Hiva Oa, the second largest of the Marquesas Islands, has been attracting artistic souls down the years for a reason. Find out what made Paul Gauguin paint some of his best works on the island, or what inspired Jacques Brel to compose his final music album here. Perhaps something about the tropical fertility of this emerald island fires the imagination and inspires artistic creativity. The towering coconut palm, the giant banyan, the diving cliff or the stone tiki could hold the answer. Also known as the ‘Garden of the Marquesas’, Hiva Oa is blessed with lush vegetation, gorgeous beaches, rugged volcanic cliffs, and numerous archeological sites. Some of Polynesia’s largest sacred statues and most mysterious petroglyphs are to be found here. Spend a day swimming and sunning yourself at the lovely Hanatekuua Beach, or hike to the top of Temetiu, the highest peak of the mountain ridges on the island. Wake up with dolphins and manta rays at Taha Uku, a tiny bay on the southern coast of the island. Hiva Oa is also the perfect base for exploring the neighboring islands of Tahuata and Fatu Hiva.
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