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Cook Island Vacation 2008

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We are thinking of possibly going to the Cook Islands in April 2008. We have been to FP twice now, Bora Bora 2x, Moorea and Taha'a and are looking for a another great South Pacific vacation.

From everything I have read Aitutaki seems to be the place that fits us. We like to see the gorgeous crystal clear waters, snorkel, lounge around, lagoon tours. I am wondering if Rarotonga is necessary to even see for a few days. I am also looking for feedback on accomodations. I have been looking at the Pacific Resort in Aitutaki and am open to ideas if we stay in Rarotonga.

If anyone has been to the atolls of FP can you compare? We are deciding between either Cook Islands or doing 2 atolls of FP. We definitely prefer quiet, private places with some degree of luxury and culture.

Thanks,
TC

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    Travcarib:

    I can not compare Rarotonga to any of the places you noted.

    It is several years now since my wife and I have been to Rarotonga. Two times there, Western Samoa two times, Tonga once and Figi once.

    We liked all those stops with the exception of fiji, we liked Rarotonga best. The people were friendly,laid back and generally very pleasant.

    If I were to make that stop again on our way to New Zealand, I would certainly look forward to it.

    Since then we have taken Air New Zealand Premium Economy direct flight. I do not think that Premium Economy seats are available to the Cooks.

    Of course, our opinion of the Cooks is a very subjective view.

    Good luck in any choice you make. I do not see how a person can go very far wrong in the south Pacific.

    Woodie

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    Aitutaki seems to fit your description of your goals. The people are very friendly, the lagoon is beautiful, though you need to take a lagoon/snorkle cruise to enjoy it. Go for the smaller boats, as you get to go to more interesting snorkle locations. We liked Aitutaki and the Cooks in general. From all I've heard, the Pacific would be great.
    Raro is more developed, but still laid back south pacific. Muri Beach is the location that suits most people. It's been a while since I was there, so out of touch with hotels, etc., so just google Muri Beach and start the search. Snorkling is best about a km to the west of Muri.
    We stayed three nights on Raro and then 4 on Aitutaki. Flew home after flying back to Raro from Aitutaki. Could easily have shifted one day from Raro to Aitutaki.
    Though, I must say, the Cooks did not measure up to the solitude and pure south pacific feel as Rangiroa, in the Tuamotos group in French Polynesia. Especially the Kia Ora Sauvage, a small motu with 5 huts, no electricity. Like Robinson Caruso on a meal plan.
    Check out Kia Ora Village, Rangiroa.
    Snorkeling through the pass was world class, and the best ever snorkling experience we have ever had.
    Major price difference though. The words budget and Tahiti don't go well together in one sentence, as you no doubt know. Rangiroa remains one of the most memorable trips of our lifetime.
    Like the previous poster, you can't hardly go wrong in the south pacific if you are looking for quietude and serenity.

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