The island of Tahuata (61 km², 671 inhabitants) is part of the archipelago of the Marquesas Islands in French Polynesia. The island is located south of the large island of Hiva Oa. Only the narrow Bordelais canal, 4 km wide, separates it from the main island. This is the smallest of the inhabited islands of the Marquesas archipelago. The population of the island lives divided between the four main villages of Vaitahu, Hapatoni, Motopu and Hanatetena.
Tahuata was discovered in 1595 by an expedition led by the Spanish exporter Álvaro de Mendaña y Neira. This island was, after that of Fatu Hiva, the second of the Marquesas archipelago to be discovered by Europeans. The island is very beautiful especially from a landscape point of view with some beautiful beaches and scenic bays like that of Hapatoni. Among the curiosities in this village there is an ancient cobbled street shaded by centenary trees. The most important inhabited center of the island of Tahuata is that of Vaitahu which is located in the center of the west coast of the island.
In the villages of the island there are also some commemorative monuments that recall some fundamental dates of the island’s history. The highest mountain of Tahuata is over a thousand meters high, is located in the northern part of the island and is name is Mount Tumu Meae Ufa (1,050 meters).
On the island there are some interesting archaeological sites including those in the Vaitahu valley and in the Hanatahua valley. Finally on the island there are ancient paved paths in the village of Hapatoni and interesting petroglyphs in the village of Hanatahua.
HOW TO GET TO TAHUATA
The island does not have an airport. However, there are boat connections at least once a day with Atuona on the island of Hiva Oa. The time spent on the crossing is approximately one hour. Alternatively, the cruise with the Aranui cargo ship is a great option to visit the island.