If God had a “big house” symbolizing the Marquesas Islands, the largest of them - Nuku Hiva - would represent the top of the framework. The vertiginous volcanic peaks and amazing slopes blend with the blue of the Pacific Ocean. A special universe opens its doors. The starting point of your adventure is Taioha’e, the archipelago’s regional capital, opening at the end of a large bay holding the same name. Outstanding landscapes, an incredible archeological history, great stories and a rich culture are all to be discovered alongside a friendly population.
Framed by looming cliffs, the coasts are a mix of black sand beaches and paradise like bays. Among the lush rainforest, where thousands of pre-European remnants lie, one will discover wild horses, goats and bores. Nature is raw and its charm even stronger. From Taipivai valley to Hatihe’u bay, from Anahō to Hakau’i waterfall (the second highest waterfall in the world), the traveler is invited to admire cultural and natural wonders. The Marquesans are said to be among the finest craftsmen throughout French Polynesia: large and fine carvings, beautiful tattoos, surprising pieces of jewelry: all witness to the renewed cultural talent of these people.
This is the story of a sailor who was attempting to flee a boat, a boat he detested. He secretly disembarked on a hard, impenetrable island. He wandered around alone but was soon welcomed by the Taipi clan. However he was afraid they were cannibals. Not only did they treat him well(nor eat him!) but they also allowed him – as the first European ever - to discover their unknown and untouched community. Later, in 1842, after he returned home to the United States, he became a writer, inspired by his unique adventure and quickly wrote his first book “Taipi”. This man was Herman Melville. A famous monument in his memory lies on the docks of Taioha’e. Nowadays, following his steps is a mystical pilgrimage as the valley hosts hundreds of remnants (tiki, petroglyphs…) in a timeless atmosphere.
Although Nuku Hiva is not thought to be a great scuba diving destination, it is in fact very thrilling! The geographical isolation of the island has allowed a phenomenal biodiversity to develop. In the open ocean, encounter an abundance of manta rays, eagle rays, sharks of various species and sizes, jackfish, tuna, dolphins and swordfish. A pod of several hundred melon-head dolphins live close to the coast and can be frequently encountered...