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Nuku-Hiva / Taiohae
(votes: 1)
Type Anchorage
Country French Polynesia
City Taiohae
Available places 200
Max depth 15 m
  • Water
  • WiFi
  • Fuel station
  • Laundry machines
  • Repairs
  • Shops
  • Port of entry
Views: 2724

For boats

Taiohae, Nuku-Hiva, is the biggest and main settlement on Marquesas with population about 1600. It is also Port of Entry into French Polynesia. The time zone here is -9.5 UTC.
Baie de Taiohae, the main port for the Marquesas, offers most services. There is no marina, but the anchorage is very huge and safe.
The entrance is straightforward and may be possible to enter at night. Keep left of  the red flashing range lights. Be careful when entering at night, there is many boats at anchor without anchor lights.
The bay of Taiohae provides good shelter, can be busy, but is wide and huge. There is enough room for about 100 or more boats. Drop the anchor at 10-15 meters.The bottom is sand or mud, anchor keep good. Most of yacht anchoring close to the old city pier in NE corner of the bay, where is located the best place for landing by dinghy. You should not anchor close to the new city quay (E part) because of ships coming and maneuvering there every few days.
The bay is good protected, there is not much swell or strong winds in anchorage area. When strong SE is blowing the swell could make anchoring uncomfortable, but it is still safe.
Dinghy’s landing point
The dinghy can be left at small old harbour located in NE corner of the bay (easy to find, some local small boats). There is a ladder which helps to leave the dinghy on LW.
Extreme care must be taken there (dinghy dock) particularly when there is swell in the bay. At low water dinghies can end up under the wall and many dinghies was damaged in the past. If you plan longer stay on land it is better to leave your dinghy at the ladder and then move the dinghy to the southern wall.
Yacht Service
Kevin, an American who lives here offer many services for yachts. His office is located at old harbour, just against you leave your dinghy. He speaks English and French. The main services are (with fees in 2016):

-          formalities (in / inter-island / out) – 16.000 CFP
-          duty free fuel permit – 16.000 CFP (for all Polynesia)
-          Gas refill – 3kg/2.000CFP, 10kg/4.500CFP, 13kg/5.700CFP
-          bond letter (medical insurance required) – 9.000 CFP per person (non-UE)
-          coordinate shipyard services (leeward islands)
-          take advantage of PYS discounts
-          chandlers, hotels, rent a car, dive centers etc
-          shore support
-          hull cleaning – 5.000CPF per hour
-          mechanic (inboard / outboard)
-          sail repair
-          taxi service for shopping
-          taxi service to airport
-          guided excursions (hiking, diving, fishing, boat tours, quad tours, etc.)
-          car rental (Toyota Hilux – 13000 CFP / day)
-          water and petrol transport to the quay
-          self guided tour information
-          internet and computer access
-          document printing
-          hotel reservation
-          telephone / fax
-          laundry service – 1500 CFP each 6kg load including drying
other fees:

