Updated: Nov 18, 2022
by Nina Sabin - Travel Blog
Today we woke up to the amazing views of Nuku Hiva, Marqesas, Islands right from our balcony.
Nuku Hiva is the largest of the Marquesas Islands. The main village, Taiohae, is a quiet port set in the curve of a great bay protected by two rocky mountains. Trips are offered by local drivers to other picturesque locations around the island. The scenery includes basaltic peaks and deep canyons that most people only dream about or have seen in movies. The secrets of this island is the lush vegetation covering the land from
the highest to lowest point.
Nuku Hiva has remained an unspoiled island with intriguing archaeological sites and natural landscapes. Located in the center of a crater, half sunk in the ocean, the main village is close to the deserted black sand beaches. Sculptures and handicrafts are symbols of the genuine Marquesan culture and preserving ancient patterns and techniques.
It was so fantastic to be able to eat our room service breakfast outside on our balcony in our new room.
Our day started early as we met our Canadian friends at 7:30 am to get on the first tender. The tender was a bit rocky and it was hard for people to walk to a seat.
There were cultural singing, dancing, instruments, and shell blowing to welcome us to Nuku Hiva.
Only one type of ship excursion was offered from the ship and it was a bit pricey. So we found a local driver who we negotiated for four people to take us around the island. Her original price was $100 USD per person, but we agreed on a price of $30 per person and she seemed to be comfortable with that decision and so were we.
We drove up these winding roads with views that took our breath away. The first scenic viewpoint was at Taipivai. We could see the ship, lots of coconut palms, and the beauty of the whole island.
Our driver, Rosalina, did the best to converse with us. She spoke French and broken English but her enthusiasm and welcoming personality made us feel so at home and comfortable.
Rosalina explained to us that when they don’t have cruise ships visiting or other tourists; she and her family have a coconut plantation that she works on.
Our next stop was on our way to the other side of the island from Taiohae was Haatuatua. This has amazing views of the whole island seeing the sea and the lush mountains.
Our third stop was Hatiheu, which is on the northern side of the island and has the black beaches. Rosalina served us fresh mango and coconut. We even enjoyed watching an island dog eating coconut. At this location was cultural statues and a beautiful church.
No matter what part of the island you are at you will see views of the clear beautiful blueish-green waters and the green tropical mountains. There were also wild horses all along our journey walking on the roads. We have decided Marquesas Islands are horse country.
At the end of our tour, Rosalina was so happy, gave us hugs. We truly felt welcomed through our tour with Rosalina.
Taiohae, the port village, had a cathedral to explore, some old temple ruins, beautiful views of the port and seeing our cruise ship, and a beach to visit (tourist are warned not to swim because of sharks, but the locals swim at the beach). There is also a huge cultural statue that looks over the port. The statue is called Tiki Tuhiva. It is the highest contemporary sculpture in the Pacific. The woman tiki is 12 meters(40 feet) high and the warrior is 8 meters (26 feet) high. We were impressed how anatomically correct the female statue was.
On our way back to the tender we stopped at a local restaurant where we had a soda and croissant while we used their high speed internet. We knew there would be a high possibility we won’t have internet again until we get back to San Diego in seven days.
The weather was perfect which made a ideal day for our last port. Since it was our last port the ship had the biggest sail away party with complimentary drinks, the cruise band playing, and people were dancing. It was a fantastic celebration.
Our evening ended with a buffet dinner on the Lido deck and a comedian for the entertainment.
Tomorrow starts our sea days back to San Diego. We can’t believe this trip is coming to an end. What an unbelievable experience! We had no idea how we would like a 50-day cruise; we feel it was an incredible experience we will never forget.