If they are spared from hurricanes and cyclones, the archipelago is located near the equator with seasons a little different from the rest of French Polynesia. Discover the best time to visit the Marquesas Islands for an ideal stay.
Climate of the Marquesas Islands
Differences Between the Islands
The climate in the Marquesas Islands is subtropical. However, great disparities are to be noted between the northern islands of the archipelago and those further south, and even on the islands themselves.
In Nuku Hiva, Ua Pou and Ua Huka, the tropical climate is no longer humid but rather arid. The lack of rainfall makes some landscapes completely dry and desert-like. On the contrary, the southern Marquesas Islands such as Hiva Oa, Tahuata and Fatu Hiva are much wetter with high humidity during the austral summer.
The peculiarities are not only between the islands: there are notable differences between coasts of a same island. Due to the constant winds and the mountainous massifs, the northern coasts are usually the driest. At the same time, the southern coasts reveal a very dense humid forest.
Dry and Wet Seasons
The Marquesas Islands have two main seasons: the dry season (austral winter) and the wet season (austral summer). From January to July, the wet season is rainier and warmer. The dry season from August to December is more suitable for a trip to the archipelago.
However, the Marquesas Islands are relatively windy. This does not fail to influence the weather of the day. Even during the dry season, it is not uncommon to spend a whole day in the rain.
Temperatures are relatively constant between seasons. Count on an average of 23° to 28°. Peaks of 31° can occur during the southern summer. Nevertheless, the main variations are related to altitude, with a possible loss of more than 10° in the mountains, especially on Nuku Hiva.
What Is the Best Time to Visit the Marquesas Islands?
September-October for a Polynesian Trip
Because of the distances between the archipelagos, as well as their respective latitudes and longitudes, the seasons in Tahiti and the Marquesas Islands are staggered by several months. While the former experiences its best climatic period in July, the latter is just emerging from the southern summer. This can upset the itineraries of people wishing to visit both archipelagos.
The best time to visit the Marquesas Islands is when both island groups are going through their dry season. The months of September and October offer the advantage of combining the best of Tahiti and her islands with the Marquesas not being too wet. The prices of flights and hotels are more affordable. You will be able to enjoy Bora Bora as much as Hiva Oa.
November-December for a Marquesas Trip
For those wishing to focus on the Marquesas Islands alone, the golden months are November and December. First of all, rainfall is at its lowest. Secondly, flight prices, especially for the Marquesas pass with Air Tahiti, drop sharply, before increasing again in December as the holiday season approaches.
However, it is in December that a visit to the Marquesas Islands can be exceptional. Indeed, every two years, the archipelago organizes the famous Marquesas Arts Festival. The event gathers each time on a different island the best craftsmen of the archipelago in a great cultural and identity mass. On this occasion, prices go up and finding accommodation is difficult. But these festivities are obviously the highlight of any Marquesan itinerary. The 2023 edition is held in Nuku Hiva.
Rest of the Year Aboard the Aranui
As everywhere in the world, a capricious weather can ruin a stay. But there is an alternative. Embark on a cruise aboard the Aranui! This cargo ship travels the archipelago for supplies. The best time to visit the Marquesas Islands does not depend on the rain. The essential is elsewhere.
You will embark on a two-week journey of initiation, during which life on board counts as much as the discoveries on the ground. The sea crossing takes place in a Marquesan atmosphere and each stopover allows you to immerse yourself in the particular culture of the Marquesas thanks to the many activities offered.
Best Time to Visit the Marquesas Islands for You
The most pleasant season to go to the Marquesas Islands is from August to December. If there is a small preference for October and December, it is related to your itinerary: Polynesian or Marquesas. Start your trip and contact us to organize your activities.