Pago Pago is the territorial capital of American Samoa. It is in Maoputasi County on the main island of American Samoa, Tutuila. It is home to one of the best and deepest natural deepwater harbors in the South Pacific Ocean, sheltered from wind and rough seas, and strategically located. The harbor is also one of the best protected in the South Pacific, which gives American Samoa a natural advantage with respect to landing fish for processing. Tourism, entertainment, food, and tuna canning are its main industries.
Pago Pago is the only modern urban center in American Samoa. The Greater Pago Pago Metropolitan Area encompasses several villages strung together along Pago Pago Harbor. One of the villages is itself named Pago Pago. The constituent villages are, in order, Utulei, Fagatogo, Malaloa, Pago Pago, Satala and Atu'u. Fagatogo is the downtown area referred to as Town and is home to the legislature, while the executive is located in Utulei. In Fagatogo is the Fono, Police Department, Port of Pago Pago, many shops and hotels.
Rainmaker Mountain (Mount Pioa) is located in Pago Pago and gives the city the highest annual rainfall of any harbor in the world.
American Samoa is a group of islands in the South Pacific Ocean that lie about halfway between Hawaii and New Zealand and about 100 km (60 mi) east of its neighboring country of Samoa, which is part of the same archipelago and ethnicity.
American Samoa is an unincorporated territory of the United States of America. The citizens of American Samoa are US "nationals" and not US "citizens," but they are allowed to travel freely between American Samoa and the US mainland. They are not required to obtain green cards or visas to stay or work in the United States, and they are allowed to serve in the US armed forces (and often do). There are some ways that American Samoa's special status as an unincorporated territory has interesting legal consequences. The US Constitution is not necessarily the supreme law of the land in American Samoa, and Samoan cultural norms, in particular, those related to the ownership of property and public displays of religion, actually trump certain well-settled US constitutional rights in American Samoa.
The city of Pago Pago encompasses several surrounding villages, including Fagatogo, the legislative and judicial capital, and Utulei, the executive capital and home of the Governor. The town is located between steep mountainsides and the harbor. It is surrounded by mountains such as Mount Alava, Mount Matafao and Rainmaker Mountain, all mountains protecting Pago Pago Harbor. The main downtown area is Fagatogo on the south shore of Pago Pago Harbor, the location of the Fono (territorial legislature), the port, the bus station, and the market. The banks are in Utulei and Fagotogo, as are the Sadie Thompson Inn and other hotels. The tuna canneries, which provide employment for a third of the population of Tutuila, are in Atu'u on the north shore of the harbor. The village of Pago Pago is at the western head of the harbor.
Pago Pago Harbor nearly bisects Tutuila Island. It is facing south and situated almost midpoint on the island. Its bay is 0.6 miles wide and 2.5 mi long. A 1,630 feet high mountain, Mount Pioa (Rainmaker Mountain), is located at the east side of the bay. The town is centered around the mouth of the Vaopito stream. Half of American Samoa’s inhabitants live along Pago Pago’s foothills and coastal areas. The downtown area is known as Fagatogo and is home to government offices, port facilities, Samoan High School and the Rainmaker Hotel. Two tuna factories are located in the northern part of town.
Pago Pago is in the Eastern District of American Samoa, in Ma'oputasi County. It is approximately 2,600 miles southwest of Hawai'i, 1,600 miles northeast of New Zealand, and 4,500 miles southwest of California. It is located at 14°16′46″S 170°42′02″W. Pago Pago is located 18 degrees south of the equator.
The north-central part of town is blanketed by the National Park of American Samoa. A climb to the summit of Mt. Alava in the National Park of American Samoa provides a bird's-eye view of the harbor and town.
Pago Pago has a tropical rainforest (Köppen climate classification Af) climate. All official climate records for American Samoa are kept at Pago Pago. The hottest temperature ever recorded was 99 °F (37 °C) on February 22, 1958. Conversely, the lowest temperature on record was 59 °F (15 °C) on October 10, 1964. The average annual temperature recorded at the weather station at Pago Pago International Airport is 80 degrees, with an average relative humidity of 80 percent. A temperature range of about three degrees Fahrenheit separates the average monthly temperatures of the coolest and hottest months.
Pago Pago has been named one of the wettest places on Earth. It receives 119 inches (302 cm) of rain per year. The rainy season lasts from November through April, but the town experiences warm and humid temperatures year-round. Besides its being wetter and more humid from November–April, this is also the hurricane season. The frequency of hurricanes hitting Pago Pago has increased dramatically in recent years. The windy season lasts from May to October. As warmer easterlies are forced up and over Rainmaker Mountain, clouds form and drop moisture on the city. Consequentially, Pago Pago experiences twice the rainfall of nearby Apia in the country of Samoa. Rainmaker Mountain, which is also known as Mount Pioa, is a designated National Natural Landmark.