- Spend the day on the waters of Aitutaki's dreamy blue lagoon, looking out for giant fish and clams in the crystal-clear waters below and indulging in a beachside barbecue off Maina Island.
- Meet a Cook Islands warrior and learn local traditions such as umu (ground oven cooking), weaving, dancing and healing herbal medicines on a guided visit to a small village near Rarotonga.
- This island getaway hits the right balance of inclusions and leisurely beach time. You’ll have plenty of opportunities to explore your own way, either on a range of optional adventures or simply lazing by the lagoon with a cocktail in hand.
- When you’re in the Cook Islands, it’s all about being close to those spectacular beaches. Appreciate the handpicked accommodation perched right on the water, with tropical breakfasts included daily.
- Loving these idyllic islands? We thought so. With a flexible return domestic flight included in your tour price, you can easily extend your stay on Aitutaki for a few extra days in the sun.
20 Nov 2020
Cook Islands Getaway
Validity: 01 Dec 2020 to 31 Dec 2021
Live a life of paradise as you spend six days beach-hopping through the idyllic Cook Islands. The cultural hub of Rarotonga and palm-lined coast of Aitutaki await, with endless stretches of white-sand beach and turquoise lagoons ready to tempt each and every traveller. Not only is rest and relaxation on the cards, but also produce market and local community experiences, interactions with a Cook Islands warrior, and an unforgettable day cruising past tropical fish and clams to the picturesque Maina Island. Beachside barbecues, village visits and plenty of time to simply sit back and let the tropical sun melt your worries away – could this be a glimpse of heaven on earth?
Moana Sands Beachfront Hotel
Ara Tapu Road Main Road Beachfront
1. A Complimentary Arrival Transfer is included on this trip. Please provide your flight details no later than 14 days prior to travel. 2. A Single Supplement to have your own room is available for purchase and includes all nights of this trip. 3. This trip finishes on Aitutaki, however a return flight from Aitutaki to Rarotonga is also included in the cost of your trip as part of an air pass. You may choose to book additional accommodation on Aitutaki at the conclusion of your trip or depart on Day 6. Please advise your requested return flight date at time of booking. 4. You will have local leaders throughout your stay on Rarotonga and Aitutaki, with flights between islands unaccompanied.
All group trips are accompanied by one of our group leaders. The aim of the group leader is to take the hassle out of your travels and to help you have the best trip possible. Intrepid endeavours to provide the services of an experienced leader however, due to the seasonality of travel, rare situations may arise where your leader is new to a particular region or training other group leaders. Your leader will provide information on the places you are travelling through, offer suggestions for things to do and see, recommend great local eating venues and introduce you to our local friends. While not being guides in the traditional sense, you can expect them to have a broad general knowledge of the places visited on the trip, including historical, cultural, religious, and social aspects. At Intrepid we aim to support local guides who have specialised knowledge of the regions we visit. If you were interested in delving deeper into the local culture at a specific site or location then your leader can recommend a local guide service in most of the main destinations of your trip.
Most national governments provide regularly updated foreign travel advice on safety issues involved with international travel. We recommend that you check your government's advice for their latest travel information before departure and ensure that your travel insurance covers you for all destinations and activities on your trip. Please refer to our website's safety page for links to major travel advisories and updates on safety issues affecting our trips here: https://www.intrepidtravel.com/travel-alerts We strongly recommend the use of a neck wallet or money belt while travelling, for the safe-keeping of your passport, flight tickets, cash and other valuable items. Leave your jewellery at home - you won't need it while travelling. Many of our hotels have safety deposit boxes, which is the most secure way of storing your valuables. A lock is recommended for securing your luggage. Your leader will accompany you on all included activities, however, during your trip you'll have some free time to pursue your own interests or relax and take it easy. While your leader will assist you with the available options in a given location, please note that any optional activities you undertake are not part of your Intrepid itinerary, and Intrepid makes no representations about the safety of the activity or the standard of the operators running them. Please use your own good judgement when selecting an activity in your free time. Please also note that your Leader has the authority to amend or cancel any part of the trip itinerary if it's deemed necessary due to safety concerns. Intrepid's operational safety policies can be viewed on our website at the link below. We recommend that you take a moment to read through this information before travelling, and would appreciate any feedback on how safety is being managed on our trips.
