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Cook Islands

A Closer Look at Rarotonga

Those hoping to take a vacation that they will remember for the rest of their lives will want to think about spending some time on an island paradise at least once in their lives. And Rarotonga is a perfect destination for this.

Where Is Rarotonga?

Rarotonga is located in the Cook Islands, situated in the central-southern Pacific Ocean. Accessing the island involves a long flight, and from LAX you can expect at least 10-14 hours of flight time. Consider the distances to see why:

  • LA To Rarotonga – 4,696 Miles
  • Hawaii to Rarotonga – 2,778 Miles
  • Tahiti To Rarotonga – 1500 Miles

Connecting flights and layovers can add even more flight time to your journey, so it’s a good idea to pack a book to carry you through the trip. But once that you finally arrive, you’ll be in an island paradise that you’ll never want to leave.

 

What to Expect

The Basics Of Rarotonga

Planning ahead is important, and will help you get the most from your journey. There are several key things that you’ll want to bear in mind when planning your trip. Understanding the following will help you immensely.

  • Language – Like other Cook Island locations, the official language of Rarotonga is Maori. However, those staying at resort destinations will find plenty of staff speak English – as well as numerous other languages.
  • Currency – The New Zealand Dollar is the official currency on Rarotonga. However, debit cards, credit cards, and traveler’s checks are accepted almost everywhere on the island. And the low crime rate means that travelers are safe with cash as well as their cards here.
  • Weather –Expect warm nights and very hot days throughout the summer, with cooler nights during the winter months. Rains can come in quickly as well, so it’s a good idea to pack a light jacket and rain gear.
  • Seasons –May through October are generally considered the peak seasons, when the weather is dryer and warmer. To save money or avoid crowds, you can visit from November through April if you prefer and don’t mind the increased chance of rain. Both are valid options offering an experience you’ll treasure forever.

What To Do

The island itself is like many other Cook Islands –surrounded by a beautiful lagoon that extends out to a reef before giving way to the deep waters of the pacific. Here, water is life and for those visiting the island it’s a major part of their vacation as well. You’ll find plenty of water related activities including things like:

  • Scuba diving
  • Paddle boarding
  • Snorkeling
  • Sailing
  • Fishing
  • Swimming

Of course, those are just a few options. There are also plenty of adventures you can take elsewhere as well, from excursions to local activities at resorts. For example:

  • You can head to local breweries to check out microbrews
  • Horseback riding
  • Numerous hiking throughout the island’s interior and around the perimeter
  • Cruises also depart and head around the lagoon, showcasing dining and entertainment experiences
  • Botanical gardens
  • Excursions to nearby islands like Aitutaki
 

Dining And Shopping

The island of Rarotonga is filled with plenty of shops and dining opportunities. While resorts offer numerous restaurants offering buffets, international dishes, and locally inspired meals, you can also head inland to check out the local shops and dining options.

From small local establishments to larger restaurants, you’ll find it all here. And there are numerous bars to be found along the beaches, at the resorts, and inland. As such, a delicious cocktail is never far away.

The Bottom Line

Simply put, if you want to experience an amazing vacation that you will always remember, you owe it to yourself to plan a trip to Rarotonga. It’s a paradise that is just waiting for you to experience.

 

Rarotonga Resorts

Te Manava Luxury Villas & Spa

Te Manava Luxury Villas & Spa
Te Manava Luxury Villas & Spa
 

Te Manava is located on Rarotonga’s beautiful south-eastern coast. Te Manava Luxury Villas and Spa is approximately 15 minutes drive from the main township of Rarotonga, and approximately 20 minutes from Rarotonga international airport.The villas are either two or three-bedroom, in either a beachfront or garden setting. Each villa includes kitchen and laundry facilities and individual swimming pool. The villas can be rented by the week, or by the day. You select any additional services you require from a comprehensive menu of ‘a-la-carte’ Guest Services – ranging from daily housekeeping services and Bvlgari luxury bathroom products, a 5-course dinner prepared on site by your own personal executive chef.

