The Best Rarotonga & Cook Islands Itineraries for 10 Days [2022]
The Best Rarotonga & Cook Islands Itineraries for 10 Days [2022]

The Best Rarotonga & Cook Islands Itineraries for 10 Days [2022]

© DH – Cook Islands Tourism

How to Spend 10 Days in Rarotonga and the Cook Islands: A Selection of 10-Day Itineraries

Got 10 days at your disposal, a plane ticket to the Cook Islands and no idea what to do with the two? First, lucky you! Second, you have just enough time to comfortably enjoy some island-hopping between the archipelago’s most glorious islands, Rarotonga and Aitutaki. With that in mind, welcome to our compilation of the best Rarotonga and Cook Islands itineraries for 10 days!

Whether you’re a family or couple; on a budget or seeking luxury; want to just stick to the main islands or prefer to discover the lesser-visited atolls, our selection of 10-day Rarotonga and Cook Islands itineraries seriously has something for everyone. Get browsing and see where the magic takes you… Usually, it’s to somewhere in paradise.

Destinations Visited on Our Cook Islands Itineraries for 10 Days

The Cook Islands is actually made up of 15 islands, although many visitors have only heard of Rarotonga and Aitutaki. With these 10-day Cook Islands itineraries, you don’t have to make a decision between the two, as each itinerary incorporates these holiday hotspots. Scroll to the bottom of our itinerary compilation and you’ll also find that 10 days is just enough time to fit one more of the Cooks’ less-visited paradises should you want to do some serious island-hopping!

Rarotonga

Rarotonga is the largest island in the Cook Islands, home to the country’s capital and only international airport. With a 32km (20-mile) road around the entire island taking you to a myriad of resorts, restaurants and lagoon tours, the island is like one huge resort. Find out more about it in The Complete Travel Guide to Rarotonga.

Aitutaki

Since its first written discovery, Aitutaki has been described as one of the world’s most beautiful lagoons. The pace of life is a lot more relaxed on the main island of the atoll compared to Raro, yet there are still plenty of resorts and action on the lagoon to keep a holiday here interesting. Discover more about it in The Complete Travel Guide to Aitutaki.

Mauke

Due to its proximity to Rarotonga and Aitutaki, we have also included the Southern Group island of Mauke on one of these itineraries. The uplifted coral atoll is very different from Rarotonga and Aitutaki characterised by its rocky terrain. With only a handful of tourists per month, Mauke can offer a more “authentic” slice of island life. Learn more about it in The Complete Travel Guide to Mauke.

The Best Rarotonga & Cook Islands Itineraries for 10 Days [2022]© CookIslandsPocketGuide.com

Cook Islands Budget and Backpacking Itinerary for 10 Days

Explore both islands of Rarotonga and Aitutaki on a limited budget with this Cook Islands Budget & Backpacking Itinerary: 10 Days.

Combining the Cook Islands’ amazing free and cheap activities, affordable ways of getting around such as bus and scooter travel, and staying in the country’s budget resorts, backpackers and guesthouses, this itinerary allows you to enjoy an incredible getaway even on a limited budget.

Overview: 10-Day Budget and Backpacking Itinerary for Rarotonga and Aitutaki

  • Day 1 – Arrive on Rarotonga
  • Day 2 – Explore Avarua
  • Day 3 – Explore Muri Beach
  • Day 4 – Island hike
  • Day 5 – Rarotonga tiki tour
  • Day 6 – Rarotonga to Aitutaki
  • Day 7 – Tour the Aitutaki Lagoon
  • Day 8 – Explore the northern end of Aitutaki
  • Day 9 – Explore the southern end of Aitutaki
  • Day 10 – Departure
  • See the full itinerary: Cook Islands Budget & Backpacking Itinerary: 10 Days.
The Best Rarotonga & Cook Islands Itineraries for 10 Days [2022]© Derek Smith - Cook Islands Tourism

Cook Islands Luxury Itinerary for 10 Days

If escaping to the Cook Islands for a special occasion and if, well, money is not an issue, this Rarotonga & Cook Islands Luxury Itinerary: 10 Days offers the ultimate “treat yourself” getaway.

Stay in Rarotonga and Aitutaki’s most lavish resorts and villas, experience the perfect balance of adventure and relaxation and indulge in the islands’ fine dining scene.

Overview: 10-Day Luxury Itinerary for Rarotonga and Aitutaki

  • Day 1 – Arrival on Rarotonga
  • Day 2 – Private tour of Rarotonga
  • Day 3 – Adventure in Raro
  • Day 4 – Relax in Raro
  • Day 5 – Rarotonga to Aitutaki
  • Day 6 – Private tour of the Aitutaki Lagoon
  • Days 7-8 – Relax in Aitutaki
  • Day 9 – Fly to Rarotonga + luxury self-drive tour
  • Day 10 – Souvenir shopping + departure
  • See the full itinerary: Rarotonga & Cook Islands Luxury Itinerary: 10 Days.
The Best Rarotonga & Cook Islands Itineraries for 10 Days [2022]© DH - Cook Islands Tourism

Cook Islands Family Itinerary for 10 Days

You have two options for your 10-day family trip to the Cook Islands: either stay on Rarotonga and spread out the experiences we recommend for Rarotonga over 10 days or follow our Rarotonga & Cook Islands Family Itinerary: 10 Days exactly to incorporate both the islands of Rarotonga and Aitutaki. The latter is a fantastic option if your family is a little more intrepid yet still offers plenty of time for relaxation.

Regardless of what you choose for your family getaway, our itinerary will guide you through the most family-friendly accommodations, things to do with kids and the best dining options for the whole tribe.

