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Getting To and Around The Marquesas

The remoteness of the islands and the scarcity of interisland transportation deserve special attention when planning your trip. It's easy to get to Hiva Oa and Nuku Hiva, since Air Tahiti flies to both from Papeete almost daily. One of these flights, usually on Saturday, stops in Rangiroa before going on to Hiva Oa and Nuku Hiva (in that order), so you can also fly here after visiting the Tuamotu Archipelago without having to return and connect in Papeete.

Air Tahiti's small planes connect Nuku Hiva, Hiva Oa, Ua Huka, and Ua Pou (no other Marquesan island has an airstrip), so don't be surprised if you are ferried on a smaller plane between Nuku Hiva and Hiva Oa to catch your return flight to Tahiti.

Otherwise, there is no scheduled transportation system among the Marquesas Islands. You will be on your own in tracking down one of the small boats or trading ships that irregularly connect the islands. This is relatively easy between Hiva Oa and nearby Tahuata, but not elsewhere. For this reason, I recommend taking a cruise on the Aranui 3 or another ship to see more than Nuku Hiva and Hiva Oa in any reasonable amount of time and with as few hassles as possible.

Be Prepared to Be Flexible -- Some of Air Tahiti's flights from Papeete to the Marquesas stop first at Hiva Oa before going on to Nuku Hiva. The airstrip on Hiva Oa sits high up on a ridge and can be closed due to fog or rain, especially from March through August. When that happens, the plane skips Hiva Oa and goes directly to Nuku Hiva. Accordingly, pay close attention to the airline's schedule when planning your trip. And always be prepared to be flexible up here.

Visitor Information

Tahiti Tourisme in Papeete distributes information about the Marquesas. Nuku Hiva and Hiva Oa both have local tourism committees, which have joined together to host a website at www.marquises.pf. The committees have visitor information offices on both islands.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.