Fatu Hiva

Fatu Hiva
Photo by: wikipedia , Creative Commons

Fatu Hiva belongs to the Marquesas Islands in the French Polynesia territory in France. To the local Marquesan, this is known as Fatu Iva where the letter H is not pronounced. Back in the sixteenth century, Spanish explorers have once named this place as Isla Magdalena or Magdalene Island. This name is now rarely used. This is the southernmost island in the Marquesas group of islands in the Pacific Ocean.

This place is best known for its natural rainforests which have drawn much attention to visitors – both local and foreign. This is a commune which is best opted by those who wish to appreciate nature in the simplest and most magnificent way. The commune’s population of five hundred and eighty-seven (as of 2007) is only located in three villages namely Uia, Omoa and Hana Vave.

Uia is located at the eastern coastline. This is best known for a number of narrow valleys; Uia being the largest one. The streams between the valleys flow in to the interior of the island. There are large cliffs in between these valleys which goes straight in to the sea. For visitors to travel around these areas, they can only opt to either go by boat or over the high ridges. Hana Vave or Bay of Virgins is located in the north of the western coastline of Fatu Hiva. This is where it is said to have the most scenic sites. Omoa on the other hand is located near the south of the western coastline where it is said to be to have the well protected harbor.

The center of the Fatu Hiva island is a plateau. The flat plains are covered greatly by pandanus trees and tall grasses. There is a mountain ridge by the south of the plateau called Tauauoho. And no visit to Fatu Hiva is ever complete without trying their dried bananas – the local specialty.

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