Inland Hiva Oa

Saturday morning, May 11th, bright and early, we set off with the rental car, accompanied by Joe and Lupita, towards the northeast part of Hiva Oa to visit the archaeological site of Lipona, near Puamau, which hosts the most important collection of tikis from all the Marquesas Islands and French Polynesia in general. The road we took was incredibly scenic, winding through dense vegetation, then revealing breathtaking views of the coast, with towering cliffs plunging into the deep blue sea, contrasting with the frothy edge of the breaking waves.

The north coast of Hiva Oa
The bay of Puamau

The archaeological visit to Lipona, an area designated for religious ceremonies, revealed various representations of tikis, stone sculptures which, according to some theories, depict the primordial man, while others consider them as deities worshiped by the peoples who colonized these islands around the first century AD, originating from the distant Southeast Asia.

The archeological site of Lipona

Unfortunately, it can’t be said that we gained much knowledge, given the limited amount of information available at the site. Nonetheless, it was very well maintained, set within a clearing filled with flowers and lush plants.

After a pleasant stop at a local restaurant where we had the chance to try various dishes of the local cuisine, we resumed our exploration of Hiva Oa, visiting some of the bays from land that we had already seen from the boat on the day of our arrival.

The cemetery of the small village / bay of Hanapaaoa

On Sunday morning, we continued our exploration of the island by visiting Ta’Aoa, a small village near Atuona, and an adjacent archaeological site where religious ceremonies, including human sacrifices, took place.

The church of Ta’Aoa
The cerimonial center of Upeke
First days in Hiva Oa
Last two days at Hiva Oa

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