 

 

Pacific Resort Rarotonga

Pacific Resort Rarotonga
Pacific Resort Rarotonga
 

This 4 star boutique resort offers a perfect blend of modern comforts and traditional island hospitality. Situated on Muri Beach, one of the world’s most incredible sites. Muri Beach stretches one kilometer along the south-eastern coast of Rarotonga, Muri beach is offers glorious white sands, palm trees swaying, & gentle waters of a shallow, safe lagoon.Nestled discreetly on the lagoon, this boutique resort offers a perfect blend of modern comforts and traditional island hospitality. Set in six acres of lush tropical gardens, surrounded by breath-taking views and majestic mountains, Pacific Resort Rarotonga features elegantly appointed accommodations, authentic Polynesian architecture and a stunning tropical setting.A place where simple, lazy days meet luxurious evenings. And where the friendly, gracious staff meet your every request. Where you can lie in the sun, or lie in bed all morning. Where you can dance into the night on the beach, or watch the locals dance in the villages.

What’s more, our accommodation is everything you could wish for. We offer an intimate collection of 64 superb studio rooms, suites and two bedroom units and villas, each situated in a stunning poolside, palm-filled garden or panoramic beachfront location.

 

 

Crown Beach Resort & Spa

Crown Beach Resort & Spa
Crown Beach Resort & Spa
 

Crown Beach Resort & Spa is a luxury beachfront full service resort with over 5 acres of botanical gardens that front an endless beach on the sunset coast of Rarotonga. This beautiful resort caters for only 36 couples who seek a peaceful retreat. Enjoy a mineral water swimming pool & the blue pacific lagoon that has an array of colorful fish and coral. All villas are self contained, air conditioned and decorated in a pleasant Polynesian style with quality finish and amenities.Oceans Restaurant & Bar features quality casual cuisine specializing in theme dinners, light lunches and breakfast. The bar offers 3 happy hours of buy 1 get 1 free!Tang Lounge & Tapas Bar (opened August 2011) is known as THE place to see and be seen with ultra cool tunes, premium beverages, saucy service, warm ambience accentuated by candles and flowing fabrics. Fully air-conditioned – this space will offer an alternative cuisine option for discerning guests at Crown Beach Resort & Spa.

The resort has become well known for offering the highest standard of accommodation inspired by a positive team culture. You will find that the local staff take great pride in delivering their own unique style of Cook Island hospitality. Their goal is to serve you, and to ensure you have the perfect vacation or honeymoon.

 

 

Little Polynesian Resort

Little Polynesian Resort
Little Polynesian Resort
 

Little Polynesian has been hosting guests for over 30 years. Situated on a white sandy beach of world class beauty and surrounding foliage of palms and lush tropical greens, intimate lodgings of traditional architecture and grounds have been designed to harmoniously integrate nature’s beauty and charm. A multifaceted staff seeks to cater to your needs, whether you require great food or assistance in accessing the various resort amenities or island activities.Little Polynesian Resort is the Leading Boutique Hotel of the Cook Islands (World Travel Awards 2008,2009 &2010). This resort specializes in organizing romantic island weddings, along with offering total relaxation and privacy to its guests.(Guests must be over 15 years of age)

 

 

The Rarotongan Beach Resort & Spa

The Rarotongan Beach Resort & Spa
The Rarotongan Beach Resort & Spa
 

Only 12 minutes from the airport, & on Aroa Lagoon Marine Reserve, a crystal-clear blue lagoon offering Rarotonga’s best snorkeling where you can play with the friendly tropical fish at any time. Enjoy free activities such as snorkeling, hand-feeding the reef fish, learn to paddle an outrigger, husk a coconut, dance the ‘ura (hula), make lei,play the ukulele, or play drums. There’s also beach sports, tennis, games room, gym, guided walks and more to enjoy your vacation.For couples in love, there’s a Personal Wedding Planner to create dream tropical beach wedding right beside Aroa Lagoon, the Lagoon of Love, as well as three stunning Wedding Packages, fabulous venue options, function catering, on-site photographer.A new luxury destination spa, Spa Polynesia LUXE @ Lime Blossom Villa offers qualified therapists, extensive spa menu, outdoor spa, couple’s sauna, the luxury Blue Bathhouse and more. Perfect for hen’s parties and couples therapies.

The Rarotongan offers Kids Stay & Play Free and the Moko’s Kids Club. For children aged 4-11.

