With white-sand beaches and clear turquoise lagoons fringed with bowing coconut palms, it’d be tempting to just laze on the beach all day in Rarotonga. But there’s much more to do on the little island. Explore the backroads, try new adventure activities, and enjoy an evening of entertainment. Here’s how to spend a perfect day in Raro.
Morning: Take a cycling tour
Make the most of the cooler morning air and embark on a guided cycling tour of the island. Biking is a great way to get to know the rhythms of local life, as you make your way along the coast and through villages, forests, and farmland. Tours suit various fitness levels. If cycling isn’t your thing, opt for a guided walking tour and learn about Rarotongan culture as you take in the views.
Afternoon: Cool off in the sea
Time for a quick post-lunch dip in the ocean after your active morning. If you still have energy to expend, rent a stand-up paddleboard and explore the lagoon from the surface—lessons are available. If you’re seeking a more relaxed afternoon, go on a glass-bottom boat tour. One of the best ways to see the colorful coral and sea life offshore, it’s like snorkeling without getting wet.
Night: Experience an Island Night
You can’t visit the Cook Islands without experiencing an Island Night show, a cultural performance with singing, dancing, authentic local costumes, and sometimes even fire. Put on by troupes from around Rarotonga, the shows are a cultural fiesta that all kinds of travelers enjoy. An Island Night usually includes a meal and drinks, although you can find different packages to suit your needs.