If you are searching for the perfect vacation escape, look no further than the tiny island of Rarotonga in the South Pacific Ocean. With an allure and charm all its own, Rarotonga is the largest of the Cook Islands at just 67.2 sq km. Home to a population of more than 9,000, this gorgeous isle is filled with friendly natives,
incredible beaches, an azure lagoon and soaring mountains, making it one of the most stunningly beautiful islands in the world. Situated in the Southern Island Group, this tropical paradise is a wonderful retreat and the best place to enjoy all that the Cook Islands have to offer. Here life moves at its own pace, otherwise known as ‘Raro time,’ with a mellow laidback atmosphere making it the ideal destination for those looking to kickback and relax. If you ever get tired of relaxing, don’t worry as there are plenty of activities to enjoy on Rarotonga from diving and snorkeling to fishing, hiking, sailing, kayaking, swimming, horseback riding and surfing.
A historically important Polynesian island, Rarotonga today, is home to the Cook Islands capital of
The most developed of all the islands, banks, ATMs, internet cafes and a hospital can all be found here.
A unique travel experience, getting around Rarotonga is rather easy with a main coastal ring road running
around the island, along which you can find plenty of accommodations, hotels, resorts, restaurants, apartments, cafes, stores, rental shops, travel agencies and tourist offices. The international airport lies on Rarotonga’s northwestern coast, with Avarua situated on the north coast, 2 km east of the airport.
A truly magical destination to relax your worries away,
Rarotonga is the ultimate holiday hotspot for many.
Here beautiful beaches can be found all along the coast, with some amazing diving and snorkeling opportunities available in the stunning blue lagoon encircling the entire island. Just 32 km in circumference, getting around Rarotonga is pretty easy as well - it’s just as 45 minute bus ride. There are only 2 main roads found running around the island, one is a coastal ring road and is known as Ara Tapu, while the other road which is located some 500 meters inland is known as Ara Metua. There are no roads that cut across the island as the terrain
is too mountainous with steep valleys. The best way to get around Rarotonga is by the round-the-island bus service that runs on Ara Tapu. Cook Passenger Transport is a both a convenient and an easy way to get around. Departing daily from the Cook Corner bus stop in Avarua, this bus service runs clockwise around the island from Monday to Saturday leaving after every hour from 7 am to 4 pm. Buses going in the anticlockwise direction depart 25 minutes past the hour Mondays to Saturdays. On Sunday the bus service runs from 8 am to 12 noon and from 2pm to 4 pm in the clockwise direction. There are no anti-clockwise buses on Sundays.
Rarotonga offers tourists a wonderful retreat to relax in amid beautiful beaches and a lush mountainous terrain. The most populous of all the islands, there are plenty of accommodations to be found on Rarotonga, with many travelers using this incredible destination as their base camp while exploring all that the Cooks have to offer. The best part about staying on this island paradise is that it is quite affordable when compared to places like Tahiti or Fiji, where accommodations can cost a pretty penny.
Here are just a few of our favourites:
Pacific Resort & Villas
Rumours of Romance
Offering an alluring escape, Aitutaki provides tourists with a superb secluded and tranquil atmosphere to relax in. Just 18.3 sq km in size, this ‘almost atoll’ is a fantastic vacation destination with its gorgeous blue lagoon and magnificent sunsets. The second most populated of the Cook Islands, Aitutaki is considered to be one of the most beautiful places in the Pacific Ocean. Located 225km north of
Rarotonga in the Southern Pacific, this beautiful island sits in a triangular shaped lagoon, with the lagoon’s outer reef dotted with a dozen or so picturesque motu or small islands. Made up of one major isle and 20 or so islets, Aitutaki for many is the idyllic beach paradise. The snorkeling and diving in the lagoon is simply breathtaking, with the‘ island nights’performances here rated as the best in the Cooks.
Getting to Aitutaki is pretty easy with Air Rarotonga offering four flights here daily from
Rarotonga , except on Sundays. A 45-minute journey, traveling by air to Aitutaki is both easy and convenient. When you arrive on Aitutaki getting around is pretty simple as the island itself is quite small. You can tour the entire of Aitutaki in just a few hours! The airport sits roughly 7 km from most of the hotels and accommodations on Aitutaki Island, which usually offer to airport transfers. As there is no public transportation system on Aitutaki, you best bet to get around is to rent a car, scooter, or bicycle. What is so wonderful about Aitutaki is that life here moves at its own pace. Laidback and unhurried, the island is the perfect escape for many who want nothing more than to enjoy the natural beauty found all over the place. Simply go out for a paddle in a sea kayak and explore the lagoon, or take a dive and see the wealth of coral and fish found below. The fishing is also quite good out here, while exploring the many nearby motu is a superb way to spend an afternoon. One Foot Island or Tapuaeta’i is
a fabulous motu to visit with its spectacular white sand beach and clear turquoise waters. With its big beautiful blue lagoon, Aitutaki offers travelers plenty of other activities to enjoy, besides snorkeling and diving.
The beaches here are gorgeous, but unfortunately too shallow to swim in. However, some other activities on Aitutaki you can indulge in include sunbathing, kayaking, exploring the lagoon via reef runners,
fishing and golfing. Another great way to spend your time on Aitutaki is to go on a self-exploratory trip around the main island and take in the interesting sights and sounds. For a small island Aitutaki has a number of accommodation options. From the budget traveler to those who are looking for a luxurious resort where they
can kickback and relax, this island has it all.
Here are just a couple of our favourites:
Are Tamanu Beach
Pacific Aitutaki Resort & Spa