The Mysterious Islands
About a three hour flight from the Society Islands and the Tuamotu Atolls, the Marquesas, or Henua Enata meaning "Land of Men", are seemingly lost at the end of the earth. The Marquesas is an island group about 930 miles northeast of Tahiti. Its six inhabited islands and six unpopulated islands offer some of the most dramatic scenery and true Polynesian experiences to be found. The unusual Marquesas Islands to the north of Tuamotu are unique in that there is no reef or lagoons. The volcanic islands just pop out from the deep ocean and the bays and cliffs make this one of the most scenic regions to visit. The islands support a number of small traditional villages which retain a rich culture. The Marquesas are renowned for its dancers, wood carvers and tattooists. Even now, some of the islands are virtually untouched since the era of European exploration. Their isolation has created an immense pride among the people and a fascinating culture. The language is unique to Tahiti, as the lilting Marquesan dialect is traced directly to the ancient Polynesian tongue of Maohi.
Natural wonders abound as 1000-foot waterfalls cascade down sheer volcanic cliffs, and towering mountains disappear into the clouds. The Marquesas is where Herman Melville jumped ship, Paul Gauguin came to paint and retire and numerous authors attempted to convey the riches of this rugged paradise. There are only five flights a week from Tahiti - about a 3 1/2 hour journey. The two largest islands, Nuku Hiva and Hiva Oa have a small variety of accommodation from luxury resorts to guesthouses.
Nuku Hiva - Mystic Island
The largest island in the Marquesas is known for towering spire-like peaks; secluded, lush valleys; ancient religious sites; fjord-like bays; and waterfalls so high that most of the falling water evaporates as it descends.
Keikahanui Nuku Hiva Pearl Lodge
Located in a manificent tropical garden, the Keikahanui Nuku Hiva Pearl Lodge overlooks the bay and village of Taiohae and the black sandy beach lying 50 steps below. Each bungalow is built with local materials and decorated by a different artist from the area.
Hiva Oa - Paul Gauguin's Island
This majestic and historic island is known for its wild, untamed landscape, giant stone tiki, endless and
unearthly vistas, and as the final resting place of poet Jacques Brel and artist Paul Gauguin.
Hiva Oa Hanakee Pearl Lodge
A Pacific paradise. A Polynesian lodge close to nature located in the Marquesas Islands, the Hanakee Hiva Oa Pearl Lodge faces the majestic Mount Temetiu (3903 feet) and offers amazing views of Traitors Bay, the Bordelais canal, the small island of Hanakee and in the distance the precipitous volcanic island of Tahuata.
A 200° panoramic view from the restaurant, bar and terrace displays the breathtaking splendor and wild beauty of the Marquesas.
Some of the most popular activities and sites for visitors include: Cultural Center, Archaeological Discovery Safaris, woodcarving, adventure cruising, 4X4 safaris into the spectacular valleys and panoramic landscape,
tomb of Paul Gauguin and Jacques Brel, ancient and sacred sites with petroglyphs, guided hikes into Hakaui Valley and among giant Tiki, diving in the deep waters with hammerhead, manta rays, and whales, Taaoa
Valley Archeological Sites and Puamau Stone Sculptures & Tiki.