Aitutaki Travel Destinations

After a single trip to Aitutaki destinations around the globe will pale in comparison. That’s because there are only a few places where the purity and intensity of the color blue paint the horizon so completely. The lagoon surrounding this seven-square-mile volcanic atoll is a snorkeler, painter, photographer or daydreamer’s idea of perfection, so serene and sublime that at times it doesn’t seem real. Here, on Aitutaki, you’ll enjoy exploring the lagoon on a Bishop’s Cruise to picnic and snorkel from One Foot Island, one of the idyllic white-sand motus (small islets) that ring it, as you learn about local legends. Those who love the challenge of bone fishing can also indulge, while divers can head outside the lagoon to breaks teeming with tropical fish and reef sharks.

But Aitutaki travel isn’t just about the sea. Imagine relaxing in a hammock strung between two towering palms, enjoying a sunset massage with fragrant coconut oil, and experiencing a vivacious celebration of traditional song and dance that will have you on your feet and shaking your hips Cook Islands style. That is the essence of Aitutaki, an island whose 2,000 residents welcome you with greetings of kia orana and hold fast to traditions they are eager to share with anyone who stumbles upon their little slice of the South Pacific. You’ll hear how they are descendants of the famous seafaring warrior Ru and how Maungapu, the only hill on this otherwise flat island, was once the Raemaru Peak on Rarotonga until victorious warriors carried it here after a battle.

Here on Aitutaki, you will also find the Cook Islands’ oldest church and its only example of the resort architecture made famous by neighboring Tahiti: the overwater bungalow. Beach bungalows, hotel suites and luxury villas are also available. But no matter where you stay, no place is too far to explore — and when you come across school girls practicing their dance you can stop to watch and know that you’ve experienced tomorrow’s Cook Islands authenticity in the making.

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