Rarotonga & Cook Islands Adults-Only Itinerary: 10 Days© David Kirkland - Cook Islands Tourism
Rarotonga & Cook Islands Adults-Only Itinerary: 10 Days

Rarotonga & Cook Islands Adults-Only Itinerary: 10 Days

© David Kirkland – Cook Islands Tourism

10-Day Adults-Only Trip to the Cook Islands: Including Rarotonga and Aitutaki!

Ah, paradise without children… For 10 whole days! Whether you’re looking for a romantic getaway, an extended trip with a group of mates, or, ahem… escaping your own kids, this Cook Islands adults-only itinerary for 10 days might just be the perfect itinerary for you! With 10 full days to explore, you can certainly afford to experience two contrasting sides of the Cook Islands, from the adults-only resort experience on Rarotonga to the breathtaking lagoon of Aitutaki. So pack your bags and get ready for 10 days in paradise with this intrepid 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: Cook Islands 10-Day Itinerary for Adults

  • Day 1 – Arrive on Rarotonga
  • Day 2 – Relaxation or adventure on Rarotonga
  • Day 3 – Explore Rarotonga
  • Day 4 – Rarotonga to Aitutaki
  • Day 5 – Experience the Aitutaki Lagoon
  • Day 6 – Explore Aitutaki
  • Day 7 – Adventure on Aitutaki
  • Day 8 – Relax on Aitutaki
  • Day 9 – Fly to Rarotonga
  • Day 10 – Last day on Rarotonga.
Rarotonga & Cook Islands Adults-Only Itinerary: 10 Days© CookIslandsPocketGuide.com

How to Get Around the Cook Islands in 10 Days

This Cook Islands adults-only itinerary for 10 days includes travel on the islands of Rarotonga and Aitutaki, as well as between the islands. Here’s a quick rundown on how to get around the Cook Islands in 10 days.

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, 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. On Aitutaki, airport transfers are usually provided free of charge.

For travelling on each of these islands, 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.

Interisland Transport in the Cook Islands

The only manageable way to get between Rarotonga and Aitutaki is via domestic flights. Flights are approximately 50 minutes, while approximate airfares can be found in our guide, Domestic Flights in the Cook Islands: Your Guide to Interisland Flights.

For all of your transport options, not limited to adults-only recommendations, check out the 15 Best Ways to Get Around the Cook Islands.

Rarotonga & Cook Islands Adults-Only Itinerary: 10 Days© CookIslandsPocketGuide.com

Day 1 – Arrive in 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

… 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.

Dining Recommendations

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.

Rarotonga & Cook Islands Adults-Only Itinerary: 10 Days© CookIslandsPocketGuide.com

Day 2 – Relaxation or Adventure on Rarotonga

It’s time to explore Rarotonga your way, whether you prefer to spend your time seeking adventure or getting some much-needed R&R. We have a few recommendations below.

Things to Do on Rarotonga

For an adults-only trip that hones in the relaxation, treat 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 you’re looking for active adventures, 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.

Bar and Dining Recommendations

Experience some of Rarotonga’s delectable eateries outside of your resort. 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.

Rarotonga & Cook Islands Adults-Only Itinerary: 10 Days© CookIslandsPocketGuide.com

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! Otherwise, today could be the day to explore more of Rarotonga, its stunning sights and its quaint cafes.

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 delightful cafes and hit the snorkelling spots of Black RockAroa Beach or Tikioki Beach.

We have a full day-trip itinerary laid out in A Self-Guided Day Trip Around Rarotonga.

Dining Recommendations

For your final night before heading to Aitutaki, 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. Check out The Food Guide to Rarotonga: Places to Eat & Food Tours for more details and recommendations.

Rarotonga & Cook Islands Adults-Only Itinerary: 10 Days© CookIslandsPocketGuide.com

Day 4 – Rarotonga to Aitutaki

Return your rental car if needed then take an airport transfer to the domestic terminal of Rarotonga Airport where you’ll take your flight to Aitutaki – see our Aitutaki Transport Guide for more details.

