We have 2 weeks on the islands, what is the best beach to swim/snorkel/sleep? We don't need nightlife. Clean and quiet is more important. Also, accomodation around $US 50 or under. Is it possible? We just need a bungalow that is clean and near the beach. We just decided to shoot over today, so any help would be appreciated.
I suppose you're staying at Rarotonga.
The best area for snorkling is the southern coast from the end of Muri Beach (southeastern corner of the island) up to a shop called "Fruits of Rarotonga" (Titikaveka).
The best swimming beach (i.e. sand, no coral, thus no snorkling) is at Muri Beach, although I myself did not like Muri that much.
There is plenty of accommodation in that area. You may want to start out by checking http://www.ck/. They have an extensive overview of what is available per budget range. You may want to look at renting a private house (bungalow).
Prices drop considerably for accomodation for which you have to cross the road to be at the beach, although it sometimes is not more than 20m.
Thanks, we might take a flight over to Aiutaki for a wek as we have more than 2 weeks to explore. Is there still budget options there? Thanks for your help.
Yes there is plenty of budget accommodation on Aitutaki.
Matriki Beach Huts is probably the cheapest but very well situated at the NW side of the island.
But there is also Rino's in Amuri, Popoara and Ranginui's both at Ootu (the best swimming beach of Aitutaki), the Paratrooper, etc. etc.
Have a look here: http://www.cook.pacific-resorts.com/aitutaki.html#Anchor-standard.
We stayed at a rental house called the Tangikaara Beach House, right on the beach with the best snorkling. We rented directly from the owners who live in New-Zealand. Have a look here: http://tangikaara.com/index.html.
Let me know if you want more info on the house.
On Rarotonga = Muri Beach
Best snorkeling is 10minutes further opposite the Fruits of Rarotonga (they serve delicious sandwiches and smoothies)
On Aitutaki = Samade Beach
the lagoon and the motus are amazing !
I stayed in a hostel on Rarotonga, Vara's and in a guesthouse on Aitutaki, Tom's guesthouse. Both cheap and very ok.
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Address: PO Box 75, Cook Islands