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Vacation in the Cooks for 2 Weeks

by acebruin Online Now Oct 14, 2010 at 5:12 PM

Hi VTers,

We're going to be in the Cooks for 2 weeks in Nov. We're spending 11 nights in Etu Moana in Aitutaki. And 1 night in Rarotonga at Edgewater Resort.

Has anyone had experiences with them? Also what's the best way to get from the airport to Edgewater in Rarotonga? Do they have a shuttle? Our flight back to LA is late Satuday midnight. I wonder what's the best way to spend the day on Saturday. What kind of things can we do in Rarotonga that Friday and Saturday? Hoping to see a little bit of scenery and the villages.

Anything that we should know about when traveling there in November? Anything specific we should be packing?

We want to dive a little in Aitutaki, is it better if we do the lessons before we get there?

Thanks for your help guys!


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5 Answers
  • Odinnthor's Profile Photo

    Re: Vacation in the Cooks for 2 Weeks

    by Odinnthor Online Now Oct 14, 2010 at 5:40 PM

    Thanks for bringing me back to the Cooks....d:o)

    Really only familiar with the really good ones, but we can work this. I have stayed in a couple of these, and have toured some of the others. (As a five star tour director, they always wanted to show me their properties...)

    I know the Royale Takitumu Villas and the Rumours Villas, both great properties but a bit pricey. Look at the link below. All the good properties are listed, and the price ranges are on the right. The Edgewater is a nice property too. Of the three least expensive, the Makayla Palms is pretty nice, and the Sunhaven is not bad, and the Sunrise Beach I do not know. Most of the others in between the Takimutu and Makayla prices are just fine.

    The Etu Moana is terrific, no worries there. It has been a while but it looks like I am not the only one that was happy there.

    Hope this helps a bit......d:o)

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  • acebruin's Profile Photo

    Re: Vacation in the Cooks for 2 Weeks

    by acebruin Online Now Oct 14, 2010 at 6:12 PM

    Thanks Erik! We're definitely set on the accommodations. We've booked Etu Moana and Edgewater already. I cannot wait to see Aitutaki. I've read a lot of great things about Etu Moana. I'm working at bringing in some Aitutaki's Resorts into our system. Aitutaki was not even in our location database a week ago! :)

    Any activities you would recommend? Like a must thing to do in Aitutaki? Also in the 2 days in Rarotonga?


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  • petersnice's Profile Photo

    Re: Vacation in the Cooks for 2 Weeks

    by petersnice Online Now Oct 15, 2010 at 3:03 AM

    Haven't been to Cooks (yet), but I was the "neighborhood", so I guess sea related activities (snorkelling, diving, fishing etc) would be no.1.

    You need a license to go scuba diving and it would be better to get it at home, unless you're willing to spend a day or two of your holidays in some classroom. It takes some 3 or 4 days only to get PADI's basic certificate and it's worth it.

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  • Kakapo2's Profile Photo

    Re: Vacation in the Cooks for 2 Weeks

    by Kakapo2 Online Now Oct 16, 2010 at 10:33 PM

    I have not stayed at any of the hotels (was on Rarotonga while on a cruise) and have not been on Aitutaki.

    But I can tell you what I would do on Rarotonga: either travel around the island on the circle-island bus (they travel clockwise and anti-clockwise) or rent a car or scooter to get around. Scooter is great when the weather is good. That is what we did and had a great time. You can venture off to waterfalls, into the villages, visit churches (our clear favourite was the one in Aorangi, close to your resort) etc. at your own pace.

    As the Edgewater is THE resort on Rarotonga it should not be as rubbishy as some people describe it. We have seen it and it looked great. Looking at TripAdvisor most people who stayed there were delighted.

    I would contact them regarding shuttle service. As it is a leading resort there should be a shuttle service. If not, it is so close to the airport that you can afford a taxi - or take the bus.

    The best and most famous beaches are on the east and south coast though (Muri and Turoa). Still the beach at Edgewater is very nice. Well, I think after that long time on Aitutaki roasting on the beach will not be your main priority on Rarotonga anyway.

    What's also nice would be the cross-the-island hike with a guide.

    Also a bit of shopping at the Avarua market - although in some shops we thought we had never met shop assistants that uninterested in selling something as those...

    Regarding travel in November, best travel time is from May to October... (We had some showers in June.) The "dry" season ends in Oct/Nov - rain in November is just stronger - but it always stays warm, especially the water ;-) Cyclones and hurricanes start in December, so you should be fine.

    BTW You need a Cook Islands driver's licence if you want to drive in the Cooks for more than a day. If you do not want to undergo the practical test (yes, really!) you could rent several times for a day only. It is still extremely cheap, between NZ$ 20 to 25.

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  • Re: Vacation in the Cooks for 2 Weeks

    by koala2010 Online Now Oct 24, 2010 at 2:01 AM

    Hi there,
    I've just come back from 4 weeks in the Cooks. We had 2 weeks in Raro and 2 weeks at Etu Moana on Autitaki. You will absolutely love Etu Moana, it's definately the best place to stay on Aitutaki. (We were there for 6 days in 2008, and have just booked for 10 days next year). The number one thing I would advise for Aitutaki "if the weather is good - go on a lagoon cruise". (You never know how many good days you will get). In 2008 we went with Aitutaki Adventures (Puna and Tutu), and this year we went with them again, as well as with Te King. They were both great, but I think Puna and Tutu just beat Te King (mainly because of the smoother ride on the boat, and their fantastic lunch).
    I would suggest you visit the Saturday morning market at Raro. The Edgewater will arrange transfers from the Airport (might be a fee though).
    Get your scooter license in Autitaki and when you get back to Raro, ride around the island.
    Pack 30+ sunscreen and tropical strength insect repellent. Don't bring too many clothes, we got by with 1 pair thongs (flip-flops), 1 pair long pants, 1 long-sleeved (cotton) shirt, a couple of T-shirts, shorts, bathers and a beach cover-up.
    Do visit Koru Cafe on Aitutaki (it's over the other side to Etu Moana).
    Have a great trip.

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