An exclusive corner in paradise, Aitutaki in the Cook Islands


I don't fall short if I say that the Cook Islands are simply spectacular and specifically Aitutaki. If we focus on Aitutaki, I can firmly say that after having traveled through more than 50 countries there are still places that can impress me. Yes, Aitutaki is one of those places that leave you marked. Surely because of its beaches, movie, or that atmosphere of paradise and remoteness that is perceived once you put your feet in that fine sand.

Samade on the Beach

Aitutaki is a decent place to have a poster of paradise in your room. In fact many photographers come to the Cook, as happened with Sports Ilustrated and Air New Zeland in their popular security video that has broken schemes.

Aitutaki Lagoon

This part of the Pacific allows Cook Islands have a water so clear that it is possible to seemore than 30 meters deep. Besides, from any shore the views towards the sea show a penetrating turquoise color that breaks against a shocking barrier of coral. It is like an oasis in the middle of the sea, surrounded by a deep blue and broken by the white sand beaches. Without a doubt, this privileged place in the Cook Islands could be the trip of your dreams.

To give you a little idea when we approach the island in a small two propeller plane The first thing we saw was a spectacular green oval lined with white sand beaches, a turquoise interior lagoon and a huge coral reef which acts as a natural dike in a defiant way to an almost black sea. The contrast is striking, and the changes in color tones of that blue of the inner lagoon leave you speechless. Without a doubt, it is possibly the most spectacular coral lagoon in the Pacific and surely of the world.

Cook Islands - Aitutaki

It is clear that who reigns in Aitutaki is its lagoon. It seems a place outside the high seas, since in addition to being protected with that barrier of coral, several small islands escort you. In many points of the Aitutaki lagoon barely covers more than 40cm, so you can walk by the sea hundreds of meters as if you were a little God.

Aitutaki and the Cook Islands begin to be one of the Favorite places to go on Honeymoon. It is certainly not a destination for travelers low cost Due to its high prices, although if you ride it well you can do many things in this idyllic destination. It is a perfect place to relax, live like a marajá and enjoy the most beautiful beaches on the planet.

Aitutaki Lagoon Resort

If you come from Spain many people choose the option of New Zealand + Cook Islands, because due to the distance it is better to come several weeks combining both destinations, very well connected between them. In addition, a combination of beach + mountain is usually a real success in this type of travel. Of course for us it is the ideal combination.

Hotels with activities included

Obviously, apart from enjoying its white sand beaches, hotels normally offer their clients various free activities such as bikes to tour the island, in 30 min this view! orsnorkeling glasses and fins to dive on the reefs near the hotel. There's also kayak to be able to approach other hotels or take a walk around the lagoon. There is also the diving, although with snorkeling you can already satisfy more than enough appetite for Aitutaki seabed.

Kayak in Aitutaki

A spectacular lagoon cruise

The queen activity and which we could enjoy to the fullest was the cruise in the lagoon, The Vaka Cruise. This activity consists of spending a whole day in a catamaran from island to island through the Aitutaki lagoon. It includes food and the possibility of making stops on several islands, resting on them and even doing snorkeling in the most impressive reef of Aitutaki. An experience to do if you visit the island, even if you are only in Rarotonga. There are people going every day on the first flight and then returning in the afternoon just to do it. Imagine if it's worth it! By the way, depending on who you do it with, the price is around 60NZ $ per person.

Aitutaki Lagoon Cruise
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Let yourself be seduced by the local cuisine

Apart from relaxing and playing sports there is also the gastronomic part. Tourists usually dine at other hotels or in small local restaurants such as the Tupuna Restaurantwhere we had dinner on Tupona's Favorite, a dish where the tuna with cheese and prawns, What an experience! Another of our choices was barbecue chicken, which in addition to fish and vegetables are the favorite hosts of local culture. In terms of prices, each dish is usually around 20NZ $ and the bottle of wine at 50NZ $.