CRIME The crime rate is low in the Cook Islands, but thieves do sometimes target tourists who leave items on the beach or unsecured. OPTIONAL ACTIVITIES Transport and tour operators don't always follow safety and maintenance standards. When choosing optional activities to do in your free time, ask about minimum safety requirements and always use available safety gear such as life jackets. Choose another provider or activity if proper safety equipment and standards are not available. SWIMMING Never swim alone and always ask local residents and tour operators about safe areas for swimming and watersports before entering the water as there can be strong tides and breaks in the reefs. Beaches in Cook Islands do not have lifeguards.
PASSPORT You will need a valid passport to travel internationally. As a general rule, most countries require that your passport has a minimum of 6 months validity remaining. Your passport details are required to complete your booking. Please ensure the name on your passport matches the name on your booking and airline tickets exactly and contact us immediately if there are any errors. We recommend taking copies of the main passport pages and other important documents with you as well as leave copies at home with family or friends. VISAS Visas are the responsibility of the individual traveller. Entry requirements can change at any time. It is important that you check your government's foreign travel advisories along with the consular website of the country or countries you are travelling to for the most up to date information specific to your nationality and circumstances. Please be aware that not all visa information found online from other sources may be valid while COVID-19 restrictions are in place. Visas can take several weeks to process, so make sure you research the requirements as soon as you have booked your trip to allow for obtaining any necessary documents as well as the application and processing time. Your booking consultant can advise on a visa processing service or you can apply yourself directly through a consulate. Below you will find general visa advice about the destinations on your trip. Due to constantly evolving COVID-19 requirements and restrictions, please refer to your government's foreign travel advice for most up to date information. When you come to the Cook Islands, a valid passport and a return ticket will allow you a stay of up to 31 days. New Zealand citizens are eligible for a 90-day stay on arrival.
Spend the day on the waters of Aitutaki's dreamy blue lagoon, looking out for giant fish and clams in the crystal-clear waters below and indulging in a beachside barbecue off Maina Island.
Meet a Cook Islands warrior and learn local traditions such as umu (ground oven cooking), weaving, dancing and healing herbal medicines on a guided visit to a small village near Rarotonga.
This island getaway hits the right balance of inclusions and leisurely beach time. You’ll have plenty of opportunities to explore your own way, either on a range of optional adventures or simply lazing by the lagoon with a cocktail in hand.
When you’re in the Cook Islands, it’s all about being close to those spectacular beaches. Appreciate the handpicked accommodation perched right on the water, with tropical breakfasts included daily.
Loving these idyllic islands? We thought so. With a flexible return domestic flight included in your tour price, you can easily extend your stay on Aitutaki for a few extra days in the sun.
This trip is new to our range this year. And while we have thoroughly researched every detail of the logistics, new destinations can sometimes throw us some unexpected surprises. More often than not, it’ll be a great surprise. But every now and again there might be a hiccup. We like to think that’s what puts the ‘adventure’ in ‘adventure travel’. This trip finishes on Aitutaki, giving you the opportunity to spend more on this true island paradise if you wish. Do keep in mind that a return flight from Aitutaki to Rarotonga is included with the price of your tour and can be booked for a later date if you require. Please advise your agent at the time booking if you wish to fly out at the end of your tour, or at a later date.
