Described as heaven on earth, Aitutaki is a picture-perfect paradise. For a relaxing vacation, this region of the Cook Islands is an ideal getaway with white sandy beaches, turquoise ocean waters, gourmet seafood, and thrilling water activities. Most of your days can be spent relaxing and swimming among bright-colored coral and the exotic fish that decorate the ocean. Also, tours are a great way to combine adventure and culture together. While basking in the ambiance of the island, tourists can dive into the blue sea and become one with the creatures of the aquatic underworld. You will truly be mesmerized by how the traditions and beauty of the island intertwine with each other, which makes the island a breathtaking and enriching escape from the hassles of life.
First settled by the Polynesians, Aitutaki, Cook Island consists of 15 inlets ( motu) with three being volcanic. It is populated with approximately 2,200 residents and it has a magnificent lagoon that is surrounded by other small islands. The Island is also rich with Christian practices. Built in 1828, the Arutanga CICC church is the oldest church in the Cook Islands. Its picturesque view if the lagoon in the background and the exquisite design of the historical monument displays the Aitutaki customs brilliantly. Aitutaki safari adventures are both educational and exciting. Tours such as the archeological pre-Christian site provides information about the ancient traditional practices and customs of the Aitutaki people. Tourists can also take part in a race on the lagoon by participating in the Oe Vaka sport which is paddling in a canoe or enjoy a nice, leisure hike up Maungapu.
For island designs, the local shops and outlets in Aitutaki are known to produce great handcrafts and bright colored clothing. From straw hats to wooden drums and jewelry made from recycled material, shopaholics can satisfy their shopping addictions by purchasing authentic souvenirs that showcase the raw talents of the Aitutakians and the richness of the island’s culture. You can also bite into a delicious paw paw or banana at one of the local fruit markets. By night, the Aitutaki dancers show their rhythmic moves to the beat of drums while using fire to excite and entice their spectators. At nightclubs and bars tourists are invited to dance to lively music while sipping on a beer or cocktail.
The Aitutaki cuisine is a natural and cultural phenomenon. The many restaurants offer panoramic views of the ocean and sand-between-your-toes ambiance. Foods like poke (paw paw or banana pudding) and kumara (sweet potato) are exquisite yet delectable. Tourists can also sample other mouthwatering dishes like mayonnaise (potato salad) or mitiore (grated coconut marinated with crab) while drinking a tall glass of coconut juice. For the seafood lovers, many restaurants overflow with the smells of freshly picked fish, crab, and other appetizing creatures from the ocean since the island is known to have a vast selection of exotic seafood flavored to perfection.
The climate of Aitutaki, Cook Islands is hot and humid. During the summer months of December-February the temperature averages to a high of 29 ºC (84.2 ºF) and a low of 22ºC (71.6 ºF). During the winter months of June – August t he temperature averages to a high of 25 ºC (77 ºF) and a low of 19 ºC (66.2 ºF). During this time nights are quite cool so a light jacket may be needed. Especially in October-May when nights can be cooler than usual.
From the airport in Avarua of Rarotonga Air Rarotonga, is the Cook Islands’ national air service, and it provides flights to Aitutaki a few times a day. The tropical weather makes transportation in Aitutaki relatively easy. Visitors can take a relaxed stroll or rent a bicycle. Many tourists choose to drive a scooter or rent a car. However, driving is on the left side of the street and you would have to show your valid driver’s license in order to purchase a Cook Islands driver’s license from the local police station which cost NZ 2.50 (USD 2.02). Since there is no regular bus schedules, taxis/shuttles are available to take you to your desired destination.