Samoa is an independent nation comprising the westernmost group of the Samoan Islands, in Polynesia. The capital city is Apia. The Lapita people discovered and settled the Samoan islands around 3,500 years ago. They developed a unique language and cultural identity.
The entire island group, which includes American Samoa, was called "Navigator Islands" by European explorers before the 20th century because of the Samoans' seafaring skills. Many of its islands have reef-bordered beaches and rugged, rainforested interiors with gorges and waterfalls.