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American Samoa

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Five rugged volcanic islands and two coral atolls, American Samoa rises sharply out of the Pacific Ocean, west of the Cook Islands and east of Australia.

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The Washington D.C.-sized territory is full of marine sanctuaries, 3,000-foot sea cliffs, active submerged volcanoes, and one of the US' most hard-to-get-to national parks: National Park of American Samoa.

Pago Pago will be your home base, and a drive from here over the village of Vatia leads to some pretty breathtaking views of the famous harbor below. You'll also want to visit Ofu Beach -- some say it's one of the world's most beautiful -- hike to a "quick-sand" lake, and climb Rainmaker Mountain. Drive the southeastern coast of Tutuila for a scenic extravaganza, and top off the journey with as much taro as you can handle. Be warned: Americans, with a passport, can stay here indefinitely.

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