Aitutaki – Cook islands

8 April 2018
Lensball - Sunset - Aitutaki

For the Easter holidays, I had a vacation in paradise! It was in the Cook Islands that I landed and I started my journey by 4 days in Aitutaki, one of the most beautiful atoll in the world! Here is a little NZ’s Polynesia.

  • Presentation

Aitutaki is a Pacific atoll composed of a main island and 15 motus (including the famous Honeymoon and One foot islands). It is a volcanic island, so there is no beach anywhere on the main island. Only in the northwestern part of the island!

To access it, only one solution, take a ticket with the local airline, Air Rarotonga. The weather on Rarotonga was not the best when I landed but it was much clearer when I arrived at Aitutaki :

  • Accomodation

I didn’t know which part of the island was going to please me the most I took two different Airbnb, West Coast and East Coast.

At Enoa‘s place (West Coast),I was rather inland but close to the main village, Arutanga. Be careful, he charges the lift from the airport ($ 20 round trip), not very much like the hospitality of the island! I had my own bungalow with fruit and milk at my disposal. The comfort was pretty basic but everything I needed (kitchen included) was there. I stayed here for two nights. I found him moderately helpful for the activities of the island and especially he speaks very badly to the man who accompanies him and I am not a fan of this behavior.

At Pira‘s place (East Coast),I had a great view of the sea from my own small terrace. Her hospitality is really perfect! She will give you tips for renting, for cruises, etc. She will even be able to contact them for you. On the other hand it is quite far from everything (very good for calm) so you will need a means of transport. The bungalow is rather modern and well decorated. And you will also have fruits and milk available (as well as mineral water)! The lift from the airport is free. I stayed here for two nights as well.

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  • Food

Depending on your accommodation you will have easy access to fruits on the ground! There are some mini markets on Aitutaki. Being a small island you will not have much choice on products and prices are rather high. I have not tried the restaurants of the resorts, just a food truck or you can have a fish & chips for $ 9 (admittedly it is frozen food). This is a global reflection that I made myself in the Cook Islands. It’s not because there are rich tourists who can afford to pay that everything is expensive on the island. I find that the balance is not against the local population that does not seem so poor (contrast with French Polynesia).

  • Transport on the island

There is no public transport on the island. If you want to move you will have to rent a bike, a scooter or a car. I personally opted for the most economical solution, the bike! But not being a big fan of cycling I rather regretted my choice ahah! Even if there are no big hills on Aitutaki it’s not perfectly flat and especially it’s very hot! Moreover, you will find that no local moves by bike. They all have scooters (be careful, no helmet here).

  • Les plages

On Aitutaki there is a beach only north west of the island (above the Pacific resort). There are no roads to access the beach, you will have to go through the private land of a resident. This is not really a problem. By cons I do not recommend going through the grounds of a resort, they will kindly tell you to go elsewhere (lived experience …). There are not many tourists (at least not in the “non resort” parts of the beach). It’s really nice to be alone in the world at the beach 😊.

On the rest of the island, you can of course swim but the edge of the lagoon is grass and not sand.

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The lagoon water is very clear, you do not even need snorkeling equipment to admire the fish!

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  • Inter-island cruise

The flagship activity is to make a cruise visiting several motus and allowing to do some snorkeling in the lagoon. I chose the cruise to the day of Teking for125$.Teking will provide you with snorkeling equipment and a towel. Pira recommended me this one because they are small boats. Indeed we were 19 left in two small boats. The weather was very changeable in Aitutaki I had not booked in advance. I simply called the day of my arrival to know which day would be good weather for the cruise. I did it the next day!

Throughout the cruise you will meet other boats with other tourists. I really wondered where the tourists were hiding the rest of the time on the island so I did not see them !! Part of it can be explained by the fact that Air Rarotonga offers a visit to the Aitutaki day so tourists don’t stay on the island. And the other in my opinion is that some tourists stay wisely in their resorts and do not cross the island (shame!).

  • First snorkeling stop

A first snorkeling stop lets you admire Giant Trevally “GT”. We advise you to remove all your jewels before entering the water so they do not imagine they see food 😊.

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  • Second snorkeling stop

A second snorkeling stop will allow you to admire giant clams.

We can see during snorkeling that the corals are unfortunately dead everywhere … They do not fail to give us some explanations and in particular to mention the French nuclear tests 😪

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A little boat ride?

