Aitutaki Island in the Cook Islands is a relatively undiscovered place in terms of tourism where you will not find chain hotels, shops, and restaurants. Also, good luck with the internet as it is slow at best when it actually works but that is not why you come to a place like this. You come here for the water and I cannot say enough about the beauty of it surrounding the Cook Islands. Go here!
Here is my top 10 for Aitutaki in the Cook Islands
1.Take a boat tour! Take two or three!
I recommend going on a private tour with the Black Pearl Charters. The water, the sand bars, the snorkeling, the fish, all were so amazing. During this trip I stopped at Honeymoon Island where the white sand and beautiful azul, turquoise, and ever so blue waters where just outstanding – breathtaking! While snorkeling I saw amazing reefs and fish with great visibility. During a couple of stops, I saw enormous clams with a couple closing in on one meter in width (3 ft.) with all sorts of interesting colors. I have never seen anything like this. This trip was outstanding!
2. Like I said, take another boat trip – visit One Foot Island.
The second trip I took was a group trip with Bishops Cruises. During this trip, I visited One Foot Island. Here you can get a really cool stamp on your passport. I snorkeled and again saw gigantic clams. You can see them opening and closing – keep your hands and feet out! At one of the smaller islands to see white terns nesting in a beautiful tree in the middle of the island. I visited Heaven Sand Bar and the name could not be more fitting as this place is incredibly beautiful. It was from here that I walked across a sand bar to One Foot Island. This was definitely my kind of day with beautiful white sand beaches, awesome clouds, and stunning waters. The clouds made it that much more dramatic.
3. Enjoy the beautiful sunsets day after day.
As anyone who knows me will tell you, I love sunsets! The skies, clouds, and beautiful waters make for spectacular sunsets nearly every day during my stay.
4. Visit the Pacific Resort. I enjoyed a great dinner here, a traditional dance and drum show, and a couple of stunning sunsets. This hotel is well maintained and the food is great.
5. Go for a bike ride and explore a bit
I rode a bike from Aitutaki Lagoon Private Island resort to town one day. On this trip, it poured rain and there really isn’t much to see or do in town. However, on the next trip, I rode to the Pacific Resort. During my ride, I saw tons of chickens running around everywhere, lush vegetation and green everywhere, and it was interesting seeing how the locals lived. The ride was beautiful and I was rewarded with an amazing sunset. After sunset, I rode back in the dark. There are few lights here and also little to no traffic so it is relatively safe. I had a blast dodging the crabs and seeing stars from horizon to horizon with the Milky Way Galaxy clearly visible. I will never ever forget this bike ride. What an amazing experience!
6. Check out the Aitutaki Lagoon Private Island Resort
I had to readjust my expectations for this resort as it is not your typical hotel chain. The food is so-so, the internet is terrible and expensive but that is an opportunity to disconnect, and the place is a little back in time and quirky. In order to reach the resort, you have to take a small barge like boat and cross a channel. This is where I first saw how beautiful the water is here.
I arrived and was treated to a hermit crab race. They paint numbers on the back of the crabs, draw a circle in the sand and put them in the center, place your bets and they are off to the races. The suspense was palpable and unfortunately my crab did not win but I had fun none the less. The big plus here is the island is situated on one of the most beautiful lagoons in the world. Beautiful waters and sunsets can be found here but do not expect beautiful beaches – you have to take a boat to reach those.
7. Paddle board and kayak
From my resort, I kayaked and paddle boarded around the island, to the edge of the atoll, and to the island across the lagoon. The waters are crystal clear and beautiful. I saw large rays, fish, reefs, and enjoyed exploring. Tip – be sure to have mosquito repellent when exploring islands and especially when there is no wind.
8. Enjoy a traditional dance and drum show
The locals put on a traditional dance and drum show that is very entertaining. Here you can get a taste of local culture and even join in on the fun.
9. Enjoy the flight in and out of Aitutaki – get a window seat!
This is a small island but you see many other islands on the way in and out. I saw beautiful waters, clouds, sand bars, and a sunset during. My flights to and from Aitutaki were beautiful.
10. Check out the Koru Café
I had a nice lunch across from Aitutaki Lagoon Private Island Resort. This is also where I found my private tour on Black Pearl Charters. The food is good and the people here are super friendly. Tip – be sure to have cash, New Zealand dollars accepted here but credit cards are not widely accepted.