The Marquesas Vacations
The Marquesas, or Henua Enata (Land of Men), are seemingly lost at the end of the earth. Even now, some of the islands are virtually untouched since the era of European exploration. Their isolation from other lands has created an immense pride among the people and a fascinating and undiscovered culture. The language is unique to Tahiti, as the lilting Marquesan dialect is traced directly to the ancient Polynesian tongue of Maohi. 1,000-foot waterfalls cascade down sheer volcanic cliffs, and because the islands have no coral reefs or lagoons, the ocean crashes directly against the rocky coast indented with fjord-like bays.
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Take in unobstructed views of Taiohae Bay and its black sand beach from your private hillside bungalow then relax in the infinity pool with a fresh, colorful cocktail.
The twelve islands of the Marquesas 932 miles northeast of the island of Tahiti. Known as the Land of Men (Henua Enata), the Marquesas are thought to be the youngest islands of French Polynesia. Hiva Oa, also called Gauguin Island, was the home and final resting place of the renowned Paul Gauguin, the famous French impressionist painter.
Only the vivid colors of an impressionist could begin to do justice to the remarkable palette of Tahiti. Today, wild horses and goats still roam the lush rainforests of the Marquesas. Here, vacationers will discover some of the finest craftsmen and most pristine scenery in French Polynesia.
Hundreds of ancient Tahitians once lived along the streams and rainforests of the Taipivai Valley. The island’s captivating history lies amid Hakaui’s Vaipo, the highest waterfall in the Islands of Tahiti, and third tallest in the world, and the lush Taipivai Valley, with its ancient stone marae (sacred gathering places).
Located more than 3,000 miles from the coast of California, this is one of the most remote archipelagos in the world. Only six of the Marquesas are inhabited. The faraway locale and unspoiled beauty of the mystical Marquesas adds to the islands’ legendary charms.
What To Do
Visit the Catholic Calvary Cemetery of Hiva Oa, the final resting place of Paul Gauguin, whose stunning works portrayed life in French Polynesia.
Shop for local handicrafts on gorgeous Tahuata, the smallest inhabited Marquesas Island. Explore the unique ancient archeological finds at Meiaute on Ua Huka, known as the “island of horses” with its enormous marae and striking tiki carved in red volcanic stone.
Sail, snorkel or swim in the stunningly beautiful Hanavave Bay (Bay of Virgins) on the southernmost island of the Marquesas, Fatu Hiva, and hike to its nearby waterfall.
Discover the ancient Hatiheu Village in Nuku Hiva, considered the “mystical island,” with its restored tohaa (paved dancing areas), and reconstructed traditional houses. Learn more about the islands’ unique cultural heritage at the Maison Patrimoniale museum.