Riya
Super November 2018

Anyone been to the Cook Islands?

Riya, on April 9, 2018 at 9:38 AM Posted in Honeymoon

FH and I are thinking of going to the Cook Islands via Costco Travel for our HM. I was wondering if anyone on here has been? Do you have any advice, or must-dos?


TIA!

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10 Comments

  • Melanie
    Devoted March 2018
    Melanie ·
    One of my colleagues went about 10 years ago on her honeymoon. She said it was the best trip she’s been on... she said it was very rustic and that was the charm!
  • Jo
    WeddingWire Administrator May 2015
    Jo ·
  • Dana
    Savvy June 2018
    Dana ·

    Hi There! I know this is an old post, but I remember looking for information on the Cook Islands here and there wasn't much so I wanted to pop in! We just returned from our 2 week honeymoon in the Cook Islands! If you are still considering it (which you should!!) I would be happy to share our experience!

  • Riya
    Super November 2018
    Riya ·
    View Quoted Comment
    Dana! I would love to hear about your experience! We actually booked it via Costco a few weeks ago so I am super excited!!
  • Dana
    Savvy June 2018
    Dana ·
    View Quoted Comment
    YAY!! It is so gorgeous and the people are the kindest I have ever met! We had some really amazing food, especially really nice seafood!!

    where are you staying? How long? I’ll give you some recommendations from there!!
  • Riya
    Super November 2018
    Riya ·
    View Quoted Comment
    Oh man I am so happy to have found someone else who’s been there! We are staying at Sea Change Villas in a beachfront villa, which I am so excited about. We are also doing a day trip to Aitutaki. The Costco travel agent also mentioned a progressive dinner that we will book soon as well! We are only there for 5 nights (leaving on a Saturday night and will arrive back in the US the next Saturday afternoon).
  • Dana
    Savvy June 2018
    Dana ·
    Oh beautiful! Are you renting a car? Cars are convenient but there is a bus that loops the one main road around the island that’s very easy to use. There are also a lot of scooter rentals if you are brave!

    Things to do/visit (besides the beach of course!):
    - does your trip to Aitutaki include a snorkel cruise? If not, and if possible, do it! I believe the Vaka cruise can be connected with your Air Rarotonga flights. It’s such a fun experience and you see some amazing fish and Coral! If not, grab one on Raro, we did the one out of the Pacific Resort, Moana Rua I believe is called.

    - Visit the market in Avarua on Saturday morning. Lots of great vendors and food. Go early for the best of everything, we got there around 8:30am

    - visiting the islands two breweries is interesting if you enjoy beer, Matutu and Rarotonga Brewing. Both small but interesting operations.

    - the cross island trek is a fairly well marked trail that cuts right through the center of the island. If you are into that type of thing, it’s very cool but it’s was extremely difficult as well so only if you like a challenge LOL

    - we also did the Rehab club’s Pub Crawl! It was definitely full of 18-20 year olds from New Zealand ( we are 28 and 33) but we had an AWESOME night out! On Monday’s it’s only 10 bucks and they pick you up and drop you off at your resort! If you like to drink and dance go for it, otherwise nights can be pretty quiet

    Food:
    - Villi’s burgers- very good little burger shack
    - Mooring Fish Cafe- great sandwiches, specialty is fish, we also had a nice chicken one! Huge!
    -Charlie’s Bar- also really good sandwiches right on the beach
    - Rickshaw- one of our favorite meals of the trip, Vietnamese/Asian food
    -Muri Night Market- check which nights it’s open, but like a little food festival where people set up booths, there is music, etc. my favorite meal was there!
    OTB- for a delicious more gourmet type night, this place was so so good!!
    Sails Restaurant- right on the beach, another nicer type spot with really nice food, mostly seafood
    Trader Jacks- lively bar scene and good food, one of the bigger menus we saw
    Kai Pizza- nice thin crust pizzas, all kinds of toppings

    That’s a good start for you! What questions do you have?! You will love it!
  • Riya
    Super November 2018
    Riya ·
    View Quoted Comment
    Oh wow! Thank you so much!!! I am so so excited now! I’ll definitely keep your suggestions in mind.
    we are likely going to rent a car, but maybe we will try taking the bus first. Also, I think we will go to the Saturday market the day we leave, so we may not get the most out of it but I want to see it! We are close to the same age (31/33) too and if I can convince my FH to do the bar crawl, I think that will be a fun night!

