The Marquesas are the youngest islands of French Polynesia. The Marquesan name of these islands means “The Land of Men”. It’s a land of strong and nice people, keeping their traditions alive.
What to see (or What to do)
Firstly the Marquesas islands are well known as the most authentic ones of the region that preserved their nature and mode of life. Due to their isolation, these islands seem to be the best place to discover Polynesian culture, including dances and songs. The famous Polynesian tattoos are also original from the Marquesas islands.
Marquesas islands are the best in French Polynesia for horse riding and hiking. The biggest island of Marquesas is Nuku Hiva. It is a land of magic valleys and bays, a number of religious sites and wonderful waterfalls.
Hiva Oa, the island of gods, is also called “Gauguin island”. The famous French artist Paul Gauguin had been living there for several years looking for harmony and calmness. Gauguin dead there in 1903 and he was buried in the Catholic Calvary Cemetery of Hiva Oa.
How to navigate
No depression, weather generally good, rainy season not very strong. Regular winds, influence by the islands, mountains. Heavy swells. Inter islands navigation feasible in one day among the Northern islands and among the Southern islands.
Open and steep coasts. Weak W/NW sea currents (1 knot), reinforced in narrow passes (ie: Bordelais channel Hiva Oa and Tahuata).
Bay sheltered from the wind, but open to major swells. Wharfs and docks available. Muddy but stable bottoms.
Few markings: port entrance markers facing the main villages. Landing light (white fixed) on the North coast of Hiva Oa.