Hiva Oa is the second biggest island in the Marquesas Islands, and the biggest island of the southern group. Its name means “long ridgepole” in South Marques. The island is so named because of its long central ridge. Atuona, on the south side of the island was previously the seat of government for all of the Marquesas Islands, but has been replaced by Nuku Hivas Tai o Hae, leaving it as the regional seat of government for only the southern Marquesas. The island was the home of French painter Paul Gauguin and Belgian singer Jacques Brel, both of whom are buried in Calvary Cemetery. In late pre-European times, the island was evenly divided into two provinces Nuku in the west, and Pepane in the east.
If you are in Hiva Oa you should visit the Calvary Cemetery. This is the final resting place of Jacques Brel the famous Belgian singer, and more famously Paul Gauguin the famous painter who died on the island.
Also go see the Paul Gauguin Museum. The museum houses some replicas of Gauguin's paintings. It also has some of the mementos and artifacts of his from his stay on the island.