The largest island in the Marquesas Islands, three and a half hours from Papeete.

It is Etienne Marchand who will be the first French navigator to reach Nuku Hiva in 1791. He disembarks at Taiohae and is warmly welcomed by the cannibal tribune “Taipis”. Catholic evangelization will begin in 1839. In the 1850s, Taiohae was used as a place of deportation for opponents of Napoleon III. Foreigners bringing diseases still non-existent on the island, the inhabitants are hit hard and the majority die infected. This results in the displacement of the remaining populations to create the capital Atuona on the island of Hiva Oa). It was not until 1940 that Taiohae again became capital of the Marquesas.

We went for a week in August 2019 with the AirTahiti Pass.


Car rentals just under 11,000 a day

Interesting to drop at the airport for 1500 instead of 3000 per person the taxi

Arrived at the airport of Nuku Hiva, the taxi costs 3000xpf per person (negotiable).


We were graciously accommodated by a wonderful family but we got wind of a nice hostel: Koku’u pension. It is about 40 euros (per person or couple I do not know) and this includes breakfast and dinner. We were told they were very friendly.


Website: www.pensionkokuu.marquises.sitew.com


There are three mini markets on Taiohae.

You can also enjoy the following small restaurants:

* Snack Vaeaki: They make great breakfasts with local products (raw fish, donuts …). it is the rendezvous point of sails and premises. Go very early in the morning.

Tel: +689 40 92 05 51

Address: On the harbor.

* Chez Joseph: Bakery and restaurant. Their raw fish is excellent and their other dishes are very good too!

Adresse: Au milieu de la baie sur la route principale.


What: This is the highest waterfall in Polynesia with its 350 meters high. It is located in the valley of Hakaui which has a beautiful forest two beautiful bays: one of black sand and the other of white sand.

Company: You have to go through a tour to get there if you do not want to go by road: https://www.facebook.com/excursionhakaui/

Price: 7000 to 8500 and provide 1000 for lunch (or have lunch).

Duration: The day except Sunday, half-day and only the visit of the valley.

What: Nice bay an hour’s walk from Taiohae.

How: By car or on foot. At the Pearl Lodge hotel, turn right and follow the sign.

What: Nuku Hiva’s main city. There is something to eat, a craft market, a fish market in the morning very early (except Sunday) and the port.

What: Two beautiful bays with a beautiful view before reaching them. Steep mountains overlooking brown sand beaches and turquoise sea. The trail can be muddy and slippery if it rained.

Where: Go to the village of Hatiheu in the north. Turn right at the archaeological museum. Park at the end of the street and continue on foot.

Difficulty: Easy.

Duration: 10min to the point of view. 30min to the first bay and 15min more to the second.

Tips: Plan products against nonos and mosquitoes. Take some water and something to swim.

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