The waters of the Marquesas Islands, like those of the Tuamotu Islands, are rich in plankton, and thus attract some large marine species. Around the islands you can explore underground caves with some surprising inhabitants: stingrays. At the entrance to the caves, melon-headed whales and hammerhead sharks are on patrol.
Dive sites in Hiva Oa
Hiva Oa is the only one of the Marquesas Islands where you’ll find a dive center. The waters around the island are superb for experienced divers, with caves and coral platforms to discover and explore. These are the two best known dive sites on the island.
Le Rabot (The plane)
At a depth of 20 to 27 meters it is a superb site for experienced divers. The deep caves are home to moray eels, certain of which are not that much smaller than giant moray eels. You’ll also find some incredibly colorful nudibranchs.
You have the impression of flying as you swim next to majestic manta rays above cavities filled with extraordinary amounts of seashells. You’ll also encounter red lionfish and groupers.
When you’re not exploring the waters of the Marquesas Islands, go on one of the many hiking trails and discover some of the archeological remains for which these islands are famous.
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Getting to the Marquesas Islands
If you intend to visit several islands in French Polynesia, ask your travel agent about a multi-island pass. It will save you time and money.
Flights from Tahiti
Air Tahiti and Air Moana fly several times a week directly to Nuku Hiva or Hiva Oa.
Inter island transfers
There are regular flights between Nuku Hiva and Hiva Oa. Air Tahiti also flies to Ua Huka and Ua Pou from Nuku Hiva and Hiva Oa. There are also ferries that sail between the islands.
Cruise to the islands
You can visit the Marquesas Islands on one of the luxury cruise ships that sail out of Tahiti, mostly to Nuku Hiva, Hiva Oa and Fatu Hiva. For a more authentic and different style of voyage, take the Aranui, a passenger cargo ferry, which also delivers merchandise to the islands.