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Less than an hours’ flight from Rarotonga lies the volcanic and coral atoll of Aitutaki.  The island is known for its spectacular lagoon and for Tapuatetai (One Foot Island) which has been made famous by “Survivor Cook Islands”.  Many compare the lagoons of Aitutaki
to the lagoons of Bora Bora.

You fly to Aitutaki on Air Rarotonga on a twin-engne prop-jet aircraft.  The airline operates regularly scheduled flights to eight of the other islands.

The Aitutaki Airport.

The main town on Aitutaki is Arutanga and here there is a market, post office, police station, an information center and a church.   You can get around the island on a motor scooter, bicycle or 4WD vehicle or be shown around by a tour company.  Besides exploring Arutanga, you can visit the other small towns of Amuri, Ureia, Reureu and Nikaupara, visit a marae, go swimming, snorkeling, hiking, diving, fishing, picnicking or go on a lagoon cruise to One-Foot Island.  In the evening a must do is to go to Samade’s for dinner and watch the famous dancers of the Cook Islands.

The main town on Aitutaki is Arutanga.

The Aitutaki Police Station with the police scooters standing by!

Like all Cook Island towns, the church is the focal point.

One of the highlights and a must do when you are on Aitutaki is to take a day cruise to One-Foot Island (Tapuaetai) (left) on Paradise Islands Lagoon Cruise.  

On the cruise you are taught how to open coconuts and how to make plates and dishes out of palm fronds.

Photos by Christine Meny

Only on Aitutaki can you meet a bishop and a queen!   This is Bishop Paul and Queen Manarangi Tutai.  Paul owns a touring company and can take you around his island.

The local supermarket.

The Cook Islands have beautiful stamps that you can buy.  Left:  the Post Office.

A delicious BBQ buffet lunch is served  on board.  

Another must do is to spend an island night at Samade’s feasting on traditional Cook Island foods and watching the Flowers of Rarotonga dance. 

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