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Tau Island map

Tau Island Map

After Ofu and Olosega islands, Tau is third member of the Manua Group 100 kilometers east of Tutuila. The beaches here aren't as spectacular as those on the other two, but Tau is much larger and higher with Mt. Lata the highest peak in American Samoa at 995 meters. Small craters dot the mountain's steep north side while the south side collapsed into the Pacific long ago.

The 1,000 inhabitants of Tau are the most traditional of American Samoa. In 1925, when a young anthropologist named Margaret Mead was looking for a place to study coming of age in Samoa, she chose to live in Luma village on the west side of the island.

Today Tau is best known to travelers as the site of the largest of the three units of National Park of American Samoa. Most of the park is undeveloped by there’s a hiking trail south from Fitiuta to Tufu Point and west to 450-meter-high Laufuti Falls.

Small guest houses exist in Fitiuta and Luma but it's essential to book ahead as all rooms can be filled by government contractors. Daily flights arrive from Pago Pago at Fitiuta's airstrip. Both Luma and Fitiuta have small boat harbors used by local fishing boats and there's sheltered anchorage for yachts at Faleasao.

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