Hiva Oa - Activities, Attractions & Shopping

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Arts & Crafts: See Artisanal Market “Fae Artisana”near Socredo bank. Open weekdays and when cruise ships in town. Call: 87 23 53 27 for display on theweekend for groups of 10+ people. See Naiki’s wood carvings showroom, call: 87 75 74 00

On the left-hand side of the main road in the village is an informative museum about artist Paul Gaugin who spent his last days on Hiva Oa producing some of his most famous work (note only replicas are on display, no originals). The museum includes a reconstruction of his Maison du Jour.

Behind this museum is a museum to the famous Belgian singer Jacques Brel who similarly spent his last days in Hiva Oa. His twin-engine plane that he helped many locals with can be seen in the museum.

Paul Gauguin’s grave, in the local cemetery, continues to be Atuona’s main attraction. It lies on a hill overlooking the village. Next to Gauguin’s is the grave of Jacques Brel.

Guided tours: Jonathan Chastel – Hiva Oa Aventures – is highly recommended because he really knows history and in-depth knowledge. Speaks French/English 87 30 95 14 / Etienne Mendiola driver/guide: 87 32 52 35

Marae of Puamau (north coast): biggest tikis in Polynesia and great vistas along the road that follows the peaks on the island. Due to the state of the roads, it is recommended you take a 4WD guided tour to see these, which can be arranged by Sandra in the tourist office in the harbour.

Good snorkeling: Not far from the harbor of Atuona, at the motu Hanakee, anchor your dinghy on the protected side, and snorkel with manta rays that regularly feed in that area.

Public Library: Called ‘Mediatheque’, located near bank and artisanal center. You can find books if you are interested to learn more about anything in the Marquesas (in French). Open weekdays.

Tattooing: Kaha is one of the top artists in French Polynesia, his portfolio is quite impressive with famous people flying to see him from Bora Bora, all expenses paid, to get his tattoos! Clean and comfortable setting with AC and video screen, located in the center of town – Tel: 87 23 91 81. Next to a good hairdresser.

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  1. May 29, 2019 at 11:08 PM
    mariawadsworth says:

    S/Y Lady Jane
    Hiva-Oa
    May 2019.

    Upon arrival on a Friday at 2.30pm we were told by other sailors that the gendarmerie is only open during the week until 11am. This is not the case and it is definitely open in the afternoons and on a Saturday and they will allow you to clear in after 11am. These are the opening times :
    Mon – Sat 7am – 12noon 2pm- 5 pm
    Sunday – 9am-12noon 3pm- 5pm

    The anchorage was fairly busy but we found a spot with our stern to the beach and put out our stern anchor. We didn’t really feel any swell whilst we were here for 5 days. As per other comments you need to anchor behind the 2 crosses that are situated on the shore ( these are not obvious)!
    The main reason for this is when the cruise ships and the supply ship comes in you would need to move if you are forward of these marks.

    The walk to the town takes 30 mins, across the beach and up the hill. Do not use this route if it has been raining heavily because it can be slippery underfoot and you will be very dirty when you get to the top. The road way adds an extra 25 minutes but it is a flat easy walk. But very dark at night.

    Sandra’s cafe is open Monday -Saturday 8.30 – 10.30am and she changes the password on a daily basis but once you have it for that day it is good all day. There is no actual charge for internet ( which can be very slow ), you just need to buy a drink, she also accepts USD . As with other reports Sandra will arrange all things for you. And will drive you town rather than you walking.

    The petrol station accepts credit cards and has a reasonable stock of groceries .eggs and baguettes etc. Same prices as in the town supermarket.

    The restaurant on the right hand side before you get to the town has very fast internet, you will get the password after you’ve ordered lunch or dinner. The portions are huge. Pizza is served at night, you can share one.
    We also got a lift back to the wharf from the restaurant ( no charge). Opening times for the restaurant are:
    11am -2pm
    6pm- 9pm
    It also has rooms above and we think they serve breakfast too.

    For further information see our website http://www.untilthebuttermelts.com

  2. September 1, 2018 at 7:26 AM
    Data Entry5 says:

    Reported by Bob Carlisle:

    Tahouna Bay/Atouna, Hiva Oa, Marquesa Islands, July 2018

    WARNING OF TEMPORARY ANCHORING RESTRICTIONS:

    Probably not too many are heading that way right now, but when the next Pacific crossing season gets up and running, this is one of the main arrival/check-in ports for the Marquesa Islands and space is going to be restricted.
    W
    hen we visited in July 2018 there were notices posted stating that due to dredging works programmed for mid-July to late-December, the anchorage would be restricted to an area north of the dinghy dock and presumably you’ll need to get your anchor & chain behind that line too? That area’s predominantly very shallow and I’d estimate that no more than half a dozen yachts will be able to squeeze in there, of which there seems to be four or five semi-permanent yachts already.

    Works hadn’t begun when we left in August, so it’s reasonable to assume that the works will overrun and these restrictions will continue at least into the early months of 2019 when the Puddle Jumpers begin to arrive in numbers. You can anchor off outside the harbour wall, but in all but very light weather with little south in the winds/seas that’s an uncomfortable option at best.

    Even with ‘normal’ restrictions in place you’ll be twin anchored if you’re inside the harbour wall and be wary of the Aranui cruise/supply ship’s arrival if anchored close to the dock on the east side (the red Taporo supply ship invariably seems to be a lot more careful and courteous?).

    Whilst we were sat comfortably ‘behind the line’ our anchor wasn’t and the Aranui first tripped that when dropping their own anchor, before ‘blasting’ us sideways a few seconds later with their powerful bow thruster as they docked; no gel-coat was lost, so just an interesting experience.