Those who want to escape the crowds might opt for Hiva Oa, an island in the remote Marquesas Archipelago. This is a classic South Seas location, with some of the most magnificent rainforests, volcanoes, cliffs, grottos and beaches on Earth. Getting there entails a flight of more than three hours from Tahiti. Boat passengers arrive at the Bay of Traitors, a lovely inlet surrounded by the 1,000-foot walls of the Temetiu volcano.
Among other Hiva Oa attractions are the black-sand Atuona Beach, the Taaoa Valley’s stone tiki sculptures, and a cultural center celebrating French painter and long-time Hiva Oa resident Paul Gauguin. Visitors hike through the jungle to waterfalls, and snorkel or dive to see manta rays and sharks.