Best Beaches in the Cook Islands

The Cook Islands are home to some of the best beaches in the South Pacific.

The finest beaches ring the coastline of Aitutaki Island, while others fringe numerous tiny atolls that dot the turquoise lagoon – just perfect for couples celebrating a romantic honeymoon holiday.

Aitutaki beaches…

The northwest coast of Aitutaki Island boasts a string of gorgeous, palm-fringed white-sand beaches, including…

One Foot Island

(Tapuaetai Motu) – Pick your own spot to sunbathe on the fine sugar-white sand of Tapuaeta’i Motu, more commonly known as One Foot Island.

Wander barefoot along sand bars at low tide, enjoy a perfect picnic and go snorkelling, scuba diving or fishing in the turquoise waters that gently lap the beach of this idyllic island.

Easy to reach by boat on a day trip, One Foot Island is located in the south of Aitutaki Lagoon, one of the best beaches in the South Pacific.

Samade Beach

Dig your toes into the gorgeous, soft sugar-white sands of Samade Beach overlooking Aitutaki Lagoon on secluded Ootu Point on the northeast cape of Aitutaki Island.

Come on a day trip or stay overnight and longer at the 4-star Samade on the Beach Resort, and be pampered with style.

Akitua Motu

Sitting just 50m away from Ootu Point, lies the tiny, private atoll of Akitua Motu, home to a gorgeous white-sand beach and the luxury Aitutaki Lagoon Resort and Spa.

Relax in the attractive overwater bungalows, sunbathe on the exquisite beach, swim in the turquoise waters of Aitutaki Lagoon or explore nearby tiny motus in a kayak.

Akaiami Motu

Unwind on the gorgeous white-sand beach that surrounds Akaiami Motu, home to the stunning palm-fringed Kaiami Beach and the luxury Akaiami Beach Lodge.

Rarotonga beaches…

The south and east coasts of Rarotonga offer some of the best beaches for swimming and snorkelling, while the west coast is more sheltered (being on the leeward side of the island) and offers magical tropical sunsets.

Both the north and northeast coast of Rarotonga are generally rugged with no lagoons for swimming, however they make good beaches for strolling and beachcombing.

The best beaches on Rarotonga Island, include…

Muri Beach

Discover one of Rarotonga’s prettiest beaches, a kilometer-long narrow crescent of palm-fringed white sand that shelves gently into clear turquoise waters.

Located on the southeast coast of Rarotonga, Muri Beach offers safe swimming in a shallow sandy-bottomed lagoon, with great snorkelling amid sea cucumbers, coral formations and colourful fish as you edge closer to the reef.

Just offshore, lie four tiny uninhabited motus (islands) that are ideal for exploring. Sunbathe on the beach, rent a paddle-boat or sailing catamaran, go windsurfing and para-surfing, then be pampered at one of the beachfront resorts such as the boutique-style Pacific Resort Rarotonga or the Muri Beach Club Hotel (photo).

Titikaveka Beach

Dip your toes into the soft white sand of this gorgeous palm-fringed beach, home to a few secluded beach resorts, including the luxurious five-star Seachange Villas, a boutique resort overlooking the lagoon.

Swim and snorkel right in front of this pristine white-sand beach or discover several scenic hiking trails that lead through bush to the local village and along the coast.

Titikaveka Beach is located on the southeast coast of Rarotonga.

Aroa Beach

This stunning sugar-white beach is home to the luxurious Rarotongan Beach Resort and Spa.

The beach offers good swimming and snorkelling in a marine reserve that edges this section of the south coast.

Arorangi Beach

Relax on the white sand of this west coast beach that shelves gentle into crystalline water, perfect for swimming and snorkelling.

Sip a cocktail watching a magical sunset at the beachside Edgewater Resort and Spa (photo), where you can be pampered with a range of creature comforts.

Latest update: Best Beaches in Cook Islands: 11 May, 2022