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American Samoa Travel Guide


One of Tutuila's easiest and most rewarding hikes is through National Park of American Samoa to the TV towers on Mt. Alava (491 meters). The hourly Fagasa bus (US$1) from Fagatogo Market runs up to the trailhead at the pass, but ask someone at the bus station where you should be waiting, as the vehicle bears no destination sign.

The TV towers on the summit are a two-hour walk northeast along a five-km jeep track from the Fagasa road (no chance of getting lost). A spectacular view of Pago Pago Harbor and Rainmaker Mountain is obtained from Mt. Alava, and if you're patient you may see an occasional flying fox glide silently by, even at midday.

A trail down to Vatia on the north coast begins at the circular observation pavilion on the very top of the hill. Follow the ridge east until you pick up the trail, which you follow down to Vatia. This trail is steep and should only be attempted in dry weather. Good boots and some hiking experience are essential.

Rainmaker Mountain
The mountains of American Samoa invite adventurous hikers. Rainmaker Mountain, shown here can only be climbed with a guide.

Mt. Matafao (653 meters), Tutuila's highest peak, can be climbed in half a day via a trail that begins directly opposite the beginning of the Mt. Alava track on the pass just mentioned.

Climb the white metal ladder up onto the ridge south of the road; the trail is fairly obvious on top. It'll take about three hours up through a beautiful rainforest—stay on the ridge all the way. No special gear is required for this climb, but avoid rainy weather, when it gets slippery. In clear weather the view is one of the finest in the South Pacific.

Golf and Tennis

Visitors are welcome at the 18-hole 'Ili'ili Golf Course, maintained by the Department of Parks and Recreation at 'Ili'ili (Tafuna bus). You'll enjoy good views of the mountains and sea from the fairways, and inexpensive food and drink are available at the adjacent Country Club.

The course rating is 68. Greens fees are very reasonable, and carts and clubs are for hire (bring your own balls and tees). It's not necessary to book starting times, but clubs and carts should be reserved, as they're in limited supply.

The public tennis courts at Pago Pago and Tafuna are free.

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