeat.
Now you might ask how the “n” got in there. Well, that’s easy. The Samoan sound for “g” is pronounced “ng” with the emphasis on “n”. In some cases, you can barely hear the “g” sound at all.
So, now try saying the Bongo drum word twice: Bongo Bongo. Now replace the “B” in Bongo with “P”, and say that twice to sound like Pongo Pongo, always with the emphasis on the “n”. To pronounce Pago Pago correctly, you almost have to drop the “g” sound and replace it with “n”…almost though.
Here is a recording of how to pronounce Pago Pago, which I found after listening to more than 10 totally incorrect pronunciations. This was a recording on Vimeo with accreditation given to www.howtopronounce.org. Click here to hear the almost correct way to pronounce Pago Pago. The Vimeo recording also provided this phonetic way to pronounce Pago Pago: pahng-oh pahng-oh, which seems pretty accurate.
In the western part of the Samoas, now the country of Samoa, Pago Pago is most commonly reduced to a single word, “Pago”, and pronounced like the dance Tango with the “T” replaced with “P”. In American Samoa, Pago is always pronounced more like a singular part of Pago Pago as described in the Bongo drum metaphor above.
For more fun, let’s try to learn how to pronounce Samoa the way Samoan people would like to hear you pronounce it. To understand the correct pronunciation, you should know that the two syllables that make up the word Samoa are also two words: Sa means forbidden or sacred and is pronounced like saw. Moa is the Samoan word for chicken. So, Samoa is pronounced like sawmoa, or “forbidden chicken” or maybe “sacred chicken”.
Now, moa might have other meanings too, but I’m going to stick with chicken because the flag of Manua, American Samoa bears a graphic of a chicken.
There you have it; Pango Pango, American Sawmoa, is pretty close to the correct pronunciation. Remember to keep all the “a” sounds like the short form of the vowel.
Typical of all parts of the tropics, Pago Pago is warm, humid, rainy, and subject to hurricanes. The climate makes for a relaxed, informal atmosphere and is easily tolerated with appropriate attire.
Light-weight cotton clothing is recommended because cotton tends to dissipate perspiration quickly causing a cooling effect.
Hurricane season is the months of December through March, but hurricanes are infrequent and seldom cause loss of life.