Te Ana O Rakanui

Top choice in The Cook Islands

Te Ana O Rakanui is a burial cave packed with musty old skulls and skeletal remains. It’s a tight squeeze inside – claustrophobics be warned.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby The Cook Islands attractions

2. Marae Vairakai


Along a walking track north of Kopeka Lodge, Marae Vairakai is surrounded by 47 large limestone slabs, six of which have curious projections cut into…

3. Marae Te Apiripiri


This marae is where the Tahitian preacher Papeiha first spoke the words of the Gospel in 1823. There’s not much left to see, but a stone commemorates the…

4. Marae Orongo

1.87 MILES

Near Oravaru Beach, this was once ‘Atiu’s most sacred marae, and it’s still a powerfully atmospheric place – many locals are reluctant to go near it. You…

5. Lake Te Roto

2.62 MILES

Lake Te Roto is noted for its itiki (eels), a popular island delicacy. On the western side of the lake, a cave leads right through the makatea to the sea.

6. Taungaroro & Tumai

2.63 MILES

South of Oravaru Beach, Taungaroro and Tumai are two of the most popular swimming beaches.

7. Anatakitaki

2.66 MILES

Eerie Anatakitaki is ‘Atiu’s most spectacular cave, a multichambered cavern surrounded by banyan roots and thick jungle. It’s also home to the rare kopeka…

8. Rima Rau

2.85 MILES

Another of ‘Atiu’s burial caves, Rima Rau is reached by a vertical pothole and still contains skeletal remains. Many will find it claustrophobic.