Atuona, Hiva Oa, Marquesas Islands

Ports

Atuona, Hiva Oa, Marquesas Islands

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 Marquesas, Hiva Oa has deep valleys, lush plateaus and thickly wooded forests. The main town of Atuona is a favorite port of call for yachters, who dock within Traitors Bay. And, Paul Gauguin himself called the town home and is buried on the island.

Atuona to Taaoa
Duration:
2.5 Hours - $149

Discover the ancient tribes of the Taaoa Valley during this memorable journey to their archaeological ruins.

Depart the pier for the ride to Taaoa, located approximately 7 miles southwest of Atuona on the coastal road. The Tiu, ancestors of most of the Hivaoan tribes, and several other tribes once lived in the Taaoa Valley. Their archaeological ruins can be reached by off-road vehicle or on foot. During your ride, you will visit the Upeke Ceremonial Center, which comprises house platforms, a tohua (tribal ceremonial center), public and sacred meae (archaeological ruins), and storage pits of breadfruit paste for feasts. The tohua was restored for the Third Festival of the Marquesas in 1991.

The remaining area is in the same state in which archaeologist Ralph Linton found it in 1920. Among the objects you might see is a tiki measuring 4 feet by 5 feet, with the eyes, part of the right arm, and the right ear carved in bas relief. According to Linton, this stone was an altar stone on which sacrificed victims were placed after being killed at the tohua and carried up to the meae. Directly below the platform is an irregular round head carved from a porous black volcanic stone (which may have been moved from its original position). On another platform in the tohua section, you can see a row of worked ke’etu stone slabs. One of them has some carved lines; the design is very difficult to see in sunlight. Locals say it is a whale or canoe, but it is actually a tiki face carved in bas relief.

Following your visit, you will reboard your off-road vehicle for the return ride to the pier.

Please note: This tour involves driving over rough roads. Access to the site involves a path over slippery stones and negotiation of high stone steps up to the tiki. This tour is not recommended for guests with back or neck problems. Each vehicle will accommodate four guests. Families and friends are advised to contact the Travel Concierge desk aboard ship in order to be assigned to the same vehicle. Although the drivers used are the best available, they are not guides, and their command of English is poor. Your patience and understanding are greatly appreciated.

Excursion Code:
HOA-2594
SCUBA 2 Tanks Hiva-Oa w/outside operator - Active Advanced Certified Divers w/ Deep Diver Specialty
Duration:
5 Hours - $230

This dive is operated by an outside operator. Please meet at the lobby with one of the marina staff that will escort you on the tender to shore where you will meet the local dive staff. After a very short walk to the pier, you will board the dive boat (a large aluminum covered diving boat) and will be asked to check your SCUBA gear.

After a brief welcoming ceremony, you will proceed to the first dive located along the Hanake Rock just behind The Gauguin`s anchoring position. On this first drift dive, the maximum depth will be around 100 feet and you will follow the drop off. The water is very rich in plankton can affect the visibility. You will most likely have the chance to see manta rays, endemic stingrays and big pelagic fishes.

During the surface interval, you will move to the second dive site. Fruits, biscuits, tea and lemonade will be available between dives. The second location will take you all the way down to 80 feet. Follow the shoreline to reach a pinnacle where you can spot schools of little fish, endemic moray eel, pelagic fishes and rays. After the second dive, you will be sailing back to the pier and take the tender back to the ship.

Please visit the Dive Desk on Deck 4 for more information. Not available for pre-reserve.

Excursion Code:
HOA-2595-O