  • Honeymoon Island and lunch in Maina Island

While the team prepares the BBQ you will be dropped on Honeymoon Island, my favorite motu! It was named so by the first couple to have married here. You will be deposited on a large stretch of white sand! Here no dead corals / shells on the sand. Just sand (and Hermit crabs!). You can swim in the lagoon and make great pictures!

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Then the team will pick you up to eat on Maina. The content of the BBQ depends of course on the products available at Aitutaki. I was able to eat breadfruit again, I forgot how good it was!!

  • One foot island

You will then be dropped off at One foot island for about 1 hour. You can walk on the island, snorkel, swim, etc. It is the most known motu of Aitutaki but honestly it was not my favorite motu! Must say that we end up with a lot of tourists … At the end of your stay, the team will stamp your passport with the stamp of One foot island 😊

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  • Return to Aitutaki

The return to Aitutaki can be either direct (my case) or marked by other stops discovered. It depends on the weather, the time we took before. The return is in the village of Tautu. You will have of course the lift to return to your hotel (they brought me back my bike).

  • Resume

I really loved going to Aitutaki! I understand that a limited budget prevents to go but honestly, staying in Rarotonga is a bit like staying on Tahiti for Polynesia, this is not where lies the pearl of the country 😊.

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  • Reply Ptitange Monday April 9th, 2018 at 12:50 PM

    C est magnifique effectivement!! Ça me rappelle notre séjour en Polynésie il y a 3 ans….

    • Reply Travelandrun Monday April 9th, 2018 at 11:20 PM

      Oui moi aussi! Ca m’a beaucoup fait pense a la Polynesie

  • Reply Plume Tuesday April 10th, 2018 at 04:19 AM

    OK, je comprends pourquoi c’est l’un des plus beaux atolls du monde. Tu as dû en prendre plein les yeux.

    • Reply Travelandrun Tuesday April 10th, 2018 at 04:53 AM

      Oui c’etait vraiment le paradis! Et ca fait du bien un peu de chaleur, ca commence a se rafraichir en Nouvelle Zelande…

  • Reply cupcakebastonettalonshauts Wednesday April 11th, 2018 at 02:37 PM

    C’est si beau ! Les photos et les vidéos donnent vraiment envie de prendre un billet d’avion là-maintenant-tout-de-suite ! Je rajoute définitivement à mes “lieux à visiter absolument” !

    • Reply Travelandrun Wednesday April 11th, 2018 at 02:52 PM

      Merci 😊 oui c’est magnifique ! En Nouvelle Zélande il commence à faire froid, j’y serais bien restée un peu plus !

  • Reply Rarotonga - Iles Cook 2018 - Travel and run Thursday April 12th, 2018 at 10:47 AM

    […] avoir passé 4 jours sur Aitutaki je suis retournée passer 3 jours à Rarotonga. La chance était avec moi car la pluie s’est […]

  • Reply Magda Friday April 13th, 2018 at 08:37 AM

    Tu as bien raison, ça l’air d’être bien un paradis. Quel bonheur!

    • Reply Travelandrun Friday April 13th, 2018 at 09:03 AM

      Oui et en plus il pleut à Auckland, j’y retournerai bien !!

  • Reply Chloé Vander-Poest Friday April 13th, 2018 at 08:57 AM

    Ton article est super bien écrit et détaillé ! Les photos donnent envie de voyager 😍 C’est juste magnifique ! ❤️

    • Reply Travelandrun Friday April 13th, 2018 at 09:03 AM

      Oh merci 😊

  • Reply Joyful Dreams Friday April 13th, 2018 at 09:13 AM

    Je ne connaissais pas du tout, mais t’es photos donnent vraiment envie de découvrir 🙂 Ça a l’air d’être calme et ça doit être magnifique à voir.

    • Reply Travelandrun Friday April 13th, 2018 at 09:41 AM

      Oui et sans internet c’est vraiment l’idéal pour se ressourcer !

  • Reply Célia Friday April 13th, 2018 at 09:17 AM

    Wah super ton article, ça me donne réellement envie de voyager. trop de choses à découvrir dans ce monde!

