Atiu Island

Atiu Island - Cook Islands

Atiu is an untouched eco-lover’s paradise with rich culture and history. The island, home to approximately 400 proud warrior people, is ancient and unspoiled, providing a one-of-a-kind adventure playground. As one of the Nga-Pu-Toru islands, Atiu attracts explorers seeking a true escape with no nightclubs, few cafes, and little traffic.

Atiu boasts several limestone caves carved by fresh and saltwater, some with artesian pools for swimming. Anatakitaki Cave, located in dense tropical jungle along the Makatea coastline, is a must-visit.

The island’s five small villages offer an authentic insight into island living, with gardens thriving on its rich soil. Atiu also boasts some of the Pacific’s best Arabica coffee plantations, with the soft aroma of organically grown coffee beans wafting past on certain days. This is a destination where time stands still.

Fly to Atiu from both Rarotonga and Aitutaki.


Atiu, one of the Cook Islands, is known for its lush landscapes, caves, and unique birdlife. Here are some things to do in Atiu:

  • Bird Watching: Explore Atiu’s dense forests and limestone caves to spot the native Kopeka bird, also known as the Atiu swiftlet, which nests in the island’s caves.
  • Anatakitaki Cave Tour: Join a guided tour of the Anatakitaki Caves, where you can marvel at stunning stalactites, stalagmites, and unique limestone formations.
  • Tumunu Tours: Experience local culture by participating in a Tumunu Tour, a traditional gathering in a bush hut where locals share stories, songs, and kava.
  • Ecopark Atiu: Visit the Atiu Fibre Arts Studio and the Atiu Coffee Factory at the Eco Park to learn about traditional crafts and coffee production.
  • Taravai Village Tour: Explore the island’s largest village, Taravai, to discover the local way of life, including traditional crafts and storytelling.
  • Nikao Beach: Relax on the beautiful Nikao Beach and take in the serene atmosphere. It’s also a great spot for swimming and snorkeling.
  • Reef Walks: Join a guided reef walk to explore the unique coral formations and marine life around Atiu’s coast.
  • Motu Day Trip: Take a boat trip to nearby motus (small islets) for a day of snorkeling, picnicking, and relaxation in secluded paradise.
  • Hiking: Explore the island’s lush interior on hiking trails that lead to picturesque viewpoints, including those at the Tiroto Tunnel and the Arai Te Tonga Marae.
  • Cycling: Rent a bicycle to explore Atiu at your own pace, allowing you to discover hidden gems and interact with friendly locals.
  • Marae Visits: Visit the island’s ancient marae (ceremonial grounds) to learn about the history and cultural significance of these sacred sites.
  • St. Joseph’s Cathedral: Admire the architecture and peaceful surroundings of Atiu’s St. Joseph’s Cathedral, built with coral limestone.
  • Traditional Dance Shows: Attend a traditional dance performance to experience Cook Islands culture and enjoy the vibrant costumes and music.
  • Star Gazing: With minimal light pollution, Atiu offers exceptional stargazing opportunities. Join a guided tour to learn about the southern night sky.
  • Cave Swimming: Take a refreshing dip in one of Atiu’s freshwater cave pools, such as Anatakitaki Pool or Kopeka Pool.

Atiu’s pristine natural beauty, unique cultural experiences, and opportunities for adventure make it a memorable destination for travelers looking to explore the Cook Islands off the beaten path.

Atiu Cook Islands
Map showing location of Atiu

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