Of all of the islands that you will find that make up the Cook Islands, there are only hostels on two of them, Rarotonga and Aitutaki. Rarotonga is the largest island of the country and you will find that all of the commercial aeroplanes arriving internationally fly into this island. To get out to Aitutaki, you will need to take another flight from Rarotonga on one of the smaller planes.
This country is home to some of the friendliest people that you will ever meet. Make sure that while you are staying here and travelling around that you engage with and talk to the local people and if you can, get involved in their culture. They also have quite a lot of music and dancing that they will present around the islands so make sure that you go and take in a show.
If you don't have a motorcycle licence here, you can take a test at their driver's centre on the day and get a motorbike licence issued from the Cook Islands. If you aren't confident on a motorbike, hire a car for the day and drive around and check out the amazing scenery that is on offer around the island. As the island is surrounded by an atoll, you will find the waves break quite a distance out from the shoreline and that you will have some areas too shallow to swim in and others that are great for snorkelling. There are also some very cool stalls on the side of the road selling local foods and produce that you can stop at and experience along the way. The hostels are mostly in the main town centre on Rarotonga. You can take one of the buses around the island that go very infrequently if you don't want to hire a car and your hostel should be able to help you with this.
Aitutaki is one of the most spectacular islands in the world. The atoll from the sky as you fly in is incredible so make sure that you have your camera ready and try and get a window seat. The whole island is 8 km in length. You can take a day to walk around it and explore or you can hire a motorcycle to get around as it is much easier. They do boat trips out and around the atoll to the many smaller islands surrounding the larger island. On One Foot Island, you can go and visit one of the world's most isolated post offices and get your passport stamped with one of the famous One Foot Island stamps. You can also visit the islands where they filmed the Survivor Cook Islands TV show, have a snorkel around the area, and just marvel at the incredible blue waters here. As the island is so small, you will find much of what you need within walking distance of your hostel. Just ask them where to find it. And if you want a coconut, go get one from the beach and get a local to teach you how to husk it! Nothing tastes sweeter!
Hi, I'm Globetrotter,
the Hostelz.com local expert for Cook Islands hostels. Welcome.
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 …