Rocks of Marquesas Islands
The Marquesas Islands of
Nuku Hiva & Hiva Oa
The Marquesas islands are 400 km north-east of Tahiti (3 hours by air plane). The Marquesas Islands were the first homeland for the settling of the "Polynesian Triangle", dating back to the start of the modern era. There are no barrier reefs and therefore the Marquesan coastlines are either indented with bays or end in abrupt cliffs. Nature runs wild in these islands where herds of goats and packs of wild horses roam in total freedom. The Marquesan people, descendants from valiant navigators and great warriors, take pride in their language, traditional culture, decorative art of tattooing, carving, tapa cloth and the fine art of cooking.
Nuku Hiva:Nuku Hiva is the main island of the northern group. It is the largest in the archipelago and has the largest population. Settlement is concentrated in Taiohae (on the south coast), Hatiheu (on the north coast) and Taipivai (in the east).
Nuku Hiva was formed by two volcanoes, stacked on top of each other to form two concentric calderas. The island offers magnificent landscapes, high-quality handicrafts (particularly sculpture), interesting archaeological heritage and activities such as diving, walking and horse riding.
Island of Marquesas Islands
Hiva Oa: Hiva Oa stretches 40km east to west and about 10km from north to south. It's a hook-shaped island distorted relief is evidence of former volcanic activity. The slopes of Mt Temetiu and Mt Feani form a vast, impressive amphitheatre. At the base of it is Atuona, the island's capital.
Atuona proudly cultivates the memory of painter Paul Gauguin and Belgian singer-poet Jacques Bret. Both made this small town the last stop on their wanderings.