Five amazing and beautiful islands are scattered around Rarotonga and all are within a 50 minute flight on Air Rarotonga.
THE MAKATEA ISLANDS
The most visited of these islands is Aitutaki, due to its enticing lagoon, however visitors to the Cook Islands will find extra pleasure and adventure, plus a warm Polynesian welcome, in the islands of Atiu, Mitiaro, Mauke and Mangaia.
These four are the ‘makatea’ islands… Imagine an island with a volcanic centre and surrounding reef being uplifted from the sea over the ages due to the earth’s movement. The uplifted reef becomes overgrown with vegetation in time whilst mother-nature creates another surrounding reef. The old uplifted reef is known as ‘makatea’. It is riddled with fascinating caves and grottos, is tricky to walk on (take sturdy shoes), but harbours an amazing perspective of nature, on each of these four islands.
Enthralling caves, some with fresh-water pools, lush rain-forest vegetation and secluded sandy coves indented around the coastline, add to each island’s allure. Not forgetting the genuine warmth of the people and wonderful tales of their history and culture.
Be sure to read our stories and ‘Discover our Islands’ pages
AITUTAKI DAY TOUR
Aitutaki lagoon is often referred to as ‘Heaven on Earth’ and there are few who would argue with that description. If you don’t have time to stay on Aitutaki to enjoy the leisurely way of life and countless beaches on small motus (islets), opt for Air Rarotonga’s Day Tour. Everything is provided including transfers to and from your hotel in Rarotonga, a tour of the main island of Aitutaki, a day cruise on the lagoon with snorkelling gear plus towels provided, a bbq lunch aboard and a visit to a fabulous beach at One Foot Island, where you can have your passport stamped at possibly the smallest Post Office in the world. Round-trip airfares are included in the price from $493 per person. The photo above shows day-trippers arriving at One Foot Island.
TWO ISLANDS DISCOVERY
Why not take in two islands over a period of five days, on what Air Rarotonga describe as their Two Island Discovery tour. If you’re looking for the perfect Cook Islands experience, then this trip is for you. You’ll spend two nights on Aitutaki and then continue on to Atiu for a further two nights stay. These islands are vastly different from Rarotonga and geologically different from each other.
You’ll endorse the accolades that Aitutaki earns as one of the most beautiful places on earth as you take up the opportunity to spend a day on its pristine lagoon. Atiu, also known as “The Island of Birds” will fascinate you with its rain-forested interior, walks to caves and visits to secluded sandy beaches.
The cost of a Two Island Discovery includes two nights’ accommodation at Tamanu Beach Resort, Aitutaki, two nights at Atiu Villas and all transfers. Available from April to October, flights depart Rarotonga Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays and all go via Aitutaki first.
Be sure to read our story!
Manihiki is the only Northern Group island regularly serviced by Air Rarotonga. It is the epitome of a remote South Pacific atoll. Known for its black pearl farms within a stunningly beautiful lagoon, a trip to Manihiki is the ultimate tourist adventure. You’ll be warmly welcomed by a small populace and looked after like family in comfortable, small lagoon-side cottages.
Be sure to read our story and ‘Discover our Islands’ pages!