Extremely beautiful, most of the inland area on Rarotonga
is covered with dense forestation and mountains. What this means
is that all of the towns and villages on this tiny island are located
along the coast. Easily accessible via the coastal road of Ara Tapu,
getting around Rarotonga is pretty straightforward.
Avarua is the principal town on Rarotonga
and serves as the capital of the
Cook Islands as well. Friendly and bustling, you can find plenty
of shops, banks, restaurants, accommodations and tourist facilities
located out here. A busy port and yacht hub, this town is close
to the Rarotonga International Airport as well. Located on the northern
coast of the island, it is an affordable place to use as a base
camp. The only downside of staying in Avarua is that there
is no beach here.
Outside of Avarua and along the northeastern coast of the island
you will find a number of quiet villages, which make for the ideal
retreat for those who wish to escape the more touristy crowds. The
beaches here however, are not meant for swimming.
As you travel down the eastern coast you will come to the popular
Muri Beach area and Avana Harbor. A busy touristy area, Muri has
plenty of accommodations, resorts,
shops and restaurants to enjoy. The lagoon here is truly stunning
and is teeming with a wide variety of marine life. The diving
and snorkeling here is marvelous, with plenty of opportunities
to enjoy a whole host of water sports and activities.
The southern coast of Rarotonga is quite secluded with not many people living on this part of the island. Perfect for those who are looking for some privacy, you can enjoy some wonderful snorkeling and swimming here.
On the western coast of the island sits the tiny village of ‘Arorangi. Built by missionaries, this village has a number of hotels and resorts to stay at, as well as several places to eat and drink. You can also find a number of small shops up and down the coast, making it a popular place for tourists to spend a few days. One of the main attractions of staying at ‘Arorangi are the beautiful sunsets found here.