Hiva Oa, French Polynesia

Hiva Oa is the second largest of the Marquesas Islands in French Polynesia It is the largest island of the South Marquesas group. It covers an area of 316 sq km and has a population of around 2,000 people (2011 estimate). The main town in Hiva Oa is Atuona, on the southern part of the island.

More on Hiva Oa

Hiva Oa is made famous by French painter Paul Gauguin who made it his home. His grave is on the island.

Belgian singer Jacques Brel also spent his final days on Hiva Oa until his ill health forced him back to France to seek treatment. After he died, his remains were brought back to Hiva Oa and buried in Atuona.

Visiting Hiva Oa

Air Tahiti flies to Hiva Oa from Tahiti daily, though direct flights are on some days only.

Sights & Attractions in Hiva Oa

  1. Calvaire Cemetery
    The final resting place of both Paul Gaugin and Jacques Brel.

  2. Espace Culturel Paul Gaugin
    Museum celebrating the life and works of the famous French artist. It includes a replica of Gaugin’s house.

  3. Iipona Archaeological Site
    One of the best-preserved ancient Polynesian sites in Hiva Oa. Located near the village of Puamau, it includes the ruins of a marae sacred site and tiki stone effigies.

  4. Smiling Tiki
    A one-meter tall Polynesian effigy that appears to be smiling.

  5. Tehueto Petroglyphs
    Rock paintings on an elevated site, a good hike from Atuona (or you can go on horseback).

Write a Reply or Comment

Your email address will not be published.