Atuona, Hiva Oa, French Polynesia
Hiva Oa is the second largest and most fertile of the Marquesas Islands, which are scattered across the South Pacific Ocean northeast of Tahiti and the Society Isands. Its 124 square miles are fringed by steep cliffs rising from the sea, and corrugated by volcanic ridges and precipitous, isolated valleys in the interior. Ta’a Oa Bay is actually the collapsed cone of the volcano Mt. Temetiu, with walls that rise 3,300 feet from the sea. Atuona was once the capital of the Marquesas, but that role has been moved to Nuku Hiva. The island is dotted with numerous large stone tiki statues. Calvary Cemetery is the last resting place of French painter Paul Gauguin, who lived here during his last ears, and also of the Belgian singer Jacques Brel.