For the adventurous
visitor, the simple ambience of the Marquesas creates
- Exploration of the high mountains, remote beaches,
hidden waterfalls, and deep forests by a 4x4 safari
truck, sailboat, or even on horseback.
- Discovery of the archaeological sites of stone
tiki, ancient dwellings, and petroglyphs.
- Enchantment from the simple and warm Marquesan
people with a history unique among any civilization
- Enjoyment of shopping for sculptures in tiny studios
and craft centers.
- Relaxation with the peaceful ambience and delicious
cuisine found at the simple, yet elegant lodges set
on the hillsides overlooking the bays.
Some of the most popular activities and sites
for visitors include:
The Paul Gauguin Cultural Center opened in 2003 on
the 100th anniversary of Gauguin's death. Located
on land bought by Gauguin, the center's exhibition
of reproductions leads the visitor through three sections
themed around quotes attributed to the artist: "escaping
to reach art", "the right to dare anything
in art", and "becoming part of a primitive
Archaeological Discovery Safaris
Hidden in the theatre of mountains of the Marquesas
is a mother lode of ancient sacred sites including
ceremonial complexes, stone temples, and tiki statues.
On Nuku Hiva, Taipivai Valley is home to temples and
large tiki, while the village of Hatiheu is home to
the famous Kamuihei and Hikoku sites known for their
petroglyphs and ruins. On Hiva Oa, an immense ceremonial
complex in Taaoa Valley has been restored and offers
a unique view of the fierce and proud Marquesan heritage.
Famous for intricate woodcarvings, Marquesans apply
ancestral designs seen nowhere else on earth. Carved
from precious native woods such as rosewood and purplewood,
Marquesan bowls, plates, and statues are highly prized
the world over. These treasures can be bought throughout
the islands directly from the artists at their studios.
As if living out a classic South Seas seafaring novel,
the most unique way to see the Marquesas is aboard
the new Aranui 3 freighter/passenger ship. This working
cargo ship is the lifeline to the outside world for
the inhabitants of these remote islands. Passengers
observe the exchange of supplies, copra, dried coconut,
and fruit in addition to exploring each of the islands
on guided excursions. The 16-day voyage begins in
Papeete and includes 17 ports-of-call in the Marquesas
and Tuamotu Islands.
Other activities and sites throughout the
- 4X4 Safaris into the spectacular valleys and panoramic
- 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,
- Taaoa Valley Archeological Sites
- Puamau Stone Sculptures & Tiki
Guided or self-guided itineraries including these
and other sites can be reserved or planned by your
travel arranger before you travel or at the activities
desk of your resort or cruise ship.