THE ADVENTURE CONTINUES: AITUTAKI
You’ve left no ancient stone unturned in Rarotonga. Now in Aitutaki, it’s time to lay back on the china-white sands and experience the other side to a Cook Islands escape – utter tranquillity. Take time to wind down to the pace of the land and sea itself, before discovering beguiling beaches.
Shaped like a fishhook, the main island curves around a cosmic-blue lagoon bordered by tiny, pristine islets. The water itself is brimming with wildlife, and you won’t have to delve far beneath the surface to find it. A stone’s skim from the shores of near-empty islet Maina, you’ll find some of the most spectacular fish in the lagoon. Look out for the giant trevally weaving through the coral reefs alongside vibrant yellow-and-black rainbow fish.
Tapuaeta’I, or ‘One Foot Island’ is perhaps the most famous islet in the Aitutaki atoll – vast, tropical beaches drawing sun-worshippers to its shore. Spend a day slipping from sand to sea, or snorkel in turquoise waters. You might spot giant wrasse, trevally and even prehistoric-looking giant clams.
The largely shallow waters surrounding this island make it easy to watch marine life go by. But if you’d like to swim, head to O’otu Beach at the end of the main island’s hook. This palm-dotted stretch offers glittering views out towards the rest of the island, and its deep waters are perfect for swimming and paddle boarding.