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Atiu, Cook islands top 5 things to do, attractions

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Cook Islands

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Visit Atiu, a place less traveled

Visit Atiu, an untouched ancient tropical island. An authentic adventure awaits. You are invited to abandon thoughts of nightclubs, shopping malls and the trappings of a busy tourism destination. Atiu is a joy with five small island villages nestled in the volcanic atoll centre.

 

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Atiu is where organic coffee beans flourish in the rich soil. Sip coffee under palm trees with the chatter of the highly coloured native birds as company. What a heavenly way to start your day. Explore hidden caves, and tropical hiking trails or simply collapse on a white sandy beach.

 

Shallow azure waters lap white sand beaches with limestone coral reefs known as Makatea.  The third largest island is a piece of paradise a short flight from the capital Rarotonga. Sustainable tourism supports locals and adds connections to the wider Rarotonga economy. There are a couple of low key cafes with walking the preferred transport option. The five villages of Tengatangi, Areora, Ngatiarua, Mapumai and Teenui in the centre of Atiu Island.

INTERESTING FACT

Atiu Island is also known as Enuamanu – Island of Birds with the native Kopeka bird an avian highlight for birding buffs.

 

Organic coffee and pineapple plantations flourishes in the rich volcanic earth.

Cook Islands, hire scooter and get around like the locals
Cook Islands, hire scooter and get around like the locals

What are the 5 best things to do on Atiu Island?

  • Visit the ancient burial chamber caves with Anatakitaki cave a highlight
  • Hiking in the tropical rainforest
  • Observe native birds such as brilliant tiny winged Kopeka
  • Enjoy an organic coffee plantation tour
  • Relax on a white sandy beach with the invitation to dip your toes in the azure shallow water
INTERESTING FACT

Join in Atiu’s tradition of drinking, ‘tumunu’ (fermented fruit juice). Locals share stories about the day in a communal circle and chat with a cup of tumunu on hand.

What is Atiu Island, the Cooks famous for?

Atiu Island, Cook Islands is well known for eco-tourism, an off the beaten path island escape where an organic coffee plantation guarantees your daily coffee fix.

What is famous Atiu Island wildlife?

Atiu Island is well known for its native tiny Kopeka birds. The gloriously coloured feathers can be seen in Anatakitaki Cave. Listen for the clicking sounds which assist the birds navigate in dim caves.

Local Coconut Crabs inhabit forest floor, Cook Islands
Local Coconut Crabs inhabit forest floor, Cook Islands
Snorelling coral reefs in the Cook Islands
Snorelling coral reefs in the Cook Islands

Atiu Beaches, Cook Islands

Extraordinary seclusion with over 28 coral sand beaches offering visitors a rare opportunity to have a beach to themselves. Taungaroro is considered the best beach with its swimmable lagoon and scenery absolutely stunning. There are pools under cliffs flushed with seawater at high tide. Ask the locals for directions and remember to bring reef shoes to navigate the sharp rocks.

What is the meaning of ATIU?

Atiu. A raised-reef island, described as quadrilateral in shape or roughly circular, reflecting the shape of the submerge volcano.

Atiu Cook Island tours, attractions

To get the best out of your stay on Atiu, join the locals on a guided tour. With food often included and lots of attention to detail, you often feel like part of the family by the time the experience is over.

Where are the villages in ATIU Island located?

The villages of Mapumai Village (Mapumai-Nui-O-Ruavari) Ngatiarua Village (Mokoero-Nui-O-Tautipa) Areora Village (Areora-Nui-Te-Are-O-Tangaroa) Tengatangi Village (Taturoa-I-Te-Puta-Marama).

TRAVEL FACTS

Atiu is located in the southern Pacific Ocean close to the equator. Atiu Island is 214 km northeast of the main island, Rarotonga. The island’s origins are volcanic with a surrounding coral reef over 30 metres in height. There are cliffs of fossilised coral known as makatea ringing the island. The island’s plateau is where villages and fertile plantations support local activities.

The makatea fossilised cliffs are home to historic burial sites in the honeycombed caves. The exotic tropical bird Kopeka is found in the cave system.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT VISITING ATIU, COOK ISLANDS

Atiu is a secluded atoll in the Pacific Ocean best visited by plane from Rarotonga or Aitutaki in the Cook Islands. Atiu is a mere 45-minute flight from Rarotonga and Aitutaki with Air Rarotonga.

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Check the luggage allowance for the smaller planes. And keep in mind 2 or 3 day packages with Air Rarotonga to the outlying islands.

From Rarotonga, there are flights three times per week on Saturdays, Mondays and Wednesdays. From Aitutaki, there are flights three times per week on Fridays, Mondays and Wednesdays.

Cargo ships travel infrequently (usually monthly) and are not geared for tourists.

For an authentic island experience you need a minimum of several days. Pace yourself on island time. Relax into the vibe of the polynesian culture.

Yes, your accommodation will arrange a vehicle or bicycle rental as part of your holiday package to Atiu, Cook Islands.

There is no best way to get around Atiu as the small island is only 26.9 sq km with a  circumference of roughly 20 miles (30 km). Arrange with your accommodation before you arrive

  • For the energetic there are bike hires (no E-Bikes)
  • Scooters
  • 4 WD vehicles
  • Consider taking the slow lane and walk

Atiu, Cook Islands has approximately 400 residents with a declining population, an issue for the outer islands of the Cooks.

Atiu has two cafes with a functioning restaurant at Atiu Villas. Tours usually include locally sourced food with ‘umu’ earthen oven cooking a highlight.

There are several convenience shops on the island with tinned goods and grocery staples readily available. Local plantations sell seasonal produce. The shops are located The shops, services and tourist information centre can all be found on the main road passing through the five villages.

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Atiu has conservative Christian beliefs and shuts down on Sunday.

Where to Stay on Atiu, Cook Islands

Atiu has limited accommodation choices as it caters for roughly 50 visitors per month. The warmth of your welcome and the extra services will create lifetime memories.

Atiu Villas

Atiu Villas offers resort style accommodation on Atiu. A restaurant, bar, self catering options in your villa, a stocked larder with grocery supplies, a tour desk, bicycle, scooter and vehicle hire and complimentary WiFi. The property has a swimming pool and grass tennis court.

Atiu Kopeka Lodge

Standard no frills independent holiday accommodation At Atiu Kopeka Lodge surrounded by a tropical garden which blends effortlessly with the forest.

@Atiu Villas
@Atiu Villas
TRAVEL FACT

Carry your medication supplies as there is no pharmacy on the island. There is a primary care medical centre.

TRAVEL FACT

Backpacker accommodation is not available on Atiu.

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Carry cash as there is limited Wifi for banking transactions on Atiu Cook Island.

 

For more information about travel to the Cook Islands check out Rarotonga Cook Islands – Everything You Need to Know Before Travelling to This Paradise and get ready for an adventure of a lifetime.

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BEST BITS TRAVEL GUIDE

Best Bits travel guide is published by nzjane.com. Owned and managed by PacificJane Ltd.

 

Our editors independently visit tour operators, purchase tickets, pay for accommodation, and rate products and places. We are not paid to go on a tour or visit a place. We only make money if you decide to purchase a product through our website links. We promise to never accept free products from manufacturers in return for boosting their products. Read more about our affiliate programme in the terms and conditions HERE.

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