Cook Islands Questions

Jun 11th, 2001, 12:51 PM
  #1  
Holly
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Cook Islands Questions

Hello,
I just returned from Bora Bora and had the most amazing time. I am excited to explore the South Pacific further and have heard great things about the Cook Islands, specifically Aitutaki. Has anybody been there? How long is the flight from LAX? Is it better than Fiji? Where is the best place to stay? Thanks!!!
 
Jun 11th, 2001, 05:02 PM
  #2  
Peggy
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If you loved Bora Bora, you will also find Aitutaki wonderful, especially the overwater bungalows (part on land, part over water with ladder to lagoon) at Pearl Beach resort,www.pearlbeachresorts.com, half the price of BB. Huge lagoon, only 20 some odd bungalows total, totally romantic & relaxing. Cook Islands are only 1&half hours past Tahiti. There are non-stop flights from LAX. We just went in May. Fiji is fabulous also. So is Samoa! I also love the South Pacific. It also depends on your budget what I would recommend, there are all levels of accommodations. On Rarotonga my favorite is Pacific resort & villas.
 
Jun 11th, 2001, 09:23 PM
  #3  
Jackie
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I was on Rarotonga and Aitutaki in May for two weeks and loved both islands. I spent 9 nights on Rarotonga and 3 nights at the Pearl Beach on Aitutaki. The Pearl Beach was wonderful and the lagoon there was incredible! I wish that I had spent more time on Aitutaki. The flight from LAX is 9 1/2 hours nonstop, but some flights have a short layover in Tahiti. I haven`t been to Tahiti or Fiji, but someday I hope to go there. If you get the chance, definitely go to the Cook Islands!
 
Jun 12th, 2001, 03:26 PM
  #4  
Holly
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Thanks for the input! It sounds great. Are there restaurants or grocery stores there (to stock up necessities, such as beer/wine/snacks) or are you kind of isolated that way? Would you say it's less touristy than Tahiti is? (don't get me wrong - I LOVE Tahiti, but they definitely have the tourist element) Any other thoughts would be greatly appreciated.
Holly
 
Jun 12th, 2001, 04:13 PM
  #5  
Jackie
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Dear Holly,
There are many places on Rarotonga to buy snacks and a few places on Aitutaki. I rented a Suzuki car on both islands and was very glad I did. Not really expensive and a good way to get around. Actually, on Aitutaki you would only need a car or scooter for a day. Since I haven`t been to Tahiti, I can`t compare as far as tourism goes, but the Cook Islands are definitely less touristy than either Hawaii or Mexico. An added plus...our U.S. dollar goes very far there.
 
Jun 12th, 2001, 06:00 PM
  #6  
Peggy
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I agree. We had a kitchen on Raro & got canned goods etc from the big market & fruits from the many small stands around the island. Pearl Beach is more isolated, that's what makes it great & we opted for the meal plan so we didn't have to leave the resort..our bungalow was too great to want to leave!..every time we got hungary. Some days the rain would have made it hard to get somewhere else easily. There were rainy days & sunny days but with that view it was all good. We did check out the island though & felt Pearl was the best place to be overall. Cook Islands have a much different atmosphere than Tahiti. As much as we liked BB & Moorea & their physical beauty is undeniable, the Cook Islands are much less touristy. You feel you kind of blend into the island life, especially on Raro. Pearl Beach is too small to feel overwhelmed by people or activities. And if you want something even less so, look at www.coconutsbeachclubsamoa.com! Enjoy your hunt for the next adventure!
 
Jun 13th, 2001, 09:11 AM
  #7  
Holly
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Peggy, you keep talking about Somoa, and you've got me intrigued. How long is the flight? We're on a little bit of a time constraint b/c we have two small children who will be staying at home w/ grandparents, so we don't want to spend the entire time in the air. Is Somoa (sp?) your favorite place of all? How is the dollar down there? Thank you for your thoughts/advice.
Holly
 
Jun 13th, 2001, 10:22 AM
  #8  
Peggy
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Samoa is sort of between Tahiti & Fiji. Same flight time as Cooks, depending on non-stop or not. We loved Coconuts Beach Club. Samoa is again very different than Tahiti or Cooks. More culturally intact, more local customs to observe, it is not touristy but you do feel like a tourist because they live in houses with no walls & cook outside! (outside of Apia)while you are at a resort. Just depends on what you are looking for. Some people just want a beach, which is fine, but you can go to Hawaii for that. I look for seclusion, privacy, beaches, snorkeling but culture, diverse foods & interaction with the locals if possible. Probably after Tahiti, I'd go to Raro/Aitutaki & then Samoa. It's like getting more & more off the beaten path each time. Of course you had to ask my favorite & though not ONE island could be my absolute favorite if I HAD to chose one place to go back to, it would be Vatulele, Fiji....and of course it's the most expensive!
 
Jun 13th, 2001, 10:26 AM
  #9  
Holly
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Peggy, tell me about Fiji (just pretend I have no budget, which is what I do until reality sets in) How much more expensive is it? Is it the flight or the hotel or the food that is so pricey?
 
Jun 14th, 2001, 08:06 AM
  #10  
Peggy
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That is a big question! You can have hundreds of different experiences in Fiji, there are so many islands & all levels of accommodations from backpacker to high end. So this is just my experience, not the only way to go. Vatulele & Turtle Island are private islands so the rate is all inclusive, there is not where else to go for food & drink, but it is all provided & as much as you want including champagne. Vatulele has Hobie cats, private island picnics for the day, private or group dining in varies locations, visit to local village to see tapia paper making, fantastic beaches & food & service & good snorkeling or diving if you do, huge bures with your own private stretch of beach with beach lounges & hut, beach service etc. etc.....At Namale on Vanua Levu we visited towns & villages but the resort was still all-inclusive. SO I feel for all you get the price is justified. I've paid a much lower daily rate but tack on the food & drinks & watersports & taxis etc & you may have spent as much but did not come close the same experience. Look up Vatulele at vatulele.com or turtlefiji.com or namalefiji.com & other resorts in fiji at fijivacations.com. Do some research & see if this is what you want, the sites lists prices. Everyone has a different approach to what they want from a vacation. We have traveled on all different levels & I am happy as long as I'm seeing something new, Vatulele was just a special experience but we had visited Fiji many times & didn't feel we were missing experiencing the culture or variations of such by staying in a more remote location. You do get to know the local people because they are so friendly. You can get a package that includes airfare or get wholesale air through Claudia at Pacificforless.com. And yes there was a coup in Fiji & elections in August may trigger some unrest but we felt perfectly safe there but advise to avoid Suva, which is not near the international airport in Nadi.
You can e-mail me privately if you wish.
I am actually trying to find a place to go for next spring & am having a hard time! Giid luck with your search.
 
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