GENERAL HEALTH All travellers need to be in good physical health in order to participate fully on this trip. When selecting your trip please make sure you have read through the itinerary carefully and assess your ability to manage and enjoy our style of travel. Please note that if in the opinion of our group leader or local guide any traveller is unable to complete the itinerary without undue risk to themselves and/or the rest of the group, we reserve the right to exclude them from all or part of a trip without refund. You should consult your doctor for up-to-date medical travel information or for any necessary vaccinations before departure. We recommend that you carry a first aid kit as well as any personal medical requirements as they may not easily be obtained while travelling. Below you can find some further information about health issues relevant to the destinations visited on this trip. COVID-19 The safety and wellbeing of our travellers, leaders, crew, staff, and suppliers continues to remain our highest priority as we travel. You can read more about how we will keep you safe on our trips, including our COVID-19 Health & Safety Guidelines here: https://www.intrepidtravel.com/safe-travels We will not require a negative COVID-19 test before joining a trip unless it is a requirement of entry for the country. If you are unwell prior to travelling, please stay at home and contact us to make alternative arrangements. At the group meeting, you will be asked to complete a self-screening health form and report any COVID-19 symptoms as well as any close contact with someone who has suspected or confirmed COVID-19. If you are displaying any symptoms or have any health concerns at this time, we will follow the advice of local health authorities to determine whether medical assistance, isolation or further action is required. We ask all travellers to continue to monitor their health throughout their travels and report any relevant symptoms to their tour leader. INSECT-BORNE DISEASES Outbreaks of dengue and other diseases caused by mosquitoes sometimes occur. Protect yourself against mosquitoes by using insect repellant and wearing long, loose, light-coloured clothing. MEDICAL FACILITIES Medical facilities are limited in the Cook Islands, especially on the outer islands. Make sure you are in good health before travelling and that you carry basic first aid supplies and any medications you may need with you.
Food in the Cook Islands is fresh and local. Enjoy specialties like ika mata (a salad of raw fish, coconut cream and vegetables), coconut octopus curry, taro leaves and greens, fresh seafood and all manner of tropical fruits like star fruit, passionfruit, mangoes, paw paw, custard apples and more. A traditional way of cooking is in an "umu", an underground oven filled with heated stones and firewood in which meat and vegetables are wrapped in banana leaves to cook. Please let us know in advance if you have any special dietary requirements so we can do our best to cater for you.
The Cook Islands unit of currency is the New Zealand dollar, supplemented by local coins. The unique local coins and notes are not exchangeable outside of the Cook Islands, but are great souvenirs to take home! There are ATMs in Rarotonga and Aitutaki and EFTPOS is accepted at most hotels and restaurants. SPENDING MONEY When it comes to spending money on the trip, every traveller is a little different. You know your spending habits better than we do, so please budget an appropriate amount for things like optional meals, drinks, shopping, optional activities, and laundry. Make sure you have read the itinerary and inclusions thoroughly so you know what is included in the trip price and what you may need to pay for while travelling. CONTINGENCY FUNDS We try to plan for every eventuality, but there are still some things beyond our control. We reserve the right to change an itinerary after departure due to local circumstances or a Force Majeure Event. In such emergency circumstances, the additional cost of any necessary itinerary alterations will be covered by you. Please note we are not responsible for any incidental expenses that may be incurred as a result of the change of itineraries including but not limited to visas, vaccinations or non-refundable flights. Make sure you have access to an extra US$500 for emergencies (e.g. severe weather, natural disasters, civil unrest) or other events that result in unavoidable changes to the itinerary (e.g. transport strikes or cancellations, airport closures). Sometimes these things necessitate last-minute changes to enable our trips to continue to run, and as a result, there may be some extra costs involved. The recommended amount is listed in USD for the relatability of universal travellers, however, local currency may be needed once in the country to cover these costs.
WHAT TO BRING: - A small backpack for day tours - Camera - Some waterproof bags to protect your gear during water activities - Swimwear - Reef-friendly sunscreen - Sunglasses & sunhat - Comfortable walking shoes - Reusable water bottle - Insect repellant - Towel - Reef shoes - Light sweater for cooler evenings
The Cook Islands are pleasantly warm and sunny year-round. June to August are the cooler months, with November to March marking the warmer, wetter season, with occasional tropical showers. The drier months are from April to November with an average temperature of 26°C. The warmer more humid and months are from December to March with a temperature range of 22°C (min) to 31°C (max).
