7-Day Honeymoon/Romantic Trip to the Cook Islands: Including Rarotonga and Aitutaki!
What better backdrop for romance than the turquoise lagoons, powdery sands and lush rainforests of the Cook Islands? Whether you’re seeking an idyllic start to the rest of your lives together or simply a couples’ getaway with elevated romance, this Cook Islands honeymoon and romance itinerary for 7 days is sure to inspire the perfect romantic retreat. You have two contrasting but exceptionally beautiful islands included in this itinerary: the cosmopolitan Polynesian paradise of Rarotonga and the serene lagoon of Aitutaki. Get your travel plans started with this honeymoon and romance itinerary for the Cook Islands.
While you’re here, don’t forget to explore The Honeymoon & Romantic Getaway Guide to the Cook Islands; the couples’ bible to the Cooks!
Overview: Cook Islands Honeymoon and Romance 1-Week (7-Day) Itinerary
How to Get Around the Cook Islands in 1 Week
This Cook Islands honeymoon and romance itinerary for 7 days includes travel on two islands, as well as between these islands. Here’s a quick rundown on how to get around Rarotonga and the Cook Islands in 1 week.
Road Transport in the Cook Islands
The first road transport you’ll encounter on each of the islands you visit is your airport transfer. On Rarotonga, book this in advance with one of the airport shuttle/private transfer companies or your chosen accommodation. All your options are outlined in the 8 Best Airport Transfers. On Aitutaki, airport transfers are provided by your accommodation.
For travelling on each of the islands, car and scooter hire offers the most flexibility and convenience. Get advice on car hire from What You Need to Hire a Car in the Cook Islands or for renting a scooter, check out the 10 Tips for Riding a Scooter in Rarotonga & the Cook Islands. Alternatively, there is a very frequent and affordable bus service around Rarotonga, while taxi services are available for everything in between on both Rarotonga and Aitutaki.
Interisland Transport in the Cook Islands
This itinerary has you travelling between Rarotonga and Aitutaki via domestic flight. Flights are approximately 50 minutes, while approximate airfares can be found in our guide, Domestic Flights in the Cook Islands.
For all of your transport options across the islands, including bicycle hire, charter flights and more, check out the Cook Islands Transport Guide: 15 Best Ways to Get Around the Cook Islands.
Day 1 – Arrival on Rarotonga
Welcome to Rarotonga and the start of your 7-day romantic escape! After the arrivals process of going through customs and biosecurity, you’ll step outside of the arrivals hall to the Cook Island’s traditional greeting with a floral ‘ei (neck garland) and perhaps a glass of bubbles if opting for a private airport transfer with Raro Tours, should you want to make your arrival extra special?
Since it’s your first day in the Cook Islands, take it easy and get settled at your chosen honeymoon accommodation. After check-in, relax by the pool, have a paddle with the kayaks provided at your resort and transition to “Raro time”. We’ll go over a few things you can do on Rarotonga tomorrow.
Rarotonga Romantic Accommodations
- Sea Change Villas
- Little Polynesian
- Manuia Beach Resort
- Crown Beach Resort & Spa
- Te Vakaroa Villas
- Nautilus Resort
- Magic Reef Beachfront Bungalows
- Rumours Luxury Villas & Spa
- Muri Beach Hideaway
- Sanctuary Rarotonga on the Beach
Discover what are our top picks in the 10 Most Romantic Wedding & Honeymoon Resorts in Rarotonga.
For your first evening, make things easy for yourselves by choosing the reputable restaurant of your chosen accommodation; Little Polynesian, Manuia Beach Resort, Crown Beach Resort & Spa, Nautilus Resort and Sanctuary Rarotonga on the Beach all have romantic restaurants. Otherwise, these resort restaurants are open for non-guests too. Find out more about them in The Food Guide to Rarotonga: Places to Eat & Food Tours.
Day 2 – Adventure or Relaxation in Raro
Early into the trip is when couples have the most energy and adrenaline to take on some of the Cook Islands’ more adventurous activities together. If that’s not your vibe, however, then you can always take the opportunity to indulge in some relaxation together instead…
Option 1: Scuba Diving
A romantic adventure awaits in the depths of Rarotonga’s volcanic underwater world, which you can buddy up on a scuba diving trip to explore if you’re both certified. If you’re not certified, however, nothing strengthens the bond quite like learning a new skill together! Find out more in Learn to Dive in the Cook Islands: A Guide to Scuba Diving Certifications.
Option 2: Island Hike
For adventures on dry land, tackle one of Raro’s hikes together, whether it’s the half-day mission of the Cross Island Trek or the romantic mountain hike of the Arore Trek at sunrise. More details on each can be found in the 10 Best Walks on Rarotonga.
