Wonders of the Marquesas Islands
Few places in the world can compare to the Marquesas Islands regarding the scenery. Marquesas are adorned with incredible cliffs, rock needles, ravines, canyons – for the most part, covered with a lush tropical forest or dry scrub. More charm is added by the picturesque villages with countless flowers and above all – welcoming and artistic people.
The archaeological heritage of Marquesas is not less charming. Quite a few megalithic monuments here are known tourist landmarks, but an unknown number of mysterious stone structures and statues are hiding in the forests. A true fairytale land!
Happily, the islands are not flooded by tourists – this place is very remote and the beauty of Marquesas is not much known in the world.
Map with the described wonders
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Top 21 wonders of the Marquesas Islands
Tapueahu Canyon (Grand Canyon of Nuku Hiva)
Very impressive canyon.
Approximately 350 m tall waterfall in dramatic, impressive valley.
A beautiful, narrow chasm surrounded by almost vertical cliff pinnacles rising more than 550 m high.
Up to 440 m tall seaside cliffs.
Bird Island at Hatutu
Island with pyramidal form and hoodoo at the top.
Grotte aux pas (Cave of footprints)
A spooky cave at the beach. The entrance of the cave is covered with a fine sand. Every time before the tide here are footprints left by some unknown beings.
Flower stones of Hohoi valley
Here in the beach can be found beautiful, rounded stones with inclusions that resemble light yellow flowers. Beloved by sculptors.
Autera’a tree on Taaoa marae
One of the largest trees in Polynesia, this autera’a (Terminalia glabrata) grows on the ancient shrine of Polynesians.
A ceremonial site with the largest prehistoric stone statues (tiki) in French Polynesia, up to 2.6 m high. Restored in 1991.
Archaeological monument – a large L-shaped stone platform suited for dance and cultural performances.
Marae Upeke à Taaoa
Impressive, some 40 m long marae. Discovered in 1925 and reconstructed in 1991. Contains petroglyph and also a gong stone.
Me’ae Pouau, Atuona
One of the largest prehistoric meeting places in Hiva Oa. Contains ancient Tevitete burial site with interesting petroglyphs on stones.
Hakaiki stone carvings
6 m long stone surface covered with interesting petroglyphs.
An ancient complex of sacred buildings, now only remnants of these stone structures remain. Contains stones with carved reliefs including a spiral motif.
More than 50 petroglyphs on ancient volcanic crater, most likely made between the 15th and 17th century. Ancient people have carved here human faces, octopus, outrigger canoe.
This oldest known human settlement in Marquesas Islands has been inhabited since 1000 AD (earlier it was considered to be inhabited since 254 – 300 AD.). In the site are found three well made statues of tiki, remnants of me’ae and pae pae.
A prehistoric meeting place with three terraces. Area is laid and flanked with stones. Some stones contain intricate carvings.
Eiaone valley rock paintings
Six rock shelters with prehistoric rock paintings depicting humans, animals and, possibly, birdman.
Group of interesting petroglyphs, depicting people and turtles.
Diverse petroglyphs depicting humans and geometric patterns, carved on the cliffs at the beach.
A cave with ancient petroglyphs – tiki, heron. Contains skulls and other bones. The location of the cave is secret.
This is a beautifully illustrated guide to the remote Marquesas Islands of northeastern French Polynesia. The text is in both French and English in a side-by-side format. The first section discusses prehistory, flora and fauna, social life, tattooing, and the arrival of the Europeans. Section Two is a tour of the six principal islands of the Marquesas. Section Three is a tourist guide, with full details of travel arrangements, accommodations, restaurants, excursions, and activities.
Hidden Tahiti and French Polynesia: Including Moorea, Bora Bora, and the Society, Austral, Gambier, Tuamotu, and Marquesas Islands
Presents a guide to accommodations, restaurants, beaches, outdoor activities, transportation, sights, and culture of Tahiti and the islands of French Polynesia.