Accommodation in Rarotonga
Rarotonga, the only mountainous island of the Cook Islands is often described as heaven on earth and once you arrive you will quickly see why. It has steep peaks and deep valleys, surrounded by pristine white beaches, turquoise lagoons and coral reef 500 meters from shore. The mountains are covered wAith lush tropical vegetation. Many tropical fruits grow wild here.
Avarua is the capital of the Cook Islands and is located on the north coast of Rarotonga. Here you will find shops, restaurants and other public facilities. Right next to Avarua – on the northwest side – the airport for domestic and international air traffic.
The great thing about Rarotonga is that there is no “bad place” to stay on this island. It is just 32 kilometres to drive around the island, and there are plenty of fantastic accommodation options dotted all around the island. So you can choose from a luxurious beachfront villa to more basic B&B style accommodation in the lush rainforrest. There is something for all budgets on the piece of paradise. The choice is up to you.
Directors Choice – Top Hotels for all Budgets
Director of Pacific Island Travel, Rob Kusters shares his top picks of Hotels, Resorts and accomodation on Rarotonga for all budgets!
Manuia Beach Hotel
“This hotel is a beautiful boutique resort property. This is on the sunset side of the island, there is a beautiful infinity pool where you can sit back and relax with a cocktail and take in the breathtaking views ”
“This is a top choice three star property. Situated on a stunning beach, each bungalow is simple but tastefully decorated Polynesian style. And you cant argue with the location!”
More information about Rarotonga
1. Snorkelling at Fruits of Rarotonga
Rarotonga is surrounded by a coral reef, which means that it is a paradise for snorkelling. With perfect visibility and warm waters what better way to spend a day. Our picks for top snorkelling spots are Fruits of Rarotonga, and outside the Rarotongan hotel.
2. Cross Island Walk with Pa
With his blonde dreadlocks and knowledge of local flora and fauna, Pa leads several interesting cross-island walks through rugged terrain. Pa is a local medicine man who has walked this track for over 30 years and shares his wealth of knowledge of this special part of the island. Definitely a day you wont forget!
3. Captain Tama’s Lagoon Cruise
Captain Tama’s is a great day out for the whole family. Join the crew of hilarious captain onboard a glass bottom cruise. As part of the trip you will be taken to top snorkelling spots as well as enjoying a delicious BBQ lunch on an uninhibited motu (small island) along with an entertaining Cook Islands cultural show.
4. Pub Crawl
A great way to mix and mingle with the locals is to join one of Rarotongas’ famous pub crawls. Great fun for the young and young at heart. You will be taken around the island on an open air bus to the local bars and clubs on the island.
5. Stand Up Paddle Boarding
Rarotonga is a perfect play ground to try Stand Up Paddleboarding, the worlds fastest growing sport. Most resorts have boards available to hire so make sure you go out there and give it a go. Muri lagoon is one of our favorite spots for this sport.
6. Punanga Nui Market
Punanga Nui Market is the place to be Saturday mornings on Rarotonga for tourists and locals alike. Here you can find local arts and crafts as well as locally grown veges and fruits and of course it is a great place to sample local cuisine. Also make sure you are there are around 10am for the island cultural show.
7. Cultural Show
No trip is complete with a visit to a cultural show. Cook Islanders are famous for their captivating drum beats and fast paces hula dance. Top choices for island nights include Te Vara Nui overwater dance show and Highland Paradise.
8. Enjoying a cocktail at sunset
You are on an island holiday after all! There are plenty of great spots to enjoy a cocktail at sunset on Rarotonga. Our top picks are Shipwreck Bar, where you enjoy your cocktails out of a jam jar with your feet in the sand and Manuia Beach Hotel where you sit poolside with stunning views over the lagoon.
9. Dining out
There is plenty of fantastic places to enjoy a nice meal out on Rarotonga. Dine with your feet in the sand at Pacific Resort Rarotonga in Muri, or enjoy a beautiful seafood platter at Tamarind House or how about a delicious pizza at Trader Jacks in Avarua.
10. Exploring the local artist studios
Rarotonga is home to fantastic local artists. There are several local studios located around the island to explore. You will also see several of these artists at the Saturday markets.
In regards to transportation there are several options. You can hire a car or scooter (very popular way to explore the island with the wind in your hair). Or you can take the bus, this is incredibly simply. Stand out on the road and look for the clockwise or anti clock wise bus and wave it down. Fantastic!
For those with a bit more energy, another great way to explore the island is by push bike or electronic bike.