Beyond Rarotonga and Aitutaki: The Uncharted Islands of the Cook Archipelago

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An almost unexplored part of the Pacific welcomes the calm and exotic Cook Islands…

“Pa Enua”, in the local language, is the expression which encompasses the outer islands of the archipelago (with the exception of Rarotonga) and which can be used to name the exceptional Mangaia, Mauke, Mitiaro, Atiu, Manuae and Takuteawhich are part of the southern islands of the archipelago.

These small isolated islands are former coral atolls that welcome a few travelers every year. Beyond accommodation in resorts and luxury hotels, it is here the warm welcome of the locals, the unspoiled nature and the absolute harmony with the environment that dominate. This dream destination offers privacy, serenity and adventure to those looking to discover a unique place.

mangaia is by far the oldest island in the Cooks and one of the oldest in the South Pacific, with a geological history that is felt upon landing amid terraces of makatea (raised, fossilized coral). We explore the former coral atoll, from the highest peaks to the depths of the caves.

Flying from one island to another, we thus discover Mauke, its approximately 300 inhabitants and its area of ​​just over 18 km². It is nicknamed “the garden island” because of the lush jungle that covers its fertile land. Slightly larger (23 km²), Mitiaro has only 155 inhabitants, a significant percentage of whom open their homes to visitors. The only accommodation available on the island, this allows you to immerse yourself in the daily life of the villages, offering the most authentic experience possible. The island is known to have some of the most beautiful water caves in the archipelago.


This island-hopping journey continues at atiu. With its breathtaking views, its beaches as far as the eye can see, its incredible avifauna and the small number of visitors, this island is the most accustomed to tourism, but without being a victim of it. Its main feature is that it is surrounded by a ring of makatea and has a 70m high hill with a flat top, making it look like a low, flat brim hat. There are many unexplored caves to discover with an expert guide.


Takutea and Manuate are uninhabited natural paradises that are very difficult to access: here nature is untouched, a refuge for countless species of seabirds and turtles.


A trip to the Southern Cook Islands is thus an ideal getaway to enjoy unexplored landscapes and an authentic and unspoiled culture.

Catherine Mills Avatar