Nuku'Hiva, Marquesas / Polynesia
Nuku Hiva is the largest and one of the six main islands of the Marquesas (French Polynesia), a mountainous island group near the Equator. About ten rugged islands belong to this archipelago, located 1,500 kilometers away from Tahiti. Nuku Hiva is also home to Taiohae, the largest settlement and administrative center of the Marquesas. The large bay of Taiohae forms a port protected by two small islands, which is often used as a stopover by world-sailers.
The varied landscape of Nuku Hiva has both steep, inaccessible coastal sections as well as palm-filled, sandy bays, which invite for a bath. About 15 kilometers southwest of Taiohae is the Hakaui Valley with the 350-meter-high Ahuii waterfall, the third-highest waterfall on earth.