14-Day Adults-Only Trip to the Cook Islands: Including Rarotonga and Aitutaki!
Ah, paradise without children… For 14 whole days! Whether you’re looking for a romantic getaway, a couple of weeks away with a group of mates, or, ahem… escaping your own kids, this Cook Islands adults-only itinerary for 2 weeks might just be the perfect itinerary for you! With 14 full days to explore, you can certainly afford to experience two different sides of the Cook Islands, from the adults-only resort experience on Rarotonga to the serene lagoon of Aitutaki. So pack your bags and get ready for two weeks 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 2-Week (14-Day) Itinerary for Adults
- Day 1 – Arrive on Rarotonga
- Day 2 – Experience inland on Rarotonga
- Day 3 – Experience the Rarotonga Lagoon
- Day 4 – Rarotonga road trip
- Day 5 – Free day on Rarotonga
- Day 6 – Rarotonga to Aitutaki
- Day 7 – Experience the Aitutaki Lagoon
- Day 8 – Explore Aitutaki
- Day 9 – Adventure on Aitutaki
- Day 10-12 – Relax on Aitutaki
- Day 13 – Fly to Rarotonga
- Day 14 – Last day on Rarotonga.
How to Get Around the Cook Islands in 2 Weeks
This Cook Islands adults-only itinerary for 14 days (2 weeks) includes travel on two islands, as well as between the islands. Here’s a quick rundown on how to get around the Cook Islands in two weeks.
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 typically provided by accommodations free of charge.
For travelling on both Rarotonga and Aitutaki, the most adults-only-appropriate options include car, scooter and bicycle 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. Finally, find out more about bikes in Cycle the Cook Islands: Where to Rent Bikes & E-Bikes.
Interisland Transport in the Cook Islands
The only manageable way to get between Rarotonga and Aitutaki is via domestic flight. Flights are approximately 50 minutes, while approximate airfares are listed 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 Cook Islands Transport Guide: 15 Best Ways to Get Around the Cook Islands.
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
- 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 later.
Day 2 – Experience Inland on Rarotonga
It’s time to explore Rarotonga your way! While many people associate Rarotonga with its water activities, your first full day on Rarotonga is actually the best day for inland experiences while you’re pumped with energy. We have a few recommendations below.
Inland Experiences on Rarotonga
If you’re looking for an active adventure combined with phenomenal scenery, today could be a great day to hit the Cross-Island Trek (weather permitting). Alternatively, join an exhilarating quad bike tour or even tee off at the Rarotonga Golf Club! What’s more, all of the above are highly likely to be free of squabbling children.
For something less energetic, treat yourself to an island massage at one of Rarotonga’s spas. That counts as an inland experience, right?!
For more details on all of these activities and more, check out the 10 Adults-Only Activities on Rarotonga.
Dining and Drinking 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.
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.
Day 3 – Experience the Rarotonga Lagoon
Make “Day 3” the day you explore Rarotonga’s glorious lagoon, whether it’s an exhilarating turtle swimming tour or a more rejuvenating SUP yoga session.
Lagoon Experiences on Rarotonga
A highly recommended experience ideal for active couples and adult groups includes swimming with turtles in their natural habitat. Scuba diving is also incredible, allowing you to see all sorts of incredible marine species, whether you’re a beginner or a certified diver. Alternatively, reel in pelagic fish on a fishing charter and cook up your catch for dinner. One final option is to boost your zen with a stand-up paddleboard yoga session at Muri Beach.
Of course, there’s a lot more to do on Rarotonga, which we cover extensively in the 50 Best Things to Do on Rarotonga. Otherwise, more details on each of the experiences mentioned above can be found in our 10 Adults-Only Activities on Rarotonga.
How about a delectable three-course dinner at OTB? While not exclusive to adults, many find the Muri Night Market (Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday) with its Cook Islander and Asian street food simply unmissable! 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 – Rarotonga Road Trip
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 Rock, Aroa Beach or Tikioki Beach.
We have a full day-trip itinerary laid out in A Self-Guided Day Trip Around Rarotonga.
Dining Recommendations (+ Party Bus)
Make tonight more intimate by either picking supplies from the supermarket and sprucing up your own meal or picking up a takeaway from one of Rarotonga’s cheap eats. We like The Kai Guy, Kai Pizza and Vili’s Burger Joint.