    • Reply Travelandrun Friday April 13th, 2018 at 09:41 AM

      Oh que oui! Je sais pas si j’aurais assez d’une vie 😉

  • Reply Amandine Rodriguez Friday April 13th, 2018 at 10:08 AM

    Comme d’habitude ça fait rêver, et ces couchers de soleil ! :O

    • Reply Travelandrun Friday April 13th, 2018 at 05:36 PM

      Oui c’est toujours un super moment de détente un coucher de soleil 😊

  • Reply Une Vie Plus Simple Voyage Friday April 13th, 2018 at 10:12 AM

    Avec le temps qu’il fait chez nous, ça fait du bien de voir des images comme les tiennes, ça rechauffe, merci !

    • Reply Travelandrun Friday April 13th, 2018 at 05:37 PM

      De rien il commence à faire un temps de chiotte à Auckland aussi 😣

  • Reply Céline (Iznowgood) Friday April 13th, 2018 at 10:55 AM

    Wow c’est magnifique ! Je comprends mieux pourquoi tout le monde allait aux îles Cook quand j’étais en Nouvelle Zélande ! J’inscris cet endroit dans ma bucket list, c’est vraiment splendide !

    • Reply Travelandrun Friday April 13th, 2018 at 05:37 PM

      Oui c’est la destination qui fait rêver ici 😍

  • Reply Cj-en vadrouille Friday April 13th, 2018 at 11:09 AM

    C’est vraiment une très belle destination et cet article m’a donné envie d’y aller . Je l’inscris sur ma liste . Bravo

    • Reply Travelandrun Friday April 13th, 2018 at 05:38 PM

      Merci j’espère que tu auras l’occasion d’y aller 😊

  • Reply Hélène - GOOD LIFE 101 Friday April 13th, 2018 at 11:18 AM

    Wow j’adorerais y faire un saut, les paysages que tu nous présentes sont paradisiaques ! Et merci du conseil pour le vélo, déjà que je n’aime pas beaucoup ça non plus… hehe

    • Reply Travelandrun Friday April 13th, 2018 at 05:39 PM

      Oui je me suis souvent maudite pour cette idée que j’ai eu 😂

  • Reply sandraapariciocarnets Friday April 13th, 2018 at 04:07 PM

    Sublime, je pense sincèrement que c’est un des plus beaux atolss qui existe. Tu es une veritable globe trotter !!

    • Reply Travelandrun Friday April 13th, 2018 at 05:41 PM

      Oh merci 😽

  • Reply jolieslueurs Saturday April 14th, 2018 at 01:30 PM

    Wow, c’est vraiment le genre d’île paradisiaque qui peuplent l’imagination des rêveurs !
    Ces séances de snorkelling sont juste magiques !!

  • Reply Kori'n (corinne Marin) Saturday April 14th, 2018 at 02:50 PM

    Magnifique, voilà pourquoi il faut toujours se donner les moyens de voyager… se sentir dans un endroit exceptionnel ça vaut tous les sacrifices, les tracas et les galères vécus le reste de l’année.

    • Reply Travelandrun Saturday April 14th, 2018 at 02:57 PM

      Je suis bien d’accord !! Et d’ailleurs une fois payée on ne pense plus aux dépenses liées à ce voyage, on profite juste 💜

  • Reply Sandra Sunday April 15th, 2018 at 07:21 AM

    Que de jolies photos… Comme je ne voyage plus aussi loin pour l’instant, j’en profite pour voyager et découvrir des choses à travers les articles des autres… Et celui-là… woooaaah

    • Reply Travelandrun Sunday April 15th, 2018 at 09:39 AM

      Je comprends c’est pas toujours facile de partir aussi loin. J’en profite justement de vivre en NZ pendant quelques mois pour faire les îles voisines 😊

  • Reply La Maudite Française Tuesday April 17th, 2018 at 02:27 AM

    Oh mon dieu ça fait rêver!! Je ne connaissais pas. Surtout en ce moment pendant qu’on se prend un vague de verglas à Montréal! hehe 😉

    • Reply Travelandrun Tuesday April 17th, 2018 at 03:15 AM

      J’en suis pas a ces temperatures extremes mais on sent bien qu’on est en automne en Nouvelle Zelande, j’y retournerais bien 😉

  • Reply Les îles Cook - Résumé, astuces et budget - Travel and run Wednesday May 30th, 2018 at 02:20 AM

    […] Aitutaki – […]

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