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Hiva Oa, Marquesas Islands Overview

Hiva Oa is the largest and most fertile of the southern Marquesas islands and second only to Nuku Hiva in size. Similar to all the larger Marquesas, Hiva Oa features steep cliffs abruptly rising from the ocean to a rugged interior spine of volcanic mountains, ridges, and deep, isolated valleys. Unlike most other Polynesian islands near the equator, no fringing coral reefs protect Hiva Oa from the pounding of the ocean and only a few sheltered anchorages and sandy beaches are scattered around the coast. Travel along the shoreline is by boat as most of the coastal terrain is too rugged for roads. A few dirt roads traverse the interior and link seacoast villages and settlements.Atuona Airport is located at an elevation of 1,481 feet (451 m) on a plateau near the center of the island and has an asphalt-surfaced runway 3,986 feet (1,215 m) long with daily flights to other Marquesas islands and Tahiti.

The outstanding geologic characteristic of Hiva Oa is the collapsed volcano Temetiu. Semi-circular Ta’a Oa bay, also called the Bay of Traitors, is in the crater of the volcano whose walls rise sharply 1,000 metres (3,300 ft) above the bay. Within Ta’a Oa are Atuona Bay and adjacent Taha Uku which are the best anchorages on the island. Taha Uku has a protective seawall built in 1981.

Hiva Oa, Marquesas Islands Ports of Call Cruise Discounts from

Detailed Map of Hiva Oa, Marquesas Islands

Hiva Oa, Marquesas Islands Detailed Map Ports of Call Cruise Discounts from


Temperatures in the Marquesas are stable year around, but precipitation is highly variable.