If you’re keen on exploring Rarotonga’s night scene, 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. There’s also Tik-e Bikes & Tours‘ cocktail happy hour tour, for something that doesn’t finish quite so late! Find out more in The Ultimate Guide to Rarotonga Nightlife + Happy Hour List.
Day 5 – Free Day on Rarotonga
If there’s anything that you missed over the past few days (and you haven’t got too much of a hangover from the party bus), then you have another chance to do it today! Alternatively, we have listed a whopping 50 things you can do in the 50 Best Things to Do on Rarotonga so take your pick!
For your final night before jetting off to Aitutaki tomorrow, treat yourself to some fine dining at Antipodes or Tamarind House – bookings are essential! Alternatively, join the Progressive Dinner Tour with Cook Islands Tours to enjoy three courses across three different local homes. Find out more about the tour on Viator, Tripadvisor or in The Food Guide to Rarotonga: Places to Eat & Food Tours.
Day 6 – 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 accommodation for check-in.
Aitutaki Adults-Only Accommodations
- Pacific Resort Aitutaki
- Etu Moana
- Aitutaki Lagoon Private Island Resort
- Tai Roto Bay Beach Villas
- Aitutaki Escape
- Tamanu Beach Resort (adults-only wing)
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 families ruining your tropical vibes.
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 – find out more in The Complete Travel Guide to Aitutaki.
Day 7 – Experience the Aitutaki Lagoon
It’s your first full day in Aitutaki, so experience the “must-do”, the lagoon!
Aitutaki Lagoon Experiences
For a more private or “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.
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.
Day 8 – 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.
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 a traditional Cook Islander buffet and cultural dancing.
Check out more dining experiences in The Food Guide to Aitutaki: Places to Eat & Food Tours.
Day 9 – Adventure on Aitutaki
Either experience some adventure on Aitutaki today or on days 10, 11 or 12.
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 your itinerary…
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.
Day 10-12 – Relax on Aitutaki
That’s right, you have another three days 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 these three extra days to catch up. 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 your worries away…
For more experiences on Aitutaki, take a look at our extensive list of the 20 Best Things to Do on Aitutaki.
If you’ve been to all of the restaurants you’re interested in, you can always hit up the takeaways across Aitutaki 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.
Day 13 – Fly to Rarotonga
Say goodbye to the quieter side of the Cook Islands as you check out of your accommodation. A representative will transport you to Aitutaki Airport. It’s then 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 flight back home, would you? Wait, would you?!
Alternative Adults-Only Accommodations on Rarotonga
- Charlie’s Villa Pouara
- JJ’s Retreat
- Muri Beach Club Hotel
- Betela Beach House
- Muri Shores
- Nirvana Cottages
- Raela Villas
- Rarotonga Beach Bungalows
- Seaside Beachfront Villas
- Serenity Villas Rarotonga
- Sokala Villas
- Sunhaven Beach Bungalows
- Sunset Palms Rarotonga
- Te Vakaroa Villas
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.
For your final night in the Cook Islands, treat yourself to a private dining experience. Manuia Beach Resort, Crown Beach Resort & Spa and Sanctuary Rarotonga on the Beach all have fabulous options for this exclusive experience. Alternatively, Sandals Restaurant & Barefoot Bar at the Pacific Resort and Nautilis Restaurant at Muri Beach are highly recommended restaurants. Again, head to The Best Places to Eat on Rarotonga: 10 Best Restaurants for more inspiration.
Day 14 – 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 and fans, 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 2-Week Itineraries
Is this 14-day adults-only itinerary for the Cook Islands not quite speaking to you? How about checking out our alternative itineraries for 14 days/2 weeks:
- Rarotonga, Aitutaki, Mauke & Mitiaro Itinerary: 14 Days
- Rarotonga, Aitutaki, Atiu & Mangaia Itinerary: 14 Days
- Cook Islands Budget & Backpacking Itinerary: 14 Days
- Cook Islands Honeymoon & Romance Itinerary: 14 Days
- Cook Islands Food Itinerary: 14 Days
- Cook Islands Family Itinerary: 14 Days
- Cook Islands Luxury Itinerary: 14 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.