About Rarotonga, Cook Islands

Surrounded by a clear, turquoise blue lagoon, Rarotonga is 32 kilometres in circumference.

The lagoon often extends more than a hundred metres to the reef and then slopes steeply to deep water.

The reef fronts the shore to the north of the island, making the lagoon there unsuitable for swimming and watersports, but to the southeast, particularly around Muri, the lagoon is at its widest and deepest. This part of the island is the most popular with tourists for swimming, snorkelling and boating. Agricultural terraces, flats, and swamps surround the central mountain area.

Rarotonga is the main island of the Cook Islands and caters to almost 90 percent of the country’s tourist accommodation and offers many activities. The population is approximately 13,000, mostly indigenous Cook Islands Maori and almost half living around Avarua on the north coast. The Maori ancestors landed on the Cook Islands in their magnificent, giant double-hulled canoes that are still proudly part of the traditional way of life. They were guided by their knowledge of the stars and the famous power of Polynesian navigation.

Rarotonga is a small volcanic island with a landmass of only 26 square miles. It is dotted with pretty villages, a friendly atmosphere, lovely mountain views and hiking trails. It has a reputation for excellent snorkelling off the beaches that line most of the coast. Rarotonga enjoys a climate that is warm and sunny all year round. There is more rain and higher humidity between the summer months of December to March. The high season for tourism is during Christmas when New Zealanders and Australians visit during their summer school holidays.

Tradition and a cultural heritage are trademarks of the island. Music is an integral part of the culture and part of the islander’s daily routine.

Stunning chants and hymns emanate from the churches and local string bands use a combination of electronic and traditional ukuleles made from coconut shells to entertain. Visitors will often be invited to join with the hip-swaying dancers when the music begins. Fishing, paddling, sailing, stand up paddle boarding, snorkelling and swimming are just some of the activities that abound in this tropical paradise. If you feel like more adventure, take a trip into the hinterland and experience the unique flora and fauna of the lush rainforests. Take time to listen to the legends of ancient wars and love affairs that stretch far back into an almost forgotten time.

Getting around Rarotonga is easy. With no traffic lights to be seen, relax and meander on a bus around the island. Buses uniquely travel both clockwise and anticlockwise on the road that circles the island and obliging drivers will pick-up and drop-off at will. Scooters are also a popular mode of transport.

While nurturing its culture and tradition with sensitivity and pride, Rarotonga is also very much part of the present and offers everything today’s visitors expect. Experience Rarotonga and you will not be disappointed.

Where to Stay

sunsetresort_2
Sunset Resort
Nestled idyllically on the shores of a sheltered lagoon, a secluded beachfront location provides guests with an unspoiled view of Rarotonga’s crystal clear aqua blue lagoon and breathtaking sunsets. Sunset Reso... View More »
cook islands rarotonga muri beach club hotel wedding
Muri Beach Club Hotel
With an enviable location on a beautiful stretch of beach on Muri Lagoon, Muri Beach Club Hotel is a luxurious adults-only getaway. The resort offers guests amazing views over the lagoon and the small off-shore ... View More »
cook islands rarotonga palm grove patio
Sokala Villas
Palm Grove is located in Vaima on Rarotonga’s enchanting south coast. The property has 22 individual bungalows scattered over five acres of landscaped beachfront and lush tropical gardens. Bungalows are availab... View More »
Pacific Resort Rarotonga
Pacific Resort Hotel Group
The world’s best kept secret, the Cook Islands are the gem of the South Pacific, where the deep blue of the Pacific Ocean meets white sand beaches and lush tropical mountain peaks. Calling this tropical paradis... View More »
moana sands lagoon resort
Moana Sands Lagoon Resort
Discover your own slice of paradise, where glorious mountain peaks and pristine white sand beaches await. Located on the world-famous Muri lagoon, Moana Sands Lagoon Resort welcomes guests aged 18 years and over,... View More »
cook islands rarotonga sanctuary rarotonga swimming pool
Sanctuary Rarotonga – On The Beach
Where the ocean meets the sky, here you have found Sanctuary. Immerse yourself in paradise at Rarotonga’s absolute beachfront, adults-only, 4.5-star resort. Step from your Beachfront Suite onto the secluded whi... View More »
moanasands_1
Moana Sands Beachfront Hotel
Moana Sands Beachfront Hotel is located on Rarotonga’s stunning southern coast, directly overlooking the idyllic Titikaveka Beach. Here, the 10-kilometre stretch of soft white sand offers the ultimate in relaxa... View More »
cook islands rarotonga lagoon breeze villas swimming pool
Lagoon Breeze Villas
Discover a tropical sanctuary on the south-west coast of Rarotonga, across from the white sands and pristine water of the Aroa Lagoon and Marine Reserve. Here, the beautiful white sandy beach, turquoise lagoon, w... View More »
CROWN BEACH RESORT & SPA
Crown Beach Resort
Set amidst five acres of lush tropical gardens punctuated by streams and waterfalls, Crown Beach Resort & Spa promises luxury and romance for those seeking a private, heavenly escape. Built in harmony with na... View More »
cook islands rarotonga palm grove patio
Palm Grove
Palm Grove is located in Vaima on Rarotonga’s enchanting south coast. The property has 22 individual bungalows scattered over five acres of landscaped beachfront and lush tropical gardens. Bungalows are availab... View More »
rarotongan_2
The Rarotongan Beach Resort & Lagoonarium
Experience the incomparable spirit of the South Pacific at the most Rarotongan of Rarotonga’s resorts. Immerse yourself in paradise at this renowned four-star, full-service resort set along the island’s best ... View More »
moanasands_1
Moana Sands Villas
Discover the most unspoiled tropical setting at Moana Sands Villas. Moana Sands Villas are just a short and scenic drive away in the village of Vaimaanga. Overlooking a stretch of gorgeous soft white sand and lag... View More »
Aro’a Beachside Inn
Aro’a Beachside Inn
In an idyllic beachfront location, Aro’a Beachside Inn is situated on the western sunset shore of the island. This relaxed, adults-only beachfront property consists of 12 tastefully appointed units nestled on t... View More »

Sponsors

Booking Resources

Paradises

Submit your details to receive deals/quotes from our partners.

Your Name

Your Email

Start date

End date

Number of people