Aitutaki Village restaurant

Enjoy the most impressive beaches of Aitutaki

If the beaches you visit on the cruise are already falling back, there is one not far from the hotel Aitutaki Lagoon Resort, the call Samade on the Beach, where you can take the best picture to envy all your friends. Next to it there is an apparent narrow channel, about 20m wide, turquoise that separates the shore of a “marsh” of more than 100m of sea that will not exceed you beyond the height of your knees. Possibly one of the most shocking images of all Aitutaki and that continues to impact me today.

Cook Islands - Aitutaki
Cook Islands - Aitutaki

Next to this beach there is a restaurant, the Aitutaki Village, where can you order one of the best burgers on the island and that after so much fish feels like the best hamburger of your life. NZ $ 19 well invested after all. You can also order a very typical dish, the Ika Mata, at 16NZ $, a coconut stuffed with marinated fish and salad. I still remember saying goodbye to the owner telling him that his restaurant had the best views on the planet. At that moment the good man nodded shyly, perhaps because he is more than accustomed to living in such a privileged environment.


Before leaving

Aitutaki is not a destination where going for free is cheap, but quite the opposite. It is a privileged and quite exclusive place. It is true that they have just opened a couple of establishments for a little more than $ 90NZ a night, but it is normal to pay more than $ 300NZ a night at any of the hotels on the island. In addition, unless you come in an all-inclusive agency package, meals can be expensive, $ 30NZ per person, because you are in New Zealand or Australian tourist territory and therefore the purchasing power is much higher. If we add to this the activities should measure the budget very well. Anyway, luckily there are a couple of supermarkets and most hotels They have refrigerators and small kitchens in their rooms To get out of the way.

Supermarket in Aitutaki

As a recommendation, even if you are more tied, sometimes it is better to go with a closed package to the islands, as it may be much cheaper. This is because the exclusive destinations are not much in demand and therefore the prices are handled better by the agencies.

Aitutaki is not for everyone, but if your trip is a honeymoon and you combine it with New Zealand You will make the trip of your life.

How to move?

Aitutaki is a somewhat peculiar island. There are very few cars and tourists usually move by boat / kayak, on foot, by bicycle or on small mopeds. The truth, with the bike, besides being free, is more than enough since the island is very small.


How to get?

The only way to get there is via Rarotonga, the main island of the Cook Islands, with the companyAir Rarotonga, which operates two daily flights to the island. One in the morning and one in the afternoon. But I understand that the biggest problem is to get to Rarotonga of course, but if you access Google Maps you will see that the closest thing is New Zealand Y Australia, which in addition to the United States, via the Angels, are the only countries that fly to the island.

Where is Aitutaki?

Accommodation in Aitutaki

The hotels usually have only villa or bungalow type rooms, all of a height and some of them over the sea. They have recently opened a couple of "low cost" hotels without any luxury. Obviously these hotels do not have the category or location of a resort, but it is appreciated to see hotels a little more affordable.

Let's see a selection of hotels that we could see in our stay in Aitutaki when we toured its beaches:

Pacific Resort Aitutaki

It is possibly the most expensive hotel on the whole island. Admits families, not just honeymoon couples, and their villas are fabulous. It highlights its pool, the most spectacular of the entire island. Everything is exquisite, but only accessible to those who can pay the more than $ 800NZ that it costs to stay every night in this hotel.

Pacific Resort
Pacific Resort

Etu Moana Boutique

Run by some French the Etu Moana is a adults-only hotel (bye, bye children) and care to the utmost detail, like everything on the island. Its bungalows are the best of the island and its price enters the canons of Aitutaki., From 350NZ $ per night.

Aitutaki Lagoon Resort & Spa

As the previous one is for adults only and is specialized in honeymoons. Possibly for quality / price is our choice, since it is in a privileged enclave next to Samade on the Beach and because it has the only bungalows on the sea. Come on, movie.

Aitutaki Lagoon Resort
Aitutaki Lagoon Resort
Aitutaki Lagoon Resort

Photographs of the Cook Islands

Click here to see all photographs of Aitutaki and the Cook Islands, or if you prefer you can also see them inFlickr.

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