5 Best Dive Shops & Operators in Rarotonga & the Cook Islands
5 Best Dive Shops & Operators in Rarotonga & the Cook Islands

5 Best Dive Shops & Operators in Rarotonga & the Cook Islands

© CookIslandsPocketGuide.com

Scuba Diving Tours in the Cook Islands

Boasting amazing lagoon and open ocean dives, the Cook Islands is a dream destination for scuba diving. But who should you dive with in the Cook Islands? There are dive shops on Rarotonga and Aitutaki, as well as freediving tours on Rarotonga. We cover them all in this list of the best dive shops and operators in Rarotonga and the Cook Islands!

1. Pacific Divers

The longest-running dive operation on Rarotonga, Pacific Divers is headed by a qualified marine scientist making for fun educational tours, as well as an eco-friendly dive operation. The PADI 5* dive shop offers all the usual open water courses, ongoing training, and, of course, a variety of dives for qualified divers. There are excellent dives to be had both within and outside of the lagoon, taking you out on a comfortable purpose-built dive boat which is fully shaded and manned even when divers are in the water. They also offer exciting night dives which are highly recommended. Learn more about getting your dive qualification with Pacific Divers in Learn to Dive in Rarotonga & the Cook Islands: Where to Get Your Scuba Diving Certification.

Location: Main Road (Ara Tapu), Muri on the east side of Rarotonga.

5 Best Dive Shops & Operators in Rarotonga & the Cook Islands© CookIslandsPocketGuide.com

2. Dive Rarotonga

Another fantastic scuba diving option on Rarotonga is with the highly qualified and experienced team of Dive Rarotonga. The safety-focussed PADI 5* dive shop has all the gear and know-how to give divers a good time, whether you’re making your first bubbles or an already qualified diver. They have a training pool on-site, making their PADI dive courses seamless, while those heading out on the boat for the standard two dives will be pleased to find that the team have implemented moorings at several exciting dive sites around the outer perimeter of the lagoon and the boat is always manned while divers are going under. Night dives are also available. Check out some of the amazing dive sites visited in The Best Scuba Diving in Rarotonga: Top 25 Places to Scuba Dive.

Location: Main Road (Ara Tapu), Arorangi on the west side of Rarotonga. They are the A-frame building next to the Crown Beach Resort & Spa.

5 Best Dive Shops & Operators in Rarotonga & the Cook Islands© CookIslandsPocketGuide.com

3. Bubbles Below

Aitutaki’s only dive shop and dive operation, Bubbles Below (also sometimes referred to as Dive Aitutaki), has a concise offering of dive options, either jump on one, two or multiple dives if you’re qualified or do a Discover Scuba intro dive. PADI Open Water Diver courses are also sometimes available. Instructors are local and PADI and SSI certified, passionate about sharing their backyard with fellow divers. They have two dive boats, their newer fully shaded 12.5m (14ft) vessel specially designed for divers and snorkelers, as well as their original and more “intimate” 6.5m (20ft) boat. Check out some of the awesome dive sites they visit in The Best Scuba Diving in Aitutaki: Top Places to Scuba Dive.

Location: Arutanga Harbour, Arutanga, Aitutaki.

5 Best Dive Shops & Operators in Rarotonga & the Cook Islands© CookIslandsPocketGuide.com

4. Adventure Cook Islands

Adventure Cook Islands on Rarotonga does it all; they are not only a PADI dive centre but also an SSI and SDI/TDI dive centre, offering dive qualifications across the spectrum! Scuba diving is always kept to small group numbers with a maximum of five divers at a time – usually much less, while their snorkelling and freediving spearfishing tours are also some of the best on offer from the dive operators in the Cook Islands. On dive trips for qualified divers, dive bottom times are not limited to 50 minutes, giving you more flexibility as long as you stay within the table limits.

Location: Main Road (Ara Tapu), Aroa Beach on the southwestern side of Rarotonga. They are nearby The Rarotongan Beach Resort and Lagoonarium.

5 Best Dive Shops & Operators in Rarotonga & the Cook Islands© Pixabay

5. Go Local Cook Islands

Finally, while not a scuba diving operation, Go Local Cook Islands offers awesome freediving tours. Forget the clunky gear and just head out with a snorkel, mask and fins on their “Over the Reef Freediving Tour“. The three-hour experience includes all the freediving gear, raw and edited underwater photography and local refreshments. You’ll be taken by boat over the reef and into the open ocean with guides, a boat and paddleboards on hand for extra safety.

Location: Find their beach setup at the Avaavaroa Passage, Vaimaanga, available Monday to Friday, 9am to 4pm. They are also at the Punanga Nui Market on Saturday and at the Muri Night Market on a Sunday.

5 Best Dive Shops & Operators in Rarotonga & the Cook Islands© CookIslandsPocketGuide.com

More About Dive Shops and Operators in Rarotonga and the Cook Islands

Now that you know all of the dive shops in Rarotonga and the Cook Islands, here’s more advice to plan the perfect dive:

Spice up your trip to the Cook Islands with more than just scuba diving! Get inspiration from the 101 Best Things to Do in the Cook Islands: The Ultimate List.


Robin C.

This article was reviewed and published by Robin, the co-founder of Cook Islands Pocket Guide. He has lived, worked and travelled across 16 different countries before settling in the South Pacific, so he knows a thing or two about planning the perfect trip in this corner of the world. Robin works and consults regularly with Cook Islands Tourism Corporation, a local government body representing the tourism industry. Robin is also the co-founder of several other South Pacific travel guides and is a regular host of webinars with the South Pacific Tourism Organisation.

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