Ua Pou: The world’s only Tahitian Chocolate.

Ua Pou in the Marquesas islands of Polynesia is a fascinating place. Home of traditional Hula Kahiko, the most amazing abundance of tropical fruits, and the world’s only chocolate grown in Polynesia, this emerald island is not to be missed.

The small town sits above a green bay with white sandy beaches where you can kayak or take the sun. In the town center is a community garden, where locals will bring their arts and crafts, and lots of fruit for you to try, which is amazing. Don’t miss out on visiting the little general store to pick up some amazing local honeys and wares.

One of the most unique elements of the island is a man named Manfred Drexler (badass) who was born in East Germany and escaped to Tahiti 35 years ago. A chocolatier by trade, he pioneered the planting of cocoa on the island, and now produces the only chocolate in all of Polynesia. In a region of the world where vanilla is king, Manfred looked the other way, and brought the good dark brown stuff to this island paradise. It’s a unique chocolate, silky smooth, with rich umami and toasted flavors, and definitely a unique gift to bring home.

Of course a trip to Ua Pou would not be complete without experiencing traditional Hula Kahiko dance performed on a sacred heiau, which is beautiful, haunting, and exciting to watch. The men are ferocious, and the women graceful, and together they bring the spirit of Polynesia to life. Thanks Aranui for bringing us to paradise.

 

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Fakarava: the best black pearls in Polynesia.

Fakarava is one of my favorite islands in French Polynesia, not only being one of the best places to buy pearls, but a beautiful island to explore either by foot, bike, or on sea.

It’s easy to rent a bike in town and explore the miles of sandy beaches on both sides of this atoll paradise island, or travel down to Havaiki resort which has a fantastic little hut right over the water where you can open your own oysters to get at the beautiful pearl inside.

For just a few dollars you can choose your oyster, and the experts there will open it for you to receive your treasure. They’ll even remove the tasty little scallop and squeeze some lime juice on it for you to have a fresh ocean treat.

Later if you like you can take it on shore and have them set it in a necklace, or, you can buy one of the amazing pieces of jewelry they craft in house. Or you could always just buy an ice cold beer and take it into one of their lagoon submerged tables to drink the way the islanders do. Any way you do it it’s paradise on earth.

The Marquesas are a remote island chain that are extremely difficult to get to, making them a pristine treasure of polynesia. Fortunately Aranui cruises offers passage there where you can enjoy these rare sights in style.

Le Site Officiel | Croisières Tahiti | Îles Marquises

Stay tuned as we explore some of the other magnificent islands this week on TravelClast!
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