7-Day Adults-Only Trip to the Cook Islands: Including Rarotonga and Aitutaki!
Ah, paradise without children… For 7 whole days! Whether you’re looking for a romantic getaway, a week away with a group of mates, or, ahem… escaping your own kids, this Cook Islands adults-only itinerary for one week might just be the perfect itinerary for you! With 7 full days to explore, you can certainly afford to experience a couple of different sides of the Cook Islands, from the bustling tropical hotspot of Rarotonga to the blissful lagoon of Aitutaki. So pack your bags and get ready for 7 days in paradise with this relaxed yet 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!
How to Get Around the Cook Islands in One Week
This Cook Islands adults-only itinerary for 7 days (1 week) 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 one week.
Road Transport in the Cook Islands
The first road transport you’ll encounter on each of the islands 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 a complimentary service of your accommodation.
For travelling on each of the 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 flight. Flights are approximately 50 minutes, departing from Rarotonga Airport and returning from Aitutaki Airport soon after. Check out the most up-to-date airfares and schedules in 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 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 around your neck. 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 – Explore 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!
Things to Do in Rarotonga
If you’re looking for something more 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.
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!
More Things to Do in Rarotonga
Looking for something different to do? 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!
Of course, there’s a lot more to do on Rarotonga, which we cover extensively in the 50 Best Things to Do on Rarotonga.
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.
Otherwise, check out The Food Guide to Rarotonga: Places to Eat & Food Tours for more details and recommendations.
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 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 5 – Experience the Aitutaki Lagoon
It’s your first full day in Aitutaki, so experience what Aitutaki is famous for: the lagoon!
Things to Do in Aitutaki
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.
If you want to keep the “adults-only” vibe, head to the Rapae Bay Restaurant of the Pacific Resort Aitutaki which welcomes diners over 12 years old or the Flying Boat Beach Bar & Grill of the adults-only Aitutaki Lagoon Private Island Resort.
Otherwise, alternative yet fantastic dining options include the casual alfresco ambience of the Avatea Cafe and the seafood specialists and local watering hole of The Boat Shed Bar & Grill.
Learn more about these eateries and get more recommendations in The Best Places to Eat on Aitutaki: 10 Best Restaurants on Aitutaki.
Day 6 – Explore Aitutaki
Relax this morning then do some exploration on dry land today. 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, stunning beaches and historical sites. Everything you need for an awesome day exploring Aitutaki is in the day trip itinerary linked above.
Alternative Things to Do in Aitutaki
If you prefer to spend more time in the water, head on a scuba diving trip with Bubbles Below to experience scuba diving with turtles. If it’s the whale season, whale swimming might just be the most memorable experience on your itinerary.
And if all else fails, there are a few spas on the island to soothe all the stresses away, while simply “just being” at the adults-only resorts of Aitutaki is not bad a way to spend the rest of your time here…
For more experiences in Aitutaki, take a look at our extensive list, the 20 Best Things to Do in Aitutaki.
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.
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 7 – Fly to Rarotonga and Depart
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).
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.
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 One-Week Itineraries
Is this 7-day adults-only itinerary for the Cook Islands not quite speaking to you? How about checking out our alternative itineraries for 7 days/1 week:
- Rarotonga Budget & Backpacking Itinerary: 7 Days
- Aitutaki Budget & Backpacking Itinerary: 7 Days
- Cook Islands Honeymoon & Romance Itinerary: 7 Days
- Cook Islands Food Itinerary: 7 Days
- Rarotonga Family Itinerary: 7 Days
- Cook Islands Luxury Itinerary: 7 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.