FODOR'S GO LIST 2015
The top 25 places we think should be on every traveler's radar this year.More
Local tour operators provide a variety of options for exploring the island's archaeological sites on hiking, horseback, and ATV tours. You can also take boat tours to two small islands off Ua Huka's southwest point. One island is red, the other white, and both are covered in thousands of terns. The islanders themselves take the tern eggs for food, a matter of some controversy.
If you visit the island's interior, be on the lookout for the giant Marquesan imperial pigeon (Ducula galeata), which has recently been reintroduced by the Ornithological Society of Polynesia (MANU). It is a beautiful gray bird with a green and red sheen on its plumage and a spectacular white and gray-black cere protruding almost to the tip of the bill, making it preeminent amongst Polynesian avifauna. At one time the bird could only be found in a few valleys on Nuku Hiva, in severely depleted numbers. Since the species faced imminent extinction—made worse by the fact that it survived on only one island—MANU set up a reintroduction program on Ua Huka, in order to create a second population and to increase its probability for survival. This program is in the valley of Vaiviki.