The Marquesas Islands Activities


For the adventurous visitor, the simple ambience of the Marquesas creates unique experiences.

  • Exploration of the high mountains, remote beaches, hidden waterfalls, and deep forests by a 4x4 safari truck, sailboat, or even on horseback.
  • Discovery of the archaeological sites of stone tiki, ancient dwellings, and petroglyphs.
  • Enchantment from the simple and warm Marquesan people with a history unique among any civilization on earth.
  • Enjoyment of shopping for sculptures in tiny studios and craft centers.
  • Relaxation with the peaceful ambience and delicious cuisine found at the simple, yet elegant lodges set on the hillsides overlooking the bays.

Some of the most popular activities and sites for visitors include:

Cultural Center
The Paul Gauguin Cultural Center opened in 2003 on the 100th anniversary of Gauguin's death. Located on land bought by Gauguin, the center's exhibition of reproductions leads the visitor through three sections themed around quotes attributed to the artist: "escaping to reach art", "the right to dare anything in art", and "becoming part of a primitive culture."

Archaeological Discovery Safaris
Hidden in the theatre of mountains of the Marquesas is a mother lode of ancient sacred sites including ceremonial complexes, stone temples, and tiki statues. On Nuku Hiva, Taipivai Valley is home to temples and large tiki, while the village of Hatiheu is home to the famous Kamuihei and Hikoku sites known for their petroglyphs and ruins. On Hiva Oa, an immense ceremonial complex in Taaoa Valley has been restored and offers a unique view of the fierce and proud Marquesan heritage.

Famous for intricate woodcarvings, Marquesans apply ancestral designs seen nowhere else on earth. Carved from precious native woods such as rosewood and purplewood, Marquesan bowls, plates, and statues are highly prized the world over. These treasures can be bought throughout the islands directly from the artists at their studios.

Adventure Cruising
As if living out a classic South Seas seafaring novel, the most unique way to see the Marquesas is aboard the new Aranui 3 freighter/passenger ship. This working cargo ship is the lifeline to the outside world for the inhabitants of these remote islands. Passengers observe the exchange of supplies, copra, dried coconut, and fruit in addition to exploring each of the islands on guided excursions. The 16-day voyage begins in Papeete and includes 17 ports-of-call in the Marquesas and Tuamotu Islands.

Other activities and sites throughout the Marquesas:

  • 4X4 Safaris into the spectacular valleys and panoramic landscape.
  • Tomb of Paul Gauguin and Jacques Brel.
  • Ancient and sacred sites with petroglyphs.
  • Guided hikes into Hakaui Valley and among giant Tiki.
  • Diving in the deep waters with hammerhead, manta rays, and whales.
  • Taaoa Valley Archeological Sites
  • Puamau Stone Sculptures & Tiki

Guided or self-guided itineraries including these and other sites can be reserved or planned by your travel arranger before you travel or at the activities desk of your resort or cruise ship.

Activities in the Marquesas

Culture - Parks and Gardens
Papua Arboretum - Keikaha Temoohe  (689) /

Land Activities - 4WD safari
› Moena O Te Manu Excursions (689)
Henua Enana Tours  (689) /
M. Jean-Pascal Teikihaa  (689) /
Mave Mai Tours  (689)
Pension Amatea  (689) /

Land Activities - Hiking
› Moena O Te Manu Excursions (689)

Land Activities - Horseback Riding
Hamau Ranch  (689) /
› Mrs. Sabine TEIKITEETINI DELOGE (689) /
Nuku Hiva à Cheval  (689) /

Nautical Activities - Diving Centers
Centre De Plongée Des Marquises  (689)

Nautical Activities - Ocean Excursions
Marquises Excursions  (689) /

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Prices are starting points, per person in USD from Los Angeles.


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