Tiki's Land of Men, or Te Henua Te Enana as these islands were known by their
earliest Polynesian inhabitants, is the rugged, untamed Marquesas Archipelago,
among the most remote islands in the world. Sheer volcanic peaks soar to
thousands of feet above the surging sea. Unlike the Society Islands, there are
no tranquil lagoons with their protective barrier reefs here; instead the wild
cobalt ocean breaks relentlessly against the craggy shore. Fertile fiord-like
river valleys reach inland, forming sheltered, picturesque bays with sandy
beaches where most of the islanders live.
For hikers, scuba divers, adventurers, and nature lovers, the Marquesas are a paradise of spectacular waterfalls, abundant sea life, and quiet, unspoiled places. Among the main settled islands, Nuku Hiva in the northern group and Hiva Oa in the south offer quaint village life, infused with ancient traditions and a rich cultural and artistic heritage.