Marquesas Islands

The Land of Men

The Marquesas - Fenua Enata in Marquesan, "Land of Men" - are a group of islands situated more than 1,300 kilometers northeast of Tahiti. Divided into two different groups, they are one of French Polynesia’s five archipelagos.

The Northern Marquesas are clustered around the large island of Nuku Hiva, including both Ua Pou and Ua Huka, while the Southern Marquesas are distributed around the main island Hiva Oa, and include Fatuiva and Tahuata.

marquesas islands
horses in the marquesas islands

A well preserved archipelago

Extremely isolated and thus well preserved, the archipelago has only around ten thousand inhabitants scattered over the dozen islands and rocks, it is nonetheless known worldwide, mainly because it has been the refuge of artists such as the Belgian singer Jacques Brel and French painter Paul Gauguin, both buried on Hiva Oa.

A mystical aura

The craggy landscape, made up of volcanic summits, sometimes reaching over 1,200 meters into the sky, with dramatically steep cliffs plunging abruptly into the ocean, emanating an aura that is often described as mystical.

birds on a palm tree in the marquesas islands

The Marquesas embody a sense of ancient tradition coupled with the natural beauty of rolling hillsides and dramatic coastlines.

whale in the water of the marquesas islands

An endemic fauna

Mostly clothed in humid tropical forest, rich with a fauna that is sometimes endemic, the archipelago has the most ancient identity of all the Polynesian island chains, strengthened by the vibrant culture and a powerful reputation for tapa, tattooing and wooden sculpture.