Spend the day on the waters of Aitutaki’s dreamy blue lagoon, looking out for giant fish and clams in the crystal-clear waters below and indulging in a beachside barbecue off Maina Island.. Meet a Cook Islands warrior and learn local traditions such as umu (ground oven cooking), weaving, dancing and healing herbal medicines on a guided visit to a small village near Rarotonga.. This island getaway hits the right balance of inclusions and leisurely beach time. You’ll have plenty of opportunities to explore your own way, either on a range of optional adventures or simply lazing by the lagoon with a cocktail in hand.. When you’re in the Cook Islands, it’s all about being close to those spectacular beaches. Appreciate the handpicked accommodation perched right on the water, with tropical breakfasts included daily.
Live a life of paradise as you spend six days beach-hopping through the idyllic Cook Islands. The cultural hub of Rarotonga and palm-lined coast of Aitutaki await, with endless stretches of white-sand beach and turquoise lagoons ready to tempt each and every traveller. Not only is rest and relaxation on the cards, but also produce market and local community experiences, interactions with a Cook Islands warrior, and an unforgettable day cruising past tropical fish and clams to the picturesque Maina Island. Beachside barbecues, village visits and plenty of time to simply sit back and let the tropical sun melt your worries away – could this be a glimpse of heaven on earth?
Breakfast Included: 5 Lunches Included: 2 Dinner Included:
Kia Orana – welcome to the Cook Islands! Your island adventure begins with an included arrival transfer from Rarotonga International Airport to your beachfront hotel – let your booking agent know of your flight arrival time. Rarotonga is the beating heart of the Cook Islands, and although a hive of activity, remains largely unspoilt from traffic and construction. All that’s planned for you today is a welcome meeting at 6 pm to meet your group leader and fellow travellers, plus discuss an optional first night dinner to enjoy together. Until then, spend your afternoon chilling out on the beach under the shade of a coconut tree or swimming in the nearby lagoon. There are kayaks and snorkels available, so feel free check them out too. You’re on island time now – so sit back and relax.
What’s an island escape without a tropical beachside breakfast? Tuck in with your group before travelling to the local market for a look at all of the produce on sale. Wander around, perhaps stopping to snack on some fruit, before driving to Arorangi village to meet Ngametua – a tumutoa or Cook Islands warrior – who will introduce you to the island and community culture. You and your travel crew will learn of centuries’ old practices passed down through generations, such as umu (ground oven cooking), traditional weaving and the healing properties of medicinal plants. Hear legends and family stories on a guided walking tour around the village. You’ll also get the chance to learn the local lingo and dance the local way! To top it off, indulge in a freshly prepared feast to finish your village visit. Return to your beachfront hotel afterwards for an afternoon and evening at your leisure.
Look at that – your day is as clear as the blue skies of the Cook Islands. With so much to see and do around the island, you can take today to explore at your own pace. Highly recommended is booking in on a reef walking tour with local musician Kura. The Ariimoana Reef is an ecosystem teeming with marine life, so perhaps spend a few hours with your local guide at low tide learning of what lives below the water, plus hear of some stories passed down from Kura’s grandfather who was a fisherman in the area. If you do happen to be in Rarotonga on a Sunday, consider attending a spirited church service at one of the Cook Islands Christian Churches dotted around the island. Beautiful white coral and limestone churches are filled with soaring songs of worship and parishioners ready to welcome you with open arms. One thing to note – if you do wish to attend, ask your local leader about acceptable attire to wear.
This morning, bid farewell to your Rarotonga leader and transfer to the airport with your group for an Air Rarotonga flight bound for Aitutaki (approximately 50 minutes). Home to less than 2000 people and one of the world’s most beautiful lagoons, Aitutaki is your base for the next few days. Meet your Aitutaki leader on arrival and transfer to your beach bungalow accommodation – perfectly perched at the water’s edge among acres of tropical gardens and palm trees. Your accommodation is the perfect place to let your worries drift away, with the lagoon at your doorstep, home to stunning sunset displays as day turns to night. This afternoon, you decide what’s on the agenda – perhaps it’s a spot of kayaking or snorkelling, or otherwise, your leader can organise a short island tour or help you hire a bike to explore the island. It’s totally up to you!
‘The King’ is in charge this morning – that is, our local boat captain Teariki. Teariki will take you out on the lagoon’s turquoise waters for a day of sun, swimming and snorkelling in some the lagoon’s best spots, keeping an eye out giant tropical fish and clams in the shallow waters and soaking in some well-earned vitamin D. Stop by the incredible Maina Island for an unforgettable barbecue lunch, with some time spent onshore. If not already, today you will come to realise how truly spectacular these islands are. With the rest of the day at your leisure, perhaps jump on a bike and go beach hopping on Aitutaki, or else, sit by the lagoon with a cocktail in hand. Tonight, you’ve got the chance to bring in the sunset with your group and leader with an optional dinner scheduled.
With no activities planned for today, you’re free to leave the group and continue your own adventure after breakfast this morning. We highly recommend extending your stay on Aitutaki so you can keep chilling out in paradise. If so, we’ll be more than happy to organise additional accommodation (subject to availability). Do keep in mind that a return flight from Aitutaki to Rarotonga is included with the price of your tour, and can be booked for any date you require. Please advise your agent at the time booking this adventure if you wish to fly out today, or at a later date.