Nuku Hiva, Marquesas Islands, French Polynesia
The peak of an undersea volcano peeks from the South Pacific to form Nuku Hiva, the largest island of the Marquesas archipelago. The Marquesas came to fame on the television show Survivor but the Land of Men has long held sway with fans of rugged tropical beauty and waterfalls cascading into cool, inviting pools. Archeological finds abound in Taipivai, from carved figurines, or tiki, to stone housing platforms, or paepae. No protective barrier reef means dramatic waves at the island's many beaches. Bug-wary beach-goers can ward away the nonos (mosquitoes) the island way--with a monoi, or coconut oil, rubdown.