-          hourly spot services – 4.000 CFP per hour
-          buying commission 8%, minimum 4.000 CFP
-           technical services 5.000 CFP + materials (mechanical, sail, electrical, refrigeration etc)
Hi is monitoring VHF CH72 (call yacht service and ask)
Yacht Service Nuku-Hiva
e-mail: YSNukuHiva@hotmail.com
Mailing Address:
Yacht Services Nuku-Hiva
BP 301
Taiohae, Nuku-Hiva 98742
French Polynesia
Telephone / Fax: 920 750
Taiohae is the Port of Entry for boats arriving / leaving French Poynesia. No other islands (other than the ports of entry at Ua Pou or Nuku Hiva) should be visited before reporting to the officials.
Yachts can now clear in or out of FP with the “gendarmes” offices (French Police) which deal with Immigration and Customs formalities.
The Gendarmerie in Taiohae is located in E part of the village. When you leave the old harbour turn right on main road and walk about 5 minutes.
There is the official source from the Government of France:
French Polynesia is part of the European Union (as an overseas collective of France) but not of the Schengen Area Agreement and has its own visa rules. These rules closely follow those of mainland France with some exceptions that are specific to FP.
UE sailors
All European Union sailors don’t’ need a visa, and the procedure is easy going. You all have to visit Gandarmerie with your passport, a captain have to fill up the customs form, and send a copy to Customs in Papeete (there is a post office, the address is on the form). That’s all, you are allowed to stay on Polynesia for 2 years. Prepare a list with quantity of strong alcohol, wine, beer, cigarettes, cigars, you have on boat (for customs form).
Non EU sailors
You need a “Visa On Arrival” which is good for 90 days. Applying for a 90-day visa does not help with the bond or your check-in process. If you wish to stay longer than 90 days in French Polynesia, you should apply for a “Long Stay Visa”. Anyway all the crew has to visit Gandarmerie personally with the passport.
The French Polynesia Bond.
French Polynesia requires all non-EU visitors to either prove that they have a paid way out of
the country, or pay a bond on arriving in French Polynesia. This bond basically is the guarantee that the French government doesn’t have to pay to fly indigent people home. There are 3 ways to satisfy this requirement:
1. Show an airplane ticket out of the country
2. Pay the bond (roughly the equivalent of an airplane ticket out of the country) – about 2000 USD. The bond is refundable when you leave, with time and paperwork. Even if you have obtained a long stay visa, you must pay a bond.
3. Arrange with an agent to “guarantee” you. Essentially the agent guarantees that THEY
will pay to fly you out of the country, and so you essentially pay for an insurance policy
with the agent – cost about 200USD per person.
All detailed information you will get at Gandarmerie office.
WiFi: there is a WiFi (available at anchorage), name ViniSPOT, but it’s not free and rather quite slow. One hour cost about 4EUR, 20hrs – 40 EUR (payment via internet with credit card). In 2016 the system worked wrong and with 1hr credit you can surf all the time.
A small bar located in old harbour provide a free internet. Ask for password. Yacht service also provide an internet – 300CPF / day
The fuel station is located on East part of the bay on the new wharf. You can berth there for a while, but be prepared for some swell which makes berthing uncomfortable. Other way is delivering fuel in jerry cans by car (ask for help Kevin Yacht Service).
Duty Free Fuel
A permit for duty-free fuel can be obtained for free if you go in person to the Customs office in Papeete with your departure clearance. Otherwise, if using an agent (Kevin Yacht Service), you will be charged for this service.
There are taps at the dinghy landings/ramps in port, but this water is dirty. There are three taps in the village, where the water is filtered and available for free. Kevin (Yacht Service) can help you and deliver a water from a tap to the harbour (cost 500 CPF). Kevin have some empty containers.
There is few shops located along the main street. You can buy there a fresh baguettes in the morning. Taiohae is a great place for provisioning - significantly better than anywhere in the
Marquesas, Tuamotus or Gambiers. There is a daily fruit and veggie market right next to the dinghy dock, so fresh stuff is easy. Most of this produce is grown on the island and so isn't too outrageous in price.
New bottles available in some groceries. Refilling – ask Kevin in Yacht Services.
There is a bank with ATM located on the main road.
There are trash bins located in old harbour.
There is an airport on Nuku-Hiva which has flights every day to/from Tahiti. Air Tahiti is the carrier, their office is located on the main road next to bank. Airport is located other side of the island. If you need a transfer ask Kevin.
Other services
There is a post office located in E part of the village (turn right when you leave the old harbour). A hospital, pharmacy and dentist are in the village.

For crews

No WC or shower on shore.
Nuku-Hiva is huge, sparsely populated island, boasts a fantastic terrain, with razor-edged basaltic cliffs pounded by crashing waves, deep bays with beaches, dramatic waterfalls and timeless valleys that feel like the end of the world.
There is a very nice restaurant up by the hotel on the west side of the anchorage with a bar that serves happy hour drinks over looking their infinity pool and the anchorage. Dinners are $20 each though.
I suggest to rent a 4-wheel drive from Kevin (Toyota Hilux) and spend a day driving to the airport (amazing road thru the island) and some other villages (Taipivai and Hatiheu). Do it at sunny day.
Tikis and other Marquesas souvenirs are available in Artisanat (next to the old harbour), but in my opinion offering products are less beauty and low quality then on other islands (end more expencive).
There is an tourist office close to the old harbour.
A big church (called Notre Dame Cathedral) is in W part of the village. Worth to visit during Sunday service.
There is a lot of shows during July Festival.


no fees for anchoring
rent a car – Toyota Hilux 4x4 / Yacht services – 13.000 CPF
laundry / yacht services – 1500 CPF per 1 load (6kg)
fuel – 120 CFP per liter
duty free fuel – 75 CFP per liter
water delivery – 500CFP
gaz – refilling from 2500 CPF for 3kg to 5700 CPF for 13kg
a hamburger – 1000 CFP
dinner in restaurant – from 2000 CFP
1.5 litres of Coca Cola / Sprite / Fanta – 500 CPF
Icecream Magnum – 250-350 CPF
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