Option 3: Turtle Swimming
A popular underwater alternative for couples is swimming with sea turtles. Whether it’s the sea scooter safari with Ariki Adventures (more info on Viator and Tripadvisor) or the freedom turtle swimming session with Snorkel Cook Islands (on Viator or Tripadvisor), the adventure of swimming with these rare and ancient creatures is unforgettable. Compare turtle tours in the 7 Best Turtle Swimming Tours in Rarotonga.
Option 4: Couples’ Massage
Soothe the senses and rejuvenate together with a couples’ massage. You’ll struggle to find a spa that doesn’t do couples’ massages on Rarotonga between the couples’ treatments at the Waterfall Spa of Rumours Luxury Villas and the beachfront massages of the Muri Beach Club Spa. Compare all of the spas available for a relaxing retreat in the 10 Best Spas in Rarotonga.
Option 5: Something Else…
And if none of the above appeals, you can always opt for something else entirely. Check out the most couple-centric options in the 16 Most Romantic Things to Do on Rarotonga for Couples.
No doubt that you will work up quite an appetite today, so make at least one of your dining experiences the Progressive Dinner Tour with Cook Islands Tours. You’ll be transported from local home to local home to indulge in three courses of authentic Cook Islander cuisine and charming hospitality. Learn more about it on Viator, Tripadvisor and the 11 Best Foodie Experiences on Rarotonga.
Alternatively, feel your toes in the sand while experiencing some fine dining at On The Beach (OTB) Restaurant & Sunset Bar at the Manuia Beach Resort. Their three-course dinner offers an easy and more affordable transition into fine dining complete with a romantic location on a sunset beach. Find out more about it or check for other recommendations in The Best Places to Eat on Rarotonga: 10 Best Restaurants.
Day 3 – Rarotonga to Aitutaki
Check out of your villa today, take an airport transfer and then check in for your flight at the domestic terminal of Rarotonga Airport. It’s time to fly to your next exciting Cook Islands destination, Aitutaki – see our Aitutaki Transport Guide for more details about getting there.
After a 50-minute flight and a scenic approach over the lagoon, you’ll meet your accommodation representative at Aitutaki Airport (complete with floral ‘eis, of course) who will transfer you to your chosen accommodation for check-in.
Aitutaki Romantic Accommodations
- Aitutaki Lagoon Private Island Resort
- Etu Moana Boutique Beach Villas
- Pacific Resort Aitutaki
- Tai Marino
- Abera’s Aitutaki Villas
- Aitutaki Escape
- Tai Roto Bay Beach Villas
For more details on our top recommendations, take a look at the 10 Most Romantic Wedding & Honeymoon Resorts on Aitutaki.
Like your first day in Raro, make things simple with dinner at your resort, whether it’s Polynesian cuisine at Aitutaki Lagoon Private Island Resort, pizza by the pool or a barbecue on the beach at Etu Moana Boutique Beach Villas or fine dining at Pacific Resort Aitutaki. If you’re not staying at any of these accommodations, well, they’ll be happy to have you in regardless.
Check out The Food Guide to Aitutaki: Places to Eat & Food Tours to learn more about the resort restaurants mentioned above.
Day 4 – Tour the Aitutaki Lagoon
You can’t visit Aitutaki and not explore its paradisal lagoon, so make this your top priority to experience together!
Option 1: Lagoon Cruise
One way to explore the lagoon, that’s also the most cost-effective, is a lagoon cruise. There are several to choose from, from the small-group adventure of Teking Lagoon Cruise and Kia Orana Cruise to the more relaxing and appropriate Polynesian-style boat of The Vaka Cruise. Either way, you’ll enjoy a day hopping from one uninhabited islet to the other, snorkelling among tropical fish, giant clams and coral, and indulging in an island lunch. Find out more about what makes each cruise unique in the 10 Best Lagoon Cruises on Aitutaki.
Option 2: Private Charter
Make your experience of the Aitutaki Lagoon more intimate with one of the private lagoon charters. Platinum Cruising offers the most luxurious boat for your journey to the infamous One Foot Island, while Black Pearl Charters provides eco-centric private snorkelling tours. Alternatively, we highly recommend Kutekute Tours & Transfers‘ private sunset charter with island-hopping, snorkelling, a hammock float and a sunset picnic on an uninhabited island.
Find out more about the best cruises for couples in the 10 Most Romantic Things to Do on Aitutaki for Couples and 5 Best Luxury Experiences on Aitutaki.
If you’re joining a lagoon cruise today then a substantial lunch is included, while the private charter with Kutekute will sort you out for dinner. Therefore, if you need a bite to eat for lunch, head to Ootu Beach where you’ll find the Koru Cafe and its unmissable “Mega Mezze” sharing platter. If you need dinner plans, on the other hand, take Koru Cafe up on the offer of a “BBQ Pack” delivered to your accommodation so you can spruce up your own Aitutaki barbie!
Find out more about Koru Cafe in The Best Places to Eat on Aitutaki: 10 Best Restaurants on Aitutaki.
