Aitutaki translates to ‘a little paradise’ which is what it is. It is home to 1800 charming people and is considered one of the most beautiful lagoons in the world. Aitutaki is a secluded sun-kissed lagoon that is home to 15 motus or islets; one of the best tourist destinations in the world. The island, which is part of the Cook Islands, has many things to offer; some of the best are covered in this article.
First things first; it is a stunning lagoon that has much to offer in terms of marine life. There is a brimming population of marine life making it a South Pacific treasure. Maina or ‘Little Girl’ is the best place to go snorkeling while in Aitutaki; it is also home to the red-tail tropicbird which is treasured for its red crimson feathers.
The second wonderful thing you can expect from Aitutaki is a delightful coconut cake, sweet fruit smoothies, and lovely afternoon teas. These can all be found at Tauono’s Garden Café; a charming garden café run by one-time Canadian-Austrian Sonja and her occasional team of travelers and WWOOFers (Willing Workers on Organic Farms). The best thing about this place is that all the food is organic and made from freshly-picked ingredients in the onsite garden.
Speaking of food, the Flying Boat Beach Bar & Grill is another place you should visit for great cuisine. It is a daytime restaurant that is open to outsiders that offers more than great food. It has one of the most stunning locations; near the horizon on an above-water deck, so you will go for the food but stay for the view. My friend who owns a catering company was impressed with the service here. If that says anything, it means you should really check it out!
The Tamanu Beachfront is home to the Tamanu Beach Hotel; a breezy, thatched-roof, open-sided restaurant that is always open to outsiders. Here, you will enjoy the stunning view, a beautiful sand beach, and a chance to dine on Pacific-style fresh fish, great salads and other local dishes; all in the warmth of the sunset.
If you like outdoor activities that challenge your body but still keep the focus on fun, then the 30-minute hike to the top of Maungapu (124m) will be a wonderful experience. It is the highest peak in Aitutaki that will provide you with a magnificent view of the whole atoll and deep blue lagoon. The track will start you off gently then gradually become more challenging; in the end, the view is worth every step.