Atiu, Cook Islands – The Hidden Gem of Adventure

DestinationExploring the best of Cook Islands
13 November 2019

Atiu is one of the little gems in the Cook Islands which almost everyone overlooks in the rush to go to commercialised and publicised hotspots like Rarotonga. Now, Cook Islands is still nowhere as developed as Tahiti and its capital Rarotonga is very much pristine and breathtaking, but Atiu feels like stepping back in time itself.

As Air Raro flights circle over the small island, travellers can appreciate the wild tropical forests covering the island and swathes of transparent and almost-luminescent Pacific Ocean surrounding it. Atiu was originally known as Enuamanu or ‘Island of Birds’ because of its rich diversity of flora and fauna. Some of the species, like the Kopeka swiftlets, are endemic to the island. It’s numerous caves, besides being supremely beautiful, are riddled in mystery and legends. Therefore, visiting Atiu is like going to a terrarium – some of what travellers see and experience are absolutely unique in the world, the rest just unforgettably beautiful.

The best of self-drive and adventure in Cook Islands
The best of self-drive and adventure in Cook Islands

This flat-top plateau is ringed by fossil coral reefs which are accessible by guided diving tours (or a pair of flippers and snorkel will do, too!). Fishing enthusiasts will love the plentiful wahoo and other pelagic denizens, just a word to our South Pacific Specialists will have you floating on a trawler full of chilled beer and fishing lines. Coffee plantations abound and Atiu’s atypical coconut-cream roasted coffee is a sensory delight for caffeine lovers around the world.

Things to Do

Despite its size, there are a million and half activities and experiences on Atiu! Here are a choice favourites from our roster of plenty!

  • Swimming and snorkelling:

    Atiu’s clear waters make for great snorkelling getaways. Just don a snorkel and flippers and explore the centuries-old coral reefs populated by hundreds of species of tropical fish.

  • Beaches:

    Because of its isolation, its beaches are almost always deserted. Romance, anyone?

  • Caving:

    Atiu’s caves are sight to behold. Our guided tours will leave travellers amazed at the beauty and history of Atiu’s caves. The island’s coral limestone caves are filled with stalactites and stalagmites, often dating back centuries. Then, there are birds like the Kopeka swiftlet, which inhabit these caves. Opting for a tour is mandatory for the experiential traveller!

Culture and Tours

Learn about the island’s culture, traditions, history and legends of its many caves through guided tours. Coffee tours, fishing charters and a visit to the crafts market will liven up a lazy island day like anything! Also, visit a tumunu – the bush beer school and savour some unique brews from its native oranges!

Cook Islands culture and traditions
Cook Islands culture and traditions

Check out our featured packages where our experts tailor best-selling all-inclusive Cook Islands holiday packages and day-tours. Or, just call us directly at 1300 991 751 to know more about bespoke Atiu itineraries on your Cook Islands holiday. 

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