After a scenic 50-minute flight, you’ll meet your accommodation representative at Aitutaki Airport who will transfer you to your chosen adults-only retreat for check-in.

Aitutaki Adults-Only Accommodations

Compare accommodations in the 6 Best Adults-Only Resorts on Aitutaki. For more affordable options that offer plenty of privacy, check out the 5 Best Holiday Homes in Aitutaki and 10 Best Boutique Resorts on Aitutaki. You’ll find that the majority of visitors to Aitutaki are adults, so you’re highly unlikely to have a problem with families ruining your tropical vibes.

Dining Recommendations

You’ll have plenty of time to explore Aitutaki in the next couple of days, so relax at your resort. Pacific Resort Aitutaki, Etu Moana, Aitutaki Lagoon Private Island Resort and Tamanu Beach Resort each have delightful dining options.

Otherwise, for self-catering, your best to have a car rental delivered to your accommodation so you can pop into Amuri or Arutanga to pick up supplies – of which you can find out more in The Complete Travel Guide to Aitutaki.

Rarotonga & Cook Islands Adults-Only Itinerary: 10 Days© David Kirkland - Cook Islands Tourism

Day 5 – Experience the Aitutaki Lagoon

It’s your first full day in Aitutaki, so experience the atoll’s “must-do”, the lagoon!

Aitutaki Lagoon Experiences

For a more “adults-only” experience on the lagoon, choose one of the private lagoon charters, like Kutekute Tours & Transfers and their sunset cruise. Otherwise, you might like to experience Aitutaki’s famous bonefishing scene, go kitesurfing at Honeymoon Island or enjoy a private sailing excursion with Sailing Aitutaki.

For more things to do for adult groups, check out the 10 Adults-Only Activities on Aitutaki.

Dining Recommendations

To keep the “adults-only” vibe, head to the Rapae Bay Restaurant of the Pacific Resort Aitutaki which welcomes diners over 12 years old. Learn more about it or get more recommendations in The Best Places to Eat on Aitutaki: 10 Best Restaurants on Aitutaki.

Rarotonga & Cook Islands Adults-Only Itinerary: 10 Days© CookIslandsPocketGuide.com

Day 6 – Explore Aitutaki

Relax this morning at your chosen resort then do some exploration on dry land today. You’ll need to hire a car, scooter or a bicycle for this one, which can be delivered to your accommodation free of charge (if your accommodation doesn’t have its own vehicle rentals).

Road Trip Around Aitutaki

Save A Self-Guided Day Trip Around Aitutaki on your phone, grab a rental car, scooter or bicycle and hit the road with its scenic lookouts like Maunga Pu and the Piraki Lookout, stunning beaches and historical sites. Everything you need for an awesome day exploring Aitutaki is in the day trip itinerary linked above.

Dining Recommendations

As you’re exploring the island, a fantastic dining option for lunch includes the casual alfresco ambience of the Avatea Cafe on a secluded hill outside of Tautu. For dinner, try the Flying Boat Beach Bar & Grill of the adults-only Aitutaki Lagoon Private Island Resort.

While not exactly “adults-only”, an alternative dining experience that’s a treat for all visitors is the Tamanu Island Night at the Tamanu Beach Resort, complete with an “umukai” buffet and cultural dancing.

Check out more dining experiences in The Food Guide to Aitutaki: Places to Eat & Food Tours.

Rarotonga & Cook Islands Adults-Only Itinerary: 10 Days© CookIslandsPocketGuide.com

Days 7 – Adventure on Aitutaki

Do some more active adventures today on Aitutaki. We have some awesome suggestions below!

