Fatu Hiva, or the ‘Garden of Eden’ as it is nicknamed, is the southernmost of the Marquesa Island chain and one of the most lauded for its remarkable beauty. Unlike many of the volcanically formed islands in the South Pacific, Fatu Hiva has a large plateau running through the centre which is home to a magnificent rainforest. To the south of the island is a stunning mountain range that culminates in Tauauoho, a mountain which peaks at over 3,500ft and then drops sharply into the sea.
The indigenous culture on the island is another big tourist draw and there are three villages where it is possible to observe native life and hospitality; Hana Vave on the north west coast of the island, Omo’a in the south west and tiny Uia on the east coast. It is possible to observe the making of Tapa Cloth, the material that the island is famous for, in the villages before moving inland to the plateau. Due to the relatively flat nature of the lush central meadow, it is possible to participate in horse-trekking through many of the beautiful valleys towards the Bay of Virgins, believed by many to be the most beautiful bay in all of French Polynesia. Swimming is possible but it is advised to be aware of local marine wildlife, there are some sharks and large octopi.
Accommodation can be arranged on arrival and is of the basic hut variety but this would be an authentic island experience in one of the most remote and stunning archipelagos in the world. The island is also famed for its tattoo artists if you were interested in a more permanent memento from your trip here.
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