Advantages Beautiful weather, beaches, food, people, culture etc
Disadvantages You can only stay for 6 months a year unless you're a resident
Rarotonga in the Cook Islands is simply heaven on earth. Whether you are a backpacker a honeymoon couple or a family all are catered for on this fantastic island. The people are simply the most friendly I have ever met and after travelling the world I have met quite a few. I stayed in Tiare Village, Rarotonga which offers budget dorm style accomodation through to deluxe pool side apartments at excellent prices. The owner and manager go out of their way to ensure that it is your home from home. There is no shortage of accomodation from renting a beachside house to the luxury Edgewater Resort.
The atmosphere of the whole island is so laid back that it runs on 'Island Time', and is the perfect location to do as little or as much as you like. I enjoyed snorkling in the 100m visability coral reef lagoon as well as sun bathing on the beautiful beaches. I also enjoyed playing beach volleyball with the friendly locals who are always looking for people to play as well as just meet. Arriving in July it was the dry season although it did rain quite often but only for short periods usually at night.
I decided to go to Rarotonga as I was given the option on a stopover on the way back to the UK from a 4 month holiday in Australia and New Zealand and I regret that I did not stay longer in the Cook Islands.
No trip to the Cook Islands , unless you want an excuse to return, is complete without a trip to Aikitaki, a smaller island an hour by plane from Rarotonga with even more spectacular beaches, views and peacefullness with all accomodation needs again catered for.
At the moment the only way to get to Rarotonga is with Air New Zealand from either Auckland, New Zealand; Fiji; or Los Angeles which means that those travellers from else where do have a bit of a journey but it is well worth it and is often included free as a stopover if you ask while booking a flight to Australia or New Zealand.
In my opinion if you want ot experience heaven before you die then the
Cook islands are for you.
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