Fodor's Expert Review Beaches
Visitors flock to Cook Islands to enjoy the slow pace and the glorious lagoon and beaches. As Rarotonga's only coastal road is just 32 km (20 miles) in circumference, it's easy to visit many of its gorgeous beaches by rental car or local bus. The water is a pleasant 25 degrees Celsius (77 degrees Fahrenheit) most of the year and is stinger-free, making it safe for all to enjoy. On the west coast, Arorangi is a long sandy beach by day and the perfect sunset-viewing spot at dusk; the deepest and widest section of the lagoon that encloses Raratonga is at Muri on the southeast corner of the island. It has a lovely beach and several picturesque motu (islands), and it's where most resorts are located. Rather than to watch stunning sunsets, this is the place for mesmerizing moonrises. The south coast lagoon, especially around the village of Tikiaveka, has great snorkeling, as does much of the south coast.