A 3-Day Adults-Only Trip to Rarotonga
Ah, paradise without children… For 3 whole days! Whether you’re looking for a romantic getaway, a weekend away with a group of mates, or, ahem… escaping your own kids, this Cook Islands adults-only itinerary for a long weekend might just be the perfect itinerary for you! With 3 days to explore, however, you’re only scratching the surface of what Rarotonga has to offer, not to mention missing the opportunity to explore the Cook Islands’ other glorious atolls. Nevertheless, we’ve packed all we can for a balanced weekend of adventure and relaxation in this 3-day itinerary specially curated for adult groups and couples.
While you’re here, don’t forget to open The Complete Adults-Only Travel Guide to the Cook Islands, which is your bible to adults-only holidays in the Cooks!
Overview: Rarotonga Weekend (3-Day) Itinerary for Adults
- Day 1 – Arrive on Rarotonga
- Day 2 – Explore Rarotonga
- Day 3 – Departure.
How to Get Around Rarotonga in 3 Days
This Rarotonga adults-only itinerary for 3 days includes travel on the roads of Rarotonga. Here’s a quick rundown on how to get around Rarotonga in 3 days.
Road Transport on Rarotonga
The first road transport you’ll encounter on Rarotonga is your airport transfer. This must be booked in advance with your resort or with one of the airport shuttle companies, as outlined in the 8 Best Airport Transfers.
For travelling around Rarotonga, the most “adults-only-appropriate” options include car and scooter rentals. Start your car rental research with What You Need to Hire a Car in the Cook Islands and for scooters, 10 Tips for Riding a Scooter in the Cook Islands. For just a 3-day visit, however, it may be more cost-effective to take the island bus.
For all of your transport options, not limited to adults-only recommendations, check out the Rarotonga Transport Guide: 10 Ways to Get to (& Around) Rarotonga.
Day 1 – Arrive on Rarotonga
Welcome to Rarotonga! After the arrivals process of going through customs and biosecurity, you’ll step outside of the arrivals hall to the sounds of “Kia Orana” and a floral ‘ei put over your head. It’s the customary Cook Islands greeting that most of the airport transfers supply with enthusiasm!
Since it’s your first day in the Cook Islands, take it easy and get settled at your chosen adults-only accommodation. After check-in, relax by the pool, have a paddle with the kayaks provided at your resort, sip on cocktails and transition to “Raro time”. We’ll go over a few things you can do on Rarotonga tomorrow.
Rarotonga Adults-Only Accommodations
- Little Polynesian
- Manuia Beach Resort
- Crown Beach Resort & Spa
- Aro’a Beachside Inn
- Sanctuary Rarotonga on the Beach
- Ikurangi Eco Retreat
- Castaway Resort
- Motu Beachfront Art Villas
- Rumours Luxury Villas & Spa
- Sea Change Villas
- Ocean Escape Resort…
… And that’s just a handful of adults-only resorts available! Check out the 10 Best Adults-Only Resorts on Rarotonga to compare our top picks. Alternatively, all of Rarotonga’s adults-only stays are listed in The Adults-Only Travel Guide to Rarotonga.
For your first night, if you’re staying at an accommodation with a restaurant on-site, like Little Polynesian, Manuia Beach Resort, Crown Beach Resort & Spa, Sanctuary Rarotonga on the Beach or Castaway Resort, make things easy for yourself by eating at their very reputable restaurants. You’ll have time to explore the rest of Rarotonga’s dining scene tomorrow.
Day 2 – Explore Rarotonga
It’s time to explore Rarotonga your way! We have a few recommendations below. If you want the freedom and flexibility to travel around the island with just the people you choose, get a rental car delivered to your accommodation. Then away you go!
Things to Do in Rarotonga
If you’re looking for something active, today could be a great day to hit the Cross-Island Trek (weather permitting). Alternatively, join an exhilarating quad bike tour or explore the deep with a scuba diving trip. All of the above are highly likely to be free of squabbling children!
For more details on all of these activities and more, check out the 10 Adults-Only Activities on Rarotonga.
Alternative: Road Trip Around Rarotonga
If the above recommendations don’t suit, take a roadie around the island instead! Explore the backroads where you’ll come across all sorts of historical marae (meeting grounds), interesting plantation and mountain landscapes, as well as trailheads for hiking trails. Stop by for coffee and/or lunch at the quaint cafes and hit the snorkelling spots of Black Rock, Aroa Beach or Tikioki Beach.
We have a full day-trip itinerary laid out in A Self-Guided Day Trip Around Rarotonga, so check it out!
Bar and Dining Recommendations
It’s time to explore some of Rarotonga’s delectable eateries. For South Pacific cuisine done superbly, head to The Anchorage Restaurant which mostly has an adult crowd. Alternatively, try some fine dining at Antipodes or Tamarind House – bookings are essential!
For drinks with friends or your loved one, the beach bars have an awesome vibe, such as Shipwreck Hut or the classy Sunset Bar of OTB. Wilson’s Beach Bar is always a fun time and even has a menu of Cuban cigars, should you be so inclined.
Finally, if you’re looking for a party, hop on one of the “party buses” taking you around the bars and clubs of the island, returning you to your accommodation at the end of the night. Find out more in The Ultimate Guide to Rarotonga Nightlife + Happy Hour List.
Day 3 – Departure Day
If there’s anything that you missed yesterday (and you haven’t got too much of a hangover from the party bus), then you may have a chance to do it today before your flight. Remember, however, that you need to arrive at Rarotonga International 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.
Things to Do Before Your Flight
Some shorter activities that you may be able to squeeze in before your flight, and leave you feeling rejuvenated in the process, are getting an island massage at one of Rarotonga’s spas or boosting your zen with a yoga session.
Return your rental car if needed then take an airport transfer to the domestic terminal of Rarotonga Airport.
If you want something to remember the Cook Islands by, have one last browse of the craft and gift shops of Avarua or Rarotonga International Airport’s duty-free stores with black pearls, rito earrings and fans, local perfumes and more. Check out the 12 Best Souvenirs from Rarotonga for ideas.
Then, it’s time to say goodbye to the azure lagoon waters and silky sands of Rarotonga as you depart for your next destination. And it’s “ka kite” from the Cook Islands!
Alternative Cook Islands 3-Day Itineraries
Is this 3-day adults-only itinerary for Rarotonga and the Cook Islands not quite speaking to you? How about checking out our alternative itineraries for 3 days:
- Cook Islands Budget & Backpacking Itinerary: 3 Days
- Cook Islands Honeymoon & Romance Itinerary: 3 Days
- Cook Islands Food Itinerary: 3 Days
- Cook Islands Family Itinerary: 3 Days
- Cook Islands Luxury Itinerary: 3 Days
Finally, if there’s anything we’ve missed, you’re likely to find it in The Complete Adults-Only Travel Guide to the Cook Islands.