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Ua Pou: the island with bizarre shaped mountains

The island of Ua Pou which has an area of 105 sq km is the third largest island of the Marquesas archipelago. This island is located about 45 km south of Nuku Hiva. The island has just over two thousand inhabitants (2017). The first westerner to discover Ua Pou was, in 1791, the American captain Joseph Ingraham.

This island is characterized by the presence of impressive mountains with bizarre shapes, formed by pinnacles of volcanic basalt that look like towers and spiers. The coasts of Ua Pou are also spectacular with steep cliffs, deep bays and spectacular rocks. In the center of the island is Mount Oave (1,230 meters) which is the highest mountain of the Marquesas islands.

The internal landscape of the island is very varied, made as it is of semi-desert plateaus, verdant valleys, and majestic peaks, often covered by clouds. The population is concentrated in the two villages of Hakahau and Hakamaii. Hakahau, located along the northern coast, is the capital and most populated center of the island. While the village of Hakamaii is located along the west coast.

Ua Pou has two interesting archaeological sites. The first is located in the bay of Hakamoui, and is called the valley of the kings (vallée des Rois). Here are remains of buildings from an ancient village with some stone platforms. While the second is located in the Kahaohoka valley, near Hohoi bay. Here are some sites with ancient stone platforms that were the bases where the ancient houses of the villages of the Marquesas islands rested.


The island has a small airport, located in its northern part. Ua Pou is connected by regular Air Tahiti flights with Tahiti, Nuku Hiva, Hiva Oa and Ua Huka. Alternatively, the cruise with the Aranui cargo ship is a great option to visit the island.

The climate of the Marquesas Islands.


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