Everyone has the right to feel safe when they travel. We don’t tolerate any form of violence (verbal or physical) or sexual harassment, either between customers or involving our leaders, partners or local people. Sexual relationships between a tour leader and a customer are strictly forbidden. Use or possession of illegal drugs will not be tolerated on our trips. If you choose to consume alcohol while travelling, we encourage responsible drinking and expect that you’ll abide by the local laws regarding alcohol consumption. The sex tourism industry is known to exploit vulnerable people and have negative consequences on communities, including undermining the development of sustainable tourism. For this reason, patronising sex workers will not be tolerated on our trips. By travelling with us you are agreeing to adhere to these rules. You must at all times comply with the laws, customs, foreign exchange and drug regulations of all countries visited, and you also agree to travel in accordance with our Responsible Travel Guidelines. The decision of the group leader is final on all matters likely to affect the safety or well-being of any traveller or staff member participating in the trip. If you fail to comply with a decision made by a group leader, or interfere with the well-being or mobility of the group, the group leader may direct you to leave the trip immediately, with no right of refund. We may also elect not to carry you on any future trips booked. If you feel that someone is behaving inappropriately while travelling with us, please inform your tour leader or local guide immediately. Alternatively, contact us on the emergency contact number detailed in the Problems and Emergency Contact section of this Essential Trip Information. For additional Conditions of Carriage regarding COVID-19, see here: https://www.intrepidtravel.com/conditions-carriage
Can’t stop thinking about your adventure? Tell us all about it! We read each piece of feedback carefully and use it to make improvements for travellers like you. Share your experience with us at: http://www.intrepidtravel.com/feedback/
While we always endeavour to provide the best possible holiday experience, due to the nature of travel and the areas we visit sometimes things can and do go wrong. Should any issue occur while you are on your trip, it is imperative that you discuss this with your group leader or our local representative straight away so that they can do their best to rectify the problem and save any potential negative impact on the rest of your trip. We recognise that there may be times when your group leader/local partner may not be able to resolve a situation to your satisfaction - if this is the case, please ask the leader to speak to their direct manager. You may also choose to provide details in your online feedback, which we ask you to complete within 30 days of the end of your trip. Please do be aware that it is very difficult for us to provide any practical help after the trip is completed, so informing us while still travelling will give us the opportunity to resolve the issue in real-time. For general contact details please use the following page: http://www.intrepidtravel.com/ourtrips/contact/ In case of a genuine crisis or emergency, you can reach our local office on the number below:
Our Responsible Travel Policy outlines our commitment to preserving the environment, supporting local communities, protecting the vulnerable, and giving back to the places we travel. All our trip leaders, suppliers, and staff are trained on these principles and are core to us delivering sustainable, experience-rich travel. Explore the different parts of our Responsible Travel Policy by visiting: https://www.intrepidtravel.com/responsible-travel LOCAL DRESS Although the dress code is informal, we do ask that you please dress modestly by not wearing brief attire when visiting town, villages and church. Nude or topless sunbathing will cause offence. Learn more about dressing like a local here: https://youtu.be/zgN3cMwakrk LOCAL CULTURE The Cook Islands takes much pride in their culture and values. Learn more about this "vaka pride" here: https://www.kiaorana.cookislands.travel/
Help us change thousands of lives by creating meaningful work and supporting skills training in communities around the world. The Intrepid Foundation is the not-for-profit for Intrepid Group. We work with local organisations around the world to improve the livelihoods of vulnerable individuals and communities through sustainable travel experiences. With our travellers’ help, we’ve contributed more than AU $6 million to over 100 community organisations since 2002. Did you know that tourism is one of the biggest contributors to the global economy, making up 1 out of every 10 jobs? That’s why we support local projects that create meaningful jobs and give people the skills they need to work in the destinations we take you to. And it’s why we exist – to make it easy for travellers to give back to the communities and places they’ve been in an effective and meaningful way. Intrepid Group covers all administration costs, every cent goes directly to the projects. Donating is simple and secure. Please ask your leader for information about the projects we support through The Intrepid Foundation or visit our website: http://www.theintrepidfoundation.org/
The style of accommodation indicated in the day-to-day itinerary is a guideline only and may change. On some occasions, alternative arrangements may need to be made due to the lack of availability of rooms in our preferred accommodation. In these cases, we will use a similar standard of accommodation. Throughout the trip, we request that our properties prepare rooms in time for our arrival, especially if we're arriving prior to normal check-in time. However, this isn't always possible which means we won't be able to check-in immediately on arrival at some hotels. Instead, we can store our luggage and explore our new destination or on some trips, have use of shared day rooms until all rooms are available.
