Aitutaki is the second most visited island in the Cook Islands after Rarotonga. It’s definitely the (even more!) laid back island of the two and less commercialised, leaving you free to kick back and relax without worrying about a single thing! Although it is a smaller island than Rarotonga, there is still so much to do! The island attracts people from around the world for two main sports: bonefishing and kiteboarding, but there is definitely a bit of something for everyone, both at Pacific Resort Aitutaki and around the island.
Here’s a list of our top 10 things to do on Aitutaki.
1. Exploring the lagoon
Aitutaki is settled around a stunning lagoon that offers up plenty of opportunities to explore. Beneath the surface of the beautiful aqua blue waters, you will find an underwater spectacle of coloured corals and tropical fish. Grab yourself a snorkel and some flippers from the resort and head out to explore the tranquil waters of the lagoon – it’s an experience you won’t forget.
The incredible Aitutaki lagoon is home to some of the world’s largest bonefish, making Aitutaki a huge attraction for anglers from around the world. Bonefish have a wonderful combination of speed and power making them an incredible challenge for the avid angler. Those who have fished for bonefish will talk about the experience for the rest of their lives – the skill required is like no other fishing experience and all done in the backdrop of this beautiful island.
3. Mount Maungapu
Like Rarotonga, Aitutaki has a focal point which is the 124m high Mount Mangapu. Whilst Mount Maungapu may not quite reach of the heights of the striking Te Rua Manga (413m) on Rarotonga, it still makes for a great walk and offers amazing views back down over the lagoon and the white sandy beaches. The walk to the top should take around half an hour – make sure you pack the camera!
Along with Rarotonga, Aitutaki is considered to be one of the best kitesurfing locations in the world, offering up perfect conditions for beginners and pros alike. Aitutaki Kite School is IKO certified and offers lessons and boat transfers, as well as rentals for those who just want to get out on the water. If you have never tried kitesurfing before, Aitutaki is one of the best places in the world to do so.
5. Spa Treatment
The Tiare Spa at Pacific Resort Aitutaki is a great way to spend a couple of hours if you want to get out of the sun, and just relax and unwind. Our facials feature Te Tika products, an all-time favourite at Tiare Spa. Te Tika is a line of organic products made from ingredients exclusively from the Cook Islands and manufactured in Australia. The Te Tika range is also available for purchase at the Spa. Whatever treatment you choose to indulge in, our internationally trained team will make you feel relaxed, renewed and rejuvenated.
We’ve already touched on the amazing snorkelling on the island, but if you want to take things to the next level, Aitutaki’s warm and clear waters make for some of the best diving in the Pacific. If you’re lucky, you will get to see turtles and some pretty big fish out there. There are two dive operators on the island, both of which offer half day tours – a great way to spend a morning or afternoon.
Whilst bonefishing may be a big draw for anglers, if you are interested in heading out and catching some pretty big gamefish, Aitutaki’s waters are rich with tuna, wahoo, marlin and barracuda. There is a Game Fishing Club located on the wharf where you can get some advice on the best places to go fishing or organise a half day or full day fishing trip.
8. Vaipae and Tautu Villages
Situated on the eastern side of the island, the villages of Vaipae and Tautu feature old coral and lime churches which are definitely worth a visit. The villages are in very secluded areas of the island and there are a number of walking baths that will take you to pristine beaches, which you will often have to yourself.
9. Tapuaetai (One Foot) Motu
If you are looking for a unique souvenir from your trip to Aitutaki, head over to the Tapuaetai Motu, a great spot for a picnic and some snorkelling. Once you’re over there, you can also get your passport stamped at the world’s smallest post office – a real reminder of your time in paradise.
10. Go to church
Whilst going to church may not be high on many visitors list of things to do, we definitely recommend paying a visit to one of the churches on the island if you are staying on Aitutaki on a Sunday. The music and singling is spine-tingling and it is pretty special to see everyone on the island come together. Sunday is recognised as a day of rest on the island, so expect this to be one of the most laid back days of your trip.
So there you have it – our recommendation for the top 10 things to do on Aitutaki. We would love to hear which of the above activities you have ticked off your list and whether there is anything you would add to our list. Let us know in the comments on Facebook or Instagram.