Cook Islands: Anatakitaki Cave & Atiu Swiftlets

Anatakitaki Cave exploration easily goes into top experiences of this Pacific Trip – an untouched beautiful jungle cave with dramatic entrances and skylights overgrown by trees and ferns, rare Atiu Swiftlet birds beating deep inside, giant crabs crawling around, and even a swimming hole at the bottom of one of the chambers. Atiu Swiftlet or Kopeka lives only here on the Atiu island and the entire global population is about 400 birds. They live deep in the total darkness of the cave and eco-locate while flying just like bats do. You can hear the birds click as they navigate in pitch black darkness and see them fly outside the cave entrance (at an insane speed). Luckily, I got to photograph one on the nest.