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A view of the coastline of Port Alofi Niue.

Alofi, Niue

Once known as the "Savage Island" due to the unfriendly welcome given to explorer Captain Cook in 1774, Niue is a small South Pacific island known for its large raised coral reef and its tiny capital "city," Alofi. While it uses New Zealand currency (bring it with you, there are no ATMs on Niue) and many of its inhabitants primarily reside on the "mainland," Niue has been a sovereign state since 1974, and it is considerably more welcoming now than in Captain Cook's time. It takes only a few hours to cover the whole island, which is dotted with scenic sea tracks that connect coral reefs, caves, chasms and rain forest. Niue is also well connected with the rest of the world: The entire nation is a free Wi-Fi hotspot, though be warned that the arrival of a cruise ship and its many Internet-using passengers can slow speeds considerably. Coconuts and tropical fruits are a staple in the Niuean diet, and even the local seafood mainstay uga translates to coconut crab. Should your visit to the island fall on a Sunday, you'll find most everything closed for church services, but you can head to the Washaway Café, home to the only self-service bar in the South Pacific—and open only on Sundays.