Mark Grantham from Galapagos Islands - Thursday, 21st of April 2016
Dear Katja, We loved Aitutaki! The island is so wonderful and beautiful. We explored pretty much the entire island, as well as the Vaka Cruise. Everyone we met was so nice, from that first greeting at the airport and for the entire visit. The Paradise Cove has a great location. Unfortunately they no longer have kayaks or paddle boards, and their restaurant had a very limited menu our first night on the island (they were just out of a lot of things on Saturday). Everyone there however was super friendly. On Sunday we rented push-bikes to explore - it was amazing riding with basically no cars on the roads. Sometimes if felt like the only sounds on the island were the beautiful songs coming from the churches. We also climbed to the summit of the island where the panoramic views of the lagoon were amazing. Many businesses were closed but we ate lunch at the Pacific Resort. For diner on Sunday we walked to the Tamanu Hotel for their BBQ. We had loved the Pacific Resort when we ate there so we asked if they had any rooms available (they offered us a huge discount). On Monday, after the Vaka Cruise, we switched hotels. There was nothing wrong with the Paradise Cove, but we did want to be able to kayak, and the bikes were included at the Pacific, and the food was so good. We just decided to treat ourselves a bit. Your suggestion for the Black Pearl on Rarotonga was great - it was the perfect part of the islands. We stayed there two nights, and again the staff was super friendly. They offered lots of suggestions for activities and some great restaurant ideas. Your suggestion to just walk across the street to the Islander for lunch on our last day worked out perfect too. Rarotonga was great but our favorite was Aitutaki. All in all we loved the Cook Islands and are telling our friends! Thank you again for your help - everything worked out great! Best regards, Mark
Jane from Australia - Tuesday, 08th of September 2015
I booked the 3 night Aitutaki package with aitutaki.net . It was easy to book, the service prompt (no island time ;-) ) and for Aitutaki great value for money. We flew in with a lap above the lagoon and saw some of the blue that attracted us. We then did the Vaka Cruise on the first day which was awesome - by far the highlight of our trip. Here we experienced the Aitutaki of the brochures. That night we used our Boatshed voucher (a 5-10min stroll from our accom). We were impressed enough to return our last night. Inano was dated and the property a little untidy but the rooms clean and had no issues. However what disappointed us was the depopulation of Aitutaki meant even Sat lunch we scootered around the island to return to Koru Cafe which apart from a few resorts and the Boatshed was the only thing open (fortunately it was yummy). The water clarity was poor at Inano and channel at Ootu Beach and snorkelling poor including near marine reserve. My recommendation would be do the day trip with the Vaka cruise and spend more time on Rarotonga.
Wayne Johanson from Australia - Monday, 16th of March 2015
My Love of the Cook Islands
I am an Australian married to a beautiful Cook Island lady. I have been so blessed to have travelled to the Cook Islands four times in the last four years, every time I go it is harder to leave because of the beautiful people that are locals and ‘my relatives’.
This time I took my whole family of ten, including my wife’s brother and sister, my children and their grand children. We had relatives in Aitutaki and stayed in very humble accommodation compared to where my wife and I had stayed on previous trips – at beach resorts. My sons and daughters have never left Australia and were ‘shell shocked’ when they arrived in Rarotonga and then to travel to Aitutaki it was too much for them initially. One son cried....he is 25 years old and wanted to go home after one day/night. However after two days of meeting his relatives, nearly all of Aitutaki, he loved it, mowed the lawns for ‘auntie’, feed the pigs, went fishing and became a local. He loved the people and said it was the best two week of his life. The people made it, he met so many people who knew we were in Aitutaki (my wife was born there) and he loved the thought that he had so many relatives.
Upon returning to Rarotonga we stayed with a close friend of my wife who has a nice home in Muir Beach and we basically lived at the Sailing Club and talking to all the workers from Tama’s Cruises, my younger son of 15 years even ended up playing touch football with some of the local guys and he was so welcomed. I even noticed myself in a photo dancing in a brochure regarding Aitutaki – the map and supporting advertisers......my family thought that so funny. My wife and family would love to come back on a more regular basis and we are currently going through the courts re family land at Aitutaki and I understand it is a complex and often drawn out situation, however we have relatives that are supportive and one day we hope to build and come back to stay and have our children be blessed by the opportunity of understanding that Aitutaki is where they came from and one day by becoming a regular visitor and/or even a local, especially one of my sons. While the Cook Islands has ‘depopulation’ more should be done to encouraged Tourism and understand that is the main economy of the Cook Islands. Tourism and hospitality brings other industries and those that supply goods and services to that industry. I am on the Gold Coast in Queensland and nearly 50% of our working population are either working directly in the hospitality industry and/or those supplying goods and services to that industry. I am so blessed I married my beautiful Cook Island lady. All of you should be blessed that you live in such paradise, the outside world while being capitalistic and wealthy in some areas, they don’t have the wealth of happiness, friendliness and family values as you do. Thank you for being there.
Dear Katja, We loved Aitutaki! The island is so wonderful and beautiful. We explored pretty much the entire island, as well as the Vak...