Points Of Interest
The capital of the Marquesas is a quiet city set on the bay and surrounded by rocky cliffs. Taiohe is home to more than half the population of Nuku Hiva and is a pretty city of black-sand beaches, tropical blooms, and a distinctly French ambiance. The center of town is easily explored on foot. Be sure to visit Notre Dame Cathedral, displaying stone and wood carvings from each island of the archipelago. Another highlight is a wooden statue of Herman Melville, who based two novels (Typee and Omoo) on his stay in the Taipivai Valley. The waterfront features plenty of tiki statues including the Temehea Tohua, featuring an almost extraterrestrial visage.
Lush mountain scenery tumbling down to Controlleur Bay characterize this valley where Moby Dick author Herman Melville was held captive for three weeks. Little remains of the village that inspired two novels, but the ride alone is enthralling for its spectacular vistas of the coastline, bays, and valleys, and the valley itself is one of the richest archaeological sites in the Marquesas Islands. Taipivai Valley is available as a shore excursion from The Gauguin.
Another literary figure, Robert Louis Stevenson, was enchanted by Hatiheu, a picturesque village on the shores of Hatiheu Bay. A statue of the Virgin Mary presides over the village thousands of feet up at the top of a towering cliff set against a curving black-sand beach.
Archeological Sites (Hikokua, Kamuihei, Tahakia and Teiipoka)</strong >
Discovered in 1957, a cluster of archeological sites near Hatiheu were used for ancient festivals, rituals and human sacrifice. Framed by the steep cliffs of Hatiheu, traverse among giant banyan trees, ancient stones and tiki while you marvel at the majesticness of it all.
This picture-postcard setting on the island’s northeast coast features a pretty village with a thatched-roof Catholic church, soft white-sand beaches, and the only coral reef in the Marquesas.
Population: 3,120 (2017)
Language: French, Marquesan
Scheduled Docking Location: Taiohae
Shopping: The Marquesas are the best place to purchase authentic Polynesian handicrafts such as wood and stone carvings. In Taiohae, you might start at the Fare Artisanal (Artisan Center), located next-door to the tourist office.
Banks / ATMs: Socredo Bank, located on the waterfront in Taiohae, open Mon-Fri 8am-noon and 1:30pm-4pm. ATM available at the post office. Cash: best to have local currency (XPF).
Post Office: The post and telecommunications office in Taiohae is located between the pier and the marina. Open 7:30am-noon and 1pm-3:30pm.
Internet/Wi-Fi: Internet access is available at Snack Henri and Snack Tematapuaua, on the pier.
Airport Transportation: The main airport for the Marquesas is located on Nuku Hiva. Transfers available by 4x4 taxis.
Huki Haetuaivi: +689 (87) 72-02-65
Ah-Scha M. Jeanne: +689 (87) 70-05-89
Tourism Office: +689 (40) 92-08-25
Pension MOANA NUI Tony Location: +689 (87) 78-50-41
KOHUHUNUI Location: +689 (87) 74-47-60
Port Agent Contact:
Office: +689 (40) 86-51-32
Mobile: +689 (87) 29-25-02