Nuku Hiva is the largest of the Marquesas Islands and second largest island in French Polynesia, after Tahiti.

Nuku Hiva covers an area of about 130 square miles and is sparsely populated with just over 3,000 inhabitants.  The Island’s topography boasts some of the most beautiful beaches and bays in French Polynesia. 

Taipivai Valley is a rich archeological site.

Herman Melville’s first book, Typee, written in the mid-1800s, recounts his expedition on Nuku Hiva after jumping ship in the Marquesas and being captured by a cannibalistic island tribe.  The book is considered a classic in the travel and adventure genre.

More recently, Nuku Hiva may be better known for hosting the fourth season of the American reality television show, Survivor, which televised in 2002. With the exception of automobiles (actually, most locals drive pick-up trucks) the island has retained its purity and pristine nature.  Oh yes, lucky for today’s tourists, it might be worth noting that Nuku Hiva is no longer home to cannibalistic tribes.

Whatever its claim to fame, Nuku Hiva is one of the most beautiful, untouched islands I have visited.

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