Hiva Oa, the island with large tikis

This island, which is smaller and with a gentler landscape, is best known to Westerners as the adopted home of the painter Paul Gauguin and singer Jacques Brel, is also home to major archaeological sites.

- Stretching over nearly three hectares, Tohua Upeke in Taaoa Valley, the ceremonial centre with over 1,000 platforms of dwellings, temples and a huge altar, perfectly illustrates the social organization of the Marquesas society
– Te Iipona in the village of Puamau, which was restored in 1991, is an exceptional site. Five large stone tikis stand guard, with the tallest, Takaii, named after a major warrior chief reputed for his strength, measuring 2.47 m. Also visible on-site is Makii Tau’a Pepe, the only horizontal tiki known in French Polynesia. According to legends, this is the ancient god of fertility and  women who touch him will fall pregnant in the year
– The only smiling tiki: controversy continues to rage over the authenticity of Utukua, whose sculpted smile is hidden away in the tropical forest and is in excellent condition.

These sites, which are already included in our Marquesas Islands packages, can now be visited as part of a new full-day tour focused on the archaeological, culinary and cultural discovery of the Marquesas civilization.
Another day trip: depart by boat to Tahuata, island lost far away, known for its talented artisans, masters in the art of carving bone of goats, pigs and even swordfish.

As for accommodation, the 3-star Hanakee Lodge, whose design mirrors that of its twin on Nuku Hiva, offers exceptional views of the island and cliffs from its bungalows and swimming pool, as well as high standards of comfort.
Just opposite, on the other side of Takauhu Bay, Félie & Gaby from Temetiu Village reserve a warm welcome for you in floral splendour. The small swimming pool with wonderful panoramic views is a real treat after a busy day of excursions.
The exuberant Tania brings a relaxed and friendly atmosphere to Pension Kanahau. If you’re good, Vito the matriarch will share stories about her friend Brel!
At the entrance to the village of Atuona, we find Jojo & Gigi’s Pension Relais Moehau. Clean and functional rooms, attentive service, a restaurant and bar where, in addition to local specialties, are served the only pizzas on the Marquesas Islands!

Let’s not forget to mention the one and only passenger-cargo ship Aranui III, which travels to the remote Marquesas Islands every three weeks with visitors and merchandise on board. This is an excellent opportunity to see the Marquesas Islands and meet local people during the organized shore excursions. Various cabin categories are available.

So whether it is Nuku Hiva or Hiva Oa, from the most incredible archaeological sites to Jacques Brel’s airplane Jojo, Gauguin’s grave or the impressive variety of natural attractions on these unspoilt islands, another world opens up to travellers, a world where culture, nature and men come together: Te Henua’Enana or the Land of Men.