Hidden Gem: The Samoan Dive Experience

A giant coral head
The reefs of National Marine Sanctuary of American Samoa are remote, and worth the trip. Some of the oldest and most massive coral heads in the world are found in the waters surrounding the tiny island of Ta’u. Fale Bommie, or Big Momma, is possibly the largest coral colony in the world: this Porites coral towers at over 20 feet tall with a circumference exceeding 130 feet.
A diver swims above coral
With water temperatures around 82°F year round, National Marine Sanctuary of American Samoa provides idyllic diving. Divers to areas like Fagatele Bay can view tropical reefs and rich marine life, including turtles, whales, sharks, giant clams, anemones, clownfish, and manta rays. It’s best to bring your own gear, rent air tanks on island, and charter a vessel to get out to the dive sites.
Photos: David J. Ruck/NOAA