Q&A about Hakaui Adventure tour and camping on Nuku Hiva Island

Can I join you for a day if I'm coming to Nuku Hiva on a cruise ship?

Yes, you can if the cruise ship anchors in Taiohae - they will drop you off at the same port from where the boat taxi leaves for Hakaui Valley. We've noticed that guests without much hiking experience and those over 65 often find it tough and usually only make it halfway to the viewpoint (where you can see the waterfall from afar). The trail isn't very steep, but it's rocky and unsteady, and you have to cross the river twice to get to the waterfall. We don't recommend the hike for people who aren't in good shape or are over 65. But no matter your age, you're absolutely welcome to come to Hakaui, hang out in our village, have lunch with us, check out Marquesan art and crafts, and take a dip in our clean river or the ocean.

The boat taxi usually leaves at 8:30 a.m. from Taiohae to Hakaui - and returns to Taiohae at 4 p.m. The boat taxi is flexible, and it's possible to arrange different hours.


Is it possible to drive to Hakaui?

No, there is no direct road leading to Hakaui. Your best option is to either rent a boat independently or let us assist you in arranging one. While there is a goat's trail from the town to Hakaui, it's not recommended to do it without a local guide. We no longer guide guests along this trail because of its unpredictable conditions that change with every wet season. Renting a boat remains the most suitable and safe option for your journey.


Do I need to bring water with me to Hakaui?

Carry at least 1.5 liters of water per person for the hike. Hakaui offers a clean water source for refilling your bottles after the hike. Please note that there won't be any opportunities to refill during the hike.


Do you bring guests all the way to the waterfall, or just halfway to the viewpoint?

We guide our guests through the entire journey, including inside the waterfall, provided they complete and sign our liability release form.


Why is it dangerous to go inside the waterfall?

Vaipo waterfall is surrounded by cliffs, which increases the chance of falling rocks. This risk is even greater during rainy weather. 


Does the waterfall ever dry up?

Does the waterfall ever run dry? Yes, it does, typically during the dry season from November to April. The valley is truly worth visiting to experience the authentic Marquesan way of life, the beautiful traditional art of carving, traditional cuisine, diverse natural beauty, archaeological sites, and a rich historical heritage.


Where can I find a boat taxi?

We can book the boat taxi for you, OR you can find the boat at the fishing port in Taiohae (town), near the fruit and vegetable market. The boat departs from the port at 8:30 a.m., and the ride takes about 30 minutes. The boat returns to Taiohae in the afternoon at 16:00. It's important to book your place in advance.


Do I have to bring my own sheets if I'm camping with you?

If you are camping with us, we will provide you with tents, 20 cm high inflatable mattresses, clean sheets, pillows, and blankets. Please bring your towel and a personal toiletry bag. Our bathroom is equipped with shampoo, soap, and toilet paper at all times.


What shoes are recommended for the hike?

A pair of hiking (or running) shoes that are water-friendly, as we'll be crossing the river multiple times. Keep in mind that Hakaui lacks a port or dock, so you will be dropped off in shallow knee-deep water.


Are there many mosquitoes and sandflies?

In the wet season, yes, there are many. During the dry season, not as many. We always recommend carrying insect repellent with you.


What type of clothing should I wear?

Lightweight clothing that is comfortable for both hiking and swimming. In the wet season, it's advisable to have a raincoat, as the rain, although brief, can be intense, and you may get soaked within minutes. Wearing light clothes with long pants and sleeves can provide added protection against insects.


Does Hakaui have numerous elevations, or is the valley mostly flat?

Hakaui has it all:

1-day journey (tranquil version) – 3 to 4 hours of moderately easy hiking, a clean path, and no crazy elevations. The challenges include rolling rocks, loose terrain, and river crossings.

1-day (adventurous version) – 5 to 6 hours of hiking, covering a total distance of 13.5 km. The first part of the tour is the same as the tranquil version. The second part, when hiking to the warrior's checkpoint, has no clear path and involves higher elevation.

2-day journey – We take you off the beaten path, so expect a more challenging hikes with no clear path and higher elevation.

3-day jouney  We take you off the beaten path, so expect a more challenging hikes with no clear path and higher elevation.


Do you only camp on your property or all around the valley?

The camping site is next to our home in Hakaui village and all of our hikes start from there. We don’t camp around the valley.


Should I bring my headlight?

Certainly, it can be useful if you need to use the bathroom during the night.


What season is best to visit Hakaui?

Both seasons are beautiful but different and have their own pros and cons. The wet season (from April to October) is VERY green; the waterfall is full of water, but there is no shortage of insects. The dry season (from the end of October to April) sees the valley remaining green, although not as much as during the wet season. The waterfall dries out, but there are not many insects around, and it hardly ever rains.


Is the boat ride to Hakaui included in the price?

No, because renting a boat is a service provided by a different company that operates independently


Do you only take one person to Hakaui?

No, we require a minimum of two people.


Can I go hunting with Tangy?

We don’t offer or support hunting tourism. However, upon request, we can show you Tangy’s hunting TV documentary during your stay with us.


Please be aware that our beautiful Hakaui Valley doesn't have a port for boats and passengers. You'll be dropped off in the ocean (knee-deep water). There is no need to panic; you will be assisted both on the way in and on the way out of the boat.


The link to Tripadvisor reviews that were left by our previous guests: https://bit.ly/37a6oh5 


To book the adventure, email us at hello@cannibal-art.com or call (+689) 87 32 60 80. If we don't answer, it means we're already in Hakaui Valley without any signal, and we can't see your message or answer your call until we're back in Taiohae. We will reply as soon as possible. Thank you for understanding.