Travel insurance is compulsory on all our trips for those travelling internationally. We require that at a minimum you are covered for medical expenses including emergency repatriation. If you are travelling within your home country or region please confirm before travel that you are entitled to access the public medical system easily should an accident occur. We strongly recommend all travellers have a policy that also covers personal liability, cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage or personal effects. For international trips, you will not be permitted to join the group until evidence of travel insurance and the insurance company's 24-hour emergency contact number has been sighted by your leader. If you have credit card insurance your group leader will require details of the participating insurer/underwriter, the level of coverage, policy number, and emergency contact number rather than the bank's name and your credit card details. Please contact your bank for these details prior to arriving in-country. Travellers who reside within the European Union or Switzerland receive basic international health insurance, so travel insurance is not mandatory under European Union Law. However, as this does not cover situations such as emergency rescues, private health care, or repatriation to their home country, comprehensive travel insurance is strongly recommended. European Union or Swiss travellers who decline travel insurance when travelling outside of their home region must sign a Travel Insurance Waiver Form at the Group Meeting. For assistance with travel insurance or other services, please visit the link below: https://www.intrepidtravel.com/booking-resources/our-services
As you travel on a group trip you will be exposed to all the pleasures and maybe some of the frustrations of travelling in a group. Your fellow travellers will probably come from all corners of the world and likely a range of age groups too. We ask you to be understanding of the various needs and preferences of your group - patience with your fellow travellers is sometimes required for the benefit of everyone's travel experience. Remember too that you have responsibilities to the group. If you are requested to be at a place at a certain time, ensure that you don't keep the rest of the group waiting. We have found time and time again that the very best trips we operate are those where the dynamics within the group work well - this takes just a little effort on your part. Due to privacy reasons, we are unable to provide you with contact details and any personal information about your fellow travellers booked on your trip prior to departure. SOLO TRAVELLERS This is the beauty of our style of travel: many of our travellers join because they are travelling solo and want to meet and share experiences with like-minded people. As a solo traveller, you will be paired up with another traveller of the same gender as per your passport information. Please note that this only applies to accommodation during the tour. Pre-trip and post-trip accommodation booked through us will on a single room basis. If you’re not comfortable sharing a room with someone of the same gender, you also have the choice to pay for a single supplement (available on the majority of our trips). If you don’t identify with the gender assigned on your passport, please let us know at time of booking and we’ll arrange the rooming configuration accordingly. Some of our itineraries have accommodation booked on an open gender, multi-share basis and where applicable this will be specified in our Essential Trip Information.
ITINERARY CHANGES Our itineraries are updated regularly throughout the year based on customer feedback and to reflect the current situation in each destination. The information included in this Essential Trip Information may therefore differ from when you first booked your trip. It is important that you review this information prior to travel so that you have the latest updates. Due to weather, local conditions, transport schedules, public holidays, or other factors, further changes may be necessary to your itinerary once in-country. The order and timing of included activities in each location may also vary seasonally to ensure our travellers have the best experience. Your tour leader will keep you up to date with any such changes once on tour. OPTIONAL ACTIVITIES A selection of optional activities that have been popular with past travellers are listed in the day-to-day itinerary. This isn't an exhaustive list and should be used as a guide only for some of what might be available. Prices are approximate, are for entrance only, and don’t include transport to and from the sites or local guides unless indicated. All activities are subject to availability, and maybe on a join-in basis. It may not be possible to do all the activities listed in the time available at each destination, so some pre-planning for what you are most interested in is advised. When it's recommended that travellers pre-book these activities, look for a note in the Special Information section of the day-to-day itinerary. For most, they can either be organised independently on the day, or let your leader know you are interested in the Group Meeting and they can assist. Where activities are considered medium or high risk, we work with operators whose safety and credentials we have sighted and assessed. Although it is possible that you may find the same activity cheaper with another operator on the ground, we cannot vouch for the safety or quality of that operator. Medium and high-risk activities not listed above have not been assessed by us and as such our staff and leaders are unable to assist you with organising these activities. Activities that contravene our Responsible Travel policies are also not listed. Please remember that the decision to partake in any activity not listed is at your own discretion and risk.
Beachfront hotel (3 nights),Beach bungalow (2 nights)