Grandiose and striking are the words that are needed when the eyes gaze at the imposing cliffs of Nuku Hiva and slide along its coasts, plunging into the vast ocean. The secrets contained in the island seem impenetrable, hidden by a lush vegetation covering the “Land of men” of this veil of mystery, indescribable, yet so real.
In June 1842 Nuku Hiva is the first island of the Marquesas to stand on the random path of the whaler on which the greatest sea novelist, Herman Melville, is preparing to discover a country for which “no description can render the beauty “.
At Tapivai, which many legends have taken for setting, waterfalls and rivers mark a trail guarded by Tiki who, drowned in the forest, still keeps watch, the eyes fixed on eternity.
Since the cascade of Hakui, the third highest waterfall in the world, Anaho Bay, one of the most beautiful bays in the Marquesas, or from Mount Muake, paragliders departing site, the scenery of basaltic peaks and deep canyons will enchant every visitor. In Nuku Hiva (the second largest island in Polynesia), the vertigo is permanent, encouraged by the pace of Pahu (drums) which bring back ancient times.
Located at the center of a crater that is half collapsed into the sea, the city is close to the deserted black sand beaches and includes a dive center based on the old dock. Indeed, although there is no lagoon in Nuku Hiva, the island offers a rare and wonderful attraction: caves and underwater caves sheltering an impressive variety of fauna and aquatic flora!
A mysterious island with many relics, place of spectacular excursions: the tohua, site of dancing, singing and banquets of ancient Marquesans, impressive platforms called “paepae hiamoe” underbody of old houses, majestic Tiki cut in stone, the marae, places of worship called “mea’e”, nearly 7,000 petroglyphs.
Wonderful waterfalls, pounding down the slopes to natural pools, like the 350 meters Hakui waterfall.
Many “discovery” tours are offered by Marquesans providers to explore the secrets of the island by boat, 4 × 4, on foot, horseback or even helicopter: magnificent views of the bays and lush valleys are guaranteed.
Privileged underwater exploration sites: caves, cavities and drop-offs are rare attractions. The absence of reefs causes the abundance of the pelagic fauna: Electra dolphins, hammerhead sharks, white fins, manta rays, leopard stingrays and marbled rays.
The Marquesans are among the finest creators of the Pacific: traditional tattoo art, carving, tapa cloth, the culinary art, the return of sandalwood reflects the Marquesan cultural revival.
A classified hotel overlooking the bay and the village of Taihoe, jewel of Marquesan architecture, makes you feel the simple and profound values of this island.
Eight cozy guesthouses run by Marquesans who will be proud to share their culture and traditions, still very much alive.
An extraordinary adventure aboard: a brand new cargo ship, the Aranui 3, with a Polynesian crew. A unique opportunity to approach the Marquesas Islands and the local people that are so welcoming.