A 5-Day Adults-Only Trip to Rarotonga
Ah, paradise without children… For 5 whole days! Whether you’re looking for a romantic getaway, a few days away with a group of mates, or, ahem… escaping your own kids, this Cook Islands adults-only itinerary for 5 days might just be the perfect itinerary for you! With 5 days to explore, you can certainly afford to experience a couple of different sides of Rarotonga, from the adventurous inland hikes to relaxing spa treatments on the beach. So pack your bags and get ready for 5 days in paradise with this well-balanced 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 5-Day Itinerary for Adults
- Day 1 – Arrive on Rarotonga
- Day 2 – Adventure on Rarotonga
- Day 3 – Explore Rarotonga
- Day 4 – Relax on Rarotonga
- Day 5 – Departure day.
How to Get Around Rarotonga in 5 Days
This Cook Islands adults-only itinerary for 5 days includes travel on the roads of Rarotonga. Here’s a quick rundown on how to get around Rarotonga in 5 days.
Road Transport on Rarotonga
The first road transport you’ll encounter 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, which ensure you share your travel experience with just the people you choose. 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 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 enough time to explore the rest of Rarotonga’s dining scene in the upcoming days.
Day 2 – Adventure on Rarotonga
It’s time to explore Rarotonga your way! We have a few recommendations below. If you want to 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 to your first Raro adventure!
Things to Do in Rarotonga
The first day of your getaway is usually when you feel more active, so 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.
More experiences ideal for couples and adult groups include swimming with turtles in their natural habitat. Alternatively, reeling in pelagic fish on a fishing charter is a memorable time out on the Pacific Ocean.
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.
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 on the island, returning you back to your accommodation at the end of the night. Find out more in The Ultimate Guide to Rarotonga Nightlife + Happy Hour List.
Day 3 – Explore Rarotonga
If there’s anything that you missed yesterday (and you haven’t got too much of a hangover from the party bus), then you have another chance to do it today! Alternatively, take it a bit slower today and explore the island at your own pace.
Road Trip Around Rarotonga
In your rental vehicle, take a roadie around the island, including 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.
Tonight, how about a delectable three-course dinner at OTB? Or head to the Muri Night Market (Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday) for some Cook Islander and Asian street food. There’s so much on offer, so be sure to compare your options in The Best Places to Eat on Rarotonga: 10 Best Restaurants.
Day 4 – Relax on Rarotonga
Remember, Rarotonga is about relaxation too, so take the time today to work on your wellness or your cocktails.
Relaxing Things to Do on Rarotonga
Hones in the relaxation by treating yourself to an island massage at one of Rarotonga’s spas or boost your zen with a stand-up paddleboard yoga session at Muri Beach. If it’s a Sunday, we highly recommend checking out one of the CICC church services around Rarotonga to be amazed and soothed by the harmonious singing of the locals.
For your final night on Rarotonga, treat yourself to a private dining experience offered by many of the adults-only resorts, such as Manuia Beach Resort, Crown Beach Resort & Spa and Sanctuary Rarotonga on the Beach. Alternatively, Sandals Restaurant & Barefoot Bar at the Pacific Resort and Nautilis Restaurant at Muri Beach are highly recommended.
Otherwise, check out The Food Guide to Rarotonga: Places to Eat & Food Tours for more details and recommendations.
Day 5 – Departure Day
Leaving so soon?! Today is your final day on Rarotonga, so enjoy a lazy breakfast at your resort, check out and then head into town to do any last-minute shopping before returning your rental vehicle.
If you want something to remember the Cook Islands by, have one last browse of the craft and gift shops of Avarua and 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 & the Cook Islands for ideas.
Return your rental car if needed then take an airport transfer to the domestic terminal of Rarotonga Airport. Then, it’s time to say goodbye to the azure lagoon waters and silky sands of the Cook Islands as you depart for your next destination.
Remember 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.
And it’s “ka kite” from the Cook Islands!
Alternative Cook Islands 5-Day Itineraries
Is this 5-day adults-only itinerary for Rarotonga and the Cook Islands not quite speaking to you? How about checking out our alternative itineraries for 5 days:
- Rarotonga Budget & Backpacking Itinerary: 5 Days
- Aitutaki Budget & Backpacking Itinerary: 5 Days
- Rarotonga Honeymoon & Romance Itinerary: 5 Days
- Aitutaki Honeymoon & Romance Itinerary: 5 Days
- Rarotonga Food Itinerary: 5 Days
- Rarotonga Family Itinerary: 5 Days
- Rarotonga Luxury Itinerary: 5 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.