Hey travelers! We are Alex and Victoria from Northabroad. Welcome to our article on Rarotonga (Cook Islands)! Both of us grew up in Copenhagen, Denmark with parents who loved to travel. We have both been travelling since a very young age. With that privileged upbringing, it kind of makes sense that we still long to take adventures around the world.
Since meeting in 2010, we have loved every moment of exploring the world together. Being able to travel has always been a priority for us. It’s much more important than buying new clothes or dining out at restaurants.
In 2017, we quit the 9-5 lifestyle to live as digital nomads. We absolutely love the freedom this gives us. On our blog – www.northabroad.com – we write about the destinations we visit as well as sharing digital nomad tips. On our Instagram profile @northabroad we share the best photos from our trips.
A Month in Rarotonga, Cook Islands
While travelling full-time is an absolute dream come true, it can also be exhausting and that’s why we mostly travel at a slower pace these days. To really enjoy the Cook Islands but also have the time to work, we decided to rent an Airbnb and stay for a month on the main island of Rarotonga.
Things To Do in the Cook Islands
Taking photos in the Cook Islands is almost too easy because it’s such a beautiful place. Our favourite place was without a doubt Aitutaki – a small island surrounded by a turquoise lagoon. You can visit on a day trip from Rarotonga but we stayed for two nights to enjoy this heavenly island.
We have actually written another complete travel guide on the Cook Islands for Aitutaki as well with all of our best tips on what to do on the island. In general, all of the islands of the Cook Islands are about enjoying the beach, going snorkelling, and doing water activities like sailing.
One of the best memories from our trip to the Cook Islands was when we went snorkeling with turtles! We saw a lot of them up close and it’s just incredible witnessing these gentle animals in their own environment.
The islands also offer opportunities for biking (especially in Rarotonga), trekking in the lush landscapes, strolling around the local markets, eating fresh fruit and learning about the unique Polynesian culture.
The local culture is so vibrant and Cook Islanders are amazing and happy people. The Cook Islands is such a relaxing place to be and the people really underscore that. Everywhere we went, people were friendly and smiling!
Fresh Foods of the Cook Islands
We are vegan and eat a plant-based diet. So we thought that it would be difficult to find good food in Rarotonga and the Cook Islands. However, it wasn’t a problem at all! While there aren’t completely vegan restaurants in the islands, quite a few places actually had vegan options!
We have written about these places in a vegan eating guide with the best restaurants and cafes in Rarotonga, Cook Islands. Also, there is a surprising number of fantastic supermarkets which sell fresh fruits and vegetables. Some supermarkets even have vegan, gluten-free and organic products.
Of course, we loved drinking fresh coconut water everyday. Rukau (taro leaves cooked with coconut cream) quickly became our favourite local dish.
Staying at an Airbnb in Rarotonga
As we stayed for a month in Rarotonga, we rented a small apartment on Airbnb. If you travel on a budget like us, the Cook Islands can feel a little bit expensive. So an Airbnb is a great option. If you don’t have a budget and want to go all out, there are amazing 5-star beachfront resorts with pools.
Need to Know Before you Go
Prepare for offline time without your screens because the Internet is expensive. To our knowledge, there is no free Wi-Fi and you have to purchase mobile data. There are plenty of ATMs in Rarotonga though.
It’s a safe destination to visit and sunburn is probably the biggest danger so remember reef-safe sunscreen! And something we find really cool: you can get free, clean drinking water at several water stations around the island.
So bring a refillable water bottle. For more travel tips, check out our travel guides to the Cook Islands and write to us if you have any questions! We would love to help you plan a dream vacation to the amazing Cook Islands.