Hapatoni, Tahuata, Marquesas Islands


Hapatoni, Tahuata, Marquesas Islands



Tahuata. Its name means “sunrise” in Marquesan, and this tiny, 19-square-mile island in the Marquesas archipelago is just as beautiful as the name suggests. Visitors arrive via the charming seafront village of Hapatoni, with tamanu trees shading an ancient paved royal walkway and the air smelling of tiare and frangipani. The island’s beauty extends to its architecture too, especially its huge Catholic church, which was built by the Vatican and decorated with stunning stained-glass windows and beautiful local carvings.

Hapatoni Village 
The royal road of this little village is built atop a dike and lined with tamanu trees, and follows the shoreline to the top of a promontory, where you can enjoy sweeping views. In the middle of the village, find Me’ae Anapara and Me’ae Eiaa—the ruins of two ancient archaeological community and religious sites—as well as a stone church and cemetery.

Vaitahu Village 
Scenically set against steep mountainsides and with colorful outrigger canoes lining its shores, this sleepy village features a stone Catholic church adorned with stained-glass windows and wood carvings. You can also view a wooden Protestant church, town hall, post office, school, thatched-roof pavilion, and copra-drying sheds. Vaitahu is available as a shore excursion from The Gauguin.

Te Ana Peua Archaeology Museum 
In Vaitahu, there is a small museum near the post office where you can view archaeological artifacts including fish hooks, stone pestles, whale-ivory ornaments, and tattooing needles. Display labels are in Marquesan with French and English translations. The museum has no opening hours, but you can request access at the mairie (town hall) next door.

Click to enlarge
Tahuata Port Map

Population: 703 (2012)

Language: French, Marquesan

Currency: XPF

Scheduled Docking Location: Anchored in Hapatoni Bay

Shopping: There is one shop/bakery in Vaitahu.

Banks / ATMs: There is no bank on Tahuata.

Post Office: There is a small post office in Vaitahu.

Airport Transportation: There is no airport on Tahuata.

Taxis: There are no taxis on Tahuata.

Rental Cars: There are no car rentals on Tahuata.

Ferry Service:
Aranui 3: +689 (40) 426-242

Port Agent Contact
Office: +689 (40) 86-51-32 
Mobile: +689 (87) 29-25-02

Hapatoni Discovery
  • Informative tour of the Marquesan island of Hapatoni.
2.5 Hours - $129

Discover the charm of the Marquesan wilderness on a visit to the island of Tahuata, accompanied by your onboard lecturer in anthropology and archaeology. Boarding an all-terrain vehicle in the village of Hapatoni, you will make your way to the village of Vaitahu, where you will learn about the island’s history during a visit the small museum located at city hall. You’ll also visit the old church enroute to a spectacular scenic lookout, where you will be surrounded by magnificent mountain peaks piercing the sky. Continue your exploration of the stunning landscape and quaint villages of Tahuata during this introduction to the beauty that is so characteristic of the Marquesas.

Please note: As this tour involves travel over uneven terrain, it is not recommended for guests with back and/or neck problems. This tour involves very little walking. Guests are encouraged to wear insect repellent to ward off small beach mosquitoes (nonos). Each vehicle will accommodate four guests. Although the drivers used are the best available, they are not guides, and their command of English is poor. Your patience and understanding are greatly appreciated.

Excursion Code:
SCUBA Hapatoni - Active Advanced Certified Divers with Deep Diver Specialty
  • SCUBA diving tour of the Marquesan Island of Hapatoni.
2 Hours - $120

Diving in the Marquesas Island is like jumping in the middle of the underwater wilderness. This dive is a unique opportunity to dive along rocky point where a massive concentration and variety of marine species gather to grab the nutrient brought along by the currents. You may have the chance to see eagle rays, manta, impressive schools of fish dancing in rhythm to avoid being caught by predators such as different kind of sharks and big jack fishes swimming like rockets. You will embark into the dive boat from the gangway and receive your safety briefing on the way to the dive site. The boat ride is about 15 minutes. Upon arriving on the site you will gear up and roll into the water as a group. There is no reference line to descend, and the current and the swell can be strong so this dive is offered only to very experienced divers with at least 50 dives and holding the Advanced Diver Certification plus Deep Diver Specialty. This specialty course is available onboard for $99.

The maximum depth of this dive will be around 100 feet. After the dive, you will be transferred back to the gangway.

Available for onboard booking only, cannot pre-reserve, please visit the Dive Desk once onboard, capacity is limited. For more information about our dive program, visit www.pgcruises.com/scuba

Excursion Code: