Taiohae, Nuku Hiva, Marquesas Islands


Taiohae, Nuku Hiva, Marquesas Islands


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.

Taipivai Valley
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)
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.

Anaho Bay
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.

Click to enlarge
Taiohea Nuku Hiva Marquesas Island Port Map

Population: 3,120 (2017)

Language: French, Marquesan

Currency: XPF

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

Rental Cars:
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

SCUBA Hammerhead Sentry Point - Active Advanced Certified Divers
2 Hours - $120

This dive has the unique opportunity to dive with scalloped hammerhead sharks - they usually gather around a big rock at the entrance of the bay among jack fish, tunas, manta rays and more. Therefore they are very shy and there is no guarantee to observe them and due to the richness of the water in terms of plankton the visibility is limited and sometimes reaches only 20 feet (6 meters).You will embark into the dive boat from the gangway and receive your safety briefing on the way to the dive site. The boat ride is about 10 minutes. Upon arriving on the site you will gear up and roll into the water as a group. There is no reference line to descend, and the current and the swell can be strong so this dive is offered only to very experienced divers with at least 50 dives, recent diving experience and holding the advanced diver certification.

The maximum depth of this dive will be around 100 feet. After the dive, you will be transferred back to the gangway.

Available for onboard booking only, cannot pre-reserve, please visit the Dive Desk once onboard, capacity is limited. For more information about our dive program, visit www.pgcruises.com/scuba

Excursion Code:
Visit of Taipivai Valley
  • Off-road adventure in Taipivai Valley, Nuku Hiva.
4 Hours - $129

Nuku Hiva’s spectacular beauty is yours to discover during this off-road adventure in the Taipivai Valley.

Depart the pier for the ride to the Taipivai Valley, one of the richest archaeological sites in the Marquesas Islands.The Taipivai Valley is a location made famous by the American writer and former sailor, Herman Melville (1819-1891), who deserted his ship and hid in this valley. Captured by indigenous natives, he lived in the Taipivai Valley for three weeks, a period during which he observed their way of life. This experience was the inspiration for his first novel, Typee.

En route to the Taipivai Valley, you will ride through the island’s interior along a steep trail lined with lush flora and vegetation, then traverse exquisite mountain terrain. Along the way, you’ll enjoy many opportunities to take magnificent photographs, as you stop several times to take in spectacular vistas of the coastline, bays, and valleys. At one particular stop, you will see your ship anchored in the Bay of Taihoae. Next, you will drive through Taipivai’s small agricultural villages, then proceed to a long stretch of beach at the end of the village. Here, you will stop again to admire splendid vistas of the valley and surrounding mountains.

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

Please note: As this tour involves travel over rough, uneven terrain, it is not recommended for guests with back and/or neck problems. The tour involves very little walking. Guests are encouraged to wear insect repellant or coconut oil for the skin (monoi) to ward off small beach mosquitoes (nonos). Pricing listed is per person. Space is imited to a maximum of 4 guests per vehicle. It is recommended that families and friends wishing to ride together contact the Travel Concierge Desk aboard ship in order to be assigned 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: