The Marquesas Islands are a group of islands in French Polynesia. The primary islands are:
- Nuku Hiva - Mystic Island - the largest island in the Marquesas is known for towering spire-like peaks; secluded, lush valleys; ancient religious sites; fjord-like bays; and waterfalls so high that most of the falling water evaporates as it descends. Dive sites around Nuku Hiva are as unique as the island itself. The plankton-rich waters attract unique species such as melon-headed whales and scalloped hammerheads along with other large animals such as manta rays. Nuku Hiva is also known for dramatic cave and cliff dives. Other species commonly found include sting rays, tuna, parrotfish, triggerfish, scorpionfish, snappers, and whitetip reef sharks.
- Hiva Oa - Paul Gauguin's Island - this majestic and historic island is known for its wild, untamed landscape, giant stone tiki, endless and unearthly vistas, and as the final resting place of poet Jacques Brel and artist Paul Gauguin.
Some of the established dive sites around Nuku Hiva island include:
- The Hammerhead Sentinel - schools of scalloped hammerhead sharks and manta rays
- The Pygmy Orcas - melon-headed whales at the surface offering excellent shallow diving and snorkeling
- Dulcinea - magnificent cave diving with canyons and arches
- Ekamako - huge cave dive where countless stingrays and lobsters await