Day 5 – Explore Aitutaki
There’s much to explore on the main island of Aitutaki, so either rent a car or, more endearingly, rent a scooter and take a road trip around Aitutaki’s quiet and scenic roads. Rental vehicles can be delivered to your accommodation. If you’re riding a scooter, don’t forget to pick up a visitor’s license from the Arutanga Police Station – this will be handy if you want to ride a scooter on Rarotonga later in your trip.
Self-Drive Tour of Aitutaki
Once you’re behind the wheel/your arms wrapped around your hubby on a scooter, take a tiki tour around the island and stop by Maunga Pu for a hike to a scenic viewpoint and the Piraki Lookout for more gorgeous views, head to Base One beach for a snorkel, enjoy some lunch at the island’s more remote cafes and much more! Just check out A Self-Guided Day Trip Around Aitutaki for a full itinerary.
During your tour around Aitutaki, stop at the Avatea Cafe for its charming al fresco ambience and contemporary island cuisine in a secluded spot near Tautu. Alternatively, pick up a takeaway from any one of the cheap eats on Aitutaki and take it to one of the charming picnic spots, like the Arataki Lookout in Arutanga or Vaipae Wharf. Get dining inspiration from the 9 Best Cafes & Takeaways on Aitutaki – they’ll work for dinner too!
Day 6 – Stay in Aitutaki or Fly Back to Rarotonga
Aitutaki captures the hearts of many, so you can be forgiven for wanting to stay an extra day on one of the most romantic atolls in the world. If you are both eager to explore more of Rarotonga, however, fly back today!
Option 1: Relax for One More Day in Aitutaki
Your final day in Aitutaki could be a relaxing one with a “his and hers” spa treatment at one of the island’s spas. Find out more in the 5 Best Spas in Aitutaki. If you can’t get enough of the lagoon, however, enjoy the experience of getting marooned on an uninhabited island together by taking a water taxi to one of the islets. Or finally, Aitutaki’s romantic accommodations are all kitted out with watersports rentals to enjoy the lagoon at your own pace. Get more inspiration for what to do during this last day from the 10 Most Romantic Things to Do on Aitutaki for Couples.
Option 2: Fly Back to Rarotonga and Explore the Island
Check out of your accommodation this morning and a representative will transport you to Aitutaki Airport. Then, say goodbye to the quieter side of the Cook Islands as you fly back to Rarotonga for one more day.
You have the opportunity to try a new romantic accommodation on Rarotonga, so take your pick from our 10 Most Romantic Wedding & Honeymoon Resorts on Rarotonga and get ready to check in after your airport transfer. Then, get a car or scooter delivered to your accommodation and enjoy a self-guided trip around the island together.
Head to Avarua to enjoy a spot of shopping at the black pearl jewellers, fashion outlets and especially the Punanga Nui Market if it’s a Saturday morning. Then continue around the island clockwise, checking out the historical sites of the Matavera backroads, stopping by the shores of Muri Beach, enjoying the gorgeous surroundings of the Mairie Nui Gardens, and going for a paddle and a bite to eat at Charlie’s Cafe & Beach Hire. We have a full itinerary you can follow in A Self-Guided Day Trip Around Rarotonga.
For dinner, an extra special way to enjoy your final night in the Cook Islands is to get a gourmet platter delivered to your villa or any location across Rarotonga – even on the beach! Island Platters can arrange phenomenal spreads for you and your loved one to enjoy away from the world… Find out more in the 8 Best Luxury Experiences on Rarotonga.
Day 7 – Departure
Enjoy your final lazy breakfast by the beach before checking out of your accommodation and making your way to Rarotonga International Airport for departure. If you’re coming from Aitutaki, a representative will transport you to Aitutaki Airport where you can fly back to Rarotonga to make your connecting flight.
Remember to arrive at Rarotonga Airport a couple of hours before your scheduled departure so that you have enough time to check in, go through security and browse the duty-free. Rarotonga International Airport’s duty-free stores are worth browsing with locally-made ‘eis, wooden carvings, perfumes, ukuleles, coffee beans and more. Check out the 12 Best Souvenirs from Rarotonga & the Cook Islands for shopping inspiration.
And it’s “ka kite” from the Cook Islands!
Alternative Cook Islands 1-Week Itineraries
Is this 7-day honeymoon and romance itinerary for the Cook Islands not quite speaking to you? How about checking out our alternative itineraries for 7 days:
- Cook Islands Luxury Itinerary: 7 Days
- Cook Islands Adults-Only Itinerary: 7 Days
- Cook Islands Food Itinerary: 7 Days
- Rarotonga Budget & Backpacking Itinerary: 7 Days
- Aitutaki Budget & Backpacking Itinerary: 7 Days
- Rarotonga Family Itinerary: 7 Days
Finally, if there’s anything we’ve missed from this Cook Islands honeymoon itinerary, you’re likely to find it in The Honeymoon & Romantic Getaway Guide to the Cook Islands.