Adventure Experiences on Aitutaki

Head on a scuba diving trip with Bubbles Below to experience scuba diving with turtles. Take a water taxi to an uninhabited “motu” and play “Survivor” for the day. You could join a fishing charter or save some dough by snorkelling at the free spots, like Base One. If it’s the whale season, whale swimming might just be the most memorable experience on this whole itinerary…

Dining Recommendations

For breakfast or lunch, enjoy the sustainably sourced meals spruced up by the fabulous Koru Cafe. Or if you prefer a quiet night in at your self-catering accommodation, they offer barbecue packs too. Alternatively for dinner, join the seafood specialists and local watering hole of The Boat Shed Bar & Grill at Ootu Beach.

Rarotonga & Cook Islands Adults-Only Itinerary: 10 Days© CookIslandsPocketGuide.com

Day 8 – Relax on Aitutaki

That’s right, you have another day to enjoy the serenity of Aitutaki and its relaxed pace of life. If there’s anything you’ve missed so far on Aitutaki, you have today to do them. Otherwise, relaxing at your chosen adults-only retreat isn’t a bad way to be.

And if all else fails, there are a few spas on the island to soothe all the stresses away…

For more experiences for your final day on Aitutaki, take a look at our extensive list of the 20 Best Things to Do on Aitutaki.

Dining Recommendations

If you’ve been to all of the restaurants you’re interested in, you can always hit up the takeaways across the island to grab something for a quiet night in! Kai Tari Takeaway has some fantastic fish dishes and traditional Cook Islander specials, while Aquila Takeaway serves a wide range of affordable crowd-pleasers using fresh ingredients. Compare more takeaways in the 9 Best Cafes & Takeaways on Aitutaki.

Rarotonga & Cook Islands Adults-Only Itinerary: 10 Days© CookIslandsPocketGuide.com

Day 9 – Fly to Rarotonga

Check out of your accommodation and a representative will transport you to Aitutaki Airport. It’s a 50-minute flight back to Rarotonga where the views are incredible (tip: sit on the right-hand side of the plane, if possible).

We recommend making your way back to Rarotonga a day before departure, not just to spend more time on Raro but just in case there are cancellations or rescheduling of your flight – you wouldn’t want to miss your connecting flight back home, would you? Wait, would you?!

Alternative Adults-Only Accommodations on Rarotonga

There are some alternative adults-only accommodations on Rarotonga, should you want to try somewhere new. Otherwise, check in at the same accommodation as your first stay on Rarotonga, if you really loved it! More details on our top picks can be found in the 10 Best Adults-Only Resorts on Rarotonga.

Dining Recommendations

It’s your last night in the Cook Islands, so make it count! How about a delectable three-course dinner at OTB? Or head to the Muri Night Market 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.

Rarotonga & Cook Islands Adults-Only Itinerary: 10 Days© CookIslandsPocketGuide.com

Day 10 – Last Day on Rarotonga

It’s time to say goodbye to the azure lagoon waters and silky sands of Rarotonga and the Cook Islands as you depart for your next destination.

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, local perfumes and more. Check out the 12 Best Souvenirs from Rarotonga & the Cook Islands for ideas.

Remember 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. Airport transfers are a little cheaper for your departure flight, so check them out in the 8 Best Airport Transfers in Rarotonga & the Cook Islands.

And it’s “ka kite” from the Cook Islands!

Alternative Cook Islands 10-Day Itineraries

Is this 10-day adults-only itinerary for the Cook Islands not quite speaking to you? How about checking out our alternative itineraries for 10 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.


Laura S.

This article was reviewed and published by Laura, editor-in-chief and co-founder of Cook Islands Pocket Guide. Since arriving solo in the South Pacific over 10 years ago with nothing but a backpack and a background in journalism, her mission has been to show the world how easy (and awesome) it is to explore a paradise such as the Cook Islands. She knows the islands inside out and loves sharing tips on how best to experience Raro’s must-dos and hidden gems. Laura is also the editor of several other South Pacific travel guides.

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