The lagoon is so polluted, no one fishes there and if you eat fish from the lagoon you will be very sick. The rubbish tip is dumping leachate into ten streams and before too long the whole place will be too polluted to live there. It's a crying shame. What you see is not what you get. The tourism is fine, but the recycling is a joke and the pollution at every level is scary.
I absolutely loved it! It's the most lovely place and very romantic too. It's also very relaxing -- the perfect holiday!
Heaven on earth! There are great people!
Idyllic dream world, beaches, lagoons, reefs, seafood galore, friendliness -- what could be more fantastic? What a lie. Dead coral litters the beach, causes what locals call coral rash (and if not cleansed properly, it needs antibiotics). We should have gotten the hint when we didn't see locals fishing, diving, or swimming.
I lived there for eighteen months and love the place. The lagoons in Muri and Titikaveka are a little polluted but are still by far the most beautiful place on the island. I would recommend staying there above anywhere else. The snorkeling and swimming around that area is fine. There are particular species of fish you can't eat, just check with the locals first. I love Rarotonga -- I am very well traveled and would have to say it is my favourite place on Earth.
Vistors should avoid the beaches around Muri and Titikaveka as they are badly polluted.
The most idylic tropical islands I have visited so far. Minimal commercial tourism especially if you can get off the main island to some of the smaller islands like Atiu and Mauke. Great for snorkling, diving, kayaking, or just relaxing on powder white sand beaches. Friendly islanders are always ready to share a laugh and greet you with a smile. Hostel and budget rooms are very affordable, but the price of food is rather high since most of it is shipped in from New Zealand and further abroad.
Rarotonga is the largest in both land mass and population of the fifteen islands that make up the Cook Islands. It is surrounded by an amazing coral atoll that is great for snorkeling and exploring. The local people are known as the Maori and they speak a combination of English and Cook Island Maori. They have a rich culture of music and dance that can be experienced at different venues around the island.
The Cook Islands is the only country in the world that has used a $3 note in its currency and you might be able to get your hands on one of these and some of the other oddly shaped Cook Islands coins at the local bank on the main street. Otherwise, New Zealand dollars are the accepted currency.
The island has a thirty-two-kilometer perimeter -- you can easily drive around it. If you can ride a motorcycle, you can take a current driver's license from your own country, and upon passing a simple test of riding around a few traffic cones, you can acquire your own Cook Islands motorbike license -- this is a great option for getting around the island. You can also get your own Cook Islands car license, which allows you to hire cars there if motorcycles aren't your thing. Buses also run in both directions around the island at regular intervals for those without licenses.
Rarotonga hostels are mostly located in the main township of Avarua, also home to most of the food shopping, restaurants, and markets. Other hostel options are located at other places around the island, but they will be more remote and will make amenities more difficult to access unless you have a car or are happy to wait for the bus.
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