Tahuata. Its name means “sunrise” in Marquesan, and this tiny, 19-square-mile island in the Marquesas archipelago is just as beautiful as the name suggests. Visitors arrive via the charming seafront village of Hapatoni, with tamanu trees shading an ancient paved royal walkway and the air smelling of tiare and frangipani. The island’s beauty extends to its architecture too, especially its huge Catholic church, which was built by the Vatican and decorated with stunning stained-glass windows and beautiful local carvings.

Hapatoni Village
The royal road of this little village is built atop a dike and lined with tamanu trees, and follows the shoreline to the top of a promontory, where you can enjoy sweeping views. In the middle of the village, find Me’ae Anapara and Me’ae Eiaa—the ruins of two ancient archaeological community and religious sites—as well as a stone church and cemetery.

Vaitahu Village
Scenically set against steep mountainsides and with colorful outrigger canoes lining its shores, this sleepy village features a stone Catholic church adorned with stained-glass windows and wood carvings. You can also view a wooden Protestant church, town hall, post office, school, thatched-roof pavilion, and copra-drying sheds. Vaitahu is available as a shore excursion from The Gauguin.

Te Ana Peua Archaeology Museum
In Vaitahu, there is a small museum near the post office where you can view archaeological artifacts including fish hooks, stone pestles, whale-ivory ornaments, and tattooing needles. Display labels are in Marquesan with French and English translations. The museum has no opening hours, but you can request access at the mairie (town hall) next door.

Population: 703 (2012)

Language: French, Marquesan

Currency: XPF

Scheduled Docking Location: Anchored in Hapatoni Bay

Shopping: There is one shop/bakery in Vaitahu.

Banks / ATMs: There is no bank on Tahuata.

Post Office: There is a small post office in Vaitahu.

Airport Transportation: There is no airport on Tahuata.

Taxis: There are no taxis on Tahuata.

Rental Cars: There are no car rentals on Tahuata.

Ferry Service:
Aranui 3: +689 (40) 426-242

Port Agent Contact:
Office: +689 (40) 86-51-32
Mobile: +689 (87) 29-25-02