Hiva Oa, Paul Gauguin’s Island
Above the steady rumble of the Pacific surge, the sharply sculpted mountains of Hiva Oa hide their summits in the mists of rain-filled clouds. The largest and most fertile island in the southern group of the Marquises, Hiva Oa has deep valleys, lush plateaus and thickly wooded forests.
Located 740 miles northeast of Tahiti, the town of Atuona is the administrative center for the southern Marquises. Framed in a theatre of mountains with the Bay of Traitors providing safe anchorage, Atuona is a favorite port of call for yachts and copra ships.
Atuona village has a gendarmerie, small hospital, post office, banks, weather station, Air Tahiti office, pensions, restaurants, bars, stores and shops. There is a Catholic mission with a boarding school and a Protestant church.
A path up the cliffs behind the village leads to Calvary Cemetery. Here are the simple graves of two men who chose the Marquises as their final home and resting place the French painter Paul Gauguin and Belgian singer Jacques Brel.
Sightseeing highlights include a visit to Puamau Village, where Gauguin descendents live. In the steamy jungle above the village is the Oipona me'ae temple and the 8-ft. tall tiki Takaii, the largest stone tiki in Polynesia. Several other stone carvings adorn this quiet spot. Visit the very picturesque village of Hanaiapa; the petroglyphs carved in stone in Eiaone and Punai; the me'ae temple and black sand beach of Taaoa and the pretty bays of Nahoe and Hanamenu.
Hiva Oa Hanakee Pearl Lodge **** : beautiful panoramic views and setting, pool, locally designed bungalows, upper mid range unique style establishment
Pension Temetiu: nice views and setting, small pool, private bungalows, small family run establishment
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Island GuideBora Bora, the Romantic Island
Bora Bora island is possibly the most famous island in the world. Lush tropical rainforests, white sand beaches and palm covered motu surrounding the island and the gorgeous azure lagoon, make this island the perfect nest for romantics and honeymooners... Bora Bora is love at first sight.Tahiti, Queen of the Pacific
Tahiti, often called the island of love, is the largest of all French polynesian islands. Deep valleys, waterfalls cascading into cool rivers and streams hide between the beautifull moutains, overlooked by majestic peaks. The flat coastal lands, are planted with fields of tropical flowers and home to most of the island's population. Tahiti's beaches vary from black sand beaches on the north east coast and white sand beaches on the south west coast. Papeete, the capital, is the place to shop for authentic souvenirs at the great local marketMoorea, the Bay Island
Crystalline lagoons, home of dolphins and rays. Waterfalls tumble down the steep pineapple covered mountains. Volcanic peaks rise high above the tranquil waters of Cook's Bay and Oponohu Bay. Peaceful meadows and gardens of hibiscus, birds of paradise and many more exotic plants will renew your belief in the majesty of nature. Less than ten minutes away by air from Tahiti, Moorea is ideal for a day's visit.
Huahine, Garden of Eden
Huahine, picturesque, with its lush rainforests, rich and fertile soil growing abundance of vanilla and bananas on the slopes of a very diverse and dramatic geography, is one of Polynesia's best kept secrets. A scenic road winds around the two small islands that compose Huahine, through charming villages, beautiful vistas of crystal-clear lagoons, rich with sea life, where lie motu islets bordered by white sand beaches and coconut trees. Maeva village is a wealth of archeological sites that go back to 1000 years. The spell cast by Huahine will last a lifetime.
Far less traveled then Bora Bora or Moorea, these two sister islands offer an experience of a true unspoiled Polynesia. They share a wonderful lagoon rich in sea life, and ideal for sailing, scuba diving and outrigger canoeing.Raiatea, meaning "faraway heaven", also called "The Sacred Island", is the cultural heart of all Polynesia and holds much fascinating history, legends, as well the most significant archeological sites.
Taha'a, filled with a rich aroma of vanilla lingering in the air, is "The Vanilla Island". This flower shaped island charms us with the simple beauty of its soft mountains and surrounding of tiny motu on the endless lagoon. Taha'a still maintains an authentic flavor of Polynesia.
Life on these remote atolls is simple and normally quiet and peaceful. In the small villages the visitor can discover the true flavor of the Tuamotu, often participating in the daily activities of the Paumotu people. The interior lagoons are a haven for black pearl farms, fish parks, snorkeling and scuba diving.Tikehau, Remote, Beautiful, Magical
Tikehau, considered to be one of the most beautiful atolls of Polynesia, is a graceful crown of pink-sand beaches. In this pristine world, fish seem to outnumber people. The interior lagoons are a haven for black pearl farms, snorkling, exploring the Isle of Birds and enjoying endless hours of kayak ballads encountering rays, exotic fish and coral gardens. The local people, friendly inhabitants of the small village of Tuherahera, invite you to share their world beyond imagination.