Overview: 10-Day Family Itinerary for Rarotonga and Aitutaki

  • Day 1 – Arrive on Rarotonga
  • Day 2 – Explore the Muri Lagoon
  • Day 3 – Family road trip around Rarotonga + Tumutoa Tours
  • Days 4-5 – Free days on Rarotonga
  • Day 6 – Rarotonga to Aitutaki
  • Day 7 – Tour the Aitutaki Lagoon
  • Day 8 – Family road trip around Aitutaki
  • Days 9 – Relax on Aitutaki
  • Day 10 – Fly to Rarotonga + depature
  • See the full itinerary: Rarotonga & Cook Islands Family Itinerary: 10 Days.
The Best Rarotonga & Cook Islands Itineraries for 10 Days [2022]© Craig Owen - Cook Islands Tourism

Cook Islands Honeymoon and Romance Itinerary for 10 Days

With its gorgeous turquoise lagoons, sandy shores and swaying coconut palms, the Cook Islands is famous and fabulous for a romantic escape! There’s no doubt that a honeymoon or couples’ getaway to the Cook Islands has to include both the Polynesian paradise of Rarotonga and one of the world’s most romantic lagoons, Aitutaki. With that in mind, our Cook Islands Honeymoon & Romance Itinerary: 10 Days includes both of these islands.

Plan a getaway with your loved one that has you staying in the most endearing accommodations, experiencing adventure and relaxation, as well as dining at the most romantic restaurants

Overview: 10-Day Honeymoon and Romance Itinerary for Rarotonga and Aitutaki

  • Day 1 – Arrival on Rarotonga
  • Days 2-3 – Adventure in Raro
  • Day 4 – Relaxation in Raro
  • Day 5 – Rarotonga to Aitutaki
  • Day 6 – Tour the Aitutaki Lagoon
  • Day 7 – Self-drive tour of Aitutaki
  • Day 8 – Relaxation in Aitutaki
  • Day 9 – Fly to Rarotonga + self-drive tour
  • Day 10 – Departure
  • See the full itinerary: Cook Islands Honeymoon & Romance Itinerary: 10 Days.
The Best Rarotonga & Cook Islands Itineraries for 10 Days [2022]© Lara Hotz - Cook Islands Tourism

Cook Islands Foodie Itinerary for 10 Days

Taste is an important sense not to be forgotten when travelling. In fact, our Rarotonga & Cook Islands Food Itinerary: 10 Days puts it at the forefront as an immersion into the Cook Islander culture.

Our itinerary incorporates food-related activities, such as progressive dinner tours and “umukai” workshops, while also, of course, giving top dining recommendations for any connoisseur.

Overview: 10-Day Foodie Itinerary for Rarotonga and Aitutaki

  • Day 1 – Arrive on Rarotonga
  • Day 2 – Explore Avarua
  • Day 3 – Road trip around Rarotonga
  • Day 4 – Foodie hike on Rarotonga
  • Day 5 – Free day on Rarotonga
  • Day 6 – Rarotonga to Aitutaki
  • Day 7 – Experience the Aitutaki Lagoon
  • Day 8 – Road trip around Aitutaki
  • Day 9 – Fly to Rarotonga + progressive dinner
  • Day 10 – Last day on Rarotonga
  • See the full itinerary: Rarotonga & Cook Islands Food Itinerary: 10 Days.
The Best Rarotonga & Cook Islands Itineraries for 10 Days [2022]© CookIslandsPocketGuide.com

Cook Islands Adults-Only Itinerary for 10 Days

If you want to have an appropriate tone for your holiday, i.e. one that doesn’t involve overenthusiastic children, then set your sights on our Rarotonga & Cook Islands Adults-Only Itinerary: 10 Days.

Of course, adults-only accommodations are at the forefront of this itinerary, while experiences that you couldn’t usually do with kids in tow, from scuba diving to spa treatments, are also a highlight.

Overview: 10-Day Adults-Only Itinerary for Rarotonga and Aitutaki

  • 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
  • See the full itinerary: Rarotonga & Cook Islands Adults-Only Itinerary: 10 Days.
The Best Rarotonga & Cook Islands Itineraries for 10 Days [2022]© CookIslandsPocketGuide.com

Cook Islands Island-Hopping Itinerary for 10 Days

As you may have noticed, all of our Cook Islands itineraries so far are for Rarotonga and Aitutaki which is, indeed, enough for most people. But if you’re a more intrepid traveller wishing to discover more of the 15 islands the Cooks is made of, then our Rarotonga & Cook Islands Island-Hopping Itinerary: 10 Days might be just your thing.

Overview: 10-Day Island-Hopping Itinerary for Rarotonga, Aitutaki and Mauke

  • 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 – Fly to Rarotonga then to Mauke
  • Day 8 – Explore Mauke
  • Day 9 – Fly to Rarotonga
  • Day 10 – Last day on Rarotonga
  • See the full itinerary: Rarotonga & Cook Islands Island-Hopping Itinerary: 10 Days.

More of the Best Cook Islands Itineraries

That’s it for the best Rarotonga and Cook Islands itineraries for 10 days. If you think you’d rather visit for a shorter amount of time (which, why would you?!) or longer (go on then!), check out our best Cook Islands itineraries below.

Finally, if you have no idea how long to spend in the Cook Islands, then you best start at square one with The Best Cook Islands Travel Guide.

Author

Robin C.

This article was reviewed and published by Robin, the co-founder of Cook Islands Pocket Guide. He has lived, worked and travelled across 16 different countries before settling in the South Pacific, so he knows a thing or two about planning the perfect trip in this corner of the world. Robin works and consults regularly with Cook Islands Tourism Corporation, a local government body representing the tourism industry. Robin is also the co-founder of several other South Pacific travel guides and is a regular host of webinars with the South Pacific Tourism Organisation.

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