Marquesas Islands

French Polynesia is home to the isolated Marquesas Islands. The unique flora and fauna, historic sites, and rocky landscapes of these islands have made them famous. The Marquesas Islands, located more than a thousand miles from Tahiti, provide a unique, off-the-beaten-path vacation experience.


woman with tattoosThe Marquesas Islands: Their History and Culture


The history of the Marquesas Islands is rich and interesting, and it is deeply entwined with Polynesian culture. Polynesians brought with them a unique culture when they first settled the islands some two thousand years ago. The Marquesan people have their own unique culture, including a distinct language, dance, and musical style.


The distinctive dance culture of the Marquesas is one of the most intriguing aspects of Marquesan society. Dance in the Marquesas is often performed to the beat of drums and other percussion instruments and is characterized by strong, rhythmic movements. In addition to learning some of the steps themselves, tourists to the islands can watch performances of traditional dance at cultural festivals and events.


The art of woodcarving is central to Marquesan culture. The intricate patterns and hidden meanings in Marquesan wood carvings have made them famous around the world. These sculptures are used in rituals and ceremonies and frequently feature figures from Marquesan mythology, such as the god Tiki.


Tattoos play a significant role in Marquesan society as well. Tattoos in the Marquesan culture are commonly used to commemorate major life events like the arrival of a new child or the end of a long journey. Many island residents sport traditional Marquesan tattoos, which tourists can admire and perhaps copy during their stay.


The Marquesas Islands are home to a fascinating and complex history in addition to their rich cultural heritage. European explorers first came to the islands in the 16th century, and France officially claimed them in the 19th. The islands served as an important U.S. military base and arena for several pivotal battles during World War II.


Today, tourists to the Marquesas Islands can participate in traditional ceremonies, observe cultural festivals, and study the islands’ rich history at various museums. The islands’ rich history and distinctive culture make them an exceptional travel destination.


Marquesas Islands Natural Attractions


There is a wide variety of stunning landscapes to be found on the Marquesas Islands, from steep cliffs and deep valleys to glistening seas and white sand beaches. Numerous plant and animal species, some of which can’t be found anywhere else on Earth, call the islands home.


The Marquesas Islands are known for their breathtakingly rough landscape. The islands have very dramatic topography, with high cliffs, deep valleys, and jagged peaks. Visitors enjoy hiking the islands’ popular trails, which take them through verdant forests and up sheer cliff faces to spectacular vistas.


Several waterfalls can be found on the Marquesas Islands, with many of them tucked away in the island’s valleys. Hikers on the islands can reach these waterfalls and, if conditions are right, cool off in the pools below.


Visitors are drawn to the islands in large part because of their beautiful beaches. Some of French Polynesia’s most stunning beaches can be found on the Marquesas Islands, where powdery white sand meets turquoise seas. Visitors can snorkel or dive among colorful coral reefs and interact with a wide variety of marine life during their time on the islands.


Several endemic species of flora and fauna can be found on the Marquesas Islands. Among these is the rare and beautiful Marquesan Monarch, a species of small bird that can only be found on these islands. Several endemic plant species call the islands home; among them is the Tiare Apetahi, a fragrant flower unique to the island of Raiatea.


In sum, the Marquesas Islands provide tourists with a rare chance to see some of the world’s most breathtaking natural wonders and learn about the rich biodiversity of French Polynesia.


woman jumpingMarquesas Islands Attractions and Excursions


Vacationers to the Marquesas Islands have a ton of exciting options at their disposal. There is something for everyone to do and enjoy on the islands, whether it be hiking, diving, experiencing local culture, or just lounging on the beach.


Hiking is a common pastime for visitors to the islands. Some of the world’s most difficult and rewarding hiking trails can be found on the Marquesas Islands, thanks to the region’s characteristically rugged topography. Hikers can explore remote areas by climbing steep cliffs and winding through remote valleys.


The islands are also a great place to go diving or snorkeling. A wide variety of fish, sea turtles, and even sharks can be found swimming in the clear waters surrounding the Marquesas Islands. Visitors can swim in the warm Pacific Ocean waters or explore the area’s colorful coral reefs and underwater caves.


The Marquesas Islands are a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for anyone interested in culture to immerse themselves in Polynesian traditions and history. The islands’ rich cultural heritage can be explored by attending traditional dance performances, traditional ceremonies, or museums.


One of the best ways to enjoy the islands is to simply kick back and do nothing. Some of the world’s most stunning beaches can be found on the Marquesas Islands, where powdery white sand meets turquoise waters. The islands of the Pacific Ocean provide the perfect setting for tourists to spend their days basking in the sun, swimming in the warm waters, and taking in the breathtaking scenery.


Marquesas Islands Lodging and Dining


There is a great variety of places to stay on the Marquesas Islands, from five-star resorts to cheap guesthouses. Vacationers have their pick of beachfront bungalows and hilltop lodges with panoramic vistas of the landscape.


Resorts on the islands typically feature numerous on-site conveniences, such as pools, spas, and dining options. Traditional Polynesian dishes, such as poisson cru, a raw fish salad marinated in lime juice and coconut milk, are available for visitors to try, as are gourmet meals featuring fresh local seafood and produce.


There are also many guesthouses and homestays for those who prefer a more local experience. These lodgings give guests a chance to stay with Marquesan families and learn more about the local culture and hospitality.


How to Reach and Explore the Marquesas


There are no direct flights from North America or Europe to the Marquesas Islands, so getting there can be difficult. However, travelers can get to the Marquesas Islands by first landing in Papeete, Tahiti, the main airport of French Polynesia.


Visitors have the option of exploring the islands on foot, by car, or by boat once they arrive. Most islands offer car rentals, and tourists can also find local guides to show them around on hikes and cultural tours. Visitors can also take boat tours to see the islands from a new angle and explore the islands’ beautiful coastline.


Together, the Marquesas Islands’ breathtaking scenery, fascinating history, and exciting opportunities for exploration make for a once-in-a-lifetime vacation. The Marquesas Islands are a fantastic vacation spot for anyone hoping to experience a once-in-a-lifetime adventure or to learn more about Polynesian culture and history.

Our Top FAQ's

The Marquesas Islands have a warm and tropical climate year-round, but the best time to visit is between May and October, which is the dry season. This is when the weather is most pleasant and the waters are calm, making it ideal for activities like diving and hiking.

Visitors to the Marquesas Islands can experience a wide range of cultural activities, including attending traditional dance performances, witnessing traditional ceremonies, and visiting museums to learn about the islands’ rich cultural heritage. There are also opportunities to stay with local families and experience Marquesan culture and hospitality firsthand.

Yes, there are a number of luxury resorts on the Marquesas Islands that offer a wide range of amenities, including swimming pools, spas, and restaurants. These resorts are typically located on the larger islands and offer visitors a comfortable and luxurious base from which to explore the islands.

Getting to the Marquesas Islands can be a bit of a challenge, as there are no direct flights from North America or Europe. Visitors can fly to French Polynesia’s main airport in Papeete, Tahiti, and then take a connecting flight to one of the Marquesas Islands. Once on the islands, visitors can explore the islands by boat, car, or on foot.

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Marquesas Islands

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Marquesas Islands

We offer a number of vacation options on the remote Marquesas Islands including accommodations, flights, cruises, transportation and activities. Plan your Marquesas adventure with Far and Away Adventures. Visit one island or many, here are some sample trips and hotels available for booking for your Marquesas trip. 

Marquesas Islands

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Packages can be customized based on your travel itinerary and are based on availability. Images courtesy of Tahiti Tourisme.

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