Mitiaro Island



Known for its bananas and lake eels, this island has few facilities but may be reached by air three times a week. A fine reef surrounds the tiny island, which is almost completely flat (almost every house has an ocean view). Mitiaro has a number of underground caves, some of which contain pools of clear water, called vais, where you can swim. In the south, there are marae (temple) ruins that you can visit. At the center of the island is Lake Rotonui, home of the eels—and other critters (take along mosquito repellent if you go).

We found Mitiaro to be very pleasant, though basic. Almost everyone seems to own (and use) a motorbike. There are no hotels, but some of the residents take paying guests in their homes. It's a nice way to meet the local people, but if you're looking for privacy, you'll prefer Atiu or Mauke. 165 mi/265 km northeast of Rarotonga.

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