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Cook Islands Travel Guide

Aitutaki Map

The 2,000 residents of Aitutaki live in eight villages strung along the roads on both sides of the main island. The roads are red-brown in the center of the island, coral white around the edge, and the locals generally get around on motor scooters. The administration and most local businesses are clustered near the wharf at Arutanga. All of the villages have huge community halls built mostly with money sent from New Zealand. There's tremendous rivalry among the villages to have the biggest and best one, although they're unused most of the time. The motu are uninhabited, and there aren't any dogs at all on Aitutaki.

Aitutaki is the only Cook island other than Rarotonga where there's a good choice of places to stay, entertainment, and organized activities. One way to go is to catch a Thursday or Friday flight up from Rarotonga so as to be on hand for "island night" that evening. Book a lagoon trip for Saturday and you'll still have Sunday to scooter around the island or laze on the beach. Fly back on Monday or Tuesday, having sidestepped Rarotonga's dull Sunday. This is probably too short a stay, however, and a week on the island would be better.

Aitutaki Map
to Arutanga Map