Day 04: The Marquesas Archipelago - Nuku Hiva (Taipivai-Hatiheu-Taiohae)
The Aranui will anchor in Taipivai Bay in the morning. Following breakfast, passengers will disembark to meet the awaiting 4X4’s that will take them on the day’s excursion. Be aware, this will be a wet landing at the beach.
Our first stop will be a visit of the archaeological site Mea’e Kamuihei with its giant banyans and petroglyphs. Hike to the nearby Paeke site, featuring paepae, immense stone platforms, where the Taipi built their houses. This will include a performance of the traditional Marquesan Pig Dance.
Your first introduction to traditional Marquesan cuisine will be served for lunch. Here, the specialty is the “Umu”, an underground oven where food is cooked for hours. Local music during the meal will provide a great ambiance.
In the small village of Hatiheu, you may visit a museum that displays copies of petroglyphs from unexplored valleys.
Your excursion will continue south to Taiohae with its spectacular bay, a giant volcanic amphitheatre dominated by towering cliffs streaked with waterfalls.
As the Aranui unloads, you can explore Taiohae, the tiny administrative capital of the Marquesas. Taiohae Bay is where Herman Melville, then a 23-year-old sailor, and a buddy jumped a whaling ship in 1842. You can visit the cathedral or go the market to shop for arts & crafts. You will also find banks, boutiques and an internet café. You may return to the vessel from the village on foot or by car.