Culture, cliffs and history. A visit to the Marquesas Islands is unlike anything else in French Polynesia. Far from Tahiti, the islands’ powerful jungle-clad peaks rise sharply from the placid ocean. Here, an ancient culture persists. The art of tattoo is prized. Many patterns and techniques have been passed on for generations. Here, wild horses run free. There are few roads — and life is shaped by the powerful forces of history and nature.
Surface from your dives and submerge yourself into a Polynesian culture unlike anything else on the planet in these mysterious, remote islands.
The largest island in the achipelago, Nuku Hiva stars an incredible mountain range dominated by Mt. Tekao. Clear streams run off stunning, high waterfalls down sea cliffs to dramatic capes and narrow fjord-like bays. Rich farming communities look out on the sea from the hills above. Herman Melville once lived here. Not much has changed since.
Wild stallions roam free in the hills above its dramatic sea cliffs. This island is home to the oldest ruins in the archipelago, dating back to as late as 300 AD. Ua Huka is known for its fine wood carvings, and of course, its horses.
Here, you’ll find stone tikis lying on the jungle floor. Ancient blocky statues of men weathered by centuries of rain and pleasant breezes. Hiva Oa also boasts a more recent history. It was once the home of Belgian poet/composer Jacques Brel and French artist Paul Gauguin. Its beaches are the best in the Marquesas, a region known more for its ancient mysteries than its beaches.