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Cook Islands Adventure


Savour every moment of this six-day adventure that takes you across the Cook Islands. Start with the markets, orchards, waterfalls and views of Rarotonga then hop over to the white sand beaches and lush green bush of Atiu. Along the way, you’ll have plenty of time to laze beachside, admire a slow sunset, meet locals during cultural and wildlife tours and visit a hidden tumunu bush bar. This is a holiday that’ll leave you rested, relaxed and refreshed (while still showcasing the very best of island life).

6 days, from

$2,205

per person

GROUP SIZE

11 people max

ACTIVITY LEVEL

3
Trip code: TESC
Style: Original
Theme: Explorer

Details

Countries Visited:  Cook Islands
Accommodation: Beachfront hotel (3 nights), Garden villa (2 nights)
Transportation: Private vehicle , Plane
Included Meals:

  • 5 breakfasts
  • 1 lunches

Group size: Minimum 1, Max 11
Minimum Age: 15

  • Learn about the traditional practices of Atiu and the island’s people, sample a meal prepared in an umu (underground oven), and hear about the cultural significance of Tapa cloth.

  • Sample a sip of tumunu – a beer brewed in the hollowed-out coconut tree trunk – while getting to know the locals at a hidden bush bar that shares its name with the unique beverage.

  • Whether you’re spiritual or not, the soaring songs and welcoming locals of a Sunday morning church service on the Cook Islands will leave you inspired and appreciative of your idyllic surroundings.

  • 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.

  • By travelling on this trip, you’ll directly support our Intrepid Foundation partner, Eden Reforestation Projects. Donations help them provide local employment opportunities and tackle climate change one tree at a time as they restore forests across 10 different countries.

Itinerary

Show Full Itinerary

Day 1: Rarotonga

Kia Orana – welcome to the Cook Islands! Rarotonga might be the beating heart of the Cook Islands, but it moves at a very tropical pace. You're on island time now, so sit back and relax! All that’s planned for you today is a welcome meeting at 6 pm to meet your group leader and fellow travellers, followed by an optional dinner to enjoy the first night together. Until then, spend your afternoon chilling out on the beach or swimming in the lagoon. There are kayaks and snorkels available from your accommodation if needed.  An excellent place for an introduction to Cook Islands culture and art is the Museum of Cultural Enterprise. If you're keen to head out and explore, jump on the public bus that runs along the main road, taking around 50 minutes to circle all of Rarotonga with a stop right outside the hotel.

Day 2: Rarotonga

Set the tropical tone straight away with a visit to the local market. The Punanga Nui Market runs every Saturday with free entertainment, fresh food, produce stalls, organic coffee and handicrafts. Browse the local offerings, then head back to your accommodation for some free time. In the afternoon, join your leader and local friends for a tour around Vaimaanga village. Gain further insight into local life and traditions with an exploration of the village’s trails, views, plantations and orchards, where you can meet villagers and maybe even take a dip in a waterfall. After the tour, you’ll return to your accommodation for an evening at leisure.

Day 3: Rarotonga

Start your day with a service at one of the Cook Islands’ Christian Churches dotted around the island. These white, coral and limestone churches are filled with soaring songs of worship and parishioners ready to welcome you with open arms. It’ll be an incredible experience, no matter your beliefs. The afternoon is as clear as the islands’ blue skies. You might like to visit the Maire Nui Garden, which has over seven acres of tropical plants, flowers and trees. On the way home, you can also pop into a local cafe for a Cook Islands famous fish sandwich. In the evening, maybe head to the Muri Night Market to share a meal with your fellow travellers.

Day 4: Rarotonga - Atiu

After breakfast, say farewell to Rarotonga as you transfer to the airport for a short flight to Atiu. Check into your accommodation, enjoy some downtime and then spend the afternoon taking a cultural tour of the island. Your guide will share some of the traditional practices of the island and its people, including preparing (and tasting!) food made using an umu (an underground oven). You’ll also learn about weaving techniques and the importance of Tapa cloth to the local culture, which is used for ceremonies and special occasions. After the tour, the evening is free to relax in the grounds. 

Day 5: Atiu

Where yesterday was spent understanding Atiu’s rich cultural heritage, today is about appreciating the island’s natural beauty and unique wildlife. This morning, you’ll be picked up for an interactive tour that provides knowledge of Atiu’s flora, birds and topography. Get immersed in lush forests along hidden trails – keeping an eye out for the endangered Kakerori (Rarotongan Flycatcher) – then finish with lunch on a secluded white sand beach. Enjoy a free afternoon, perhaps enjoying the swimming pool or hiring a bike. Visit a tumunu this evening. These local bars hidden in the Atiu forest serve up freshly brewed bush beer made in a coconut tree trunk (which is also called a tumunu). A typical tumunu session starts with a few rounds from a small coconut shell before a prayer and a lecture are given. It’ll be quite the way to share stories with locals, hear the songs of Atiu and form some strong bonds.

Day 6: Atiu - Rarotonga

Spend a free morning savouring your final moments at Atiu before taking a flight back to Rarotonga. Your trip ends at the airport, but transfers and additional nights at the Rarotonga accommodation are available. There's plenty more to do in Rarotonga to fill extra time, including sea scooter safaris, night paddle boarding and reef walks. Just book any optional activities directly through the local operators well in advance to avoid disappointment.