The Best Backpacker Accommodations in Rarotonga, Aitutaki and the Cook Islands
The Cook Islands might have a reputation for lavish and expensive resort holidays but backpacking is absolutely possible, especially if you stay at one of the awesome albeit limited backpacker hostels in Rarotonga and Aitutaki. While there are a couple of official hostels in the Cook Islands, much of the Cooks’ other “backpacker” accommodations come in the form of guesthouses and homestays. We’ll give you some examples in the handy list below!
Oh, and by the way, don’t leave without opening up The Complete Backpacking Guide to the Cook Islands on a Budget. You’ll thank us later.
1. Rarotonga Backpackers
Rarotonga Backpackers might be one of only a couple of hostels on Rarotonga, but it’s actually pretty darn decent! Not only does their main beachfront complex in Arorangi have dorm rooms but they also have affordable self-contained units on the sand! Backpackers have a choice of single, double, triple and dorm rooms, where the communal kitchen and dining area is a friendly and functional place to meet fellow travellers. In short, you can get that on-the-beach holiday experience for a fraction of the price! See more stays like this in the 10 Best Budget Accommodations on Rarotonga.
2. Backpackers International Hostel
The cheapest accommodation in the Cook Islands, Backpackers International Hostel offers dorm beds for as little as NZ$18 per night! But is it worth staying at this hostel on Rarotonga? The budget accommodation with a large and small dorm and single and twin/double rooms is set among tropical gardens just a short walk from Aroa Beach, a grocery store and a cafe. Enjoy a sociable atmosphere in the communal lounge and kitchen and benefit from affordable laundry facilities and airport transfers.
Check Backpackers International Hostel out:
3. Aitutaki Budget Accommodation
One of the limited backpacker hostels in Aitutaki, Aitutaki Budget Accommodation is ideal for the solo traveller or couple looking to save some cents and/or get a more local experience (and a private room)! While it doesn’t win any style points, the affordable accommodation is welcoming, spacious and super functional. The location is also conveniently near small stores and on the main road heading toward town. Discover alternative cheap stays nearby in the 10 Best Budget Accommodations in Aitutaki.
Check Aitutaki Budget Accommodation out:
4. Aremango Guesthouse & Cottage
An alternative stay for backpackers is a guesthouse, of which Aremango Guesthouse & Cottage is a valid choice in Muri, Rarotonga. Stay in the homely guesthouse with simple yet well-kept private rooms and a shared kitchen, bathroom, lounge and a spacious backyard with loungers and hammocks to soak up the sun. There’s also a cottage and holiday home should you want your own space. Discover more cheap guesthouses like Aremango in the 10 Best Guesthouses in the Cook Islands.
Check Aremango Guesthouse & Cottage out:
5. Nane’s Homestay
While not officially a “hostel”, Nane’s Homestay is an excellent example of the affordable stays on the less-visited outer islands. This one is on the island of Mitiaro, offering an irresistibly cheap rate with three meals a day included! The homestay is with Nane Pokoati, a local “mataiapo” (subtribe leader) whose infectious bubbly personality and local know-how will ensure a fun stay on the island. The homestay consists of just one shared bedroom in the large house with a communal bathroom, lounge and kitchen.
Learn more about all of the Cook Island’s homestays (hint: they’re mostly on Mitiaro) in The Best Homestays in the Cook Islands. Plus, check out alternative cheap outer island accommodation in The Best Mangaia Accommodations, The Best Mauke Accommodations and The 4 Best Mitiaro Accommodations.
More Backpacker Hostels in Rarotonga, Aitutaki and the Cook Islands
Now that you know about the limited selection of backpacker hostels in Rarotonga and the Cook Islands, here are some alternative cheap accommodations to help save the cents:
- 10 Best Budget Accommodations in the Cook Islands
- 10 Best Guesthouses in Rarotonga & the Cook Islands
- 10 Best Motels in the Cook Islands
Finally, pair your backpacker accommodation with free experiences, as listed in the 20 Free Things to Do in the Cook Islands.