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Hotel Deals for Rarotonga
Kia Orana Villas
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May 20 - May 20, 2019
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Whether it’s for adventure, family fun or a romantic honeymoon, the islands of the South Pacific are a perfect travel destination for just about any type of traveler. However, planning a trip for the first time to this part of the world can be a bit daunting. There are thousands of islands to choose from and unlike the Caribbean, this part of the world is pretty foreign and—let’s face it—a bit of a splurge. On top of that, you won’t find many tailor-made cruise ships that will easily transport you from one island to the next. But don’t let that stop you. You can easily find the right destination for you with our quick guide to the ideal South Pacific island for every traveler type.

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One Foot Island

One Foot Island in Aitutaki Lagoon, Cook Islands | Photo By: GettingStamped.com

Adventurers and cultural vultures: The Cook Islands

The English-speaking Cook Islands make for an ideal introduction to this part of the world. Easily accessible with offerings that are certain to please diverse tastes, these islands can please family travelers, young adventurers and couples looking for a romantic getaway. There are direct flights from LAX every Saturday on Air New Zealand; from there, it’s only a 9-hour flight to this paradise.

The Cook Islands offer a unique blend of world-class beaches, a range of resort offerings, great food, and numerous excursion options. Fans of history will enjoy ancient stone temples, while adventurers can go on unforgettable dives. One of the most popular nighttime activities are their famous “Island Nights.” Here you can enjoy traditional dishes like roast pork with all traditional sides while taking in local dancers and stunning sunsets.

Every trip to the Cook Islands should include a few nights in Rarotonga. We recommend staying at the beachfront Sea Change Villas offering amazing views.  After a few days, fly to Aitutaki; the flight alone will leave your eyes in disbelief. The island is great for relaxing and disconnecting, but if you crave more adventure, the stunning  Aitutaki Lagoon is right at your fingertips. While in Aitutaki we suggest staying in Tamanu Beach.

Tahiti | Photo By Rodeime Flickr CC |/

Love birds and luxury travelers: Tahiti

Tahiti is almost synonymous with tropical paradise. This South Pacific gem may offer less in the way of large beaches, but it excels in offering guests amazing nature filled with mountain tours, hiking and other outdoor adventures. However, you won’t have to rough it when it comes to lodging options. Tahiti is known for some of the most gorgeous resorts in the world, from lux eco-lodges to overwater bungalows, and since the island is French-speaking, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that you can also find top-notch French cuisine, in addition to other traditional food offerings.

Take a look at some of the resorts in Tahiti and the pristine scenery the island has to offer, and you’ll see why this is one of the world’s most popular honeymoon destinations.

America Samoa

American Samoa | Photo by Flickr CC US Interior

American first-timers: American Samoa

The Samoan Islands are vast and diverse. One section of this island grouping is American Samoa, which as you can guess, is an American territory. As a result, American travelers have no trouble getting here, yet surprisingly, it doesn’t feel touristy in the slightest. Indeed, American Samoa is ideal for anyone looking for peace and quiet, minimal interactions with other tourists, and a range of options for activities.

Not sure where to start? You can’t go wrong with a visit to Ofu Beach on the island of Manu’a. Its powdery sands with a hint of pink are flanked on either side with sharply rising lush green mountains. The sparse population and the remoteness of the islands might just let you have this slice of paradise all to yourself.

You can just as easily relax on an amazing beach in American Samoa as you can find a host of outdoor adventures, including hiking, surfing, and snorkeling. If you’re looking for an off-the-beaten-track location where you can relax your vacation away, American Samoa may be for you.

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Micronesia

Micronesia | Photo by Matt Kieffer Flickr CC

Dive enthusiasts: Micronesia

Micronesia refers to an enormous grouping of islands, some of which may sounds familiar—think Federated States of Micronesia, Guam and the Marshall Islands. Such a large number of islands means that you can stay in a few locations during your vacation.

One thing that most of them have in common is that there are limited beaches. Though there are still a few that any tourist would be happy to visit, what really makes these islands stand out is the easy access to untouched nature. Some of the best diving destinations on the planet are located in Micronesia, so don’t miss the chance to explore the reefs here. We recommend the Kosrae Village Ecolodge to enjoy the nature the island has to offer.

One of the region’s most prized dive areas is the cluster of islands called Palau. Stunning both above and below the water line, Palau features lush green tropical islands springing high out the turquoise waters. Another area divers should consider is the Chuuk Lagoon, famous for its high concentration of WWII ship and plane wrecks.

America Somoa

Solomon Islands | Photo by adelaide_archivist: Flickr CC

Families: Solomon Islands

Traveling in the South Pacific can be a challenge with children because most islands lack the type of attractions to keep the little ones occupied. However, the Solomon Islands offer a few things that give it a leg up on its neighbors. For one, kids will love snorkeling around old shipwrecks. There’s also surfing in Lau Lagoon and witnessing Kavachi’s impressive underwater volcano south of Ngatokae. Plus, the islands are home to plenty of wildlife to keep their attention: Think dolphin watching in a Savo Island cove, or getting a look at the nesting grounds of local leatherback and hawksbill turtles. Just be sure to book a family-friendly place to stay such as an over-the-water family bungalow at  Fatboys Resort.

In the local culture, family is very important and your family is sure to be welcomed, especially the children. In the Solomon Islands, you’ll have the opportunity to interact with the people that call these islands home, which isn’t always the case in other South Pacific destinations. While it may not be Disneyland, for the right family the Solomons can make a great trip.

bucket-list-fiji-gettingstamped-8

Sandbank islands, here for a limited time only – Photo by GettingStamped.com

Budget seekers: Fiji

English-speaking Fiji is probably the most popular tourist destination in the region. These islands are among the easiest to get to and offer many options for different types of travelers. Backpackers are just as welcome as families: There are several resorts with affordable dorms, as well as high-end properties for luxury travelers and honeymooners willing to splurge.

If you are on a budget make your way to the Yasawa chain of islands. While they don’t strictly cater to budget travelers, there are some great options for an amazing South Pacific holiday that doesn’t break the bank.  One of our top pics is Coralview Island Resort where you can stay in a cozy bure (a Fijian straw hut) near the beach for around $25 per night; dorm accommodations are even less.

No matter your budget, Fiji offers good value with stunning beaches, pristine marine ecosystem, and a chance to connect with the local culture.

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Tagged: Cook Islands

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Hannah & Adam | Getting Stamped Bloggers
Hannah & Adam are travel writers & photographers who have called the road home since 2013. Their passion for adventurous travel has brought them to 60 countries and counting. They blog about their adventures on their travel blog GettingStamped.com.

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