Nuku Hiva, The Mystical Island
Introduction to Nuku Hiva
“A country that no description could fit the beauty.”
This is what novelist Herman Melville had to say about Nuku Hiva….
It is indeed difficult to find the proper words to adequately describe the awe inspiring beauty of this magnificent island. As you view the imposing cliffs and gaze upon the jagged walls that plunge suddenly into the immense ocean below, you get a sense the secrets of this land are impenatrable. Tell a local Tahitian you are visiting the Marquesas and you will see that they respond with admiration. Even for Tahitians, the Marquesas Islands are something very special.
Where is Nuku Hiva?
The Marquesas Islands are one of the most remote in the world. Lying about 852 miles northeast of Tahiti and about 3,000 miles from the west coast of Mexico — which is the nearest continental land mass. Nuku Hiva is a three-hour flight from Tahiti and an hour ahead of Tahiti.
Map of Nuku Hiva
Hotels in Nuku Hiva
While there are a handful of small family run hotels know as pensions, there is just one hotel — the Keikahanui Lodge. It is a small, charming hotel with just 20 bungalows — each beautifully constructed of exotic wood and featuring the Marquesan carvings of a selected artist. Looking beyond land accommodation; one of the best ways to experience not just Nuku Hiva but all of the Marquesas Islands is via the Aranui 5. The Aranui is a working cargo freighter, that transports food and medicine and all other essentials to these islands, however, it also operates as a very fine cruise ship for passengers wanting to explore more deeply, the Marquesas Islands.
What to do in Nuku Hiva
The rugged terrain of Nuku Hiva makes land activities a must. Spectacular vistas, rushing waterfalls (including one of the largest in the world) and fascinating archeological sites are just some of the rewards to be reaped as you explore this beautiful island. No matter what your preference, hiking, horseback riding or 4-wheel drive, we highly recommend you hire a local guide to show you the many wonderful sites waiting to be explored. Grab a mask and snorkel and you simply won’t believe the huge ocean fish you will see within the Bay of Taiohae. It will not be unusual for you to get up close and personal with hammerheads and manta rays. In Nuku Hiva huge fish swim very close to the surface. Caution must be advised however, unlike the other islands and atolls of French Polynesia, currents in the Marquesas can be quite strong and it is best to consult your hotel management for details. For those of you who are scuba divers, diving in Nuku Hiva should not be missed. Home to the pygmy headed whale, there is an abundance of big fish and small creatures you simply will not find in other parts of French Polynesia.