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The Marquesas Attractions
The Marquesas Attractions
Calvary Cemetary, Hiva Oa
A recommended stop for art lovers, this Hiva Oa graveyard is the final resting place of legendary painter Paul Gauguin. Gauguin's monument is a simple stone marker and a small statue of a Polynesian woman known as "Ovira."
Kamuihei, Hiva Oa
An eerie, jungle-like atmosphere pervades this ancient temple complex in the Taipivai/Northeast Coast area on Hiva Oa. An incredible jumble of ruins, the site has been likened to a set from the film adventure, "Raiders of the Lost Ark."
Puamau Stone Sculptures & Tiki, Hiva Oa
Near the Hiva Oa village of Puamau stand the largest stone tiki sculptures in the Marquesas, estimated to have been built around 1750 A.D. Some scientists consider them to be archeological links to the sculptures on Easter Island.
Taioha'e Bay, Nuku Hiva
Surrounded by steep peaks, the calm anchorage here serves as a refuge for boats from the hurricane-prone waters far south of French Polynesia. The main frontage road is where you'll find Nuka Hiva's businesses, shops and government facilities.
Toovii Plateau, Nuku Hiva
Perch on the summit at Muake Pass on Nuku Hiva and take in the stunning 360-degree view. The vista encompasses the rugged coastline and Taioha'e Bay, while on the distant horizon it's possible see the island of Ua Pou.
The Marquesas Activities
Diving in the Marquesas means waters packed with undersea life, and the fish are generally not frightened of humans. Visitors don't have to dive as deep as they would off other islands, since the aquatic life tends to swim relatively close to the surface.
The warm, translucent waters surrounding the Marquesas are rich with tuna, mahi mahi and other marine life, making your chances of reeling in a "big one" especially good in this region of French Polynesia.
Spectacular vistas, rushing waterfalls and fascinating archelogical sites are just some of the rewards to be reaped during a hike through the Marquesas. The terrain here is pristine and unspoiled, making for the perfect back-to-nature experience.
Horseback riding is a splendid way to get around the islands, and guided tours can easily be arranged through either the Hanakee Hiva Oa Pearl Lodge or the Keikahanui Nuku Hiva Pearl Lodge.
The Marquesas Islands are the carving capital of the South Pacific. Check out the selection in Taioha'e Bay, Taipivai and Ua Huka, where the artisans do excellent work and prices are quite reasonable. You can also visit a family of sculptors in Taioha'e Bay.