historic stone statues, so called Tikis, on Hiva Oa Island, Marquesas Islands, French Polynesia; Shutterstock ID 1108396337; your: Erin Lenczycki; gl: 65050; netsuite: Online Editorial; full: Destination

Shutterstock / Umomos

Hiva Oa

This serpentine island holds a heady, dramatic mix of lush jungle, sea-battered coastal cliffs and towering volcanic peaks. The bays that fret the coastline are lined with white-sand, black-sand or pebble-stubbled beaches that are lapped by indigo waters and fringed by nodding palms. Behind sit silent, pastel Marquesan hamlets where time has stood still. After a few days, you’ll understand why the artist Paul Gauguin and the Belgian singer Jacques Brel chose to escape the modern world here and make it their home. Hiva Oa has a wild feeling that inspires shutting off your wi-fi and focusing more on important things, like enjoying a perfect mango or sunset.


Must-see attractions for your itinerary


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