Tahuata means “sunrise” in Marquesan. This 19 square mile island is the only one we encountered in the Marquesas that actually had clear, aqua colored water. In fact, the water was so clear than our friends on another boat saw a large shark swim under their boat while they were headed into Hanamoenoa Bay.
We did not spend much time here. We used it more or less as a stopover point between Hiva Oa and Fatu Hiva. There are a couple of villages that you may want to visit but with time ticking away on our 90 day visas we really had to pick and choose which places we would dedicate time to visit.
As you can see on the map below, we’ve pinned two spots where boats anchor on the western side of the island. There are more but these are the only places we actually stayed.
Anchorage #1 is called Hanamoenoa Bay and is where most of the cruisers tend to stop. It’s a large anchorage with good holding in 25′ of sand scattered with rock. We spent two days here enjoying the crystal clear waters and amazing sunset views over the Pacific Ocean as we headed north from Fatu Hiva.
On the beach you’ll find an adorable hut that reminded us of the Gilligan’s Island TV show. There are signs asking that you remain on the beach which we abided by. This is someone’s home and we choose to view from a distance since the owner was not around. We’ve heard that Stephen is the owner of the property so if you do get there and he’s at his home you should stop and say, “Hello”. Sadly he was nowhere to be found while we were in the anchorage so we just walked the beach and enjoyed the views.
Anchorage #2 is called Ivaiva Iti Bay and is our favorite spot. There’s only room for 2-3 boats here which makes it nice and private. It’s got a wonderful sandy bottom with good holding. Of course there are some rocks but not enough to really worry about.
Both anchorages are fantastic with clear water and beautiful beaches. Please, as always, don’t just help yourself to fruits onshore. The owners of the properties are getting very tired of cruisers coming and just taking whatever they want. The fact is they will most likely give you whatever you ask for but you need to ask.
Check out our articles about these beautiful anchorages!
If you’re looking for a complete list of anchorages with waypoints and comments from cruisers who have been here we recommend you check out the Soggy Paws Marquesas Compendium by Clicking Here!