 

 

The Edgewater Resort & Spa

The Edgewater Resort & Spa
The Edgewater Resort & Spa
 

The Edgewater Resort & Spa is a known Cook Islands resort, offering affordable accommodations on the sheltered west coast of Rarotonga. The Edgewater’s prime location shows Rarotonga’s natural beauty. The magnificent sunsets, surrounding lush mountains, & views of a deep blue lagoon along a white sandy.The Edgewater Resort & Spa offers great dining, a safe & educational kids club, first-class entertainment, a dedicated kids’ club, health spa with handmade Rarotongan spar products, and sparkling pool. As the largest Rarotongan resort, Edgewater has more space, more activities and more to offer than any other Cook Islands holiday. Location is also another attribute about this resort. 8 minutes to Avarua, offering local markets, cafes, bars, movie theater, banks, & supermarkets.

 

 

Your Aitutaki Vacation Is Waiting

For those looking to escape from it all and relax in an island paradise, a visit to the resorts of Aitutaki is a perfect opportunity to experience a vacation that you’ll never forget. There is plenty to love about this place, and understanding more about it will show you how to plan your visit – and why you should.

 

Where Is It?

Aitutaki is located in the Cook Islands, just north of Rarotonga. It’s the second most heavily visited island in the island system, and has a barrier reef as well as a break in the reef allowing for boat access. The island itself is a fair distance from most major terminals. For example:

  • LA To Aitutaki – 4,696 Miles
  • Hawaii to Aitutaki - 2,778 Miles
  • Tahiti To Aitutaki – 1500 Miles

Connecting flights and layovers can add even more flight time to your journey, so it’s a good idea to pack a book to carry you through the trip. But once that you finally arrive, you’ll be in an island paradise that you’ll never want to leave.

 

Aitutaki Basics

Planning your trip means making sure that you have a clear idea as to just what to expect upon arrival. As such, it’s worth reviewing a few basics like weather, seasonal considerations, and more. Here are some of the key things to think about.

  • Weather – The weather in Aitutaki is warm. During the summers, temps can be very hot and reach high levels of humidity as well. Even night temperatures can be high here. During the winter months, cooler nights prevail while the days are still quite high in terms of temperature.
  • Seasonal Factors – November through April is generally considered to be the slow season due in large part to the higher levels of rainfall to be found. May through October are dryer months, with higher levels of visitors and more expensive accommodation costs. Both are valid options, but it’s just a matter of weighing out the pros and cons.
  • Currency – All of the Cook Islands use the New Zealand Dollar, and bringing cash along is a good idea. However, traveler’s checks are welcome at most places and credit or debit cards are accepted almost anywhere. The Islands are quite safe for tourists, and as such theft is very low.
  • Language – While you’ll find plenty of English speaking staff at a resort, the language of the Cook Islands is Maori, and most here will speak it fluently.
  • Packing Smart – It’s worth bringing casual clothing like shorts, t-shirts, and flip flops. Remember that beachwear isn’t to be worn outside the beach areas due to local customs, though if you’re staying at your resort feel free to dress how you like. Reef shoes, sun hats, and mosquito repellent are worth bringing as well.

Activities And Dining

Aitutaki is an island paradise, more than many other locations. You’ll find a massive central lagoon as well as plenty of beach-related activities here. The reef is beautiful, and beach or lagoon related activities are incredibly common and very popular here. Some of the best activities include:

  • Snorkeling
  • Scuba Diving
  • Sailing
  • Paddle boarding
  • Fishing
  • Bicycling
  • Kayaks
  • And more

Resorts offer most equipment free of charge, letting you head out and enjoy the island however you wish. And there are plenty of dining options as well. Each resort has numerous bars and restaurants ranging from international buffets to locally inspired dishes. There are plenty of cocktail bars as well, making it easy to enjoy a drink on the beach or by the pool. There is plenty to see and do here, and you can even get married on the beach if you really want a memorable experience. Simply put, it’s a paradise that is perfect.

