The 3-sq-km, tangled confines of Aunu’u are perfect for a half-day of exploring on foot. The walking tracks are manageable on your own, or you can arrange a guide when you get off the ferry (US$8 to US$10 is reasonable).
At the north end of the island is Pala Lake, a deadly looking expanse of quicksand whose fiery red hue is best appreciated at low tide. Within Aunu’u’s central volcanic crater lies Red Lake, filled with eels and suffused by a preternatural glow at dusk. On the island’s eastern shore is Ma’ama’a Cove, a rocky bowl pounded by large waves. Legend says that this is the site where two lovers, Sina and Tigila’u, were shipwrecked. You can make out bits of crossed ‘rope’ and broken ‘planks’ embedded in the rocks.
Below the western slope of Aunu’u’s crater are the Taufusitele Taro Marshes. The safest place to swim on the island is in the little harbour, where the water’s so clear that you can see the coral from the breakwater.
Small launches head to Aunu’u from the dock at Au’asi (at the eastern end of Tutuila). If you catch a boat with the locals, it's US$2 each way. If you charter a boat, a return trip is around US$10 to US$15. Boats don’t run on Sundays.