    I have just a few questions:
    1. How was the exchange rate for you? Did you get NZD or use credit cards?
    2. The water was safe to drink I assume? Like in restaurants
    3. Where did you stay? What time of year?
    4. How did you hear about it? No one I’ve told knows where this is lol (which is awesome)
    5. How much did you spend on average for food and drink?
    6. Anything not worth the hype? Anything to avoid?
    7. I heard Muri beach was the main beach ( we are staying at Titikaveka beach I believe). Are there any other beaches you’d recommend? Like the other side of Raro?

    Thanks again!
  • LibraBride
    Just Said Yes October 2018
    LibraBride ·

    Following because I'm going to Cook Islands too!

  • Dana
    Savvy June 2018
    Dana ·
    Yay for all the Cook Island honeymooners!!

    1. How was the exchange rate for you? Did you get NZD or use credit cards? We exchanged money in LA during our layover and also used credit cards. Some of the smaller food places take only cash and you will need it for the market and bus. Our dollar is a higher rate than NZD so you will do alright! Most restaurants/bars and proper shops will take your CC, though my Amex wasn’t as widely accepted as Visa/MC

    2. The water was safe to drink I assume? Like in restaurants. You shouldn’t drink the water from the tap unless the hotel has a filter system (one of ours had it built in so we could drink from the tap, the other had a seperate fill up station). If you ask for water at a restaurant you are buying a bottle, it wouldn’t be tap.

    3. Where did you stay? What time of year?We were there in june, their winter, but still between 75-85 each day and lovely! We spent 5 nights on Aitutaki at the Aitutaki Lagoon resort and 7 night in a beachfront Villa at TeManava in Muri beach.

    4. How did you hear about it? No one I’ve told knows where this is lol (which is awesome)
    We spotted a great deal on the Air New Zealand flight on Cyber Monday. We knew we wanted the South Pacific but hadn’t heard of the Cook Islands until the deal popped up in my inbox from travelzoo! What’s great is our loca newspaper, the Boston Globe, printed an article about it the day we arrived!! I think the word is spreading!!

    https://www.bostonglobe.com/lifestyle/travel/2018/06/13/cook-islands-the-tropical-paradise-you-need-visit-before-everyone-else-does/KsWjM3zpWcKwNIFm8rKC4I/story.html


    5. How much did you spend on average for food and drink?
    Breakfast was either included or we made in our villa in the kitchen. Lunch was around 50-60 American, dinner was 80-100 if your drinking. Everything is imported so we anticipated there would be some cost here. Does your villa have a kitchen or even a fridge? We cooked our breakfasts, made sandwiches for some lunches, and cooked one or two dinners which helped!

    6. Anything not worth the hype? Anything to avoid?
    We didn’t go to any of the cultural shows so can’t really speak to those. Some of the bars/clubs were definitely catering to a younger crowd, don’t go to the Islander, they advertise cheap drinks but it’s not a great spot LOL.

    7. I heard Muri beach was the main beach ( we are staying at Titikaveka beach I believe). Are there any other beaches you’d recommend? Like the other side of Raro?

    We stayed on muri beach and there is definitely a collection of bars, restaurants, etc right on the beach that we really enjoyed. We didn’t really stray beyond that for beaches so I couldn’t speak to the experience at the other beaches, but you can easily drive the main circle road and see plenty of spots to stop off and hit the beach!

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