Hapatoni on Tahuata#
Hapatoni is in the bay Vaitahu, a bay in the lower third of the West part of the islandof Tahuata (70 square kilometres). The island is the smallest of the inhabited Marquesas Islands. It is located 4 km to the south of the western end of Hiva Oa. It is too small to allow to build an airport, and waterplanes are not much in use anymore in the Pacfic (in contrast to Alaska, where they are often the only way to get to some desired location). With some 700 people it is served from the Hiva Oa airport.
Its name means “sunrise” in Marquesan, and this tiny island in the Marquesas archipelago is just as beautiful as the name suggests. Visitors arrive via the charming seafront village of Hapatoni, with tamanu trees shading an ancient paved royal walkway and the air smelling of tiare and frangipani. The island’s beauty extends to its architecture too, especially its huge Catholic church, which was built by the Vatican and decorated with stunning stained-glass windows and beautiful local carvings.