For a truly romantic island get a way, head to the Cook Islands. The Cook Islands comprises 15 islands smack in the middle of the South Pacific. We spent a week here on the tiny island of Raratonga.
It only took a day to unwind and start to feel the gentle rhythm of the island pace. Time stretches luxuriantly on and no one is in a hurry.....and why would they be ? It takes less than an hour to drive around the whole island.
One of our biggest challenges was to decide which beach we liked best!!
The Muri area is on the east coast and is the most popular spot for swimming. There are a few beach resorts and restaurants along the beach . Don't get me wrong this isn't Hawaii. It's pretty unspoiled. The sand is pure white and there are times when we didn't see anyone when we swam....oh to be there now!! The reef around the is island makes a lagoon to swim in . The water is pale turquoise and so warm!! In low tide you have to walk along to find a deep area as its quite shallow.
A reef circles the whole island of Raratonga. It's amazing for snorkeling. We saw fish here we had never seen before with the most brilliant colours!! The water is so warm you can just float along and be entertained by the spectacular reef fish. We drove to a bunch of different sites and found the one we really liked was directly in front of a place called The Fruits of Rarotong. A really large amount and variety of fish hang out here!!
We learned how to eat drink and be merry island style! ! Island Night is a feast with dancing, drums, and good food. There is a umu ...which is where various meats are roasted in a sand pit!! They roast pork, lamb, beef, chicken, and vegetables. A huge buffet is set up...desserts are amazing too!!
We ate so much that night!! There are several different island nights to choose from but one of the best is at the Rarotonga Resort. It is on Wed and Sat night...costs $55.00 each and is worth it. We got a chance to hear some of the famous Cook Island drums...and watch the traditional dance!! I really liked the energy of the male dancers. My husband seemed more taken with the ladies wearing the coconut shells!!
There are little islands near Rarotonga that you can easily kayak to. The first one we went to was Motu Taakoka. In reality you can walk to it, as it's so shallow in low tide. It is such a pretty island complete with tall coconut trees. Looks like something from one of those old post cards. I took so many pictures of it . On the far side of the island the water is deeper with some nice coral ...great for snorkeling. We anchored our kayak and snorkeled in different places around the island. Many of the hotels have kayaks available but it’s also possible to rent them quite cheaply.
We hiked to a lovely waterfall called Papua Waterfall. You can also drive to it if island pace has set in and you’re too laid back. . It’s a water intake area and there are signs posted saying " no swimming". The funny thing is its mentioned in the tourist brochures as a great place for a refreshing swim!! Hummm we didn't drink the water anyway. The whole area around it is worth the trip...really lush.
Flowers, mountains, ocean and a spectacular sunset all combined to make the Cook Islands one of the most perfect island get a ways.