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Rarotonga - Cook Islands

If you are searching for the perfect vacation escape, look no further than the tiny island of Rarotonga in the South Pacific Ocean. With an allure and charm all its own, Rarotonga is the largest of the Cook Islands at just 67.2 sq km. Home to a population of more than 9,000, this gorgeous isle is filled with friendly natives, incredible beaches, an azure lagoon and soaring mountains, making it one of the most stunningly beautiful islands in the world.

Situated in the Southern Island Group, this tropical paradise is a wonderful retreat and the best place to enjoy all that the Cook Islands have to offer. Here life moves at its own pace, otherwise known as ‘Raro time,’ with a mellow laidback atmosphere making it the ideal destination for those looking to kickback and relax. If you ever get tired of relaxing, don’t worry as there are plenty of activities to enjoy on Rarotonga from diving and snorkeling to fishing, hiking, sailing, kayaking, swimming, horseback riding and surfing.

The youngest of the Cook Islands, Rarotonga derives its name from the words ‘raro’ which means down and ‘tonga’ which means south, as this island is the second southern most of the Cooks. According to local legend, this island was first found by Io Tangaroa of Nuku Hiva Island in the Marquesas. A historically important Polynesian island, Rarotonga today, is home to the Cook Islands capital of Avarua. The most developed of all the islands, banks, ATMs, internet cafes and a hospital can all be found here.

With a climate very much like Hawaii’s, the only difference is that the seasons are opposite with Rarotonga lying south of the equator. A unique travel experience, getting around Rarotonga is rather easy with a main coastal ring road running around the island, along which you can find plenty of accommodations, hotels, resorts, restaurants, apartments, cafes, stores, rental shops, travel agencies and tourist offices.  The international airport lies on Rarotonga’s northwestern coast, with Avarua situated on the north coast, 2 km east of the airport.

Avarua is the best place to stay on the island, with Muri Beach on the eastern coast acting as the activities hub. The south coast is pretty quiet with scattered accommodation, while on the western coast there are a number of affordable hotel and resort accommodations. Most of Rarotonga’s inland area is mountainous and unpopulated with steep verdant valleys.

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