 

 

Aitutaki Resorts

The island of Aitutaki is located 140 miles north of Rarotonga

Aitutaki Lagoon Resort and Spa

Aitutaki Lagoon Resort and Spa
Aitutaki Lagoon Resort and Spa
 

This luxury resort is located on a private and secluded island, offering great views across the lagoon of Aituaki. This is the only resort in the Cook Islands that offers over water bungalows. Guest services will assist you in complimentary canoes, kayaks, windsurfers, snorkeling equipment, beach volleyball, reef walks. Or, you might wish to hire motor scooters, bicycles or a car to tour the island or book an organized tour – scuba diving, deep sea fishing, lagoon cruises and much more.The famous Aitutaki Lagoon Cruise departs from the resort entrance. Prepare for an amazing day of turquoise water, deserted islands and fresh fish BBQ.

 

 

Pacific Resort Aitutaki

Pacific Resort Aitutaki
Pacific Resort Aitutaki
 

This resort is set on 19 acres of tropical forest along an amazing beachfront of beautiful white sands. You will soon discover the most breath-taking lagoon you’ve ever seen, Pacific Resort Aitutaki is pure romance, added refinement, & luxury that would appeal to even the most discerning traveler. It is known as the “World’s Leading Boutique Island Resort” (World Travel Awards 2008-2010)and the Cook Islands only member of the Small Luxury Hotels of the World collection.Pacific Resort Aitutaki is limited to just 27 luxurious absolute beachfront bungalows, suites and villas, all with their own personal, panoramic view of Aitutaki’s world-famous lagoon, where each sunset majestically colors the ocean beyond.

 

 

Tamanu Beach

Tamanu Beach
Tamanu Beach
 

Tamanu Beach Resort is located on the white sand beaches along the west coast of Aitutaki, offering stunning sunset views from the new beachfront Restaurant and Bar. Tamanu Beach resort offers five bungalow accommodation options, including studio rooms, one bedroom lagoon view rooms. All bungalows are nestled amongst lush tropical gardens. The beachfront rooms are on the water’s edge, so close to the gorgeous blue lagoon.Resort features 22 bungalows, conference facilities, two fresh water swimming pools, a beachfront bar, & restaurant and a gift shop.Tamanu Beach is family operated & offers guests a truly unique Polynesian experience. Every Thursday enjoy Island Fire- a performance of Cook Islands song, dance, fire dancing, & talented and dynamic cultural group.Tamanu Beach is a popular haven for magical Cook Islands weddings and honeymoons, and is within easy reach of local cafés, bars and restaurants giving you the opportunity to dine out at your leisure.

 

 

Cook Islands

Cook Islands

The Cook Islands are located in the South Pacific Ocean near New Zealand. They are over 92 square miles of sheer paradise. With pristine beaches and an international airport, anyone can see why they make a great vacation or honeymoon destination. The main island is Rarotonga and there are 15 other major islands. There many uninhabited islands as well. The Cook Islands are home to popular destinations like Nassau and six coral atolls. The moderate to tropical climate always welcomes visitors with sunny weather and perfect temperatures. There is so much to discover visitors may need a travel guide to take in all that there is to see.

Cook Island Destinations

A travel guide will allow you to experience the music, dance, and other culture of the Cook Islands. From New York flight times average around 20 hours. From Los Angeles to the Islands is about 9 hours. English is the main language spoken on the Islands. Cook Island Maori is spoken by the natives among themselves. With over 90,000 tourists visiting every year, English is spoken everywhere. The currency in the Islands is the New Zealand dollar. Most monies are easily exchanged for the NZD all over the Islands.

Cook Islands Weather

The weather on the Cook Islands is another thing that a travel guide can prepare visitors for. The summer season runs from November to April and is the rainy season. It is hot and humid and there is constant threat of cyclones, or tropical hurricanes. The winter season is from May to October. It is drier and cooler but the temperature drops almost 20 degrees at night. Temperature highs are expected to stay between 70-85F throughout the year. Lows stay at about 65-80F all year. Just about any time of year there is more sun than there are clouds and storms.

Cook Islands Travel Guide

A travel guide will remind you that the power outlets in the Cook Islands are different than in the US. The US functions off 110 volt power, but on the Islands 220 is used. If someone plugs in their hairdryer in the Cook Islands, it is probable that the hairdryer will be overloaded and break. Before traveling, it is a good idea to get a voltage converter. This way no new appliances will need to be purchased. The outlets are also shaped differently. This should be taken into consideration when buying the converter. Outlets in the Cook Islands are in a 'V' formation with the point of the 'V' on the top.